Dante and Shakespeare: Cosmology, Politics and Poetics
University of Poitiers, France, 4-6 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2018
Venue: Centre d’Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (UMR 7302) – France
Co-organisation: Isabelle Battesti (CERLIM, Sorbonne Nouvelle) et Pascale Drouet (CESCM, Poitiers)
Dante is probably to Italian literature what Shakespeare is to British literature. Both are, because of the depth and density of their respective works, monuments of European literature who transcend national boundaries. As T.S. Eliot put it in 1929: “Dante and Shakespeare divide the modern world between them; there is no third.” This claim may be questioned, of course, but both authors did bring literature and the spirit of their time to a peak. It may be wondered whether Dante’s writings influenced Shakespeare and his contemporaries. However, this conference particularly aims at bringing together, beyond chronological considerations, the reflection and the aesthetics at work in their respective creations, by comparing them from thematic perspectives.
Their writings are still powerful today, including in the collective imagination, probably because everything, or nearly so, was treated in them: a theory of the cosmos and knowledge; a representation of social organization and power; a poetics and a narrative art. This conference thus invites a comparative approach of both writers’ works according to three main lines: cosmology (a meditation on the divine and on the natural order); politics (a reflection upon human society and political constitution); and poetics (a reflection upon the art of writing)
— Dante, Shakespeare and cosmology
- Representing the universe (meditating on the place of man; questioning the Great Chain of Being)
- Representing the invisible
- Man and the stars
- Writing and transcendence (quest, belief, recreation)
- Metaphysical stakes versus atheistic temptations
- Cosmic order and Political order
— Dante and Shakespeare: moral typologies and political stakes
- Political models and reality, political figures, crises and continuity, political power and the Wheel of Fortune
- Fraud, hypocrisy, crime, villainy
- Representing human acts, toward what end? (to entertain, to teach?)
- The psychopathology of passions (hatred, love, terror, melancholy)
— The truth/illusion dialectic in Dante’s, Shakespeare’s and Elizabethan and Jacobean writers’ works
- Status and modality of invention (Aristotle’s influence?)
- Here and now versus hereafter, the use of the supernatural (fictional process and process of authentication)
- The treatment of History and the use of mythology
- Reality and appearances (theatrical illusion, poetic lies)
- Metaphorical invention
- The veil/unveil dialectic (allusiveness, polysemy, riddling)
— Dante as both a poet and poetician (Rime, Vita Nova, De Vulgari Eloquentia) and Shakespeare as a poet, as well as Donne, Spenser, Sydney, Wroth…
- The circulation of Italian poetry in England; translations; material traces
- Theories and practices of poetry (Dante and the Stilnovo; Petrarchan mediation in early modern England; Dante and early modern poets)
- The sonnet as a poetic form
- The aesthetics of conceits (Dante and Donne)
— A Dante/Shakespeare “function” in contemporary imagination?
- Romantic reception (Coleridge’s notion of “gloomy imagination”)
- Quotations, imitations, transpositions, translations (T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, Auerbach)
- Powerful models (to represent dystopias, the ravings of desire, the imaginary sphere of disaster)
Abstracts and a brief biographical notice are to be sent by 30 June 2018 to both
Bibiographical elements (secondary sources)
1) Dante and Chaucer
An, Sonjae, “Echoes of Boethius and Dante in Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Griselda’”, Medieval and Early Modern English Studies, vol. 12 , déc 2004, p. 393-418.
Neuse, Richard, Chaucer’s Dante. Allegory and Epic Theater in the Canterbury Tales, Berkeley/Los Angeles/Oxford, University of California Press, 1991.
2) Dante and Shakespeare
Brown, Calvin S., “Dante, Shakespeare, and the Common Heritage”, Review (Blacksburg, VA), 1980, 2, p. 361-364.
Bruneau, Jean, “La Figure de Jules César de Dante à Shakespeare”, Études Anglaises, 1964, 17, p. 591-604.
Chesta Ugo, “Guido da Montefeltro e Amleto : ‘vite parallele’ “, Levia Gravia, X, 2008, p. 1-23.
COPE, Jackson I, “Theater of the dream: Dante’s ‘ Commedia’, Jonson’s Satirist, and Shakespeare’s Sage”, in The Theater and the Dream, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973, p. 211-244.
Ferguson, Francis, “Romantic love in Dante and Shakespeare”, The Sewanee Review, LXXXIII, 1975, p. 253-266.
Fergusson, Francis, “Trope and Allegory : Some Themes Common to Dante and Shakespeare”, Dante Studies with the Annual Report of the Dante Society (Binghamton, NY), 1968, 86, p. 113-126.
Herzman, Ronald B., “Fraternal (Un)Masking : Shakespeare’s ‘Measure for Measure’ and Dante’s ‘Inferno’ 27″ in Franco R. Bradley, Beth A. Mulvaney (eds.), The World of St. Francis of Assisi. Essays in honor of William R. Cook, Leiden-Boston, Brill, 2015, p. 121-139.
Goldstein, Gary B., “Did Shakespeare Read Dante in Italian ?”, The Elizabethan Review (ERev), 1993 Spring, 1 (1), p. 61-62.
Kirkpatrick, R., “On the Treatment of Tragic Themes in Dante and Shakespeare”, Modern Language Review (Edinburgh, Scoltland), 1977, 72, p. 575-584.
