Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in July 2019

Aftershocks: Globalism and the Future of Democracy: 6th ISSEI International Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposing a workshop: 31 October 2018

We invite scholars from Social Sciences and Humanities as well as artists and intellectuals from a non-academic background to discuss the dimensions, manifestations, and problems, both theoretical and pragmatic of “Globalism and the Future of Democracy” from multiple perspectives: historical, philosophical, linguistic, cultural, religious, artistic, political, socio-economic and others. Topics for workshop proposals may include: Europe and the crisis of democracy, globalism, and history of thought and society in this continent.
Colleagues interested in chairing a workshop on a topic related to this theme and/or on European Studies more generally, are invited to submit a one-page proposal to: Dr. Edna Rosenthal at: Edna.Rosenthal@smkb.ac.il

The deadline for submitting a workshop proposal is October 31, 2018.

You can also submit individual papers to the planned workshops which are already posted on the website.
This will be the 16th Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas (ISSEI), founded in 1984 in Bellagio, Italy, by the founding editors of the interdisciplinary journal, The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms (Published by Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group).

Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 8 September 2018)


Global Capitalism and its Destitute Masses: A workshop at ISSEI’s 16th Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 29 February 2019

Chair: Royo Grasa, Pilar

The ‘global’ triumph of Capitalism appears to be its annihilation of any alternative discourse. This victory, as Alain Badiou argues in Our Wound is not so Recent, has resulted from the transformation of earlier forms of imperialism into new imperialist practices. While nineteenth-­‐century Western imperialism depended on the nation-­‐ state, its new form depends on the weakening of the nation-­‐state. In the past, European nation-­‐states exerted their power, managing and controlling the resources and peoples of the ‘uncivilized’ colonized countries from their metropolitan centers; but today, according to Badiou, “areas of non-­‐state pillaging” (29), to which the military interventions of western countries in Iraq, Libya, Mali and Central African Republic have given rise, have exposed the imperialist drive to destroy, rather than to manage, other states. Moreover, the economic control previously exerted by the West’s metropolitan centers has been replaced by the unrestrained activities of multinational capitalist companies.

Contemporary globalized capitalism moves in two apparently contradictory, yet interdependent, directions: on the one hand, capital moves and extends across nations; on the other, most of the profits thus obtained are concentrated in the hands of a very small number of companies. The result of this has been an accelerating and deepening inequality in the global distribution of resources. Badiou distinguishes among three groups in the world today: (1) the “planetary oligarchy” owns 86% of global resources; (2) the “middle class” owns 14%; and (3) the “destitute mass”— constituting 50% of the world population—owns 0% (32-­‐33). Those in the third group count for nothing: their lack of resources prevents them from playing one of the two roles defined by the market: employee and consumer. The destitute mass includes the most precarious people of society, namely, but not exclusively: Indian Dalits, Indigenous peoples, refugees, so-­‐called ‘economic migrants’ or any forcefully displaced people. As Serena Parekh claims in Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement, the displaced are subject to two types of abuse –legal and political. The legal abuse is entailed by the loss of their political community and citizenship; and the deprivation they suffer as a result of their exclusion and neglect in the countries in which they seek refuge. To use Michel Agier’s term, they are the undesired “remnants” of the Western state.

The aim of this workshop is to discuss the scholarly, literary and artistic responses to the precarity of these destitute people; to explore the challenges they face, and how they cope with them. What vision of democracy and globalization do they offer? Can human rights play an effective role in a globalized world? What measures should the EU adopt as an ethical and proper response to the global humanitarian crisis? Do the narratives about and by the destitute offer an alternative discourse to global capitalism? To what extent does their use of innovative and/or canonized genres differ from the rhetoric of fear and hate often used by populist and nationalist parties and mass media discourses?

We welcome papers which engage with, but are not limited to, the following areas of interest and research:

  • Migration Studies
  • Indigenous Studies
  • Dalit Studies
  • Human Rights Studies
  • Environmental Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • World Literature
  • Gender and Queer Studies
  • Trauma Studies
  • Ethics Studies
  • Memory Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Transmodernity/Transmodern Studies

Please send proposals (a 300-­‐350 word abstract) to Pilar Royo Grasa, by 28 February 2019, at prg@unizar.es.

