Migrations in American Drama and Theater: 5th International Conference on American Drama and Theater
Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France, 4-6 June 2018
Deadline for porposals: 15 September 2017
Working in partnership with the American Theater and Drama Society (ATDS) and the Spanish universities of Cádiz, Sevilla, and Madrid Autónoma, the research group I.D.E.A. (“Théories et pratiques de l’interdisciplinarité dans les études anglophones”) and the Université de Lorraine are announcing a call for papers for the conference “Migrations in American Drama and Theater” to be held in Nancy, France, from 4 to 6 June 2018.
This 5th International Conference on American Drama and Theater will be dedicated to the study of migrations, understood in a broad sense. The four previous conferences were held in Málaga, 2000; Málaga, 2004; Cádiz, 2009; and Sevilla, 2012; topics included violence, plays and players, politics, and the romance of the theater.
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
- John Patrick Shanley, American playwright, screenwriter, and theater and film director. His play Doubt: A Parable won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play. He won the 1988 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his film Moonstruck.
- John Guare, American playwright, best known as the author of The House of Blue Leaves, Six Degrees of Separation, Landscape of the Body, and A Free Man of Color, which was nominated for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. He is the recipient of a Tony Award, as well as several Drama Desk, Obie, and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards.
- Lee Breuer, American playwright, theater director, academic, educator, film maker, poet and lyricist. Founding co-artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company, Breuer directed the celebrated 2011 production of Un tramway nommé Désir (A Streetcar Named Desire), the first foreign play produced at the illustrious Comédie Française in Paris.
- Maude Mitchell, American actress and producer, who specializes in fresh interpretations of classics and development of new plays, and worked alongside Breuer in Un tramway nommé Désir as dramaturg. Best known for her performance as Nora in Mabou Mines’ critically acclaimed production of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, which toured internationally for 8 years and earned her an Obie Award as Best Actress.
- Dr. Annette Saddik, professor and scholar of American drama and theater, City University of New York. She has published numerous articles and four books on American drama: Tennessee Williams and the Theatre of Excess: The Strange, The Crazed, The Queer (2015); The Traveling Companion and Other Plays (2008); Contemporary American Drama (2007); and The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams’ Later Plays (1999). Dr. Saddik lectures regularly at Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, and serves as a judge for the Lucille Lortel Theater Awards in New York.
- Dr. Sue Abbotson, British born professor and scholar of American drama and theater. Former President of the Arthur Miller Society, Abbotson currently serves on their board and is Performance Editor for the Arthur Miller Journal. She has authored countless articles and chapters on a wide range of other American playwrights, and is also a creative writer herself. Among her many books are Critical Companion to Arthur Miller (2007) and Thematic Guide to Modern Drama (2003). Forthcoming is the long-awaited Modern American Drama: Playwriting in the 1950s (Methuen, 2016).
The impulse to cross geographical barriers and transgress boundaries, of whatever kind, traverses the history of mankind. Such processes often turn out traumatic and painful, however ultimately beneficial or rewarding. Motivations may be economic, political, or just sentimental. But fleeing the (literal or figurative) homeland (or, in today’s parlance, one’s comfort zone) in search of safety, a livelihood, happiness, novelty, change, self-realization or prosperity is bound, in most cases, to exert psychological pressure and involve a price. For the scholar, such processes whereby human communities or individuals are confronted by the new and the alien, often by the other in oneself, are fascinating to study and probe. Cross-hybridization between cultures and values has often resulted in new ways of looking at and making sense of reality. The friction and strife such processes bring with them are similarly pertinent areas of scholarly interest and inquiry.
Few countries have been more dependent upon migrations, understood in a broad sense, than the US. Not only is a great part of its population descended from migrants (all of it if we understand migrations in a wider sense, as native peoples have had to migrate not only geographically but culturally from ancient practices to largely alien notions of progress and modernity), but the country has been predicated upon geographical and social mobility, in itself a kind of migration. Debates on the advantages, if any, of migrations, as well as the alleged danger of disenfranchisement for the receiving population, the advisability of “contamination” by foreign values, or competition from abroad, are common. Obviously, there has never been a time in the history of the country where some kind of wall has not been deemed advisable, and not only the kind endorsed by the protagonists of The Fantasticks, a musical which became an icon of American theatrical culture precisely on account of its adamant refusal to the oft-suggested migration to Broadway.
