Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in May 2019

Urban Otium: Materialities, Practices, Representations
University of Freiburg, Germany, 2-4 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

CRC 1015 Otium. Boundaries, Chronotopes, Practices

Speed, acceleration, the perceived intensification of time, expediency and efficiency are all recurring catchphrases of our present time, which are closely linked to the urban experience. The ‘hustle and bustle’ of city life, hectic and busyness are central characteristics of the urban space, which supposedly subject the city’s inhabitants to an increasingly functional logic. And yet it becomes apparent how fragile this domination is in characters like the flâneur who moves calmly through the bustle of the city. We can even identify seemingly opposite tendencies: places like urban parks, museums and other recreational spaces, as well as a growing leisure industry suggest to be refuges of deceleration. But at the same time such opportunities can be subject to utilitarian rationality and self-improvement.
In the interdisciplinary collaborative research centre 1015 on “Otium” at the University of Freiburg, these contradictory aspects are being discussed and at the conference on “Urban Otium: Materiality, Practices, Representations” they are going to be analysed in more detail. In interdisciplinary dialogue, free spaces of otium in the urban space can be identified, and through them a discussion on the relation of urbanity and otium can be initiated. In the context of the collaborative research centre, the term otium is not understood as being primarily tied to particular actions or spaces, but rather as the experience of a free being-in-time, an end in itself not identified with the logic of purpose-oriented achievement. The notion can be made more palpable with the help of paradoxical expressions such as ‘productiveunproductiveness’ or ‘active inactivity’, which emphasise its social dimension. Against this background, otium and work are no polar opposites, nor can otium and free time (as well as an understanding of “free time” in the sense of “leisure activity”) be understood as synonyms. Moreover, there is a transgressive potential in this understanding of otium: even in situations of the greatest hectic and time pressure moments of otium can arise which enable the individual to free her- or himself of these circumstances.
The connection of the concept of otium with the thematic field of urbanity raises multiple questions: How do opportunities for otium manifest themselves in the urban space as well as in the social fabric in general? Can we establish differences between different kinds of urban spaces (e.g. small town, city or metropolis) and the forms of otium specific to them? Is the traditional dichotomy between city and nature at all tenable in the context of experiences of otium? How does the concept relate to recent developments like the forming of ‘global cities’ or the specific context of postcolonial cities? How can the tension between, on the one hand, structures furthering inequality and, on the other, social autonomy in the city be applied to otium? In what way is gender relevant for urban otium?
These questions will be at the core of the conference, which will consist of contributions from different disciplines, so that perspectives from the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences can complement one another. Already the categories mentioned in the conference title incorporate this idea: (urban) otium manifests itself in the material form of the urban space, in the actions of its agents as well as in differently mediated representations.
The aim of the conference is to connect historical-diachronic observations with reflections on the present, and thus to discuss possible cultural histories of urban otium. Above that, the conference topic should not be approached from a purely Eurocentric or Western viewpoint, but instead the debate should do justice to the global variety of cultures of otium.

The conference will be structured along the following thematic emphases:

  • Architecture and Urban Planning: Urban otium shows itself in concrete spaces and architectural structures of the urban space: with respect to new types and concepts of cities like the ‘creative’ or ‘global city’, the
    ‘functional’ or ‘shrinking’ city, the question arises in what ways new and extended open spaces of otium can emerge through the creative potential and specific forms of appropriation emerging in this context. We can observe how older forms of urban planning that facilitated social privilege are addressed by new concepts of society as well as their corresponding cityscapes.
  • City and Nature – Contrasts, dichotomies, interdependencies:  Experiences of otium in a city are possible in various forms and diverse places. Heterotopic retreats such as parks, alleys, graveyards and other horticultural grounds can be seen as paradigmatic examples. In these places, a complex interrelation of city and cultivated or reglemented nature can be observed, in which the seemingly dichotomous relationship between urban spaces and nature are renegotiated: whereas these nature-related places aim to represent alternative worlds to the urban hustle and bustle, the binary starts to waver in the face of their belonging to the very urban space they seem to contradict. Not only the question concerning the changing meaning of such places, but also movements such as the concept of the ‘garden city’ as well as ‘urban gardening’ come into view.
  • Experiences of Transgression of Otium in Urban Spaces: Already in previous work of the CRC the transgressive potential of otium became apparent: in otium, the contrast between vita activa and vita contemplativa can be overcome. Regarding urban otium, it should be discussed whether and in which forms experiences of otium become possible in urban ‘hotspots’ in addition to the ‘classical’ urban retreats like gardens, parks and museums.
  • Practices, Ways of Perceiving and Experience Structures of Urban Otium:  Forms of urban otium in many cases also draw attention to the sensual perception during experiences of otium. Especially in the urban context – which is not uncommonly characterised by overstimulation – this aspect seems to be of particular importance for observers as well as inhabitants of cities. Figures such as the flâneur or the increasingly present tourist can be regarded as paradigmatic examples. Thus, experiences of otium in the urban context can be focused on from the perspective of their aesthetic representation for instance in literary texts as well as in less mediated research on the impressions and practices of a city’s inhabitants.