Lawson, Jacqueline E., “The Infernal Macbeth”, Aligarth Critical Miscellany (ACM), 1988, 1 (1), p. 33-43.
Maillet, Gregory, “‘Fidelity to the Word’ : Lonerganian Conversation through Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Dante’s Purgatorio”, Religion and the Arts (ReAr), 2006 ; 10 (2), p. 219-243.
Malamud, Randy, “Shakespeare/Dante and Water/Music in The Waste Land”, in Jewel Spears Brooker (ed. and introd.), T. S. Eliot and Our Turning World, London, Macmillan/St Martin’s, with Institute of Unites States Studies, University of London, 2001, p. 1000-113.
McFall, E. K., “Macbeth and Dante’s Inferno”, Notes and Queries, 2006 Dec, 53 (251) (4), p. 490-494.
Mortimer, Anthony, “Shakespeare and Italian Poetry”, in Jonathan Post (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare’s Poetry, Oxford, OUP, 2013, p. 116-133.
Obertello, Alfredo, “Dante e Shakespeare”, in Vincenzo Pernicone (ed.), Miscellanea di studi danteschi, Genoa, Lib. Ed. Mario Bozzi, 1966, p. 93-102.
Picone, Michelangelo, “Onomastica e tradizione letteraria : il caso di ‘ Romeo e Giulietta’”, Il nome del testo. Rivista internazionale di Onomastica Letteraria, 1, 1999, Pisa, p. 87-99.
Quinones, Ricardo Joseph, “Time in Dante and Shakespeare”, Symposium : A Quarterly Journal in Modern Foreign Literatures (Syracuse, NY), 1968, 22, p. 261-284.
Satin, Joseph, “Macbeth and the Inferno of Dante”, Forum (Houston, TX), 1971, 9 (1), p. 18-23.
Smith, Albert-James, The metaphysics of love. Studies in Renaissance love poetry from Dante to Milton, Cambridge, CUP, 1985.
Tambling, Jeremy, “Monstrous tyranny, men of blood : Dante and ‘Inferno’ XII”, The Modern Language Review, XCVIII, 2003, 4, p. 881-897.
Whallon, William, Inconsistencies : Studies in the New Testament, the Inferno, Othello, and Beowulf, Cambridge, Biblio, 1983.
Webster, Richard, “Dante e Shakespeare”, Cultura nel mondo, 1973, 27 (5-6), p. 12-20.
Webster, Richard, “Two Hells : Comparison and Contrast between Dante and Shakespeare with Particular Reference to Inferno, X and Richard III I, iv”, Nottingham Medieval Studies (Nottingham, England), 1975, 19, p. 35-47.
Williams, Rae, “The Ghost of Dante Alighieri in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet”, in Kiki Gounaridou (ed. and preface), Text & Presentation : The Comparative Drama Conference Series, 8, McFarland, 2012, p. 34-40.
3) Dante and Shakespeare’s contemporaries
- a) Dante and Donne (John)
Freccero, John, In Dante’s Wake : Reading from Medieval to Modern in the Augustinian Tradition, New York, Fordham UP, 2015.
Frontain, Raymond-J., “Moses, Dante, and the Visio Dei of Donne’s ‘Going to Bed’”, A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews, 1993 Jan, 6 (1), p. 13-17.
Fleissner, Robert F., “Donne and Dante : The Compass Figure Reinterpreted”, Modern Language Notes, 1961 par, 76 (4), p. 315-320.
- b) Dante and Marlowe (Christopher)
Creasy, William C., “The Shifting Landscape of Hell”, Comitatus : A Journal of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1980, 11, p. 40-65.
- c) Dante and Sidney (Philip)
Heninger, S. K., Jr, “Sequences, systems, Models : Sidney and the Secularization of Sonnets”, in Neil Fraistat (ed.), Poems in Their Place : The Intertextuality and Order of Peotic Collections, Chapel Hill, U of North Carolina P, 1986, p. 66-94.
- d) Dante and Spenser (Edmund)
Benson, Robert G., “Elizabeth as Beatrice : A Reading of Spenser’s Amoretti”, South Central Bulletin, 1972, 32 (4), p. 184-188.
Morgan, The Shaping of English Poetry, Volume III/ Essays on Beowulf, Dante, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Langland, Chaucer and Spenser, Bern, Peter Lang, 2013.
Paolina, M., “Spenser and Dante”, English Miscellany : A Symposium of History, Literature and the Arts, 1963, 14, p. 27-44.
Paolucci, Anne, The Women in Dante’s Divine Comedy and Spenser’s Faerie Queene, Dover (DE), Griffon, for Bagehot Council, 2005.
Parker, Pauline, “The Image of Direction in Dante, Spenser and Milton”, English Miscellany/ A Symposium of History, Literature and the Arts (Rome, Italy), 1968, 19, p. 9-23.
Tosello, Matthew, “Spenser’s Silence about Dante”, Studies in English Literarture, 1500-1900, 1977 Winter, 17 (1), p. 59-66.
4) The reception of Italian culture in early modern England
Haveley, Nicholas, Dante’s British Public: Readers and Texts from the Fourteenth century to the Present, Oxford, OUP, 2014.
Marrapodi, Michele, Shakespeare and Intertextuality : the Transition of Cultures between Italy and England in the early Modern Period, Roma, Bulzoni, 2000.
Marrapodi, Michele (ed), Italian Culture in the Drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Rewriting, Remaking, Refashioning, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, coll. “Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies”, 2016.
