Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2019

“A great community”: John Ruskin’s Europe
Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 7-9 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2019
One of the last of John Ruskin’s books, a collection of articles written between 1834 and 1885, is entitled On the Old Road. From Calais, where the Ruskin family disembarked for the first time in 1833, at the start of their first contintental tour, the road leads south across France and Switzerland and into Italy, coming to its end in Venice where, in 1888, Ruskin wrote the last words in his diary. The route is marked by many milestones in the life of Ruskin, in his thinking and in his work, and crosses numerous frontiers – frontiers that are often barely noticed. In traversing this vast continent, Ruskin puts behind him the narrow confines of Victorian Britain; his work shapes one of the most important founding moments in the constitution of a distinctively European culture and spirit.
This theme is a core concern of a series of recent historical and aesthetic studies which recognise the crucial importance of place, of myth, and of image in the construction of a common European fabric (see Carlo Ossola, Europa ritrovata. Geografie e miti del vecchio continente, Milan 2017; published in French as Fables d’identité. Pour retrouver l’Europe, Paris 2018; and L’Europe. Encyclopédie historique edited by Christophe Charle and Daniel Roche, Paris 2018), and of studies such as Salvatore Settis’s, Architettura e democrazia. Paesaggio, città, diritti civili (Turin 2017) which deal with key questions of cultural heritage in an interdisciplinary perspective and are driven by strong civic ethos.
On the occasion of the bicenternary of the birth of John Ruskin we invite scholars from across the disciplines to re-read his works, from the Poetry of Architecture to the Stones of Venice, the Bible of Amiens, the Oxford Lectures, St Mark’s Rest and Fors Clavigera, works which refer repeatedly to the concept of a «a great European community» (A Joy For Ever, 1857). The conference will thus build on and develop a theme to which the conference John Ruskin and 19th Century Cultural Travel held in Venice in 2008 was dedicated. In carrying forward the work begun there, this new occasion will also offer an opportunity to explore more recent readings and critical editions which have thrown light on little known aspects of Ruskin’s work, focussing new attention on mobility, both intellectual and stylistic as well a geographic. It will we believe prove fruitful to take a view from outside the confines of the nation and time into which he was born, and look at his ideas in this broader, more modern context.
This conference thus invites scholars to discover or rediscover a self-consciously European John Ruskin, and explore the multiple facets and levels – geographical, historical, critical, aesthetic, socio-political, and cultural – of an œuvre which both deliberately challenges disciplinary boundaries and breaks through national frontiers.
Topics may include but are not confined to the following:
– Ruskin’s European inheritance
– Ways in which his works contribute to the construction of cultural identities both national (English, French, Italian etc) and European
– Ruskin’s view of the roles of religions and Churches in the construction of cultural identity
– Modes of circulation within Europe as evoked and described in his works
– The idea of Europe as object of nostalgia, as utopia, as long-term project
– Ruskin’s symbolic representations of European disgregation.
– Travel diaries and sketchbooks
– Maps
– Europe in its extra-European relations
– Physical geography: seas, rivers, mountain ranges and valley, forests, palins
– Political geography
– Migrations
– Cultural geography (see Denis Cosgrove’s « John Ruskin’s European Visions », 2010).
– The representation of pan-European movements (i.e. Gothic, Renaissance) and styles (Byzantine, Romanesque, Etruscan)
– Re-reading medieval and renaissance painting
– Ruskin’s reception of European literature, of the Bible, of Greek and Latin classics
– Ruskin and his network of friends and contacts in Europe
– Translation of Ruskin’s works, Ruskin and translation
– The European debate on architectural restoration
– The crafts as a model of economic development
– Teaching as a means of transmitting common values.
Organizers : Emma Sdegno, Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2), Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Abstracts of 300-500 words are to be sent to
They can be submitted either in English, French, German, or Italian
Deadline for submission: 28 February 2019; Acceptance to be notified by 30 April 2019
For any questions, please contact the organizers at:
Scientific Committee
Dinah Birch (University of Liverpool)
Irene Favaretto (Università degli studi di Padova; Scuola Grande di San Rocco)
Sandro G. Franchini (Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti)
Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2)
Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
André Hélard (Classes préparatoires Rennes)
Howard Hull (Brantwood Estate)
Cédric Michon ((Université Rennes 2)
Anna Ottani Cavina (Università di Bologna)
Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Claude Reichler (Université de Lausanne)
Emma Sdegno (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
Salvatore Settis (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Paul Tucker (Università degli studi di Firenze)
Stephen Wildman (Lancaster University)