Two possible formats are intended: Papers (max. 30 minutes) and shorter contributions (max. 15 minutes)
Exposés of one page (approx. 500 words) as well as a short CV are requested by 31.10.2018.
Please send both to René Waßmer: rene.wassmer@sfb1015.uni-freiburg.de
Peter Philipp Riedl will be happy to answer any questions you may have: peter.riedl@sfb1015.uni-freiburg.de

(posted 19 September 2018)


Brexit and Beyond: Nation and Identity: 2019 SAUTE conference
Department of English, Universität Basel, Switerland, 3-4 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 13 January 2019

We invite abstracts for 20-minute presentations on literary and linguistic issues that relate to the conference topic.
Brexit and Beyond: Nation and Identity
Debates about national identity have received new currency in recent years in a context of demonstrations of national self-assertion, which has resulted for example in the Brexit decision in Britain, in significant changes in American international policies, and the introduction of authoritarian measures in some member states of the European Union. Shortly after Britain will most probably have left the European Union, the conference will address the developments outlined above and the cultural discourses surrounding them. As regards Brexit, we argue that many attempts at explaining the Leave victory and current British Euroscepticism focus quite narrowly on economic, legal and political factors, underestimating more ‘fuzzy’ phenomena such as cultural myths, narratives and images which circulate in literature, travel writing, visual arts and other media, influencing people on a visceral level, sometimes against their better judgement. During our conference, we will examine the construction and negotiation of cultural identities in language, literature and the media with a focus on cultural memory and the cultural imaginary as well as stereotyping, mythmaking, people’s shared fictions and the impact of the resulting policies on people’s lives. We believe that literary studies and linguistics can make an important contribution to our understanding of current political developments, and to a critique of jingoistic populism. Topics addressed at the conference could include:

  • National and cultural exceptionalism
  • Discourses of populism and elitism
  • Brexit and British internal faultlines
  • Artistic and literary responses to Brexit
  • Literary and artistic negotiations of national and/or regional identity
  • Cultural topographies of the nation
  • Historical inquiries into the relation between Britain and (Continental) Europe
  • Transnationalism and Trump’s America
  • Glocalism and the Anglophone world
  • Languages of Brexit / languages of American supremacy
  • The political significance of media and post-truth discourses

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Professor of English, Stanford University, USA
    Shelley Fisher Fishkin is a leading authority in American Studies; in her highly acclaimed work she has addressed issues of transnationalism, of the relationship between fact and fiction, and of the importance of literary and cultural narratives for the construction of cultural memory and the cultural imaginary, most recently in her book Writing America. Literary Landmarks from Walden Pond to Wounded Knee (2015). She will talk to us about the implications of the transnational turn.
  • Dr. Jo Angouri, Reader in Applied Linguistics, University of Warwick, GB
    Jo Angouri is a member of the Centre for Applied Linguistics at Warwick. She is the author of Culture, Discourse and the Workplace (Routledge 2018) and has also published on ‘Grexit’. She will approach the conference topic from the perspective of Critical Discourse Analysis and address discourses of cultural heritage in times of crisis.
  • Dr. Christine Berberich, Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Portsmouth, GB
    Christine Berberich, whose field is English Literature and Cultural Studies, will speak to us about the conflicted nature of debates about English identity. She is currently working on the politics of the ‘home tour’ and has in recent years co-edited a number of important collections about affective landscapes and English identity.
  • Maurice Fitzpatrick, Lecturer, Journalist and Filmmaker, University of Cologne/freelance, Germany
    Maurice Fitzpatrick is the author (and director) of The Boys of St Columb’s (2009 documentary, 2010 book) and In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America (2017) and will talk about the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

Deadline for abstracts: January 13, 2019
Submit to: sauteconference2019@unibas.ch
Abstracts of no more than 500 words should be sent together with a brief bio-blurb and contact details to the above e-mail address in one PDF document. Notifications of acceptance will be issued from February 17, 2019.
Conference website: https://english.philhist.unibas.ch/en/research/conferences-and-colloquia/saute-conference-2019/
A selection of papers will be published in the Swiss Papers in English Language and Literature (SPELL).

(posted 4 September 2018)


Etc.   Exchange, Transformation, Communication: Triennial Conference of the Nordic Association of English Studies
Aarhus University, Denmark, 8-10 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2018

All of the subdisciplines of English Studies address issues of exchange, transformation and communication: ranging from the temporal development, regional variation and functional properties of language; through the societal interactions examined in history and cultural studies; to the permutations of plot, negotiations of character and voice, and evolutions of genre within literature, film, and other aesthetic forms. Exchange, transformation and communication are crucial to an understanding of English as a humanistic discipline; to its international role in political, institutional and market-driven contexts; and to the mediation between English(es) and other languages that is performed by textual and cultural translation.

In Etc. we intend to find space for all of the above-mentioned areas of study, and for the transformative possibilities that may arise from communication and exchange between them. Furthermore, we will consider exchange, transformation and communication not only as objects of study within English Studies but also as characterising the structure, roles and processes of English Studies itself as an international academic field, especially in relation to the meeting between national and institutional traditions and experiences – sometimes similar, sometimes very different – that a forum such as this conference permits.

Plenary speakers will include Michael Eaton, MBE (playwright and scriptwriter) and Prof. Alastair Pennycook (Distinguished Professor of Language, Society and Education, University of Technology, Sydney). Further speakers to be announced.