Marrapodi, Michele, Shakespeare and the Italian Renaisance. Appropriation, Transformation, Opposition, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, coll. “Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies”, 2014.
Redmond, Michael J., Shakespeare, Politics, and Italy. Intertextuality on the Jacobean Stage, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, coll. “Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies”, 2009.
Tomita, Soko, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Italian Books printed in England, 1558-1603, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, coll. “Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies”, 2009.
Tomita, Soko, Tomita, Masahito, A Bibliographical Catalogue of Italian Books printed in England, 1603-1642, Farnham, Ashgate Publishing Limited, coll. “Anglo-Italian Renaissance Studies”, 2014.
5) The reception of Dante in the 19th-21st centuries
Gervais, David, “Eliot’s Shakespeare and Eliot’s Dante”, in Jewel Spears Brooker (ed. and introd.), T. S. Eliot and Our Turning World, London, Macmillan/St Martin’s, with Institute of Unites States Studies, University of London, 2001, p. 114-124.
Haveley, Nicholas, Dante’ s Modern Afterlife : Reception and Response from Blake to Heaney, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan, 1998.
Haveley, Nicholas (ed), Dante in the Nineteenth Century : Reception, Canonicity, Popularization, Pieterlen (Switzerland), Verlag Peter Lang, 2011.
Lummus, David, “Dante’s ‘Inferno’. Critical reception and influence”, in Patrick Hunt (ed), Critical Insights. The Inferno, Pasadena, Salem Press, 2011, p. 63-81.
6) Dante and Shakespeare in the 20th century
Uricchio, William, “Dante’s Inferno and Caesar’s Ghost : Intertextuality and Conditions of Receptions in Early American Cinema”, in Richard Abel (ed.), Silen Film, New Brunswick (NJ), Rutgers UP, 1996, p. 217-233.
(posted 14 April 2018)
33rd International D.H. Lawrence Conference: D.H. Lawrence and the Anticipation of the Ecocritical Turn
Université de Paris Nanterre, France, 4-6 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 5 November 2018
D.H.Lawrence has often been viewed as a post-romantic nature writer. Instead of looking back towards the 19th century writers who influenced him, we propose to consider how his literary practice and the philosophy that underlies it herald the ecocritical turn of the late 20th century. Broadly speaking, ecocriticism focuses on the study of the relationship of man with his natural environment from an interdisciplinary point view. It is concerned both with the protection of the environment and the destiny of man in the geological era called the Anthropocene. Ecocriticism is a broad term, pointing to innumerable trends: ecopoetry, ecophilosophy (see Guattari’s ecosophy), ecoethics, ecoethology, ecopolitics, ecofeminism etc. We know that Lawrence very early in his life became aware of the damage caused to the world we live in by man’s activities. We would like to analyse what the concept of nature means for him and how the attention he pays to the non-human and to the material world affects his art and connects both with his personal ethics and his form of spirituality.
We will study the extent and the limits of Lawrence’s “green thinking” in all areas, including his reflection on the man/animal dialectics, on what it means to be a man, his vision of man and woman in society, his criticism of waste and of our materialist society, his meditation on “the silent great cosmos” and his special brand of ecosexuality.
The deadline for proposals is 5 November 2018.
Please send a 200 word abstract to:
(posted 7 June 2019)
The British Society for Literature and Science Fourteenth Annual Conference
Royal Holloway University of London, UK, 4-6 April 2019
Deadline for proposas: 7 December 2018, 18.00 GMT
The fourteenth annual conference of the British Society for Literature and Science will take place at Royal Holloway, University of London, from Thursday 4 April until Saturday 6 April 2019. Keynote speakers will include Professor Tim Armstrong (Royal Holloway) and Professor Angelique Richardson (Exeter).
The BSLS invites proposals for 20-minute papers, panels of three papers, or special roundtables on any subjects within the field of science, and literatures in the broadest sense, including theatre, film, and television. There is no special theme for this conference, but abstracts or panels exploring one of the following topics are especially welcome: (1) how the literatures of Africa, the Americas, Asia, or Australasia address, interact with, or respond to the discourses of science; (2) the digital humanities; (3) the writing, reading, and interpretation of human nature; (4) innovative or progressive models for uniting the sciences and the humanities.
In addition, we are hoping to put together sessions with looser, non-traditional formats, and would welcome proposals from any person or persons interested in making presentations of approximately ten minutes from notes rather than completed papers. The hope is that this format will encourage longer Q&A sessions with more discussion.
Please send an abstract (200 words) and short biographical note (50 words) to the conference organiser, Dr. Mike Wainwright, firstname.lastname@example.org, by no later than 18.00 GMT, Friday 7 December 2018. Include the abstract and biographical note in the body of the email.
All proposers of a paper or panel will receive notification of the results by the end of January 2019.
The conference fee will be waived for two graduate students in exchange for written reports on the conference, to be published in the BSLS Newsletter. If you are interested in being selected for one of these awards, please mention this when sending in your proposal. To qualify you will need to be registered for a postgraduate degree at the time of the conference.
Information concerning onsite accommodation and local hotels will be forthcoming.
Membership: conference delegates will need to register/renew as members of the BSLS (annual membership: £25 waged/ £10 unwaged).