(posted 7 December 2018)

Illustration and Adaptation
University of Burgundy, France, 10-11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019
International conference organised by TIL and ILLUSTR4TIO
Keynote speakers: Kamilla Elliott (Lancaster University, UK) and Dave McKean (artist, UK)
Illustr4tio’s forthcoming bilingual international conference will deal with the relationship between illustration andadaptation. It aims to allow specialists from different disciplines to compare and exchange on practice, methodology, and theoretical frameworks. Indeed, several fields co exist without necessarily acknowledging advances in their respective domains. If illustration is a legitimate object of study within intermedial studies (Gabriele Rippl, ed., A Handbook of Intermediality, De Gruyter Mouton, 2015), there are few works that investigate the status of illustration as adaptation, with the exception of works like Kamilla Elliot’s Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Kate Newell’s Expanding Adaptation: From Illustration to Novelization (Palgrave, 2017). More generally, the conceptualisation of illustration introduces questions about the relationship between adaptation and intermediality. It can serve as a starting point for the intersection of the two domains, something Lars Elleström calls for in his essay “Adaptation and Intermediality” (Thomas Leitch, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies , Oxford UP, 2017).
We invite specialists and practitioners of illustration, adaptation and intermediality to address the theoretical and epistemological links between their respective objects of study. Papers can make use of recent work on these domains and can deal with the English-speaking world, from the Modern to the Contemporary period, as well as other cultures. We encourage participants to reflect on the following themes and questions in this non-exhaustive
  • Illustration as a form of adaptation: can the example of illustration as an intermedial practice participate in redefining what we mean by adaptation? Conversely, can adaptation theory help reappraise illustration as a subject matter and a field of research?
  • Intersections between the realms of illustration and adaptation: what are the boundaries of the field of illustration? In the wake of Henry Jenkins’s works, how can one theorize the convergence between illustration and adaptation?
  • Transmediation between illustration and other media (texts, painting, graphic novels, comics, video games, theatre, film, television series, documentaries, advertising, etc.): theoretical approaches and artistic practices.
  • Professionalisation of illustrators: what approach to adaptation do illustrators have? How to their briefs or commissions impact the perception of illustration / adaptation? What is the role of art school curriculae in this phenomenon?
Proposals of 500-word total (in French or in English) accompanied by a brief biography (100-
150 words) should  be sent by March 1, 2019 to Sophie Aymes and Shannon Wells-Lassagne
Notification: early April 2019
The program will be finalised by May 2019.
A volume of selected papers will be published.
Scientific committee: Sophie Aymes (Université de Bourgogne, France), Nathalie Collé (Université de Lorraine, France), Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, France), Xavier Giudicelli (Université de Reims,France), Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University, Canada), Maxime Leroy (Université de Haute Alsace, France), Ann Lewis (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), Gabriele Rippl (University of Bern, Switzerland),Shannon Wells-Lassagne (Université de Bourgogne, France).
Organising committee:
– EA 4182 TIL, Texte Image Langage,Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté
– EA 4343 CALHISTE , Cultures, Arts, Littératures, Histoire, Imaginaires, Sociétés, Territoires, Environnement, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis
– EA 2338 IDEA, Interdisciplinarité Dans les Études Anglophones,Université de Lorraine
– EA 4363 ILLE, Institut de recherche en Langues et Littératures Européennes, Université de Haute Alsace

(posted 11 April 2018)