Migration here is understood as a trope that implies change, translation, re-situation or re-location, adaptation, transferral, as well as the embracement of the new. When playwrights explore new themes, new theatrical styles or new dramatic voices, they become migrants, often encountering resistance and feeling unwelcome, which they brave in search of artistic fulfilment, new audiences, or merely profit. Without stylistic migrations, there would have been no evolution in the dramatic art: no Eugene O’Neill, no Susan Glaspell, no Thornton Wilder, no Living Theater, no Sam Shepard, no Broadway musicals. Even migrations across media (from film to stage or stage to film, from novel to play or play to musical) or from one country to another (European influences on American playwrights, the impact of US drama and theater abroad) are areas of research especially encouraged.
Other possible areas for research and reflection include (but are not limited to):
- Theatrical migrations understood both literally and figuratively. Real migrations and migrations as a trope.
- Stylistic migrations and cross-hybridization between formats.
- Transnational studies of American drama.
- Foreign playwrights in America and hyphenated American playwrights. Multiculturalism as migration.
- US drama abroad and foreign drama in the US. The migration of cultures on stage.
- World realities on the US stage. America on the world’s stage.
- Mainstream playwrights migrating to the fringe. Fringe playwrights reaching the mainstream. Crossings between theatrical milieus.
- Broadway migrating from Broadway. The emergence of Off and Off-Off Broadway and the regional theater movement.
- Bodies, trauma, gender, and identity. Migrations from one’s sense of self and the corporeality of migrations.
- Intertextuality, transmedia, and intercultural exchanges. Migrating texts.
As we embrace a more international model for these conferences, and will hold the first of them outside of Spain, we are ourselves becoming migrants, and our destination, Nancy, is the perfect venue for such a conference. Nancy, with its various World Heritage sites, is at the heart of a historically disputed area in Europe, and has often migrated across countries and cultures. Ever since 1963, the Nancy festival has been not only in the avant-garde of theater festivals in Europe, but has welcomed groups and professionals from all countries to explore new territories, spearheading theatrical migrations, new languages, and all kinds of hybridities.
To submit either a paper, a roundtable discussion, or an already organized panel, please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief CV to Dr. Josefa Fernandez Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) by 15 September 2017.
For updated information on the conference (travel, accommodation, participation fees, etc.), please visit https://idea-udl.org/migrations/.
(posted 15 February 2017)
Chronos 13: International conference on tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality
Neuchâtel, Switzerland, 4-6 June June 2018
Deadline for submissions: 10 December 2017
CHRONOS is the foremost international forum dedicated to current linguistic research on tense, aspect, actionality, and modality/evidentiality. The CHRONOS conferences welcome substantial and innovative presentations from scholars who conduct linguistic research from different perspectives, concerning any language, regardless of theoretical persuasions.
Ayhan Aksu-Koç (Bogaziçi University)
Victoria Escandell-Vidal (UNED Madrid)
Adeline Patard (Université de Caen)
Andrea Rocci (University of Lugano)
A special session will be dedicated to the pragmatics of tense, aspect, modality and evidentiality.
Abstracts will be less than 600 words + references. Abstracts submitted in the special session on pragmatics have to bear this indication. All other abstratcs will be considered for the main session. Abstracts rejected in the special session might be directed to the main session. All abstracts will have to be deposited on the following platform:
Deadline for submissions: 10 December, 2017.
Notifications: 15 February 2018
The working languages are English and French. Colleagues presenting in one language are encouraged to prepare their supporting documentation (hand-out, powerpoint presentation) in the other one.
(posted 9 September 2017)
War Memories: Celebrations, Reconstructions, Representations, War narratives in the English-speaking world (18th to the 21st century)
Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Ontario, 12-14 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 October 2017
Conference website: https://warmem2018.sciencesconf.org/resource/page/id/3
An initiative with roots stemming from the “Anglophonie: Communautés, Écritures” Laboratory of the University Rennes 2 (ACE, France) and the Royal Military College of Canada (Kingston), the War Memories research initiative is pleased to announce that the momentum will carry-on to the third biennial conference, set to take place in June 2018. The third gathering will build upon the foundations set forth by discussions during the previous conferences.