(posted 9 October 2018)
Reading and Writing the World: Perception and Identity in the Era of Climate Change
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France, 5-6 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 November 2019
An International Conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) in collaboration with CECILLE (Centre d’Etudes en Civilisations, Langues et Lettres Étrangères)
Convened by doctoral students: Laura Lainvae (EMMA) Sarah Jonckheere (CECILLE)
Venue: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Site Saint Charles
Thomas Dutoit, Université de Lille 3, France (confirmed)
Sarah Wood, University of Kent, UK (to be confirmed)
The current climate crisis is an ongoing chaotic disturbance that defies teleology, mastery, and control. For the first time in human and planetary history, a species has made an impact so profound and traumatic upon its environment that it has rewritten the earth. The Anthropocene as a scene of eruptions and fractures, of shifting grounds and shaking structures, of de-centering and opening, could, as such, be read as solicitation to set in motion a change in identity: in order to find solutions, our thinking about Earth as well as about our place in it should change. “Politics in the wake of the ecological thought must begin with the Copernican ‘humiliations’ – coming closer to the actual dirt beneath out feet, the actuality of Earth”, Timothy Morton suggests, evoking a shift in perception and hierarchy. Such shifts could be investigated through modernist and postmodernist literary grounds, through various modes of writing that challenge our anthropocentric modes of thinking, decentralizing man, and wondering about the agenda and authority of other beings. As Thomas Dutoit writes about Alice Munro: “Munro’s favourite is the ‘kame, or kame moraine,’ the description of which, in earthly and cartographical shapes, stresses the fact that if ‘geography’ (earth-writing or writing-earth) is the attempt, by man, to write, to describe, to map, the earth, ‘geography,’ by the inverse genitive, is also the earth’s writing, the traces that the earth itself inscribes. This ‘geo-grapher’ — the earth — is a never-stopping arranger, in degree more an earth-writer, a géo-littéraire, than even Alice Munro, even if, in kind, they are molecularly the same.”
This conference will attempt to trace and analyze modes of reading and writing that are not based on human mastery and exceptionalism, but rather make room for different possible viewpoints, while also questioning our identity as well as the objectivity and limits of human perception. The conference is built around the necessity to adopt a different way of reading and writing that shakes the foundations of our thinking about Earth and its various inhabitants, and forces us to see anew a landscape whose very form has been defamiliarised by the forces that traverse it. Such reading and writing might have to come to terms with what Timothy Morton calls “the symbiotic real” – the interconnectedness between species. Sarah Wood, in “Without Mastery: Reading and Other Forces” recognizes such thinking in poetry. She writes: “Browning’s feminine Music does not serve the self in its closeness to itself. We have to go beyond ourselves, to dream and read, to hear her singing.” Today, going beyond ourselves requires learning to reread ourselves and our current environment to understand our vulnerability while assuming responsibility for the endangered planet and non-human species. From encounters with diverse forms of non-human otherness (the planet, animals, forests, …) and one’s otherness within, would emerge an ethics of alterity.
We welcome papers for 20-minute presentations in English on writing and reading (not limited to literature or to humanities only) the Earth/the world/ worlds. Some questions that could be discussed include, but are not limited to:
- Writing and reading the Earth/the world/worlds in literatures, histories, and arts
- Undoing the “I”/eye in the climate change era: shifting perceptions of the self from anthropocentrism and narcissism to humility, vulnerability, and empathy
- The Earth as the other. How do we invent, and are invented by, that other through reading and writing? How is la terre (Earth) irreducible to alter[re]ity?
- Ecocinema: shifting focus/ changing perceptions
- Affect theory and climate change
- Terraformings: writing and reading the Earth in science-fiction
- Deconstruction and ecocritcism
- The Earth and law: decentering human rights
- Ethics of care and climate change
- Climate change and invisibility: how to read/understand/protect what we cannot see
- Non-humans in the humanities: hospitality or hostility?
- Scientist’s gaze
- Animals studying humans
- Anachronism and spacing: time and space as being out of joint / Geological time and space in fiction
- Posthumanism and the environment: the posthuman as the post-humus, what comes after the Earth and must take care of the earth
Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Sarah Jonckheere (email@example.com) and Laura Lainväe (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 1st, 2018.
 “To constitute an ideal object is to put it at the permanent disposition of a pure gaze,” (78) Derrida writes. The current global climate crisis challenges the very idea of the possibility of a pure gaze. According to one of the most noticeable ecological thinkers of the 21th century, Timothy Clark: “The Earth is not ‘one’ in the sense of an entity we can see, understand or read as a whole. No matter how far away or ‘high up’ it is perceived or imagined, or in what different contexts – of cosmology or physics it is always something we remain ‘inside’ and cannot genuinely perceive from elsewhere. It is a transcendental of human existence, and its final determinations are undecidable. The image of the whole Earth opens upon ‘abyssal dimensions to which we can never suitably bear witness’ (David Wood).”
(posted 23 August 2018)
Feminism and Technoscience: Third Biennial European Association for American Studies (EAAS) Women’s Network Symposium
Thessaloniki, Greece, 6 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 December 2018
In collaboration with the Hellenic Association for American Studies (HELAAS)
In light of contemporary sociopolitical developments and prevailing technological practices, the EAAS Women’s Network Symposium will explore the connection between feminism and technoscience. In particular, it will examine feminist activism in relation to central notions such as the body, nature, and subjectivity within the context of current technoscientific discourses.