Writers in Neo-Victorian fiction
Université de Caen Normandie, France, 11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

Maison de la recherche en Sciences Humaines

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Patricia Duncker

Reflecting on the art of writing neo-Victorian fiction, Patricia Duncker draws a whole list of “authors ripe for imitation, adaptation, or reinvention, […] [such as] Wilkie Collins, all the Brontës, the 1860s fashion for sensation fiction, Henry James and the Victorian ghostly writers, especially M.R. James, the ubiquitous Oscar Wilde, and more dangerously, Charles Dickens.” (Duncker 257). Not only does Duncker specifically stress the art of adaptation, pastiche and/or parody that, in part, is at the bottom of the neo-Victorian project, but her enumeration also significantly alludes to the presence of Victorian writers within neo-Victorian fiction, as is to the case, literally, in her recent novel, Sophie and The Sybil (2015) that features George Eliot amongst its main characters.

Considering, with Kate Mitchell that, “[n]eo-Victorian fiction prompts authors, readers and critics to confront the problem of historical recollection […] what is involved in this re-creation of history, what it means to fashion the past for the contemplation of the present” (3), the present conference seeks to engage with the recollection and re-presentation of writers in neo-Victorian fiction.

Which writers are remembered or not? Who is remembered and what is remembered, obliterated or mis-remembered about them? Is the focus on their activity as writer or/an on their private lives? How are these writers turned into characters? Such are some of the questions this conference will address in relation with the politics and revisionary aims of the neo-Victorian project.

The neo-Victorian genre, especially its biofictional branch, seems to have benefited from and followed the booming demand for historical narratives (especially biographies) in the 1990s (Steveker 68). In the case of “celebrity biofictions” which often revolve around “revelations of the salacious and traumatic aspects of the lives of participants in the long nineteenth century” (Kohlke 4), the notion of canonicity seems to be questioned. Famous Victorian writers like Charles Dickens and Lord Tennyson have indeed been the object of mocking depreciating neo-Victorian representations (Gutleben). On the other hand, recent Neo-Victorian representation of writers might be understood as the early twenty-first-century’s “fresh commitment to what we might call the reality of history” (Boxall 41).

Taking up the figure of a writer in fiction is an act of appropriation but also of denial. As Georges Letissier puts it about transfictional characters: “the neo-Victorian character denies the death verdict of the closed book, or any compulsory order of textual residence, through a process of migration that is an extension of fictitious life.” (Letissier n.p.). In the course of migration and expansion, the return of dead authors in neo-Victorian fiction may range from a sort of collapse between the author figure and his/her work (e.g. Tobias Oates in Jack Maggs (1997)) in contradiction with Barthes’s “Death of the author”, a thin boundary between biography and fiction (e.g. Peter Ackroyd’s The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983)) to the staging of the encounter with a writer from the past (e.g. Kathleen A. Flynn’s The Jane Austen Project (2017)).

Considering the self-consciousness and meta-reflexivity which define neo-Victorian fiction (Heilman and Llewelyn 4), the representation of the act of writing is of particular interest, be it in the representation of Victorian writers as well as the self-staging of neo-Victorian writers themselves – one may think of Fowles in The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969). Our concern with the representation of the writer includes fictional figures of such as Lamotte and Ash in Possession, or Sugar in The Crimson Petal and the White.

Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • Retrieving/staging/plotting authorial figures of the past
  • Literary tradition: staging the relation with the predecessor<
  • the representation of fictional writers
  • Reception/transmission/construction of the authorial figure – canonicity/oblivion
  • Cultural afterlife of writers
  • Nomenclature (biofiction/fictional biography etc.)

The organisers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers about the representation of writers in neo-Victorian fiction. Please send 250-word abstracts, with a 50-word biography to Armelle Parey ( and Charlotte Wadoux (charlotte by April 30th, 2019. Notification will be sent in the following month.