The first conference was organized in conjunction with the events surrounding the 100th anniversary of the First World War, and served as a continuity of the seminal symposium in May 2010 organized in collaboration with the Caen Memorial at the University of Caen-Basse Normandie. Following the international symposium in June 2014 at the University Rennes 2, collaborative work emerged which discussed media attention, and the spectacularization, interpretation and re-writing of the events surrounding the wars. The second gathering was held in 2016 at the University of Paris-Diderot, with focused discussions regarding the identification of memories with a special attention to the Second World War, locations of memory spaces and media attention. The collaborative work highlighting these discussions is currently being prepared.
The third gathering will be held in Jun 2018 at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario. This symposium will encourage discussions surrounding the symbols used to represent the physical and moral injuries endured by individuals as a result of war. The way different conflicts define, tailor, and possibly even distort military culture through societies and through the ages will also be discussed.
One of the major advances of modern times is illuminated by the literary representations heightened by the experiences and consequences of war, the terror produced by the conflicts and the dehumanization that cannot be disassociated with armed conflicts. Heart of Darkness by Conrad, Feu by Barbuse, or even Orages d’acier by Jünger, are all milestone pieces that initiate us to the representations of the marks these resonances make on contemporary societies’ imagination, to the point where it becomes normal for many of these representations to be referenced when discussing the violence that was endured by individuals. Before the commemorations of military glory, the symbols and representations used in literature to convey the impact of war involved trauma and injuries; artistic and semantic pieces of literature were pushed away in order to avoid expressing and representing the main themes for modern wars. It is the tension between the indescribable experiences and the outrageous representations that will be discussed as the primary topic of this symposium.
It is the movement towards honorable commemorations (Born on the 4th of July by Stone, Les Fragments d’Antonin by Le Bomin, etc.) and the representation of the lack of care that will become the second branch of topics to be discussed during the symposium. The dehumanization of suffering goes beyond the discussion of denunciation, because the act of commemoration, even if done with honor, is in itself a celebration. Therefore, the representation of the young dismembered or dislocated body becomes a manifestation of the glory of handicaps; a broken spirit, an occasion to celebrate the survival or combat. Thus, the wars of the past and present become the objects of new representations; having lived through violence becomes fully expressed through its representation of decrepitude. Moreover, the representations of the wars of the past is molding the way todays’ actors of war are portraying their testimonies or other representations of their own experiences.
Our work may fall under many themes, but will revolve around the following ideas:
- War narratives and features on literature (theater, novels, poetry, etc.)
- Visual, television, film (fiction and non-fiction), musical, media and artistic representations of war
- Injuries, trauma, handicaps associated with the phenomenon’s of war and terrorism (testimonies of soldiers, lives of the survivors, social and political charges, management of handicaps and reintegration into society, …)
- Memories, war memories, and memory space and locations (monuments, ceremonies, history books, questions about personal and collective identity during times of war and the process of recalling and commemoration); wars and memories of war surrounding the experiences of minorities and/or the aboriginal people (Gurkhas, Aboriginal of North America or Australia, Maoris, etc.) and of Non-English speaking nation (Afrikaners, etc.) and their participation in word conflicts.
Contacts: Stéphanie Bélanger, Renée Dickason, Michel Prum, Florence Binard, Delphine Letort and Gilles Teulié. For contact details, please visit the Contact Us page.
Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a 200-word bio directly through this website before October 15th, 2017. You will need to create an account (near top right of page), then fill the submission forms under My Space > Submissions.
(posted 12 July 2017)
Thomas Merton: Prophecy and Renewal
Rome, Italy, 12-15 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2017
The international symposium “Thomas Merton: Prophecy and Renewal” will focus particularly on the way in which Merton engaged the prophetic elements of monasticism. He believed that this witness could make a major contribution to a renewal of human and Christian life. In this spirit, this inaugural symposium is an invitation to participate in wide-open and interdisciplinary dialogues on Merton and his ideas.
Papers should relate to the conference theme under the headings of “prophecy” and “renewal” as follows below.