Possible focus areas include:

  • Transformative relations between English-language and Nordic languages, texts and cultures.
  • Ways in which English-language cultural conventions and artefacts have been adapted for new audiences.
  • Aspects of the literary, such as narrative and metaphor, as mechanisms for changing ideas, perceptions and beliefs.
  • Ways in which English-language fictional or non-fictional narratives model identity, social interaction, and the scope for personal change.
  • Ways in which English Studies contribute to understanding and/or influencing momentous transformations in the world around us.
  • Transformations in the nature and scope of English Studies, brought about through internal developments in knowledge and theory, or through external socio-economic and political forces.
  • Changes in the practices of knowledge-exchange, such as academic publishing and social media.
  • Uses of English in professional communication in cultural and organisational contexts.
  • Etcetera … and other things.

Abstracts for 20-minute papers must be submitted via the NAES2019 website https://events.au.dk/naes2019/about.html by 30 November 2018.

(posted 8 October 2018)


Realities, Alternatives and Possibilities: International Conference on Urban Studies
London, UK, 11 May, 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 February 2018

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

London, Paris, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing, Sydney, Shanghai, Dubai are leading global hubs of finance and commerce, research and development, education and media, art and culture, entertainment and tourism. They consist of an intriguing and yet irresistible mixture of past and present, history and commercialism, monuments and leisure culture. Contrasts and paradoxes present these megacities as exceptional phenomena of artificiality and naturalness, livelihood and unpredictability, whose horizontal and vertical mobility has imposed an unmistakable tempo upon the course of the world and has shaped particular physical and mental geographies.

The conference will explore the singular nature of the symbols that represent the world’s cosmopolitan metropoles. It will also focus on the fascination exerted by these large urban areas and their complex character as unrivalled sites of self-confidence and assertiveness, progress and sophistication.

The main objective of the event is to bring together all those interested in examining the intersections between their professions and/or interests and some distinct aspects of metropolitan life, providing an integrated approach for the understanding of the mechanisms that lie behind the undisputed global centres.

Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

  • supercities and the self
  • past, present and future
  • travel and transport
  • art and architecture
  • crime and conflict
  • historical, cultural and tourist landmarks
  • multiculturalism and exclusiveness
  • urban legends
  • landscapes and cityscapes
  • wisdom and humour
  • media representations

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 1 February, 2018 to: urbanstudies@lcir.co.uk.

Please download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 100 GBP

Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7HX

(posted 22 October 2018)


Researching Metaphor – cognitive and other
Genova, Italy, 13-15 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2019

Following the conference Metaphor: retrospect and prospects organised in Genoa in May 2016, the research group won a PRIN (Progetto di Ricerca di Interesse Nazionale) award from the Italian government to further our work in the area of Cognitive Metaphor and the intense debate surrounding it, regarding the nature of metaphor, types of metaphor, classification of metaphors, metaphor and psychological theory, modes of research into metaphor, including corpus-based methodologies, concrete applications of metaphor theory to text and multimedial analysis. Just as the theoretical domains are extremely wide-ranging, so are the domains of application, with every area of language having been treated − literary, conversation, advertising, politics, classroom, art, medicine, law, economics, the world-wide web and other modes of multimedial communication, to name but a few.

Papers are therefore invited from all disciplines, including literature, linguistics, psychology, sociology, criminology, anthropology, communication studies, medicine, the hard and soft sciences, on any aspect of metaphor theory and its applications. Papers are also welcome which trace the development of metaphor theory and how developments in metaphor theory are related to more general developments in the field of scientific discovery.

Work in progress which is already under way and which is at a stage where progress made can provide valuable insights will also be given due consideration.

The conference languages are English and French. Publication(s) will follow, details of which will be announced at the end of the conference. When submitting their proposal, authors should indicate which of the two conference languages they will be delivering their paper in.

Scholars who have accepted to give a keynote lecture are:
Marc Bonhomme
Jonathan Charteris-Black
Monika Fludernik
Ray Gibbs
Zoltan Kovecses
Gerard Steen
Rita Temmerman

Submitting proposals:
We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations (followed by 10 minutes for discussion). Please note that all the rooms will be equipped with computer, DVD player and overhead projector so you can project all supported documents, spreadsheets, presentations and films. Should you require any special equipment beyond these standard applications, please specify these requirements in your abstract.

Please send an abstract of no more than 400 words to the Conference email address: metaphorgenoa2019@gmail.com

Abstracts should be sent as email attachments in .doc format and should be named ‘Surname_Abstract_Metaphor 2019’. They should contain the following structural elements: (a) your full name, academic position, academic affiliation, email address, postal address, (b) a recognisable thesis/statement or research question, (c) an explanation of the methodology, (d) a short reference to emerging results (if applicable), (e) a list of keywords, (f) a short list of key references (max. 5).

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 31st January 2019. Notifications of acceptance will be sent within two weeks of receipt of a proposal.

Detailed information on the conference, travel, accommodation etc. may be found at the conference website at http://www.lcm.unige.it/CALL/?op=cfp

The standard information and an automatic enrolment system will be running ASAP.