List of works cited:
BOXALL, Peter. Twenty-first-Century Fiction, a Critical Introduction. Cambridge UP, 2013.
DUNCKER, Patricia. “On Writing Neo-Victorian Fiction”. English: Journal of the English Association, Volume 63, Issue 243, 1 December 2014, Pages 253-274.
GUTLEBEN, Christian. Nostalgic Postmodernism, the Victorian tradition and the contemporary British novel. Amsterdam : Rodopi, 2001.
HEILMANN, Ann and Mark Llewellyn. Neo-Victorianism.
The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999-2009, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
KOHLKE, Marie-Luise.
Neo-Victorian Biofiction and the Special/Spectral Case of Barbara Chase-Riboud’s Hottentot Venus” Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies Vol 18, No 3 (2013)
LETISSIER, Georges. « Neo-Characterization in the Neo-Victorian Novel », E-rea [En ligne], 13.1 | 2015, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2015. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/erea.4834
MITCHELL, Kate. History and Cultural Memory in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Victorian Afterimages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
STEVEKER, Lena. “‘Eminent Victorian’ and Neo-Victorian Fictional Biography” Nadine Boehm-Schnitker and Susanne Gruss (eds.), Neo-Victorian Literature and Culture: Immersions and Revisitations. New York; London: Routledge, 2014.

(posted 17 December 2018)

MCWE 2019: The 1st International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience
New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-12 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

New Bulgarian University and Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I” are pleased to announce the 1st International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience, which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on 11-12 October 2019.

This conference had originally been planned to take place on 1-2 November 2019 but had to be rescheduled.

War involves a cumulation of traumatic multilevel experiences with strong individual and collective implications that pass from one generation to another, being impossible to forget but also mandatory to be remembered in order not to be repeated. While the whole world is affected by it, the “soldier  above all others prays – as Gen. Douglas MacArthur says – for peace, for it is [he] who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war” (qtd in Donnithorne, 2009: 173). A military career is more than just a job. Prepared to face the danger, the men and women who serve in the armed forces of a country are constantly exposed to a unique set of pressures that derive from the responsibilities they assume, but also to a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours and artefacts meant to help them and their families cope with the world they live in. Like any other social group, the military have a culture of their own, with deep roots and ramifications – one that may be difficult to understand by ordinary civilians; one that may raise admiration or hatred; one that cannot be ignored.

Topics and Scope
We suggest the following topics; however, papers on other aspects of the conference theme are also welcomed:

  • War in literature, biographies and visual arts
  • Important military leaders and events
  • Types of warfare, military tactics and strategies
  • Multinational coalition operations
  • Challenges of military engineering
  • Military technical vocabulary
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Migration and globalization
  • Media coverage of war and terrorism
  • Psychological effects of war
  • Education and adjustment to military / civilian life
  • Implications of military culture and stereotypes
  • Military career field management
  • Veterans and their problems
  • Impact of deployment on military families
  • Gender, age, disability, etc in the military.

This conference aims to create a multinational and multidisciplinary forum for discussions on changes in the perception of military culture and war experience. We invite scholars as well as practitioners from different fields including military science, literature, visual arts, history, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, management, science and technology and all those interested in exchanging theoretical and practical approaches to these phenomena and processes.

The official language of the conference is English, though presentations may also be delivered in any other language provided they are accompanied by a PowerPoint in English.

We welcome proposals for individual 20-minute paperspanel sessions where 3 or 4 speakers address a shared topic, and workshops where contributors address questions of practical activism. Please, send your proposal no later than 30 April 2019, by registering on

Publishing Opportunities
The accepted paper abstracts will be published in the Book of Abstracts, available to all participants. An e-Book of Proceedings will be posted to the Conference webpage. Abstract proposals should be sent no later than 30 April 2019.