MERTON AND PROPHECY
- Tradition : the Desert Fathers, the Fathers of the Church, authority
- Vision : Christianity, monasticism, interreligious and intermonastic dialogue
- Performance : art, biography, letters, dialogue with Jean Leclercq
MERTON AND RENEWAL
- Monasticism : prayer, life, community
- Church : theology, spirituality, liturgy
- Society : culture, politics, nonviolence
Session formats may include:
- Scholarly papers designed for presentation in 20 minutes, i.e., 8-10 double-spaced pages, maximum
- Workshops designed to involve interactive participation, incorporating adult learning strategies and/or small group discussion
- Creative / Dramatic presentations using music, poetry, dance or other media to provide insight into aspects of Merton’s life or work
- Guided meditation / Prayer sessions, particularly those using Merton’s own writings as a framework for prayer and meditative reflection
Proposals of no more than 250 words, and a short biographical statement of 1-2 sentences should be submitted by 30 November 2017, by e-mail to: email@example.com
Responses to submitted proposals will be sent by 15 January 2018.
Conference website: merton.anselmianum.com
(posted 25 September 2017)
Paris Sorbonne University (VALE EA 4085), France, 13-16 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 November 2017
The third International Conference of the French Society for Modernist Studies (SEM)
Rachel Bowlby (University College London)
Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins University).
In a line which seems pre-emptively levelled at Aaron Jaffe’s The Way Things Go exactly one century later, Richard Aldington wrote in The Egoist that “one of the problems of modern art” is that “to drag smells of petrol, refrigerators, ocean greyhounds, President Wilson and analine [sic] dyes into a work of art will not compensate for lack of talent and technique.” This was December 1914. In the next few decades, psychoanalysis sought to make sense of the trivial, thinkers inquired into the status of the mass-produced object, and the rise of feminist and Labour movements posed the prosaic and essential question of material comforts. Modernist art and literature focused on the mundane, as emblematized by the everyday object, which now crystallized our changing relation to the world. The anachronistic frigidaire patent in Ezra Pound’s “Homage to Sextus Propertius,” ordinariness in William Carlos Williams’s famous “red wheelbarrow,” defamiliarization in Gertrude Stein’s “Roastbeef” are but a few possible variations on the object, its importance becoming central to the British neo-empiricists and the American Objectivists. Papers could examine the claim that the poetry and prose, the visual and performing arts, and the music of the Modernist era accounted for a shift in object relations with an intensity of observation in proportion with the changes which so profoundly affected the experience of living in industrial times. This SEM conference invites English-language contributions that cover the widest range of reflections on Modernist objects.
Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- the object vs the thing
- instruments and tools, technology, the machine
- the object as mass-produced commodity; resistance to consumption
- waste, junk, obsolescence, recycling
- the material presence of the book or the magazine in everyday life
- architecture, machines for living
- the Utopian potential of the crafted object
- the gift and the unalienable object
- objects, social identities and intimacy
- the object and/in space
- the object in/of science
- non-human agency
- the object in the Anthropocene
Please send proposals (300 words) and short biographies to Hélène Aji, Université Paris Nanterre (firstname.lastname@example.org), Noëlle Cuny, Université de Haute Alsace (email@example.com), and Xavier Kalck, Université Paris Sorbonne (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than November 15th, 2017. Notification of decision: December 15th, 2017.
(posted 12 September 2018)
Jean Rhys: Transmission Lines / Lignes de transmission
Paris Sorbonne University, France, 21-23 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2017
Jean Rhys’s recognition as a major author came late, almost accidentally so, and not without a number of misunderstandings, misfires and sidesteps; lines of transmission between her work and contemporary readers now appear certain if erratic, unpredictable, and sometimes discontinuous. Her status within the various lineages of modernist and Caribbean fiction is doubly problematized by Rhys’s position as a woman, and as one of the last members of the white creole society. Jean Rhys’s position upon the literary map of the 20th century remains unstable, even after Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), which constituted a turning point in the critical rediscovery of her earlier work. She shunned public exposure and yet, desperately sought acknowledgement by her own peers; she stood away from the modernist circles of Montparnasse and yet, explored a radically avant-garde writing, which retrospectively makes her rank among them.
This conference wishes to interrogate the twists and paradoxes of transmission, in its various, and often, in the case of Rhys, paradoxical, meanings; it will be placed under the sign of plurality and criss-crossing, including that between modernism and (post)colonialism. Indeed, her bridging the span between modernism and post-colonialism has made her an author studied separately by two currents of thought which we would like to reconnect towards a more hybrid reading along the transmission lines of the Caribbean/modernist rhi(ys)zome.
