Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in December 2018

Revisiting Multiculturalism and Interdisciplinarity in Today’s Academic Communication
University of Social Sciences, Warsaw, Poland, 6-7 December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 23 September 2018

Institute of English Studies, University of Social Sciences, Warsaw, College for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, and Committee for Philology, Polish Academy of Sciences, Wroclaw are pleased to announce the 3rd International Conference on Communication across Cultures

The conference is under the patronage of Polish Association of Applied Linguistics (PTLS)
Venue: University of Social Sciences, ul. Łucka 11, Warsaw, Poland
Contact: cocac@san.edu.pl http://cocac.san.edu.pl/

The purpose of this conference is to create a forum for discussions on changes in the perception of cultural and linguistic identities in an academic environment. It aims to explore the evolution of communication styles taking place in today’s globalized and multicultural societies.
We invite representatives from the departments of humanities and social sciences who are interested in exchanging theoretical and practical approaches to these phenomena and processes: on a global, national or regional level; from disciplinary, intercultural, cognitive and educational perspectives.
Therefore, the conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners from the fields of anthropocentric linguistics; anthropological linguistics; linguistic anthropology; identity and cultural studies; SLA, ESP and English as a lingua franca.

The themes that will be discussed and analyzed during the conference:

  • Multiple identities and Englishes in academic communication
  • Interdisciplinarity, and the structure and functions of academic texts
  • Multiculturalism: theoretical and practical challenges
  • Identity negotiation in cultural and academic contexts; cross-cultural perspectives
  • English as a lingua franca and ‘national’ discourses

Speakers who have already confirmed their participation:

  • Prof. Ray Fabri, Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology, University of Malta, Malta
  • Prof. Ken Hyland, University of East England, Norwich, England
  • Prof. zw. dr hab. dr h.c. (multi) Franciszek Grucza, University of Social Sciences, Warsaw
  • Prof. zw. dr hab. Piotr P. Chruszczewski, College for Interdisciplinary Studies, University of WroclawThe language of the conference will be English.

Papers will be allocated 20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions. Abstracts of no more than 300 words including references should be sent as MS Word attachment to cocac@san.edu.pl by 23rd September, 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be communicated by 7th October, 2018. For further information please follow the link http://cocac.san.edu.pl/.

There will be an opportunity to publish in Kwartalnik Neofilologiczny (Neophilological Quarterly, Polish Academy of Sciences) indexed in ERIH PLUS (European Reference Index for the Humanities and the Social Sciences) and list B of academic journals of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (12 points).

We look forward to welcoming you at the conference!

(posted 13 April 2018)


Things Have Changed: Twenty-First Century Dylan
Artois University, Arras, France, 6-7 December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2018

Co-organised by Laurence Estanove (Université Paris Descartes), Adrian Grafe (Université d’Artois: research group Textes et Cultures EA 4028/Translittéraires), Claire Hélie (Université de Lille: EA 4074/CECILLE), Andrew McKeown (Université de Poitiers: EA 3816 FoReLL).

Guest of Honour: Professor Sir Christopher Ricks

Ever since the early 1960s, Bob Dylan has never ceased to evolve. His creativity remains as powerful as ever in the twenty-first century. Hence the international symposium “Things have changed: Twenty-First-Century Dylan” will focus primarily on contemporary Dylan. A theorization can be made based on the work of Edward Saïd or Theodor Adorno (see Essays on Music, 1993, quoted by Saïd). Said asserts that the late style of the artist is marked by “intransigence, difficulty, and unresolved contradictions” (E. Saïd, On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain, New York: Pantheon Books, 2006, 7). Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the conference intends to examine the work of an artist who from the beginning of the twenty-first century has shown an inexhaustible fertility: Dylan has published an autobiography (Chronicles Vol. 1, Simon & Schuster, 2004); released four albums of original songs (Love and Theft [2001], Modern Times [2006], Together through Life [2009], Tempest [2012]); eight exhibitions of paintings, acrylics and sculptures have been assembled, along with catalogues remarkable for the texts written by Dylan to accompany his visual art. One would add the question of the reception of the work, also very varied, by the general public, universities, popular music critics, literary critics (Christopher Ricks above all) … Moreover, in 2009, in answer to a journalist’s question about the possibility of Dylan’s winning the Nobel Prize, the artist himself acknowledged that the “category” to which his work belongs is debatable. In fact, the Nobel Prize and the honours bestowed upon Dylan should not overshadow the marginal status of the singer-songwriter. The necessary debate about the literary nature of his musical production, a debate that began early in Dylan’s career, was again highlighted by the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature. Are the lyrics of his songs poetry? Oral poetry? Poetry on the page (the Permanent Secretary of the Nobel Prize Committee said: “the words of his songs can be read and should be read”)? Literature (intertextual allusiveness, etc)? Thus, the colloquium may be the opportunity for a broader reflection on the definition of genres and the legitimization of “authors”. Papers may deal with the topics discussed above, as well as any aspect of Dylan’s work in the twenty-first century:

  • the autobiography Chronicles Volume I;
  • The Ricks, Nemrow and Nemrow edition of the Lyrics (Simon & Schuster, 2014);
  • Paintings, pictures and sculptures, exhibitions, catalogues and texts written by the artist for catalogues;
  • videos, films made about Dylan or that include his music (e.g. My Own Love Song directed by O. Dahan, 2010);
  • albums or individual songs, renditions of Dylan’s own material or songs of others, the texts of the songs and / or the music and the arrangements;
  •  tours, concerts, performances and on-stage persona(e) and attitude, choice of songs, musical arrangements, vocal delivery;
  • interviews and speeches;
  • the Nobel Prize for Literature 2016; the reception of the contemporary work;
  • critical works dedicated to the artist, especially Christopher Ricks, Dylan’s Visions of Sin (2002);
  • recent translations of Dylan’s texts
  • etc.

Papers may be given in English or French. For a June 30, 2018 deadline, with a decision in July 2018, please send a title and summary of your proposed presentation (200 words), along with some brief bio-bibliographic info to the following address: Dylancongressartois2018@gmail.com

(posted 27 April 2018)


Worlding SF: Building, Inhabiting, and Understanding Science Fiction Universes
University of Graz, Austria, 6-8 December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 April 2018

Everything is (in) a world.

“To be a work [of art] means: to set up a world,” Martin Heidegger remarked in his 1950 essay “The Origin of the Work of Art” (2002, 22). Tellingly, some four decades later, Carl Malmgren suggested that “the generic distinctiveness of sf lies not in its story but in its world” (1991, 7). Both Malmgren and Heidegger have a point—fiction, and more specifically science fiction, is generally more interested in creating plausible worlds than telling convincing stories. In response to the effects and challenges of transmedia convergence, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay has more recently remarked that world-building “determine[s] the relationships in the narrative, even when the action is full of dramatic movement” (2008, 82). Accordingly, everything is (happening) in a world; a (more or less) coherent and cohesive world.

Following Heidegger’s elaborations in Being and Time (1927), one may argue that entering such a fantastic world means being thrown into it, as the reader/viewer/player must learn to navigate the fictional world and to understand its underlying rules. This “thrownness” defines the subject and its relation to the world (2010, 169–73). As such, Heidegger’s approach opens up ways to begin to understand the ways in which we become immersed in—and engaged with—sf universes.

In the aforementioned essay “The Origin of the Work of Art,” Heidegger stresses that “[w]orld is not a mere collection of the things […] that are present at hand. Neither is world a merely imaginary framework.” “Worlds world,” he concludes, meaning that we are subject to worlding “as long as the paths of birth and death […] keep us transported into being” (2002, 23; italics in original). Similar to the ways in which the previous paragraph condenses Heidegger’s concepts, Gayatri Spivak has “vulgariz[ed …]” (1985, 260) Heidegger’s notion of “worlding,” suggesting that the “worlding” of any text carries ideological baggage—political messages that simultaneously naturalize specific concepts and always-already seek to erase themselves. Heidegger himself, for example, denied nonhuman agents the capability of worlding, stating that “plants and animals have no world; they belong […] to the […] environment into which they have been put” (2002, 23). As a result, building worlds seems to necessitate creating hierarchies, which lead to processes of oppression and marginalization—from the colonial subtexts of canonical texts Spivak uncovered and the feminist sf of Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Octavia Butler to afrofuturism and visions of the future in which Earth liberates itself from human dominance.