Full papers are expected by 1 October 2019 and authors are advised to use the following submission guidelines:

  • Language: English.
  • The page-limit for articles: no more than 12 pages, works cited included.
  • The margins:left – 25 mm, right – 25 mm, top – 25 mm, bottom – 25 mm, header and footer –15 mm.
  • Paper setup: A4, 1,15 space between lines, 20 mm margins, justified;
  • Title of the article: Caps, Times New Roman 14 Bold, Centred, at 50 mm above the text;
  • Author’s name, scientific title and academic affiliation: Times New Roman 12 Bold, under the title, at 2 lines distance;
  • Abstract: Approximately 250 words in English, Times New Roman 11, italics, at two lines distance under the author’s name, in English;
  • Five Keywordsunder the abstract, in English (TNR 11);
  • Text of the article:at one line bellow the abstract, in English, Times New Roman, 12, justified;
  • No endnotes(footnotes only): font size 10, numbering: continuous; No Page Breaks in the document; All graphic elements set in line with the text.
  • Bibliography /Works Cited: 2 lines distance from the end of the paper; single column format, Times New Roman 12, italics, under the bibliography, at 2 lines distance. Sources must be quoted according to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers;
  • Biodata: 2 lines distance from the end of the Bibliography;Times New Roman 12; justified.
  • Submission link:

Every submitted paper must represent original and unpublished work: it must not be under review or accepted elsewhere and there must be a significantly clear element of novelty distinguishing a submitted paper from any other prior publication or current submission. Full papers are subject to PEER REVIEW and will be evaluated according to their significance, originality, technical content, style, clarity, and relevance to the conference theme.

Accepted papers will be published in Journals with ISSN such as: Journal of Military Technology and Journal of Philology and Intercultural Communication, or in a prestigious collective volume. More information will be available as soon as possible.

The conference will be held at New Bulgarian University. Address: ul. “Montevideo” 21, 1618 g.k. Ovchakupel 2, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Registration Fee
Further information will be made available as soon as possible.

Important Dates
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019.
Abstract acceptance notification: 31 May 2019.
Conference fee: 30 June 2019.
Submission deadline for full papers: 1 October 2019.
Conference dinner: 11 October 2019.

For more details on submissions or conference organization, please check our website: or contact us:

(posted 28 December 2018, updated 8 January 2019)

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-3, France, 17-19 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2019

A conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research),

Keynote speakers

  • Elke D’hoker, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
  • Ann-Marie Einhaus, Northumbria University, UK

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction

The title of this conference may sound like a provocative statement. It may suggest a definition of the genre as a minor one, as has too often been the case in the history of the short story. Yet the conference has another purpose altogether. We would like to shift the perspective and claim short fiction not exactly as a minor genre, but as a humble one. As such, what can short fiction do that the novel cannot? What can it better convey?

We suggest to use the concept of the ‘humble’ as a critical tool that may help reframe and redefine short fiction, a notoriously elusive genre. How do short story writers deal with humble subjects – humble beings (the poor, the marginal, the outcasts, the disabled, etc.) and the non- human (animals, plants, objects), the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the mundane, the prosaic? How do they draw attention to what tends to be disregarded, neglected or socially invisible (Le Blanc) and how do they play with attention and inattention (Gardiner)? How do they contribute to an ethics and a politics of consideration (Pelluchon)? What rhetorical and stylistic devices do they use? What happens when they broach humble topics with humble tools, a bare, minimal style, for instance? How does the humble form of the short story – its brevity – fit humble topics? Does it paradoxically enhance them? Does the conjunction of the two give the short story a minor status or can it be empowering? In other words, should the humble be regarded as a synonym of ‘minor’ or as a quality and a capability (Nussbaum)?