With Jean Rhys, transmission is precisely not teleological or testamentary. The modernist polyphony at the heart of her experimentations with form can be seen as an obstacle to transmission both technically and hermeneutically, while her always problematic authority places her in the marginalized position of the postcolonial author. Transmission comes up against the notion of inscription; it remains transient, fluid, and precarious. In order to encompass the modernist Rhys and the postcolonial ‘writer back’, we would welcome papers on Jean Rhys’s peculiar history of publications and critical reception, with the late scrutiny by postcolonial studies of an author only seriously acknowledged after The Empire Writes Back (1984).
This conference wishes to reassess the heritage of the first critical period largely dominated by an emphasis on the typology of the ‘Rhys woman’ and the victim paradigm: we invite papers examining the resistance to transmission as a process, the deconstruction always at work, the dead-ends and unease in the reading experience, the lines of flight in many directions. Our ultimate aim would be to create a moment of critical kairos by reconnecting the structuralist/modernist reading of the 1980s, and the poststructuralist/postcolonial Rhys of the 1990s: we propose to grasp those lines and allow them to travel farther, towards what is still there to read between the lines – of transmission.
Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- moments of passages, dissemination, transfers and transitions, including between languages
- patterns of continuity/contiguity and leaps/gaps in texts that struggle against frames of all kinds
- the paradigm of memory and testimony, when the marginalized voices of the modernist city and the Empire were grappling with an irrevocable loss and resisting silencing
- the minimal resistance of female characters who do not recognise the masculine power structures relegating them to passivity
- the multiple lines of transmission drawn by Rhys’s letters, whose publication in 1984 corresponded to a landmark in her critical rediscovery
- reflections on (trans)mediation and generic hybridity
- the lines of literary filiation and influence of Rhys on contemporary authors
- resistance to transmission as an opposition to commodification, to systems of colonial trade and exchange
- the radio and its impact on the transcription of voices
We are contemplating publishing a selection of papers after the conference.
(posted 22 February 2017)
Translating and adapting canonical works in contemporary British theatre
Paris, France, 22-23 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 October 2017
A Conference organized by Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis and Université Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle
Organisers: Isabelle Génin (Université Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle), Marie Nadia Karsky (Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis), Bruno Poncharal (Université Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle)
Over the centuries, British theatre has traditionally imported plays from the European continent (France, the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Russia…), most of the time adapting them. In the last forty years, however, British playwrights have seemed to be increasingly inspired by canonical works, translating, adapting or rewriting them. Molière, Racine, Marivaux, Chekhov, Sophocles and Euripides, for instance, are all classics in the sense that they belong to a well-established theatrical canon, and many contemporary British playwrights and poets turn to them at some time in their careers. Martin Crimp said he adapted Molière’s Misanthrope in 1996 as a way of overcoming the « writing block » he was then experiencing. What was the motivation of other authors such as Tony Harrison, for instance, whose Misanthrope, performed at the National Theatre in London in 1973, is one of the first in a long series of contemporary translations and adaptations of Molière’s play ? In 1975, Harrison went on adapting 17th-century French theatre with his Phaedra Britannica, written after Racine’s Phèdre. Other poets and playwrights also adapted Racine’s play (Ted Hughes, Timberlake Wertenbaker) or Seneca’s (Sara Kane’s Phaedra’s Love was commissioned by the Gate Theatre in London in 1996). Euripides and Sophocles have been adapted, among others, by Martin Crimp, Timberlake Wertenbaker or April de Angelis. Since the 1980s, there have been dozens of different translations and adaptations of The Seagull, not to speak of Chekhov’s other plays, and English playwrights regularly turn to Molière to work on Tartuffe, Don Juan, or The School for Wives, besides the Misanthrope which is a general favourite. The list of canonical works and classics adapted for the contemporary stage in the United Kingdom is quite long. Has surtitling—enabling audiences to see and hear plays in the original—had an impact on the number of translations and adaptations into English ? What seems to be paramount among contemporary playwrights is the desire to weigh their production against canonical works, as though the latter were a sounding board, amplifying the questions raised in our times. Past and present, familiar elements and their rediscovery in a new light interact on the stage in a paradoxical form of tension. What does the rewriting of canonical works reveal about British playwriting and staging these last fifty years? Are there any recurrent themes? How do they fuel some of the stylistic concerns of contemporary dramatic writers? We have