The Organising Committee: Michele Prandi, John Douthwaite, Micaela Rossi, Elisabetta Zurru, Ilaria Rizzato

(posted 6 August 2018)


Monuments, Museums and Murals: Preservation, Commemoration and American Identity: 39th Conference of the American Studies Association of Turkey (ASAT)
Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Çannakale, Turkey, 15-17 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2018

The American Civil War may have ended in 1865, but in many respects it is still being fought today, over 150 years later. Ongoing battles over the Confederate flag and the recent Confederate monument controversy suggest that many of the wounds of the war, especially those related to race, class and gender, are still far from being healed. Clearly, what led to the Civil War is still dividing the nation: Americans are not only grappling with a future vision for the country, but are also struggling with the past. What are considered by some to be markers of cultural heritage are for many others painful symbols of the violent history of the United States, a nation that was built on the exploitation of African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and other minority groups. As William Faulkner expresses in his 1951 novel Requiem for a Nun, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” It lingers like a ghost over the present and the future, haunting Americans and urging them to come to terms with its countless meanings and manifestations.

If “we are what we remember” then who are Americans exactly? Is what we remember just as important as how we remember it? American identity is closely invested in commemoration; national holidays, for example, construct a common past in a country of immigrants without a common past. They help make sense out of distant events, reinforce collective “values” in the present, and theoretically map out a shared future. Yet, those aspects of “history” that are (or are not) chosen for display in a museum, preservation in an archive, depiction in a work of art, or narration in a work of literature also speak volumes about a nation and its people. They remind us that there are always many competing, and often contradictory, histories, and that the past is truly never dead.

ASAT invites 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:

  • Museums, monuments and murals in American literature
  • Preservation and commemoration in American literature
  • (Re)membering, revising, (re)writing, (re)enacting and (re)creating
  • Life writing, (self)documentation, archives
  • The politics of commemoration and memory preservation
  • Public history, art history, museology, archeology
  • Living museums, virtual museums, open-air museums
  • Cultural heritage sites, village restorations, museum shops
  • Fairs, expositions, installations and exhibits
  • Travel, tourism, leisure and cuisine
  • Creators, narrators and interpreters
  • Educators, activists, curators and benefactors
  • Audience (encoding, decoding, re/presenting)
  • (un)intentional forgetting, cultural/historical amnesia
  • “Authenticity,” (in)accuracy, perception and reality
  • Alternative sites, countermonuments, cemeteries, thanatourism
  • The sacred and profane; myth and legend; memorial culture
  • Ekphrasis, words and images, semiotics, symbols
  • (Social) media, film and visual culture
  • Rituals, rites of passage, holidays and celebrations
  • Material culture, objects, artifacts, antiques
  • Race, class, ethnicity, gender and identity politics
  • Controversy, protest and confrontation
  • Transnational, transcultural and comparative approaches

Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey (info@asat-jast.org) and should consist of a 250–300 word abstract, five keywords, and a short (200 word) biography for each participant. The time allowance for presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.

Submission deadline: December 1, 2018

Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.

More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available: http://www.asat-jast.org

(posted 20 April 2018)


(Neo-)Victorian ‘Orientations’ in the Twenty-First Century
University of Málaga, Spain, 15-17 May 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 30 November 2018

Under the auspices of the Research Project “Orientation: Towards a Dynamic Understanding of Contemporary Fiction and Culture (1990s-2000s)” (ref. FFI2017-86417-P), funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness https://orionfiction.org this conference addresses past, present and future orientations of (neo-) Victorian literature and culture.

Ann Heilmann and Mark Llewellyn’s acclaimed The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999-2009 (2010) offered insight into how neo-Victorianism had evolved as a historical sub-genre in the first decade. Now, nearly two decades into the twenty-first century, neo-Victorianism has consolidated into a literary genre and cultural phenomenon that continues to gain both in popularity and critical appraisal, and current trends in neo-Victorianism continue expanding and diversifying. Thus, we perceive that we have reached a point of reflection and, therefore, we wish to explore new paths and intersections of (neo-)Victorianism.

This conference examines (neo-)Victorian diversifications into the twenty-first century exploring the notion of ‘orientation’, a dialogical concept itself because it indicates one’s position in relation to something or someone. We aim to conceptualise the current interest in dynamic processes, notions of becoming, fluidity and multilayering in the neo-Victorian mode through the lens of ‘orientation’. We would like to develop this idea in close relationship to the dynamic interplay between the past and the present, the Victorians and us. This way, this notion bears similarities to the “polytemporality” of the trace in that it underlines the “dynamic interplay and interrelations between past, present, and future as modes of temporal orientation” (Victoria Browne). In addition, Sarah Ahmed’s concept of ‘orientation’, inspired by Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s philosophy, has explored the spatial quality of the term in relation to queer phenomenology and embodied situatedness. Therefore, we wish to examine ‘orientation’ as place, habitation and space in different senses in that it directs itself towards the space in between bodies and objects, but also in the sense of the individual’s orientation towards the Other. Ultimately, we would like to address the concept ‘orientation’ from these interrelated perspectives (1) ‘orientation’ as an apt critical tool to analyse time, as the passage of the ‘trace’, polytemporal and dynamic, and (2) ‘orientation’ as a spatial notion, which serves to address questions of mobility, movement, and the in-between space that exists between bodies and objects, in phenomenological terms, as well as the I-you relationship that emerges in the encounter with the ‘other’.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in the following topics (but not limited to) on (neo-) Victorian ‘Orientations’:
● Theoretical approaches and conceptualisations of “orientation”
● Passages, processes and the dynamic continuums between the Victorian past and the contemporary period.
● (Neo-)Victorianism oriented towards the past, the present and the future
● Time and temporality in neo-Victorian fiction; (multiple) temporality; Polytemporality
● Future incursions into the nineteenth century
● Situatedness, embodiment and the senses
● The Victorians Unbound
● Spatial orientations: spatial conceptions, dynamic spaces, geographical orientations
● Neo-Victorianism and the ethical encounter with the ‘other’; Orientations towards Otherness and the Other
● Neo-Victorianism and queer orientations
● Neo-Victorian orientations and orientalism; cultural cross points
● Multicultural, cross-cultural and global neo-Victorianism
● Neo-Victorian literature oriented towards Children and Young Adults
● New orientations towards the Victorians: digital humanities and (neo-) Victorianism