The long history of the feminist movement and the great diversity it displays when approached through the perspectives of race, ethnicity, age, and class underscores its strong political impetus and dynamic evolution. Especially when viewed in the context of technoscience, feminism reveals different socio-cultural, political, and media practices at work that not only affect, but also shape, public perceptions of femininity with respect to gender-defined skills, relations, and reproductive abilities. A number of contemporary feminist theoreticians, such as Judith Butler, Donna Haraway, and Rosi Braidotti have commented, each from her own unique perspective, on the impact that technology has had on female labor, bodies, and subjectivity within the context of transnational and global capitalist control.
This symposium will emphasize the central role activism plays in raising awareness about the reciprocal influences that develop between feminism and technology. It will also facilitate the exchange and circulation of information with regard to the impact of technology on diverse groups of women within the context of American Studies.
We invite the submission of individual abstracts, panels, and workshop/roundtable proposals that explore all aspects of this theme. Possible subthemes may include, but are not limited to:
- Gendered technoscience/technophobia
- Feminism and the biopolitics of reproductive technologies
- Feminism and transnational capitalism
- Feminism and digital networks/the (social) media
- Feminism and political advocacy/online activism
- Misogyny and the (social) media
- Domestic technologies and activism
- Feminism and technological innovation
- Ecofeminism and industrialization
- Feminism and posthumanism
- Performing gender in virtual environments
- Cyberfeminism and gendered cyborgs
- Feminism and cybersexualities
- Feminism, technoscience and literature
- Feminist game studies and game production
- Queer(ing) technology
- Ethnicity, femininity and technology
- Feminism, technology, and workforce politics
- Technological representations of feminism
- Transnational feminism and technology
Proposals should be sent to the EAAS Women’s Network (email@example.com) and should consist of a 300–400 word abstract in English, as well as a one-paragraph biography for each participant. The time allowance for all presentations will be 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
Deadline for proposal submission: December 15, 2018.
In order to encourage the participation of as many individuals as possible, this symposium will have no registration fee.
Presenters will also be invited to submit full-text articles (5,000-8,000 words) for possible inclusion to our e-journal, WiN: The EAAS Women’s Network Journal
More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: http://www.women.eaas.eu
(posted 15 May 2018)
Somewhere In Between: Borders and Borderlands
London, UK, 6 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 10 December 2018
Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research
In an ever changing world the problems of setting boundaries as well as the need to create meanings and establish understanding of diverse phenomena have always been of the utmost importance for humanity. Borders, boundaries, frontiers, and borderlands, naturally formed or man made, are grounded in various ethical traditions, and have always been associated with limits and restrictions. The ongoing process of globalisation is changing the role and stereotypes of borders, so that they are often seen as opportunities rather than constraints. However, in some cases they are still being militarized and conflicted.
The conference will seek to identify and analyse the processes of border-making and border permeability in contemporary societies through aesthetic forms. We seek to explore the historical origins of borders, their role in today’s global environment and define the notion of borders, which includes not only territorial, geographical, and political borders, but also cultural and metaphorical borders, imagined spaces where interests and ideologies overlap and compete.
Conference panels will be related, but not limited, to:
- border poetics
- security versus openness of borders
- cultural hybridization
- cross‐border co‐operation
- processes of de‐bordering
- borders and refugees
- social, cultural or language differences between communities
We invite proposals from various disciplines including political sciences, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, architecture, literature, linguistics, etc. Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 December, 2018 to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please download Paper proposal form from the official website: http://borders.lcir.co.uk
Registration fee – 100 GBP
Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD
(posted 8 September 2018)
Realities and Fantasies: Relations, Transformations, Discontinuities: ASCA Workshop 2019
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, 10-12 April 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 15 November 2018
Organized by Divya Nadkarni, Alex Thinius, and Nadia de Vries
Keynote speakers: Jonathan Culler (Cornell University), Annabelle Dufourcq (RU Nijmegen), Nkiru Nzegwu (SUNY Binghamton), Susanna Paasonen (University of Turku).
“Fantasy is precisely what reality can be confused with. It is through fantasy that our conviction of the worth of reality is established; to forgo our fantasies would be to forgo our touch with the world.” (Stanley Cavell)
The world of fantasy often serves as an escape from reality, its limitations, and its many social, economic, and corporeal restrictions. Reality, in turn, is often desired amidst the delusions of the fantastic. However, the two are not always separate. For instance, while social (trans)formations increasingly look like fantasy in more than one sense, a serious turn towards fantasy seems to be ambivalent. A central notion in earlier psycho-analytical culture critique, after being hyped in Fantastic, Futurist and Utopist literature, today, fantasy as a political means of critique seems to have become a delusionary distraction. Yet, fantasy also seems to remain a booming aspect of reality. Creative forms of protest, ideas of aesthetic resistances and critiques are proliferating, and fantasies fomented by magical-realist literatures, blockbusters, serials, pornography, and gaming in the creative industries and digital media seem to be increasingly intertwined with reality.
Some of the conceptual sites where reality and fantasy meet are idealizations, utopias, phantasms, self-deceptions, anxieties, self-fulfilling prophecies, and implicit biases realizing or enacting themselves in reality; fantasies made real and realities made fantasy. The boundaries between what is desired or feared and what is lived, what is oneiric and what is substantial, what is true, and what is realistic and unreachable are often blurred.