Asking such questions will open a rich debate. How does the humble nature of short fiction connect with the epiphany, the moment of being, the event? If along with Camille Dumoulié we consider that the ethical dimension of short fiction stems from its being ‘a genre of the event’, could a humble genre also be considered an ethical genre? If there is an ethics of short fiction as a humble genre, where can it be located? Since the term ‘humble’, from the Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly,’ itself from humus ‘ground’’ – is often used as a euphemism for ‘the poor’, we can consider its representation of humble characters (as in Joyce’s Dubliners or Eudora Welty’s short stories) as well as the way this genre handles the theme of poverty, of extreme hardship and constructed deprivation (as in Dalit short fiction) or its representations of and reflections on the earth and all that relates to the environment. The theme of the humble is also manifest in its very inclusiveness and openness to the reader, or in the very precarious nature of the genre, in its openness to other genres. Dealing with short fiction as a humble genre will thus lead contributors to take into account its interactions with humble arts and media: the art of engraving, sketching or photography used in the illustrations of the volumes or magazines in which many modernist short stories were initially published; the radio that broadcast so many short stories, sometimes read by the short story writers themselves, as occurred on BBC4 with, for instance, Frank O’Connor; the web today, with flash fiction online, micro fiction or video performances of short fiction. How do these various art forms and media shape each other and how do these interactions construct short fiction as a humble genre? In other words, how does the motif of the humble morph into an ‘experiential category’ (Locatelli) or a poetics of the humble?

Reframing the humble as an aesthetic category will help reread short fiction and better capture its elusive contours, focusing either on well-known short fiction by famous writers that will be approached from a different angle or retrieving some unfairly neglected texts from oblivion, as, for example, Ann-Marie Einhaus, has started doing in her work on The Short Story and the First World War. Or again, Elke D’hoker’s current work on short fiction and popular magazines.

This conference means to cross national borders and disciplinary boundaries, especially those separating literature and the visual arts or literature and philosophy. The questions asked can be broached through short fiction in English by writers of various nationalities over the 19th and 20th centuries until nowadays. The suggested acceptations of the term ‘humble’ are not limitative but indicative.

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Christine Reynier ( and Jean-Michel Ganteau (jean- by January 15th, 2019.

A selection of peer-reviewed articles will be published in The Journal of the Short Story in English and Short Fiction in Theory & Practice.

Organising committee:

Lynn Blin, Isabelle Brasme, Jean-Michel Ganteau, Laura Lainvae, Xavier Le Brun, Maroua Mannai, Judith Misrahi-Barak, Christine Reyn

Works cited:

  • E. Bowen, Collected Impressions, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1950, 38.
  • D’Hoker, Elke, and Stephanie Eggermont, ‘Fin-de-Siècle Women Writers and the Modern Short Story’, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 58/3 (2015): 291-312.
  • Dumoulié, Camille, Littérature et philosophie : Le gai savoir de la littérature, Paris: Armand Colin, 2002, 55.
  • Einhaus, Ann-Marie, The Short Story and the First World War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Gardiner, Michael, ‘Everyday Utopianism: Lefebvre and his Critics’, Cultural Studies 18.2/3 (March/May 2004): 228-54.
  • Le Blanc, Guillaume. L’invisibilité sociale. Paris: PUF, 2009.
  • Locatelli, Angela, ‘”The Humble/d” in Literature and Philosophy: Precariousness, Vulnerability and the Pragmatics of Social Visibility’, in The Humble in 19th, 20th and 21st-Century British Literature and Arts, I. Brasme, J-M Ganteau and C. Reynier eds., Montpellier: PULM, 2017, 147-64.
  • Nussbaum, Martha, Creating Capabilities. The Human Development Approach, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
  • Pelluchon, Corine. Ethique de la considération. Paris: Seuil, 2018.

(posted 7 June 2018)

Possibility and Necessity: Concepts and Expressions of modality. A Conference in Honour of Paul Larreya
Université de Pau & des Pays de l’Adour, France, 17-19 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 March 2019

Research Centres ALTER, UPPA (EA 7504) et CLIMAS, UBM (EA 4196)

Discourse may be conceived as a space where subjects act and interact. We propose the study of this interaction between subjects from the perspective of modality, a notion which, in one of its most frequent definitions, corresponds to the fields of possibility and necessity. Linked with the work of the research group “Subjects, representations and societies” affiliated to the ALTER research laboratory (Art/Languages: Transitions and relationships), questions will be addressed concerning the sharing, structuring, conception and representation of this space through the expression of modality, which covers various notions such as possibility, impossibility, necessity, contingency, certainty, probability and plausibility.