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
● Professor Ann Heilmann (University of Cardiff, UK)
● Dr. Marie-Luise Kohlke (University of Swansea, UK)
● Professor Susana Onega (Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain)
● Professor Patricia Pulham (University of Surrey, UK)

Main Organisers: Professor Rosario Arias and Dr Lin Pettersson
Please send a 250-word abstract to orientationliterature@gmail.com by 30 November 2018 (new extended deadline). Abstracts should include a short biographical note. All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

(posted 11 September 2018, updated 15 October 2018)


British and American Studies: 29th International Conference
The English Department of the Faculty of Letters, University of Timişoara, Romania, 16-18 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 February 2019

Plenary speakers:

  • Professor Mona Baker, University of Manchester
  • Professor Marta Gibinska,  Jagiellonian University and ‘Jozef Tischner’ European University,  Kraków
  • Professor Andrei A. Avram, University of Bucharest

Presentations (20 min) and workshops (60 min) are invited in the following sections:

  • Language Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Semiotics
  • British and Commonwealth Literature
  • American Literature
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • English Language Teaching

Abstract submission

Please submit 60‑word abstracts, which will be included in the conference programme:

Deadline: 15 February 2019

Conference fee:

  • The early conference registration fee is EUR 100, to be paid by March 15; the late registration fee is Euro 120.
  • For RSEAS members, the early registration fee is lei 300; the late registration fee is lei 350.

Conference websitehttps://bas.events.uvt.ro

For additional information, please contact:

(posted 16 september 2018)


The Democratisation of History: International Conference on Digital Humanities
London, UK, 18 May, 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 February 2019

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

“History is written by the victors” according to a popular quote. Regardless of the accuracy of this statement, the fact is that history is commonly written by people with authority and bias, thus impeding any attempt to distill one single, objective, definitive truth and record it in immutable books. Moreover, history telling and analysis inevitably comes with different facets, based on context and the historian’s background. Nevertheless, perspective cannot be regarded as a mere thorn for the discipline, but instead can provide invaluable material to enrich, retrospect and constructively investigate past events, so long as proper mechanisms are in place to guarantee the mitigation of deceitful behaviors.

Recently there has been a rise of distributed systems as a viable means to democratise various aspects of our society. Blockchain has gained attention as the main technology behind Bitcoin and Ethereum, creating their own currency and promising simpler transactions that will replace the status quo financial systems. However, Blockchain potential is not limited to crypto-currencies and creating money out of thin air in an attempt to become rich overnight. Blockchain is the technology that may significantly benefit our lives in the near future by decentralizing governance, allowing peers to directly interact in a reliable and secure manner and empowering communities with the privilege and responsibility of defining their operation and evolution.

Adopting Blockchain technologies appeals as a very promising direction towards the democratisation of History. As the name implies, Blockchain is a chain of blocks, each registered at some point in time, which is in line with History’s linearity in terms of timeliness of events. What is written in each block, is a product of interactions among peers of the blockchain, who can all have access to the system, in a deterministic manner based on agreed predefined processes. How can History writing be mapped into a conversational process with the conclusions, as well as the reviews, discussions and links to facts, being printed on blocks of the Blockchain? How can access of all users to History reading and writing benefit the panoramicity and cultural inclusiveness into preserving our heritage? To which extent can a single reference system foster historical knowledge and awareness, while unleashing freedom of speech in event reporting and shedding light into the patterns of historical events?

We invite proposals from various disciplines including history, political sciences, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, IT, media and communication, literature, linguistics, etc.

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 1 February, 2019 to: digital.humanities@lcir.co.uk. Please download Paper Proposal Form.