not mentioned Shakespeare, whose works are also a constant source of adaptations (by Bond or Barker, for instance), because what seems striking and well worth researching is the frequency with which contemporary British playwrights resort to works in foreign languages. What does crossing linguistic, historical and cultural lines bring them ? Both translations and adaptations have been mentioned – the fact is that in qualifying their work, contemporary playwrights often use the different terms « translation », « adaptation », and « version » without specifying their differences. As David Johnston points out in his interviews of translators, directors dramaturgs and playwrights in Stages of Translation, theatre translators view translation as tied in with creation and linked to creative writing, though they are aware of the transient dimension of their work. Translations and adaptations are sometimes done in pairs : when the contemporary playwrights do not know the language of the original, they often rely on a first, literal translation done by a professional translator and then move away from it in their final version. Whose is the voice most heard in the translations and adaptations of canonical works by contemporary authors ? How do classic and canonical texts influence the writing of contemporary playwrights ? Do these translated or rewritten plays form part of a quest for new forms of theatre ? Do they participate in redefining writing for the stage, or do they echo forms of writing and preoccupations which might belong to more traditional lines ?
Conference papers will also look into the concrete role played by foreign canonical works on the contemporary British stage. What plays, genres, and authors are mostly translated or adapted ? Are canonical works still dominant among translated and adapted foreign plays in Britain, as they were a few years ago (according to data given by Geraldine Brodie at the conference “La Place du traducteur au théâtre”, organised at University Paris 8 in June 2013) ? Has Brexit already had an impact on translation and adaptation ? And how does the situation vary according to the different nation shaping the United-Kingdom ?
Papers will be 30 minute-long, followed by 10 minutes for questions. Abstracts are to be sent by 30 October 2017 to :
Marie Nadia Karsky : email@example.com
Isabelle Génin : firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruno Poncharal : email@example.com
(posted 9 Sseptember 2017)
A Holiday from War? “Resting” behind the lines during the First World War
Université Paris III – Sorbonne Nouvelle, France, 22-23 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 20 November 2017
Organised by Sarah Montin (EA PRISMES) et Clémentine Tholas-Disset (EA CREW)
Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Tim Kendall (University of Exeter)
His men threw the discus and the javelin, and practiced archery on the shore, and their horses, un-harnessed, munched idly on cress and parsley from the marsh, the covered chariots housed in their masters’ huts. Longing for their warlike leader, his warriors roamed their camp, out of the fight. (lliad, Book II)
What do the soldiers do when they are not on the battlefield? The broadening of the definition of war experience in recent historiography has transformed our spatial and temporal understanding of the conflict, shifting the scope away from the front lines and the activities of combat. Beyond the battlefield and its traditional martial associations emerges another representation of the warrior and the soldier, along with another experience of the war.
Situated a few kilometres behind the front lines, the rear area is the space where soldiers rotated after several days burrowed at the front or in reserve lines, surfacing from the trenches to join rest stations, training installations, ammunition and food supply depots, hospitals, brothels, command headquarters or soldiers’ shelters. In that space in-between which is neither the site of combat nor that of civilian life, the soldiers were less exposed to danger and followed a barracks routine enlivened by relaxing activities which aimed to restore morale. If some soldiers found there a form of rest far from the fury of the guns, others suffered from the encroaching discipline, the imposition of training or the promiscuity with soldiers that were no longer brothers-in-arms in thas buffer zone where they spent 3/5ths of their time. Both a place of abandonment and a place of control, the rear area merges at times with the civilian world as it occupies farms and villages and hosts non-combatants such as doctors, nurses or volunteers. With battles being waged close by, the “back of the front” (Paul Cazin) is a meeting place for soldiers of different armies and allied countries, as well as for officers and privates, soldiers and civilians, men and women, foreign troops and locals living in occupied zones. The rear area is not only a spatial concept but also a temporal one: it is a moment of reprieve, of passing forgetfulness and illusive freedom; a moment of “liberated time” (Thierry Hardier and Jean-François Jagielski) indicating a period of relative rest between combat and leave, a short-lived respite before returning to the front. If the combatant is entitled to repose and time to himself, military regulations demand that he never cease to be a soldier. As such we have to consider these moments of relaxation within the strict frame of military life at the front and the role played by civilian organizations such as the YMCA or the Salvation Army, who managed the shelters for soldiers on the Western Front.
