Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in February 2019

Adaptation and the Protean Poetics of Margaret Atwood
Université de Bourgogne-Franche Comté, Dijon, France, 1 February 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 September 2018

A cconference organised by Laboratoire TIL (EA 4182), Center for Canadian Studies (Dijon), Université de Bourgogne-Franche Comté, France?

Margaret Atwood has long been appreciated for her ardent defense of Canadian authors and her genre-bending fiction, essays and poetry. However, an aspect of her work that has come under less scrutiny is her work both as adaptor and as source for adaptation in media as varied as opera, television, film, or graphic novels. Recent critically acclaimed television adaptations of the novels The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu) and Alias Grace (Amazon) have rightfully focused attention on these works, but Atwood’s fiction has long been a source of inspiration for artists of various media, a seeming corollary to Atwood’s own tendency to explore the possibilities of media (graphic novels), genres (science-fiction) and narratives (testimonial and historical modes) previously undervalued by the literary community. Indeed, whether approaching the account of Canadian settler Susanna Moodie (Roughing it in the Bush) or canonical texts of Western literature (The Odyssey, The Tempest), Atwood’s adaptations demonstrate a willingness to relocate narratives to contemporary settings,  to build new generic sites (from prose to poetry; from text to image) and to focus on universal – but newly revisited – themes. Beyond the different media to which her fiction has been transposed, one could argue that Atwood’s multi-layered persona as novelist, poet and essayist has engineered a sea change in Canadian studies, shaping the face of Canadian literature through its themes of national identity, gender, and environmentalism. Thus her work as a whole, with its constant emphasis on protean transformation, becomes a source text from which much of contemporary Canadian fiction has emerged.

250-word proposals for the symposium (and accompanying brief biographies) can be sent to Fiona McMahon ( and Shannon Wells-Lassagne ( by September 30th, 2018. Participants will be notified mid-October.

(posted 4 May 2018)

(Re-)Mobilizing voters: electoral strategies and practices in the English-speaking world, 1867-2017
Université Grenoble Alpes, France, 8 February 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2018

Organisers: Grégory Benedetti and Véronique Molinari

This one-day conference is organized by Université Grenoble Alpes and Institut des Langues et cultures d’Europe, Amérique, Afrique, Asie et Australie (ILCEA4)

The enfranchisement process throughout the English-speaking world has all but been a simultaneous one. In addition to the repeal of religious bans in the early 19th c., no less than six electoral reforms (Representation of the People Acts) were passed by the British Parliament between the mid-19th c. and the late 1960s, first enlarging the electorate on a property basis − but still within the confines of an exclusively male electorate −, then extending the right to vote to women and finally lowering the voting age to 18 at the end of the 1960s. In the United States, the history of voting rights offers an even more fragmented picture, with − in addition to the extension of the franchise to the same categories following a similar timetable at federal level − the inclusion or exclusion of voters from the registers on the basis of ethnicity and race through the vote of a dozen Acts between 1790 and 1965. With regards to this question, one will necessarily think of African Americans who obtained the right to vote with the 15th Amendment, in the aftermath of the Civil War, but kept fighting throughout the first half of the 20th century to actually enjoy the franchise. Nowadays, the question remains a potent issue in the Southern States where some legal measures (gerrymandering, redistricting…) tend to restrict the right to vote by excluding minorities.

This step-by-step enfranchisement based on property, sex, ethnicity and age − which is also to be observed in Canada, Australia and New Zealand among others−, quite naturally engendered fears or expectations among the main political parties or factions and led in turn to forceful attempts to attract each new − and potentially still free of allegiance − electorate. Concurrently, and subsequently to some of these changes, British and American politics, together with many other Western countries, experienced in the 20th century periods of dealignment or realignment, when weakening or changing partisan ties seemed to threaten existing structures. Such contexts − the advent of new electorates and the loss of others − seem to have been particularly conducive to renewed efforts and innovations in terms of political communication. We propose to compare in a diachronic way the strategies that have been used within one same country or political party with successive categories of voters and, in a more or less synchronic way, the strategies used with one same category of voters in different English-speaking countries so as to identify common features or, conversely, differences between the various strategies and practices.

Workshops will be organised around two main themes: that of the mobilization of new voters, and that of the remobilization of voters in cases of dealignment or realignment. All papers will be in English.

Abstracts (300 words) should be sent together with a short CV by June 1st, 2018 to:

(posted 16 March 2018)

Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices. 40th Annual Conference of the Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries (GKS)
Grainau, Germany, 14-17 February 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 19 June 2018

The Association for Canadian Studies in German-Speaking Countries is a multidisciplinary academic association which aims to increase and disseminate a scholarly understanding of Canada. For our 2019 annual conference, we invite papers from any discipline that speak to the conference theme of “Intersectionality: Theories, Policies, Practices” with a Canadian or comparative focus. (Papers can be presented in English, French or German.) We are particularly – but not exclusively – interested in the following four main aspects:

  1. Beyond Race, Class, and Gender: Historical, Sociological, Geographical, and Political Dimensions of Intersectionality
  2. Space and the Politics of Place: Location, Environment, Cross-Border Dynamics
  3. Intersectionality and Education
  4. Intersectional Approaches: Discourses, Representations, Texts.