Registration fee – 100 GBP

Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD

(posted 23 October 2018)


Body in Motion, Travelling Bodies in Anglophone Literature
University Paris 8, France, 24 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 25 January  2019

From Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales to contemporary works on migration and travel, for instance Caryl Phillips’sCrossing the River, travelling texts and bodies have been at the core of Anglophone Literature. Bodies transform themselves as they cross political, national or cultural boundaries, and so do texts centred on bodily experiences which circulate across national and transcultural borders in our globalized world. Moreover, the processes of colonization, decolonization and globalization which have shaped the English-speaking world for centuries have certainly redefined ways of representing and writing the body, more particularly bodies migrating and travelling through real and imagined boundaries across time. During the 18th and 19th centuries, the importance of the moving body was visible in British travel writing and “colonial writing”. Chronicles, diaries, reports on expeditions have indeed explored the question of travelling bodies. In an article entitled “An Introduction: Travel and Body” (2005), Marguerite Helmers and Tilar J. Mazzeo recall that “the implied presence of the body has been one of the ways in which travel writers guaranteed the authenticity of their accounts” (267). Charles Forsdick’s Routledge Companion to Travel Writing (2016) reiterates the recurring presence of the body within the genre of travel writing. Works on the Middle Passage, the Partition of India or the Windrush generation have also drawn on this articulation to depict traumatised, mutilated bodies in motion, and some even made “docile” (Foucault). Postcolonial as well as migration writings (See for instance Travelling Towards Home: Mobilities and Homemaking, eds. N. Frost & T. Selwyn, 2018) too have focused on bodies which can be made dis-abled, invisible and metamorphosed due to acculturation and dislocation. Such writings suggest that the body has the ability to narrate untold, silent and non-representable socio-historical experiences of travelling. The moving body can also become a potential testimony of experiences of leaving, border-crossing and re-settling. It may also serve as agency of resistance, transgression and identity re-construction while embodying hopes of liberation and empowerment in the host country.

Earlier works such as Mary Louise Pratt’s Imperial Eyes (1992) as well as more recent references such asCorporeality and Culture: Bodies in Movement (K. Sellberg, L. Wanggren, 2015) have shown a growing interest in this burgeoning field of research. Besides, the study of this “corporeal turn” (Maxime Sheets-Johnstone) has also led to the emergence of new discourses in Trauma Studies along with Feminist Studies, LGTBQ Studies (Cotten 2012), or studies in “medical tourism” (Botterill, Pennings, Mainil, 2013) dealing with the circulation of corpses, body parts and even organ transplantations (See for instance, Bodily Exchanges, Bioethics and Border Crossing: Perspectives on Giving, Selling and Sharing Bodies, eds. Erik Malmqvist and Kristin Zeiler, 2016). However, there is a lack of studies on this intersection in Anglophone Literature despite the fact that circulation of people has been greater than ever and is deeply entwined with issues of gender, power, race, etc.

This one-day conference will focus on how the narration of mobile bodies questions social identities anddiscourses on sexuality, nationality, race, terrorism, etc., and produces new subjectivities. How are body circulations depicted and performed in writings from the English-speaking world? Are there specific modalities of writing about mobile bodies in the Anglophone context? How do mobile bodies possibly transform travel writing and migrant fiction written in English? How does such writing transform, or at least impact, the body and its cultural representations? How does modernity affect representations of the body in migration literature and in refugee literature?

This conference will be a space of discussion for scholars working at the intersection of literary, Mobility and Body Studies in the English-speaking world. We are interested in papers which draw connections between Anglophone literature and moving/travelling bodies. Papers which depict cross-cultural encounters by chronicling the movement of bodies across geographical areas and historical periods are also welcome. This conference is also open to presentations on ongoing projects focusing on these themes. Suggested topics might include but are not limited to:

  • Literary representations of travelling bodies;
  • Moving bodies and the production of new subjectivities;
  • Mobile body/ -ies and globalization; transnational bodies;
  • Mobile bodies in colonial and postcolonial fiction;
  • Technologies of mobility and the body in motion;
  • Time, space and the body;
  • Race, gender, class and bodies in movement;
  • Travelling or moving bodies in the digital era (video games, etc.);

Papers may be presented either in English or French. Abstracts (250-300 words) along with a short bio-bibliographical notice should be sent to organisers: Jaine Chemmachery (jaine.chemmachery@dauphine.psl.eu) and Bhawana Jain (bhawana.jain@univ-paris1.fr) by January 25th, 2019.

(posted 25 November 2018)


Words, Music and Gender
University of Maribor, Slovenia, 24-25 May 2019
Deadline fo proposals: 30 December 2018

Faculty of Arts/Faculty of Education,
Koroška cesta 160
2000 Maribor

The Words, Music and Gender conference will explore the relation between words, music and gender, and the place of that relation in history and in modern culture.

Papers from all fields of study, including musicology, anthropology, sociology, psychoanalytic theory, Marxism, and feminist theory, from different critical perspectives, such as literary and linguistic analysis, Gender Studies, ethnomusicology, critical musicology, and popular music studies, applied to genres including World Music, Asian and African music, American and European jazz, pop and classical music, are welcome.

Suggested panels include, but are not limited to:

  • Gender Analysis in Various Musical Genres: Rock and Pop; Jazz; Folk; Classical and Opera
  • Sexism in Rock Songs
  • LGBT Issues in Music
  • “I Am Woman: Hear Me Roar”: Feminist Empowerment in Contemporary Music
  • “Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves”: The Rise of the All-girl Band
  • Music and Identity
  • Gendered Music
  • Didactic Dimensions of Words, Music and Gender

Interested individuals are asked to submit an abstract of up to 250 words (including presentation title) and complete contact information (name, institutional affiliation, mail and e-mail addresses, and contact telephone number) by December 30, 2018.