In critical and cultural theory, a continuous ambivalent desire for reality appears, for example, in the discussions of New and Speculative Realisms (Gabriel, Meillassoux), Agential Realism (Barad), political and metaphysical Non-Ideal Theory, Critical Race Realism, or Gender Neo-Realism (Mills, Alcoff, Haslanger, Mikkola), in the Ontological Turn in anthropology (Viveiros de Castro, Venkatesan et al., Holbraad et al.), and in the turn towards Authenticity and New Sincerity in contemporary literary theory (Rutten, Vaessens and Van Dijk, Trilling).
In this workshop, we take on the continuous and renewed interest in the real in its relation to fantasy, illusion, and imagination. Whereas typically, debates on realism are focused on its contrast to idealism or nominalism, we ask: What are the contemporary relations between realities and fantasies? How do reality and fantasy speak to intellectual imaginings and possible futures? What role can or should fictions, fantasies, and idealizations play in addressing change from a social, political, individual, and metaphysical perspective? We are interested in presentations that take on the ways in which reality and fantasy relate, how they may contrast, and how, and under what conditions, the one may transform into the other.
The workshop addresses the kinship between realities and fantasies in the following three respects: relations, transformations, and discontinuities.
How do realities and fantasies relate, and how are their relations structured? Does one shape the other, or are they shaped by each other? Is one more valuable than the other? What kinds of relations do they enable? What are the relations between fantasies and the realities they shape, affect, create, envision, or hide? The way we seek to influence, manipulate, change or defy our present pertains to what kinds of relations we envision between both ourselves, as humans, as well as non-human beings. This, in turn, asks for the conditions that make relations possible or impossible, satisfactory or unsatisfactory, utilitarian or utopian, and for the hierarchies, power structures, intentions and capacities that enable and delimit ways of relating.
Moreover, we are interested in examining conceptual, normative, empirical, literary and artistic ways to address the relations between and within fantasies and realities: how are social bonds and interpersonal relations constructed and what are the interrelationships between power, fantasy, actors, action, and forms of socio-political embodiment?
We are interested in how transformations work, in socio-cultural, political, theoretical and philosophical terms, and in the role that realities and fantasies play in them. What are the transformations within and between realities and fantasies? How does (or can) the one transform into the other? What are the characteristics of the real and the fantastical, and what concrete entanglements, interactions, and interdependencies exist between them?
Transformations are happening everywhere, all the time. We can, for example, see the transformative effects of gentrification, of modernity, of reproduction, of colonialism, of aging, of war, of violence, of translation, and of censorship. We can also see how resistance movements and certain social practices actively transform the ways in which we embody and experience. However, insofar as processes and acts of transformation are about changing and giving rise to new forms, they also seem to imply moments of direction and division, exclusion, or rejection in order to define, group, or associate what can be meaningful. We welcome presentations that analyze (both descriptively and normatively) such transformations, or think about how to approach transformative action, and confront the in-between spaces, possible exclusions and hierarchies wrought by envisioned social, political, and cultural transformations.
What continuities and discontinuities are there between realities and fantasies? How would rupturing the patterns of dominance (or the sundering of continuity) become a means of effective transformation? How can (un)productive collisions between reality and fantasy foster socio-political, artistic, and/or cultural change? How do fantasies of change and discontinuity hide or produce real continuities? And how can existing continuities between reality and fantasy be rethought?
We are interested in presentations that (re)consider the role of existing structures, practices, traditions, and forms in likely, potential, or imagined transformations. From the perspective of dis/continuity, we are particularly interested in the question of what constitutes a continuum (for example, in a given tradition) and how such continuums can be either broken or sustained.
We welcome papers from the fields of literary studies, media studies, philosophy, arts, anthropology, sociology, and political theory that speak to, but are not limited to:
- The conceptual, normative, de facto, and/or imagined interrelations of fantasies with realities
- Ideal, non-ideal, materialist, or realist theories in their pragmatic or socio-cultural environments
- The role of realities and fantasies in socio-cultural critique, social construction, and enactment
- The dynamics of translation, e.g. in literature, media, material culture, or theory
- relations, transformations, and dis/continuities in artistic, literary, poetic, theoretical, or musical forms
- The body in the field of reality and fantasy
- Interrelationships between power, fantasy, actors, action, forms, and reality
- How political fantasies (e.g. nationalisms) influence social/interpersonal relations
- How cultural fantasies give shape to new modes of expression, understanding, institutionalizing, bonding, and resisting.
- Fantasy as a political vehicle of real, unwanted, feared, or desired social transformation
We welcome proposals for academic and artistic contributions that speak to the concerns of the workshop as outlined above. Abstracts (max. 300 words) and a short biographical note (max. 100 words) should be submitted to email@example.com before 15 November 2018 (new extended dealine). Submissions will be responded to before 1st December.
Written versions of all papers will be circulated to all participants before the workshop. All accepted speakers are required to submit a 3000-word paper before 1st March 2019 (new extended deadline), so every participant gets the chance to have a look at the other papers in their panel. We kindly ask prospective participants to bear this in mind before submitting an abstract.
Thanks to the generous support by the Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis and the Netherlands Institute for Cultural Analysis, participation is free and lunches will be provided. All questions about the workshop can be directed at the email address mentioned above. More information will soon be announced on: http://realitiesfantasies.wordpress.com.