Though seemingly incompatible with war experience, certain recreational activities specific to civilian life make their way to the rear area with the approval of military command. Moments of relaxation and leisure are encouraged in order to maintain or restore the soldier’s physical and emotional well-being, thus sustaining the war effort. They also ensure that the soldier is not entirely cut off from “normal” life and bring comfort to those who are not granted leave. Liberated time is not free time, just as periods without war are not periods of peace. These “holidays from war” are not wholly synonymous with rest as the men are almost constantly occupied (review, training exercises, instruction) in order to fight idleness and ensure the soldiers stay fit for duty. The rear is thus also a place of heightened collective practises such as sports, hunting and fishing, walking, bathing, discussions, creation of trench journals, film projections, concert parties, theatre productions, religious services as well as individual activities such as reading, writing and artistic creation.
Between communion with the group and meditative isolation, experiences vary from one soldier to another, depending on social origins, level of education and rank, all of which take on a new meaning at the rear where the egalitarian spirit fostered during combat is often put to the test. Sociability differs in periods of fighting and periods of recovery, and is not always considered positively by the soldiers. However, despite the tensions induced by life at the rear, these “holidays from war” and spells of idleness are often represented as idyllic “pastoral moments” (Paul Fussell) in the visual and written productions of the combatants. The enchanted interlude sandwiched between two bouts of war becomes thus a literary and artistic trope, evoking, by contrast, a fleeting yet exhilarating return to life, innocence and harmony, a rediscovery of the pleasures of the body following its alienation and humiliation during combat.
In order to further our understanding of the historical, political and aesthetic concerns of life at the rear, long considered a parenthesis in the experience of war, this interdisciplinary conference will address, but will not be limited to, the following themes:
The ideological, medical and administrative construction of the notion of “rest” in the First World War (as it applied to combatants but also auxiliary corps and personnel).
Paramilitary, recreational and artistic activities at the rear; the organisation of activities in particular leisure and entertainment, the role of the army and independent contractors (civilian organisations, etc.)
Sociability between soldiers (hierarchy, tensions, camaraderie); the rear area as meeting place with the other (between soldiers/auxiliary personnel, combatants, locals, men/women, foreign troops, etc.), site of passage, exploration, initiation or “return to the norm” (“rest huts” built to offer a “home away from home”), testimonies from inhabitants of the occupied zones
Articulations and dissonances between community life and time to oneself, collective experience and individual experience
The historic and artistic conceptualisation of the rear area, specific artistic and literary modes at the rear by contrast with writings at the front
Staging life at the rear: scenes of country-life, idyllic representations of non-combat as farniente or hellscapes, bathing parties or penitentiary universes, the figure of the soldier as dilettante, flâneur and solitary rambler, in the productions (memoirs, accounts, correspondence, novels, poetry, visual arts, etc.) of combatants and non-combatants;
Cultural, political and media (re)construction of the figure of the “soldier at rest” (war photography, postcards, songs, etc.); representations of the male and female body at rest, constructions of a new model of masculinity (sexuality and sport), and their place in war production
In order to foster dialogue between the Anglophone, Francophone and Germanophone areas of study, the conference will mainly focus on the Western Front. However proposals dealing with other fronts will be examined. Presentations will preferably be in English.
(posted 20 September 2017)
International Conference The Future of Education: 8th edition
Florence, Italy, 28-29 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 26 February 2018
The 8th edition of the Future of Education International Conference will take place in Florence, Italy, on 28 – 29 June 2018.
The objective of the Future of Education Conference is to promote transnational cooperation and share good practice in the field of education. The Future of Education conference is also an excellent opportunity for the presentation of previous and current education projects and initiatives. The Call for Papers is addressed to teachers, researchers and experts in the field of education as well as to coordinators of teaching and training projects.
Experts in the field of education are therefore invited to submit an abstract of a paper to be presented in the conference.