Contact email: wordmusicgender@um.si

For more information about the conference, please visit our website at: http://wordmusicgender.ff.um.si

(posted 9 October 2018, updated 11 October 2018)


Performativity in Contemporary Culture:  Conference of the Narratives of Culture and Identity Research Group
School of English and American Studies, ELTE, Budapest, Hungary, 24-25 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2019

This English-language conference brings together PhD students, scholars and researchers, all dedicated to the study of performativity and performance in various disciplines. We are looking for contributions that innovatively engage with issues of performativity, as well as the diverse functions and uses of performance in contemporary culture.

The presentations will be organized into three thematic panels which tackle issues of performativity from different angles:

  1. Performative Nostalgia in Literatures about Central Europe after Revolutions
  2. Performing Trauma through the Body in Contemporary Literature
  3. “Writing at the Threshold”: the Performativity of Storytelling in Liminal Situations

Please find detailed calls for papers for each panel, as well as a pdf version of the entire cfp on our website: https://narrativesofcultureandidentity.wordpress.com/conference-2019/

Participants will have 20 minutes to present their papers, followed by extensive group discussion. Applicants are asked to submit a brief abstract (200-300 words) and a short biography (max. 100 words), both written in English and addressed to one of the three panels described in detail below. Abstracts of your paper with your name and affiliation, as well as any queries, should be directed to narr.cul.id@gmail.com until 31 January 2019. Notification of acceptance: 10 February 2019. Draft papers are to be sent by 25 April 2019 so that we can distribute them among the participants of each panel well before the conference.

Further information about the conference will be made available on the Research Group’s website: https://narrativesofcultureandidentity.wordpress.com/conference-2019/

(posted 7 December 2018)


Complement, Complementation, Completeness: From Gaps to Completion. 33rd international CerLiCO conference
Bordeaux Montaigne University, France, 25-26 May 2019
Deadline for proposals: 19 October 2018

The notion of complement is relatively recent in French linguistics. It is the result of a slow process which came to fruition in the 18th century and which evolved at a later stage into a simplified version in grammars for schools. However, the notion of completeness is much older. Greek grammarians already used the term autoteleia to refer to the syntactic and semantic feature necessary to any well-formed utterance. Interestingly, this notion cannot be separated from another one which appeared almost simultaneously: that of ellipsis (elleipsis). Ellipsis literally points to something that is missing and at the same time underlines the nature of the omission and paradoxically fills up the empty semantic slot. The conference at Bordeaux aims precisely aims to examine the interplay between omissions in the expression and the completeness to which they necessarily refer.

In reality, these issues impact on all the parts of speech and linguistic structure, from phoneme to discourse. It is a known fact that languages are never fully explicit, and that between the necessity to make oneself understood and the constraints of speech interaction, the principles of economy and relevance drastically curb the expansion of linguistic material, both in structure and in discourse. This means that various linguistic phenomena will come into play: condensation (namely the grammaticalisation or partial stabilisation of processes used at the sentence or discourse level, including grammatical and lexical constructions, collocations, the “micro-syntax” of compounds, and so on) and absence (the zero sign, the limitations of phonological systems, the more or less incomplete lexical networks and the absolute use of verbs are phenomena which reveal the polysemy and the semantic fuzziness of lexical units and constructions).

An extension of the notion of complementation might also be considered and could include devices that make the utterance more complex such as insertion, parenthesis, secondary predication, additions, commentaries and words bringing the sentence or the utterance to a close. At the discourse level, complementation might be considered as a justification and more particularly as a justification of completeness and saturation. The relationship between the notions of “complement” and “supplementary” (defined as relative to a supposedly primary utterance) will certainly require further investigation. In semantics, a question might be whether the comment is the complement of the topic. At the text level of analysis, context might be construed as the necessary complementation of a complete utterance. Other possible issues are the construction of the referent in complements, the modification of the order of elements leading to a focalisation on a complement (in one year, I will be … ≠ (I will be … in one year).

Topics for presentation in the following fields may include (but are not restricted to):

•    Morphology: affixation as complementation;
•    Lexicology: compounding as both the complementation of a noun and a phenomenon of reduction (where the relationship between the words must be inferred);
•    Syntax:
– the distinction and boundary between complements and adverbials (“adverbial” usually being defined semantically and “complement” syntactically);
– the notion of “attribut du sujet/de l’objet” (in the French terminology) as opposed to the “predicative complement” of the English terminology: is an “attribut” a complement?
– the status of the prepositional phrase in verbal phrases such as go to bed: can the argument of the VP be considered as a PP?
– the status of the indirect complement,
•    Speech: prosody can be seen as compensating for incompleteness, placing a complement in a focal position or acting as a complement thanks to parentheticals or continuative intonation,
•    Didactics: the place of complementation in the teaching of grammar,
•    Contrastive linguistics: the typological diversity in the structure of complements,
•    Epistemology: syntaxes before the apparition of the notion of complement and theories that exclude the notion of complement.

Proposals are to be sent  at the latest on 19 Octobe 2018. They must included a presentation of the problematic and of the data (500 words / 3,000 characters at most, plus notes), as well as a short biography. They will include examples. They can be written in French or in English. The proposals will be examined anonymously by two membe of the scientific committee.