Works Cited

Agier, Michel. Managing the Undesirables: Refugee Camps and Humanitarian Government. Translated by David Fernbach. Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2011.
Badiou, Alain. Our Wound is not so Recent: Thinking the Paris Killings of 13 November. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016.
Parekh, Serena. Refugees and the Ethics of Forced Displacement. New York: Routledge, 2017.

The ISSEI conferences offer a forum for academics from different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines to share the fruits of their work and to keep track of new intellectual trends and research in areas of study other than their own. They enable participants to keep abreast with new developments in current-day Europe where the forces of nationalism, unification, globalism, and the impact of a rapidly changing world shape and reshape academic practices. Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 9 November 2018)


New Feminisms in a Transnational and Transmodern World: A workshop at ISSEI’s 16th Conference
University of Zaragoza, Spain, 2-5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2019

Chair: Pellicer‐Ortín, Silvia, University of Zaragoza, Spain, spellice@unizar.es
An increasing number of scholars have described the new global reality as transmodernity: “an umbrella term that connotes [today’s] emerging socio‐cultural, economic, political and philosophical shift.” It is, moreover, “essentially postpatriarchal in a sense that women’s visions and intuitions are to be recognized as indispensable in order to invent together innovative urgent solutions” (Ateljevic, 2013: 201, 203). Contemporary feminists Myra Marx Ferree and Aili Mari Tripp argue that gender should play a more significant role in the globalised world because “globalization can work to women’s advantage… but also unleash forces of inequality that will further disadvantage women.” “[F]eminism in the twenty‐first century has unmistakably global dimensions but is also ever less obviously one, single movement. Diversity and differences, not only by race and class but also in national culture and policy, shape the interests that women define as their own” (Ferree and Mari, 2006: 22, vii).
Among the great variety of feminist trends, transnational and intersectional feminisms deserve special consideration. Transnational feminist critiques of race and gender have connected Western feminist perspectives with those in other parts of the world. Their central claim is that gender‐based subjugation cannot be separated “from other forms of geopolitical, colonial, and material economic, racial, gender, and sexual oppression” (Blackwell, Briggs, Chiu, 2015: 7). Thus “transnational activism brings feminists out of their local contexts to work across national borders, and feminist discourses, such as the definition of women’s rights as human rights, travel from the international level where they were first formulated to offer new leverage to local activists” (Ferree and Tripp, 2006: vii–viii). Transnational feminism draws on the “rightsbased approach” to study how global processes affect women’s lives. Similarly, intersectional feminism focuses on the study of the repression of women in terms of the social constructions of female identities: not only gender but also class, religion, sexuality and race. It stresses “the importance of attending to the multiple social structures and processes that intertwine to produce specific social positions and identities” (Anthias, 2012: 106).
This workshop will explore textual and artistic representations of transnational and intersectional feminisms, together with other feminist theories (material and corporeal, ecofeminism). It is often by and through women’s artworks that transnational, hybrid, and marginalised female identities can acquire a distinctive voice, foster new bonds, and further the struggle for social justice. We welcome papers that explore the ways in which artworks present, articulate and redefine concepts of femininity and feminism in a transmodern world.

Suggested topics for discussion include, but are not limited to:

  • Intersectional Feminism
  • Transnational Feminism
  • Ecofeminism, gender and sustainability
  • Postcolonial and anti‐racist feminist theories
  • Postfeminism and Fourth Wave Feminism
  • Material Feminism, New Materialisms and Corporeal Feminism
  • Posthumanism and Feminism
  • Transcultural and transnational construction of female memories and identities
  • Gender, Travelling Bodies and Border Theory
  • Affectivity, Mobility and Feminism
  • Cosmopolitanism and Feminism
  • Migration across Europe: Trans‐European female identities
  • Feminism and Science Fiction
  • Utopias, Dystopias and Feminist Studies

Please send proposals (300‐350 word abstracts) to Silvia Pellicer Ortín by February 28,
2019 at spellice@unizar.es. Participants will be accepted by March 15, 2019.

