Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in March 2019

Sapphic Vibes: Lesbians in Literature from the Renaissance to the Present
Université de Haute-Alsace, France, 14-15 March 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2018
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers in English or French focusing on any language area, but quotations and titles should be translated into English or French. Comparative approaches are welcome.
Please send abstracts of up to 250 words and a brief CV to Carine Martin (, Claire McKeown (, Maxime Leroy ( and Robert Payne ( by 1 October 2018.Organisers: Carine Martin (Université de Lorraine), Claire McKeown (Université de Haute Alsace), Maxime Leroy (Université de Haute Alsace), Robert Payne (Université de Haute Alsace).Scientific Committee: Organisers and Jennifer K Dick (Université de Haute Alsace), Irma Erlingsdottir (University of Iceland), Marion Krauthaker (University of Leicester), Guyonne Leduc (Université de Lille), Marianne Legault (University of British Columbia), Frédérique Toudoire-Surlapierre (Université de Haute Alsace).

While Sappho’s poems remain significant as a benchmark of lesbian representation in high literature, her name has become synonymous with desire and love between women in wider popular culture. In the first episode of the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black (2013–pres.), for instance, one inmate says to the protagonist: “I’m feeling some Sapphic vibes coming off you.” The word “vibes” calls into question the widely accepted belief that sexual identity can be reduced to a heterosexual–homosexual binary, and invites us to consider representations of love between women other than through explicit acts, words and relationships. For this conference, then, we use the term “vibes” as a starting point for exploring the lesbian continuum (Rich) as depicted in literature, from the explicit to the implicit, the said to the unsaid, the visible to the hidden.

Full CFP and indicative bibliography:

(posted 23 March 2018)