Proposals must be sent without any mention of the author(s) as attachments to a message, both in .doc(x) and .pdf formats, both to Catherine Moreau and Jean Albrespit at the following address: cerlico2019@gmail.com

The body of the message will include the name of the author(s) and the title of the paper.

Practical information

  • Dealine for sending proposals: 19 October 2018
  • Authors will be notified by 19 November 2018
  • Papers will last for 25 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for discussion.
  • The conference acts will be published in 2020 as part of the “Travaux Linguistiques of CerLiCO” by Presses Universitaires de Rennes.
  • Abstrats will be available when you register for the conference, and they will also be available on the CerLiCO website.

All information concerning the confeence will be available on the CerLiCO website: https://cerlicoasso.wordpress.com

(posted 1 October 2018)


In-betweenness: spaces, practices and representations
Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3, France, 29 May 2019
Deadline for proposals; 15 March 2019

Venue: Salle Athéna, Maison de la Recherche, 4 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris

This conference seeks to invite participants to engage with the idea of “in-betweenness” in the English-speaking world. “In-betweenness” can be understood as a liminal space or state that implies dynamics of continuity, separation, transition, overlapping, and mobility. It involves issues related to territories, practices and representations. It can be studied in a range of fields. Therefore we encourage submissions from disciplines including history, geography, sociology, anthropology, political science, geopolitics, linguistics, translatology, literature and different types of art.

Border studies is a particularly emblematic and fruitful area of research on in-betweenness.  A border can be defined as a place where one sovereignty ends and where another begins. It is a space of discontinuity, a limit between two states, two languages, and two national histories [Foucher, 2007]. It also constitutes a space of transition where sustained economic, socio-cultural and political exchanges take place [Martinez, 2012; Amilhat-Szary, 2015]. At a time when borders are being redefined, reinforced and sometimes militarized, trans-border and international circulation intensifies and becomes more complex, creating mixed, transitional, and pending statuses or situations that impact people’s personal destinies [Chavez, 2016].

Migration is another conducive field. From the decision to leave to the arrival and adjustment in the host society, immigrants, but also their descendants, embody real or imagined in-betweenness [Bruneau, 2004; Hovanessian, 2007]. Their physical, political and symbolic comings and goings between “here” and “there” create territorial transformations, social spaces, hybrid identities; they reinvent or revisit languages, literature and art forms [Alexandre-Garner and Keller-Privat, 2014]. They produce and maintain transnational networks, giving rise to new issues and innovative repertoires of mobilization in both the host country and the country of origin [Glick-Schiller, Basch and Blanc Szanton, 1992; Waldinger, 2015].

What are the impacts of trans-border and transnational movements on these spaces? How do the different stakeholders view those circulations? How do social scientists, journalists, artists, and politicians engage with in-between communities? How to deal with this fluid and protean notion?

In-betweenness can also address questions pertaining to research practices. Indeed, trans-disciplinarity is gaining momentum in the social sciences, which paves the way for the emergence of new voices and collaborations, as well as unmapped and unexplored academic fields. What are the stakes, outcomes and constraints of cross-disciplinary approaches? Similarly, in-betweenness concerns reflexivity in research and issues about social scientists’ position regarding the object they study and the society they belong to [Bourdieu and Wacquant, 2014]. Both an observer and a participant, an outsider and an insider [Merton, 1972; Nowicka and Ryan, 2015; Humphrey, 2007], a researcher acts as an intermediary between parties who might have different and divergent interests. Consequently, researchers must sometimes assume conflicting roles and are faced with ethical challenges they cannot ignore [Elias, 1993].

We invite participants to consider submissions on the following topics:

  • Trans-border spaces and the borderlands: historical and political construction; social, political and cultural productions; multiple identifications; media and artistic representations of singular spaces with plural issues.
  • Migration and its consequences: forms of circulation; impact on places of origin and host places; diasporas, transnational practices, multiculturalism, bilingualism; intercultural relations; multiple, hybrid or hyphenated identities.
  • In-between migratory statuses: asylum seekers; pending immigration cases; immigrant families with mixed statuses.
  • Forms and degrees of integration: different/divergent models of assimilation; complex processes of incorporation/exclusion; case studies of groups experiencing both integration and marginalization.
  • Language and hybridity: exile and diaspora literature; translation issues of multicultural or polyglot authors; evolution and representations of creole languages; status, forms and recognition of diaspora and heritage languages.
  • Cross- and trans-disciplinarity in research: issues, possible methods, challenges.
  • Issues of positionality: the challenges of qualitative research; how researchers grapple with different positions as well as different forms and degrees of commitment in their study.

The conference seeks to focus on the English-speaking world, but contributions about other areas will be welcome. 

Interested presenters are requested to send a 350-word abstract, in French or in English, with a title and a short biography, to the organizers Anouche Der Sarkissian (anouche.der-sarkissian@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr) and Cléa Fortuné (clea.fortune@sorbonne-nouvelle.fr) by March 15th, 2019. The selected participants will be informed before March 31st, 2019.   

This event is organized with the support of CREW (Center for Research on the English-Speaking World) and the ED 514 (Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3).

(posted 7 December 2018)