Works Cited
Alexander, M. J. Pedagogies of Crossing: Mediations on Feminism, Sexual Politics, Memories and the Sacred. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2005.
Anthias, F. “Transnational Mobilities, Migration Research and Intersectionality.” Nordic Journal of Migration Research 2.2 (2012): 102–10.
Ateljevic, I. “Visions of Transmodernity: A New Renaissance of our Human History?” Integral Review 9.2 (June 2013): 200–19.
Blackwell, M., L. Briggs, and M. Chiu. “Trasnational Feminisms Roundatble.” Frontiers 36.3 (2015): 1–25.
Ferree, M. M., and A. M. Tripp, eds. Global Feminism: Transnational Women’s Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights. New York: New York University Press, 2006.
Rodríguez, Magda, and Rosa María. “Transmodernidad: un nuevo paradigm.” Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso‐Hispanic
World 1.1 (2011): 1–13.

The ISSEI conferences offer a forum for academics from different countries, backgrounds, and disciplines to share the fruits of their work and to keep track of new intellectual trends and research in areas of study other than their own. They enable participants to keep abreast with new developments in current-day Europe where the forces of nationalism, unification, globalism, and the impact of a rapidly changing world shape and reshape academic practices. Full details of the conference are available at: https://issei2019.info/

(posted 9 November 2018)


Private sector involvement in the provision of public network services: ensuring accountability in a complex environment
Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France, 5 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2018

Conference organised by the CREC[1] at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle University and LLSETI[2] at Savoie Mont Blanc University

Venue Maison de la Recherche, Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France

The failure of Carillion, a multinational conglomerate providing a wide range of public services, in January 2018 has raised significant issues of public accountability. How was it possible for such a large company and government contractor to go into compulsory liquidation, despite concerns having been raised about its finances as early as 2015? Why were the firm’s financial weaknesses not exposed and acted upon, notably by the regulators? Why did public organisations and officials continue to pass the company contracts?

The Carillion incident represents just one instalment in a litany of scandals affecting private providers of public services at a considerable loss to the public purse. The UK government’s bail-out and then renationalisation of the Stagecoach/Virgin East Coast rail franchise for passenger transport has also been highly controversial, while the flagship project of creating a high-speed rail link between London and the north of England (HS2) risks huge cost over-runs. Atos, Capita and G4S have come under public scrutiny for failing to adequately fulfil their contracts, accused of incompetence and fraud.

This one-day conference seeks to examine the challenges faced by public regulators and the political institutions in guaranteeing the accountability of public network services which have been privatised in the UK. They are therefore exposed to private producer interests, but still provide essential public services to society and the economy. Moreover, these sectors entail massive public investments in long-life infrastructures. Yet the technological and business environments of these industries may also change rapidly, entailing huge risks of inefficient or erroneous investment. Furthermore, since the privatisation of many parts of these industries from the 1980s onwards, and the move to new public management in general, the proliferation of actors involved and the complexity of management and service delivery systems have grown substantially.

The conference aims to examine the experiences of British utilities and network services whose future ownership and management are once again being called into question. Specifically it will discuss challenges in the electricity, gas, water, fixed-line telephony and rail sectors. The conference will seek to identify the cross-cutting causes of accountability failure and examine the possibilities for strengthening political governance mechanisms capable of pursuing the public interest.

Conference papers will be published on-line in the Revue française de civilisation britannique (https://journals.openedition.org/rfcb/). This is a peer-reviewed journal, and allows for fairly quick publication and dissemination via Internet.  Articles are published in English and French.

Please send proposals for a communication (300 words and a short biography) to Emma.bell@univ-smb.fr by 31 January 2019.

Confirmed Speakers:

Laurie Macfarlane: Laurie Macfarlane is a Head of Public Finance at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose, and Economics Editor at openDemocracy. Prior to this Laurie was Senior Economist at the New Economics Foundation, the UK’s leading think tank promoting social, economic and environmental justice. Laurie is the co-author of the critically acclaimed book Rethinking the Economics of Land and Housing, which was listed by Financial Times as one of the best economics books of 2017.

Steve Tombs: Steve Tombs is Professor of Criminology at The Open University. He has a long-standing interest in the incidence, nature and regulation of corporate and state crime and harm. He has long worked with the Hazards movement in the UK, and is a Trustee and Board member of Inquest.

Organisation Committee: Emma Bell (Université de Savoie Mont Blanc), Clémence Fourton (Université de Caen Normandie), Nicholas Sowels (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne).