(posted 4 October 2018)
The Essay: Present Histories, Present Futures
University of Malta, 11-13 April 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 21 May 2018
This international conference organised by the Department of English at the University of Malta responds to a recent and pronounced resurgence of interest in the essayistic and the essay form. It aims to bring together academics, researchers, and scholars with varied backgrounds and interests to discuss the essay both by returning to its rich and varied history and by discussing its futures. The essay has always been averse to simple definition, taking elements from other discourses and reinventing itself continuously, while at the same time retaining something which makes it recognisable as ‘essay’. It is this tension that this conference focuses on by considering, among other things, the histories and futures of the essay; its key milestones and protagonists; its relation to literature, philosophy, theory, and non-fiction of various kinds; its relation to modality and publication contexts; and the possibility or otherwise of developing a poetics or a theory of the essay.
We invite papers that engage with the following suggested topics, but other proposed topics will also be considered.
- Developing a poetics of the essay
- Developing a theory of the essay
- The contemporary essay
- The essay’s relation to literature and literariness
- The essay and the poetic
- The essay and philosophy
- The essay and literary theory
- The essayistic
- The essay, mode, and modality (print, film, digital, etc)
- The histories and traditions of the essay
- The relation between the essay and specific national literatures
- The essay in the Mediterranean region
- The futures of the essay
- Individual essayists and their contribution to the poetics/theory/history/tradition of the essay
- Recurring motifs in the essay tradition
- Intertextuality in the essay
- The essay and creative nonfiction
- The institutionalization (or lack of it) of the essay
- The essay and its publication contexts
Confirmed plenary speakers:
Prof. Neil Badmington (University of Cardiff)
Prof. Ivan Callus (University of Malta)
Dr. Uttara Natarjan (Goldsmith’s College, London)
Others to be announced in due course
New extended deadline for submission of proposals: 21 May 2018
Confirmation of acceptance of proposal after peer reviewing process: by 31st May 2018
Registration opens in July 2018
Proposals for 20 minutes papers in the form of a brief abstract (200-250words) and a short biographic note should be emailed as pdf/word files to firstname.lastname@example.org or through the conference page on https://www.um.edu.mt/events/essay2019/about by 21 May 2018. Any queries about the conference should be sent to the same email address.
(posted 19 October 2017, updated 16 January 2018, updated 5 May 2018)
Reconnecting Text and World: Re-reading The British Experimental Novel at Post-War
Université Paris Est Marne-la-Vallée, France, 19 April 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2018
Organizers: Andrew Hodgson and Marie-Françoise Alamichel, laboratoire LISAA, sous-groupe SEA
Please send your proposals to both Andrew Hodgson (email@example.com) and Marie-Françoise Alamichel (firstname.lastname@example.org) in French or in English.
The experimental novel that emerged in Britain in the decades following the Second World War appears to us today a dogged cultural spectre. Performatively refused by dominant cultural strata of its time as ‘eccentric,’ ‘anachronistic,’ ‘aberrant’ to ‘Literature,’ it is on these terms it continues to be met in received critical narrations of ‘modern’ literary history. For over seventy years it has been a ‘non-literature.’ First as an ‘avant-garde’ where it was deemed there could be none, it was subsequently drawn into footnote to the all-encompassing, vying constructs of an earlier ‘modernism’ and later ‘postmodernism’ in Anglo-American critique. Its texts and figures appropriated or omitted to fit the shifting critical designations of an ‘after life’ of the former, or an ‘archaeology’ of the latter. If present at all in discourse of ‘modern’ literary history, it is as an entity clichéd by extreme, inaccessible forms, created by isolated, eccentric figures. We find the texts critically divorced from their historicity; textual form divorced from textual content. And as such, as a grouping of texts they have come to be thought of little signification, signifying little.
By side-effect or by design, the vast and variegated body of work that makes up the post-war experimental novel in Britain appears a literature reduced. Following its era of appearance that roughly spans the years 1945 to the late-1970s, its texts were by and large pushed out of print, and out of discourse. Hence this sense of a ‘spectral’ state in which we now find it; it is an entity quite successfully ‘erased’ from literary history.
However, following decades of ‘latency’ we now find its texts slowly, if erratically, returning to print, a burgeoning field of critique re-developing around its more marketable figures, and new writers that are now emerging being drawn into connection to these earlier ‘disappeared’ figures and texts.
Whether revealed by the final fall apart of the ‘M-PM’ paradigm, drawn back by a shift in environmental conditions that again demands an art of experimentation, the cyclical wax and wane of ‘taste,’ or whatever catalyst – we are re-confronted with a literature and a sequence of connected descriptors: ‘post-war,’ ‘British,’ ‘experimental,’ ‘novel’ that has long been held non-existent. And as such, we perhaps currently lack the tools to coherently meet its re-emergence.
When attempting to approach this body of texts, we are prompted with a series of basic, and fundamental questions. Of what they potentially were, what they were potentially trying to do, and how. What its re-emergence might mean for us now. And, in the potential meanings of the very words we use to describe it, what is the ‘experimental novel’ in this ‘post-war’ era. What does this word ‘experimental’ signify in the period, that was deemed so incompatible with earlier and later iterations of ‘experimental writing.’ How has the perception of a ‘void’ in literary history following the Second World War affected the ways we view literature as a global cultural mechanism, and, of particular interest here, our perceptions of post-war, and contemporary, British culture.