Intersectionality, “both an analytical framework and a complex of social practices” (Hancock 2016: 7), has its roots in U.S. Black feminism, where, since the late 1980s, it has been used to address issues of inequality such as disparate access to social resources. While applicable to both individuals and groups, intersectionality focuses on interlocking categories of difference and their impact on a plethora of decision-making processes. Apart from race, gender, and class, the following mutually constitutive categories have been proposed: ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, bodily ability, religion, education, culture, nationality/citizenship status, language use as well as geographical and environmental location. Next to the relationship between categories, internal differences within categories have been considered, with scholars trying to assess power relations, for instance in terms of voice and agency, and thus identifying advantaged and disadvantaged social positions. Over the years, intersectionality has not only developed into a key concept of women’s and gender studies, but left its mark in many other disciplines, among them history, political science, geography, sociology, psychology, philosophy, cultural studies, and postcolonial studies.

In Canada, the experience of discrimination shaped by multiple identities has been recorded in volumes such as Maria Campbell’s Halfbreed (1973), Makeda Silvera’s Silenced (1983), Monique Proulx’s Le sexe des étoiles (1987), Dionne Brand’s No Burden to Carry (1990), or Orville Lloyd Douglas’s Under My Skin (2014). During the time span covered by these publications, Canada witnessed an increasing institutionalization of intersectionality. Scholarly analyses of Canadian society through an intersectional lens no doubt contributed to this development. Thus Olena Hankivsky and Renée Cormier pointed to health inequities which, for instance, deny Aboriginal women in nonurban environments vital health care services (2009: 16) and Rita Dhamoon underlined the importance of intersectionality for Canadian solidarity politics (2009).

Recent trends in intersectionality research include, first, a more balanced view on processes of marginalization and privileging, acknowledging that a particular group or person might be disadvantaged in one social context but advantaged in another, and, second, a more nuanced perspective on visibility, which is no longer seen as an asset in its own right. Depending on the circumstances, invisibility might lead to beneficial societal positions and might thus be an individual’s or group’s choice. The creative use of multiply-encoded identities at a particular time in a specific social location calls for a more dynamic concept of intersectionality, one that allows including transnational experiences.

Contact and abstract submission:
Paper proposals/abstracts of max. 500 words should outline:

  • methodology and theoretical approaches chosen
  • content/body of research
  • which of the four main aspects outlined above the paper speaks to (if any).

In addition, some short biographical information (max. 250 words) should be provided, specifying current institutional affiliation and position as well as research background with regard to the conference topic and/or four main aspects.
Abstracts by established scholars should be submitted no later than June 19, 2018 (new extended deadline) to the GKS administration:
Abstracts by emerging scholars should be submitted no later than May 31, 2018 directly to the Emerging Scholars Forum:

(posted 6 April 2018, updated 5 June 2018)

2019 Historical Fictions Research Conference
Manchester, UK, 22-23 February 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 July 2018

The Call for Papers is now open.  Papers on all topics and from all disciplines are welcomed.

This year, in honour of the 100th anniversary of the “Peterloo Massacre” we welcome in particular papers on the loose topic “Radical Fictions”.

The Historical Fictions Research Network aims to create a place for the discussion of all aspects of the construction of the historical narrative. The focus of the conference is the way we construct history, the narratives and fictions people assemble and how. Recent keynotes have explored the experiences of excavations at Treblinka; the use of DNA to reconstruct historical narratives; explorations of memorial practices at battle fields; cookery as a means to explore the past; new insights resulting from a computer based re-construction of the battle of Trafalgar; and a discussion of new approaches at the Petrie Museum. We welcome both academic and practitioner presentations.

We welcome people working on prose, drama, visual art, reception studies, musicology, museum displays, film, tv, gaming, wargaming, graphic novels, transformative works and any other areas engaged in the construction of narratives of the past.

The CfP closes on July 1st 2018.

Paper proposals of no more than 250 words should be submitted to:

Twitter: @HistoricalFic
Facebook Group: Historical Fictions Research Network

Historical fictions can be understood as an expanded mode of historiography. Scholars in literary, visual, historical and museum/re-creation studies have long been interested in the construction of the fictive past, understanding it as a locus for ideological expression. However, this is a key moment for the study of historical fictions as critical recognition of these texts and their convergence with lines of theory is expanding into new areas such as the philosophy of history, narratology, popular literature, historical narratives of national and cultural identity, and cross-disciplinary approaches to narrative constructions of the past.

Historical fictions measure the gap between the pasts we are permitted to know and those we wish to know: the interaction of the meaning-making narrative drive with the narrative-resistant nature of the past. They constitute a powerful discursive system for the production of cognitive and ideological representations of identity, agency, and social function, and for the negotiation of conceptual relationships and charged tensions between the complexity of societies in time and the teleology of lived experience. The licences of fiction, especially in mass culture, define a space of thought in which the pursuit of narrative forms of meaning is permitted to slip the chains of sanctioned historical truths to explore the deep desires and dreams that lie beneath all constructions of the past.

 We welcome paper proposals from Archaeology, Architecture, Literature, Media, Art History, Musicology, Reception Studies, Museum Studies, Recreation, Gaming, Transformative Works and others. We welcome paper proposals across historical periods, with ambitious, high-quality, inter-disciplinary approaches and new methodologies that will support research into larger trends and which will lead to more theoretically informed understandings of the mode across historical periods, cultures and languages.

We aim to create a disciplinary core, where researchers can engage in issues of philosophy and methodology and generate a collective discourse around historical fictions in a range of media and across period specialities.

Paper proposals consisting of a title and abstract of no more than 250 words should be submitted to:

Registration: details to follow shortly.
We expect prices to be around £60/£30 for registration.

(posted 21 March 2018)