Scientific Committee: David Fée (Paris III), Janet Newman (Open University), Lucie de Carvalho (université de Lille)

[1] Centre for British Studies: http://www.univ-paris3.fr/centre-de-recherches-en-civilisation-britannique-crec
[2] Research Laboratory on Languages, Literature and Society: Cross-border and International Studies: http://www.llseti.univ-smb.fr/

(posted 7 December 2018)


Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture: Victorian Popular Fiction Association’s 11th Annual Conference
Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London, UK, 8-10 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019

Keynotes:

  • Chris Louttit, ‘Capturing the Spirit of Bohemia: The Life of the Artist in 1860s Popular Fiction’
  • Beth Palmer, ‘Sensation Fiction and the Theatre: Braddon, Boucicault and Matters of Adaptation’
  • Christopher Pittard, ‘Vanishing Points: Sidney Paget, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sherlock Holmes’

Exhibition: ‘Late-Victorian & Edwardian Paperback Fiction’, curated by John Spiers

Reading Group: ‘Altered States of Mind and Body’, hosted by James Green and Henry Bartholomew

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular.

The organisers invite a broad, imaginative and interdisciplinary interpretation on the topic of ‘Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture’ and its relation to any aspect of Victorian popular literature and culture which might address literal or metaphorical representations of the theme.

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers, panels of three papers affiliated with an organisation or a group of scholars and non-traditional papers/panels, on topics which can include, but are not limited to:

  • Altered states of mind, drugs, séances etc.
  • Truth, secrets and lies; different perspectives (sex, gender, race/ethnicity, class, profession)
  • Mind over matter: resistance, heroics, resilience
  • Physical matter: material culture, objects and things, thing theory
  • Geography matters: transport, place and space, organisations, institutions and buildings
  • Exploration, mapping, urban and imperial knowledge
  • Illness of the mind and body, including disability studies
  • Household matters: economics and budgets, food, family life, scandals
  • Business matters: global economy, trade, partners, shipping, deals
  • Spiritual matters: different religions and practices
  • Educational matters: school system, education, teachers/teaching, education Acts
  • Archival matters: collections, museums, personal papers
  • Genre matters: transforming genres, writing practices, co-authorship, publishing practices, syndication, neo-Victorianism
  • Historical matters: reforms, parliamentary Acts, debates, events
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to Victorian popular fiction and culture
  • Teaching Victorian popular fiction and culture

Special topic panels: following our successful formula, we are continuing the special panels which will be hosted by guest experts; therefore we especially welcome papers about the following topics:

  • Topic 1: ‘The Spirit of Exploration in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Minna Vouhelainen
  • Topic 2: ‘Matters of the Mind in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Valerie Fehlbaum
  • Topic 3: ‘Matters of the Home in Victorian Popular Fiction’ hosted by Jessica Cox

Please send proposals of no more than 300 words, a 50 word biography and your availability over the conference dates in Word format to Drs Janine Hatter, Helena Ifill, Jane Jordan and Erin Louttit at: vpfainfo@gmail.com

Deadline for proposals: Friday 1st March 2019

Website: http://victorianpopularfiction.org/vpfa-annual-conference/

(posted 12 November 2018)


Frames of Mind: International Conference on (Neo)Victorian Studies
London, UK, 9-10 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 10 February 2019

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

The Victorian Era was a complex period marked by prosperity and wealth. It was a world characterised by speed and compression of time and space, a world radically different from anything ever known in the past. The exceptional times of national growth and global expansion had a huge impact on the life of the nation and the rapid advances in science and technology facilitated the access to information, which triggered a revolution in the human mind as it increased self-awareness and self-confidence, and stimulated the spirit of (ad)venture.

On the other hand, the extreme individualism of the age generated questions, doubts and inner conflicts that nurtured self-indulgence and intemperance. Charles Dickens captured the contradictory nature of the Victorian times in A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

The same dual attitude is obvious in the new Millennium, when the economic, social, political, ideological and cultural changes has generated an ethos of individual dispersion and indecisive oscillation between progress and decadence, optimism and depression, hope and cynicism. In Britain, as everywhere else in the world, the schizoid nature of the present has created poles of objectivity and subjectivity that need re-engagement with a specific set of long-lasting values. Thus, the appeal to challenge the current state of affairs by returning to the insular sensitivity, ambition and intelligence forged by the Victorian period is not suprising, as there is an urgent need to reinterpret and reposition its essential concepts and notions from the perspective of the new insular realities.