In observing the experimental novel in Britain at post-war, we are presented with a ‘non-literature’ appropriated and omitted, warped and refused. Now, as it begins to emerge from this ‘spectral’ state, is perhaps the moment to begin to renegotiate the terms on which this body of work is critically received. To re-read these texts, and reassess the vague critical structures around them. And, in doing so, perhaps come to a re-understanding of what this ‘non-literature’ potentially is, or could be. With this study day we intend to ask these questions, and participate in the wider critical project of reinstating the post-war British experimental novel as a signifying entity in literary history.
In an effort to open up a space of open discourse of texts we here find little-, mis- or entirely un-codified in established critique, potential participants interested in these themes, but perhaps unfamiliar with the texts of focus are encouraged to get in touch with any queries or questions regarding the study day, or its subject matter.
Suggested (selected) potential thematics:
A literature of societal self-confrontation
- Gender and sexuality
- Class and deprivation
- Colonial/post-colonial writing in a moment of transition
- The sickly body, the sickly mind, the sickly social; addiction, mental health and societal refusal
- Britain post-war/pre-apocalypse: the realities of ‘peaceful’ human life in a space suspended between total war
Ergodic interactions of content and form
- Formal ‘DIY’: cut up, cut out, disassembly, disfigurement, rearrangement
- Slang, neologism, ‘minor’ language
- The materiality of language/disintegration of language: syntactic break, reformation and regeneration
- Intertextuality, transmediality and transnational/cultural interactions
- What is ‘the experimental’ that these texts describe?
- Why has such a vast and varied body of literature remained ‘latent’ for so long, and why return now?
- How in these texts, does content and form combine and interact, and with what results?
- How do these texts redeploy that status and roles of writer and reader in fictive space?
- Might the ‘problematised’ ‘text-world’ interact, or reveal something ‘problematic’ in ‘real-world’?
(posted 1 October 2018)
IDEA 2019: The 13th International Conference on Literature, Language and Cultural Studies in Turkey
Gaziantep University, Turkey, 24-26 April 2019
Deadline for submissions: 30 November 2018
IDEA2019 poster A Confererence under the auspices of the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE)
- Finn Fordham, Royal Holloway, University of London, the UK
- Robert William Rix, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
IDEA, established in 2005 by the Turkish national association for English studies as a member of ESSE (The European Society for the Study of English), is the largest and most comprehensive venue for the free exchange and dissemination of ideas on literary, language, and cultural studies in Turkey. IDEA aims at bringing together academics working in the fields of linguistics, literature, language teaching and cultural studies It is held at a different university in Turkey each year, and attended by scholars from around the world as well as around the country.
IDEA 2019 is being hosted by the Department of English Language and Literature, at Gaziantep University.
Our conference accepts papers in a wide range of topics from many different fields of “Studies in English”. Some of the major fields are: Literature, Cultural and Critical Studies, Linguistics, Language Teaching and Translation Studies
Please submit an abstract (maximum 250 words) to: email@example.com
Only email submissions will to be accepted.
Please include your name, affiliation, abstract title, email address, a brief biography and 5-6 keywords pertaining to your topic.
We would also appreciate if you could write the name of the field of study in the title section of your email.
After sending your abstract you should receive a confirmation email within 3 workdays. If you have not received a confirmation after 3 work days, please contact us.
All the abstracts will be peer reviewed.
The deadline for abstract proposals is 30 November 2018.
We are looking forward to seeing you in Gaziantep!
Conference Topic Areas: The conference covers a wide range of subjects in literary, cultural, and language studies, and welcomes presentations dealing with new interdisciplinary perspectives on these fields, contemporary social and cultural issues, and other areas of investigation. Topics include (but are not limited to):
- English and Comparative Literature: • Literary Theory • Philosophy •Historiography • British, American, Turkish and European Literatures • World Literatures in translation…
- Interdisciplinary Studies: Literature in relation to • Visual Arts • Performance Arts •Film and Media • Music • Science • Social and Political Theory • Issues in Digital Humanities …
- Cultural and Media Studies: • Demographic change and identities • Globalization and social coherence • Belief systems and politics • Contemporary discussions on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, diaspora, nationalism • Media representations and regulation • Emerging technologies and ethical issues • Climate issues and the media…
- Translation Studies: • Literary Translation Studies • Narrative approaches to translation • Stylistic approaches to translation (including approaches from Cognitive Poetics) • Ecocritical approaches to translation • Self-translation • Translation and Ideology • Translation and Gender…
- English Language Teaching and Education: • Teaching critical thinking •Neuromyths in ELT and Education • Cognitive science and language learning •Teaching language through culture • Educational issues in Neurolinguistics and Sociolinguistics…
ORGANIZING COMMITTEE (Gaziantep University): Zekiye Antakyalıoğlu, Enes Kavak, Ela İpek Gündüz, Meltem Muşlu, Kyriaki Asiatidou, Kürşat Kaplan, Tülin Özkeçeci, Emel Öztaş, Melda Şenel
INFORMATION: Detailed information on registration, conference fees, accommodation, etc. will be provided on the IDEA 2019 conference website http://idea2019.gantep.edu.tr beginning in September 2018, and regularly updated.
CONTACTS and WEBSITE: For more information, please visit the IDEA 2019 website, http://idea2019.gantep.edu.tr contact Enes Kavak and Ela İpek Gündüz at:
snail mail: Department of English Language and Literature, Gaziantep University, Şehitkamil Gaziantep 27310, Turkey
Download the Conference Poster.
(posted 19 September 2018)