• 26 February 2018: Deadline for submitting abstracts
• 8 May 2018: Deadline for final submission of papers
• 28 – 29 June 2018: Dates of the conference
There will be three presentation modalities: oral, poster and virtual presentations.
All accepted papers will be included in the Conference Proceedings published by LibreriaUniversitaria with ISBN and ISSN (2384-9509) codes. This publication will be sent to be reviewed for inclusion in SCOPUS (https://www.elsevier.com/solutions/scopus). Papers will also be included in ACADEMIA.EDU (https://www.academia.edu/) and Google Scholar.
For further information, please contact us at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Future of Education conference website: http://conference.pixel-online.net/FOE/
(posted 25 August 2017)
Crime Fiction: Insiders and Outsiders. Captivating Criminality 5
Corsham Court, Bath Spa University, UK, 28-30 June 2018
Deadline for proposals: 3 February 2018
The Captivating Criminality Network is delighted to announce its fifth UK conference. Building upon and developing ideas and themes from the previous four successful conferences, Crime Fiction: Insiders and Outsiders, will examine the ways in which Crime Fiction as a genre is able to incorporate both traditional ideas and themes, as well as those from outside mainstream and/or dominant ways of thinking.
Crime fiction narratives continue to gain in both popularity and critical appreciation. This conference will consider the ways in which writers who work within generic cultural and critical boundaries and those who challenge those seeming restrictions, through both form and content, have influenced each other. Crime fiction, in its widest sense, has benefited from challenges from diverse ‘outsiders’ who in turn shift and develop the genre. This was as true in the early days of the genre as it is today and, as such, we welcome submissions from the early modern to the present day.
A key question that this conference will address is the enduring appeal of crime fiction and its ability to incorporate other disciplines such as History, Criminology, Film, TV, Media, and Psychology. From the ‘sensational’ novelists of the 1860s to today’s ‘Domestic Noir’ narratives, crime fiction has proved itself to be open to challenges and development from historical and cultural movements such as, feminism, gender studies, queer politics, post modernism, metafiction, war, and shifting concepts of criminality. In addition, crime fiction is able to respond to and incorporate changes in political and historic world events. With this in mind, we are interested in submissions that approach crime narratives from the earliest days of crime writing until the present day.
This international, interdisciplinary event is organised by Bath Spa University and the Captivating Criminality Network, and we invite scholars, practitioners and fans of crime writing, to participate in this conference that will address these key elements of crime fiction and real crime. Topics may include, but are not restricted to:
- Feminist Sleuths (second wave and beyond)
- The Victorian Lady Detective
- Femininity and the Golden Age
- Crime and Queer Theory
- Crime and War
- Crime and the Gothic
- Gothic Outsiders
- Gothic Disruptions and Disturbances
- The Cozy Crime Novel
- Victims and Perpetrators
- Crime Fiction and Form
- The Prison and Other Institutions
- Madness and Criminality
- Film Adaptations
- Post-Communist Crime Fiction
- Crime Fiction in Times of Trauma
- Latin American Crime Fiction and Trauma
- The Psychological
- The Detective, Then and Now
- The Anti-Hero
- True Crime
- Contemporary Crime Fiction
- Victorian Crime Fiction
- Eighteenth-Century Crime
- Early Forms of Crime Writing
- The Golden Age
- Hardboiled Fiction
- Forensics and Detection
- The Body
- Seduction and Sexuality
- The Criminal Analyst
- Others and Otherness
- The Country and the City
- The Media and Detection
- Adaptation and Interpretation
- Justice Versus Punishment
- Lack of Order and Resolution
Please send 200 word proposals to Dr. Fiona Peters and Joanne Ella Parsons (email@example.com) by 3rd February 2018. The abstract should include your name, email address, and affiliation, as well as the title of your paper. Please feel free to submit abstracts presenting work in progress as well as completed projects. Postgraduate students are welcome. Papers will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Proposals for suggested panels are also welcome.
Full Fee: £180 (£135 if a member of the International Crime Fiction Association)
Reduced Rate (students, ECRs not on a permanent contract/retired): £130 (£95 if a member of the International Crime Fiction Association)
To join the International Crime Fiction Association please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Full Membership: £20 per annum
Reduced Rate Membership £10 per annum
(posted 20 September 2017)