As 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, the main objective of the conference is to bring together all those interested in exploring the intersections between their professions and/or interests and some distinct aspects of Neo-Victorianism, the aesthetic movement based on the deconstruction and reconstruction of the cultural framework shaped between 1837 and 1901.

The event will focus on building and strengthening the dialogue with the past, extending it beyond Queen Victoria’s 63 years of reign to the 21st-century aspects of British identity in terms of national loyalty and individual relevance.

Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

  • Victorian principles and practices – continuity and disruption
  • the Industrial Revolution and individual freedom
  • the Victorian novel: adaptations and variations
  • the Dickensian formula of neo-realism
  • the Victorian Romance
  • Victorian poetic emotions
  • Victorian anxieties and insecurities
  • the Victorian Debate: civil society and gender justice
  • women of distinction: reformers, activists, campaigners, environmentalists and Educationalists in the Victorian era and after
  • the legacy of Queen Victoria: between potent imperialism and postcolonial nostalgia
  • the Neo-Victorian ethos: re-visiting Victorian and Edwardian values in the new Millennium
  • Victoriographies and 21st-century reinterpretations
  • (Neo)Victorian philosophies: from Utilitarianism to Steampunk
  • (Neo)Victorian science, technology and religion: idealism and wisdom
  • morals and morality: affections, devotions and abjections
  • (Neo)Victorian poetry: science and sensibility
  • decadent generations: from Oscar Wilde and Algernon Swinburne to Will Self and Joe Stretch
  • public and private realms: fashion, design and architecture
  • patterns of pastimes and entertainment: the public house, the theatre, the music hall, The circus
  • Victorian and Neo-Victorian representations in the arts
  • (Neo)Victorianism in cinema and television
  • Victorian and Neo-Victorian visions of London

The conference is addressed to academics, researchers and professionals with a particular interest related to the conference topic. We invite proposals from various disciplines including history, sociology, political studies, anthropology, culture studies and literature.

Proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 10 February, 2019 to:
neo-victorian.studies@lcir.co.uk. Download Paper proposal form.

Standard registration fee – 140 GBP
Student registration fee – 120 GBP

Conference venue:
Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HX
Valentines Mansion, Emerson Rd, Ilford, IG1 4XA

(posted 12 November 2018)


The Influence of the Long Eighteenth Century upon Balkan Identities in the Feminine: a panel at the International Congress on the Enlightenment
Edinburg, Scotland, UK, 14-19 July 2019
Deadline for proposals: 13 January 2019

Please send a title and an abstract (maximum 2000 signs with spaces). Contact email address: mmudure@yahoo.com

Chairpersons:

  • Michaela Mudure, Babes-Bolyai University, Romani
  • Ileana Mihăilă, University of Bucharest, Romania

This panel relies on notion of “the long eighteenth century” as defined by the British historian Frank O’Gorman in his seminal essay which analyzes the evolution of historical and political events particularly in British history between 1688-1832. It is known that the expansion of conventional historical periods goes hand in hand with the recourse to strategies that denounce the bias towards national limits. The emphasis on divided cultural systems and cultural Othering is replaced in contemporary research on the eighteenth century and not only with translational approaches. The “translation” of the (luminaries of the) Enlightenment in the Balkans is an extremely rich process that can be inspirational in assigning cultural specificity and more theoretical density to the study of the margins of Europe.

Our panel will emphasise particularly women’s contribution in this area because there is a general deficit of knowledge about women’s lives and their implication in the history of the Balkans. The emphasis on education, the translation of Enlightenment authors, the promotion of the cult of reason as well as of other ideals of the Enlightenment in the Balkan cultures coincide with a very strong tendency towards autonomy and independence in the Balkan political life. The Enlightenment did not constitute only the ideology backing the constitution of the American colonies that became independent during this period, it also inspired the peoples of the Balkans in their fight for independence and consolidation of that independence. The consequence was that the Enghlightenment subsided in the Balkans much longer and in forms different from its traditionally acknowledged Western parameters. The feminists. the women’s activists, and the women writers from the Balkans were inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment which spread beyond the strictures of traditional historical periodization.