The conference “Worlding SF: Building, Inhabiting, and Understanding Science Fiction Universes” seeks to explore these three thematic clusters—(a) world-building, (b) processes and practices of being in fictional worlds (both from the characters’ and readers’/viewers’/players’/fans’ points of view), and (c) the seemingly naturalized subtextual messages these fantastic visions communicate (or sometimes even self-consciously address).

Based on the panel proposals we received in phase 1 of our call for papers, we would particularly like to invite interested scholars to propose individual papers to the following thematic clusters:

  • A and Gray: Non-Heteronormative Sexualities in Imagined Worlds
  • Afro-Futurist Worlds
  • Asian SF WorldsBetween Scarcity and Abundance in SF Worlds
  • Between Transmedia Storytelling and Money-Making: Franchising SF Worlds
  • Beyond Petromodernity: Alternative Energy Futures
  • “By the time you read this, you’ll be older than you remember”: Age and Aging in SF Worlds (fan cultures included)
  • Celebrating Brian Aldriss’s SF Worlds
  • Celebrating Ursula K. Le Guin’s SF Worlds
  • “Constants and variables”: Building the Multiverse
  • Eastern-European SF Worlds
  • Feel, Perform, and Picture the World: World-Building beyond Storytelling
  • Gaia in Outer Space: SF Worlds as Sentient and/or Feeling Entities
  • “How do we know that 2 and 2 make 4?” Ontologies (and Epistemologies) of SF Worlds
  • Indigenous Cosmologies
  • “Infinite diversity in infinite combinations”: World-Building in Star Trek
  • “It’s a trap!” Exploring the Star Wars Universe
  • LatinX SF
  • Movement is Key: Moving in/through SF Gameworlds (not restricted to digital games!)
  • Muslim SF Worlds
  • Performing Fandom: Inhabiting SF Worlds in the “Real” World
  • “The planet has survived everything […]. It will certainly survive us”: Imagining and Building Non-/Post-/Transhuman Worlds
  • The “Real” World Feeding Off of SF Worlds
  • Regenerative Play in Utopia: Exploring Playful Counter-Discourses in Eco-SF Games
  • There and Back Again: The Shared World-Building Experiences of Video Gamers and Game Designers
  • Trans* Worlds: Imagining Non-Binary Futures (primarily gender-based)

Of course, there is also an open track for proposals that do not quite fit into these (rather broad) thematic clusters.

Deadline/Schedule:
paper abstracts due: April 15, 2018
notifications: before the end of May 2018

Submission Procedure:
Please use the submission form. http://www.worlding-sf.com

Additional Information:
Limited funding for independent scholars and graduate students may be available. In order to create a more inclusive environment for international scholars who may have funding, scheduling, and/or travel issues, the conference will feature a Skype track. We expect papers to be presented live (and not to be pre-recorded), however.

A volume based on selected conference papers will be published with the University of Wales Press’ New Dimensions in Science Fiction series, edited by Paweł Frelik and Patrick B. Sharp. (FYI: UWP is distributed by the University of Chicago Press in North America.)

If you have any questions, please drop us an email at contact@worlding-sf.com.

(posted 4 April 2018)


METU British Novelists International Conference: Julian Barnes and his Work
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 13-14 December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 3 September 2018

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Vanessa Guignery, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

The Department of Foreign Language Education at Middle East Technical University is pleased to announce the call for its 24th British Novelists Conference, the theme of which is “Julian Barnes and His Work.” The conference will be held on 13-14 December, 2018 in Ankara, Turkey.

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations on any aspect of Julian Barnes’s work. Interdisciplinary and comparative approaches are also welcome. Selected papers may be considered for publication in a book volume.

Please send abstracts of about 250 words to bnc2018@metu.edu.tr by 3 September 2018. Please include your name, institutional affiliation and contact information in your submission.

Further information about the conference and its venue can be found at http://www.britishnovelists.metu.edu.tr

Queries can be directed to Dr. Nil Korkut-Naykı at nkorkut@metu.edu.tr and Dr. Elif Öztabak-Avcı at elifo@metu.edu.tr

(posted 9 April 2018)