(posted 7 December 2018)


MLA International Symposium:  Remembering Voices Lost
Lisbon, Portugal, 23-25 July 2019
Deadline for submissions : September 21, 2018

In the face of resurgent social, political, and religious instability, it seems urgent to recuperate the “lost voices” of humanity: those that have been buried or forgotten and those that have been marginalized or othered on the grounds of their perceived foreignness.

The 2019 Modern Language Association (MLA) International Symposium, taking place in Lisbon, Portugal from 23 to 25 July 2019, calls for paper and session proposals that place humanities at the center of world affairs, bringing lost voices to the forefront as an act of resistance.

The conference will feature the following formats:

  • panel sessions and discussions
  • paper sessions composed of 3–5 individual papers
  • roundtable conversations including 3–6 participants

We invite proposals for any of the above formats. Sessions will be ninety minutes long, including time for discussion. The conference languages will be English, Portuguese, French, and Spanish.

Paper proposals should include the paper title, a brief abstract, and the speaker’s institutional affiliation (if any).

Proposals for panels and roundtables should contain the above items as well as a session chair, abstract, and title.

Please use the MLA International Symposium’s submissions portal to submit your paper, session, or roundtable proposal(s). All submissions must be received by 21 September 2018, and participants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process by 3 December 2018.

Learn more, including how to submit your paper, session, or roundtable proposal, at https://symposium.mla.org/lisbon/remembering-voices-lost/

All submissions MUST be received by 21 September 2018.

email contact of symposium: symposia@mla.org

Upcoming dates

  • Deadline for CFPs on September 21, 2018
  • Registration opens on December 1, 2018
  • Acceptances and rejections sent to proposers on December 3, 2018
  • MLA International Symposium in Lisbon on July 23, 2019

(posted  21 August 2018, updated 4 September)


Understanding (through) Annotations: 15th International Connotations Symposium
Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, Germany, 28 July-1 August 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 31 October 2018

Connotations, A Journal for Critical Debate

Credit: Glen Downey, http://www.comicsineducation.com

Explanatory annotations have always had a somewhat precarious and even paradoxical status: with a few exceptions, they have been considered “below” the concern of the theorist and literary critic, while in some sense they have also been considered “above” the sphere of the textual editor, who has eyed their flights of interpretive fancy with distrust. They have been suspected of manipulating the reader in a clandestine fashion while at the same time they have been regarded as a necessity, for they are an essential means of keeping alive many texts of world literature, from Homer to the Modernists, by making them comprehensible and meaningful to readers.

In the digital age, annotations have overcome some of their traditional limitations and perhaps been subjected to new ones. Their precarious status has assumed a new form, as they are now located somewhere between being an explanatory and tool and just serving as the markup of texts. In the latter role, however, they may become a key device for making large corpora answer questions that go beyond the scope of individual texts. All this makes it even more urgent than ever to link theoretical reflexion on annotations with specific analyses and models of best practice.

The subject of “Understanding (through) Annotations” is well suited to the programme of Connotations, as it combines the detailed study of individual texts written in
English with wider theoretical perspectives. (For previous examples, see http://www.connotations.de/special-issue). In our 2019 symposium, this means considering concepts of understanding literary texts through annotations, and getting a better idea of what is involved in explaining texts locally. In this way, the Connotations Symposium also contributes to current research on explanatory annotation (see http://www.annotation.es.uni-tuebingen.de/)

We invite papers that are concerned with annotations to specific literary texts written in English and address their functions. Papers may also reflect on the speakers’ own annotation projects, analyse existing annotations, offer suggestions as to a more systematic approach to the practise of annotating texts, and/or discuss historical and theoretical dimensions involved, such as the relation of lemma and context, part and whole, the envisaged reader of annotations, etc.

We particularly invite graduate participants to submit a proposal; there will be a prize (travel bursary) awarded to the best essay.

Please send an abstract (300 words max.) to the editors of Connotations by October 31, 2018 (new extended deadline): symposium2019@connotations.de

(posted 13 April 2018, updated 24 September 2018)