Looking in detail at the concepts of possibility and necessity will enable the study of diverse types of modality including the traditional distinction made between root modality and epistemic modality. Larreya has proposed to divide epistemic modality, sometimes known as “the modality of knowledge”, into two sub-categories: inferential modality (epistemic modality per se) and implicative modality, which may be considered as “a sort of semantic link between epistemic modality and deontic modality” (Larreya 1984: 173). This raises the questions, amongst others, of the division of the semantic domain of modality, of the relations between evaluative modality, on the one hand, and possibility and necessity, on the other hand, and of the links between epistemic modality, evidentiality and mirativity.

Modality may also be defined as a category that comments on the « reality of the process », a reality that is first and foremost an idea. Modality enables us to question what is true and what is false, the convergence with or divergence from reality, the good and the bad, the notions of evaluation and judgement etc. In other words, modality is sometimes equated with the expression of the speaker’s attitude towards the propositional content, even if it cannot be reduced to just that.

Studies could describe the specific use of (different types) of markers in expressions of possibility and necessity, as well as the diversity of these markers. One may consider, in particular, modal auxiliaries, modal expressions and idioms, lexical modals, but also other parts of speech and constructions that contribute to the expression of a modal stance.

Several approaches may be considered, although the list is not exhaustive:

  • epistemological approach: definition of the concepts of possibility and necessity in linguistics, which may be linked with fields from other disciplines;
  • historical dimension: the emergence of modal markers, the loss of certain forms of modalization (subjunctive);
  • similarities and differences between various types of markers used for the expression of possibility and necessity;
  • specialized or non-specialized forms and constructions used in the expression of one of the two fields;
  • prosodic approach to modality: interaction between markers of modality and prosodic markers;
  • structuring the area of modality: on one side, the relationships between epistemic, root, inferential and implicational modalities and on the other, the link between these modalities and other concepts (evidentiality, mirativity, etc.); impervious or porous borders between the different fields;
  • distinction or linking between different language attitudes that cover the notions of possibility and necessity (e.g. judgement, assessment, engagement, etc.);
  • utterer attitude/stance and the pragmatic dimension;
  • distinction between modality and modalization;
  • modality and reported speech;
  • dialectal approach: modality and grammaticalization in creole languages;
  • types of markers and textual genres : the expression of modality in different genres – specialized discourse (judicial, medical, commerce and trade, etc.), autobiography, political discourse, discussions on forums and blogs, etc.;
  • modality and teaching: expression of possibility and necessity in learning situations and second language acquisition;
  • multimodal analysis and the expression of possibility and necessity by non-verbal means.

The aim of this conference is to enable interaction between specialists from different branches of linguistics – English, Spanish and French especially (psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, morpho-syntax, phonology, etc.). Contributions from specialists in other fields (psychology and philosophy in particular) would/will also be welcome. (Reference: Larreya, Paul (1984). Le possible et le nécessaire. Modalités et auxiliaires modaux en anglais britannique. Paris: Nathan Recherche)

Guest speakers

  • Pierre Cotte, Sorbonne Université
  • Patrick Dendale, University of Antwerp

Scientific committee: Jean Albrespit, Université Bordeaux Montaigne; Viviane Arigne, Université Paris 13; Johan van der Auwera, University of Antwerp; Kasper Boye, University of Copenhagen; Agnès Celle, Université Paris Diderot; Bert Cornillie, University of Leuven; Pierre Cotte, Sorbonne Université; Monique De Mattia-Viviès, Aix-Marseille Université; Patrick Dendale, University of Antwerp; Ilse Depraetere, Université de Lille; Lionel Dufaye, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée; Roberta Facchinetti, University of Verona; Grégory Furmaniak, Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle; Christelle Lacassain-Lagoin, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour; Laure Lansari, Université Paris Diderot; Jean-Marie Merle, Université Nice Sofia-Antipolis; Juana Marín-Arrese, Complutense Madrid University; Fabrice Marsac, University of Opole; Johanna Miecznikowski, University of Lugano; Élise Mignot, Sorbonne Université; Bérengère Moricheau-Airaud, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour; Claude Rivière, Université Paris Diderot; Laurent Rouveyrol, Université Nice Sofia-Antipolis; Raphael Salkie, University of Brighton; Tracey Simpson, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour

Organizing committee


  • Due date for submissions : 30 March 2019
  • Replies from scientific committee : 15 May 2019

Talks may be given in English or French
Publication project: written contributions chosen by the scientific committee will be included in a publication
Please send your submissions (500 words), with a short bio-bibliography, to the three members of the organizing committee for 30 March 2019. Please indicate the title and the name(s) of the author(s) in your email and attach the abstract in text or .pdf formats giving the title only, and not the name(s) of the author(s).

(posted 16 January 2019, updated 21 January 2019)

Constructions of Identity 10. Anniversary Edition: History, Memory and Accomplishment
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 24-26 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2019

Conference website:
Conference email:
Conference venue: Facultatea de Litere, str. Horea nr. 31, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

In 2019 the Faculty of Letters in Cluj and the Department of English proudly celebrate 100 years since professor Petre Grimm took on the position of lecturer of English, marking the beginning of what was to become the Department of English Language and Literature. In the context of a century of English studies in Cluj, under the overarching theme of “History, memory and accomplishment”, papers are invited in the area of English literary and cultural studies, literary theory, linguistics, on the following, but not only, topics:

  • literature and history, a complicated contemporary relationship;
  • histories and anniversaries: morphologies of accomplishment;
  • narratives and archive: memorial modalities;
  • forgotten histories;
  • (cultural) memory, amnesia, and the ethics of remembering and commemoration;
  • historical memory and life-writing;
  • writing (in) the gaps: history, trauma, and the ethics of memory;
  • the translating eye: travel writing and historical memori(es);
  • cultural memory and recovering silenced histories;
  • cultural memory and the ethics of translation;
  • celebrating the past: public sites of memory;
  • new memorial technologies;
  • prospective memory and “archaeologies of the future”;
  • studies of English literature in non-English speaking countries;
  • the study of English, translation, and national literatures;
  • cross-linguistic perspectives on syntactic and semantic issues;
  • challenging syntactic and semantic models;
  • theoretical, general or comparative approaches to interface phenomena;
  • the diachrony of English and other languages;
  • understanding language acquisition;
  • contributions to linguistic typology;
  • pragmatics and oral discourse;
  • monolingual and bilingual speech.

Proposals of 20-minute papers should be submitted to by June 1st, 2019, in the form of an abstract not exceeding 200 words. If you wish to submit a paper for one of the panels below, please state so clearly or send it directly to (one of) the convenor(s). A selection of papers will be published.

Conference fee
100 euro;
50 euro for young researchers (under 26), PhD students.
There will be an additional optional fee of 20 euro for a final dinner.

The participants will be notified of their proposal’s acceptance / rejection. Registration procedure to be added soon.

Keynote speakers
Professor Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck, University of London) – confirmed
Professor Susan Irvine (University College London) – confirmed
Professor Patrick McGuinness (University of Oxford) – confirmed
Professor Virgil Stanciu (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca) – confirmed

Panels already proposed (more will be added following submissions)

P1. Medieval and Manuscript Studies
The panel invites papers on all aspects of medieval English and manuscript studies. Papers focusing on the Alfredian translations into Old English are particularly welcome.
Dr. Adrian Papahagi, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P2. Shakespeare and History
The panel invites papers on Shakespeare’s use of history, from the Roman plays to his English kings.
Dr. Adrian Papahagi, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P3. The Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction of Femininities and Masculinities
The aim of this panel is to explore the Victorian and Neo-Victorian novel from the perspective of gender, gender roles and representation and to provide a framework to discuss the literary output of the Victorian and contemporary periods with their gender specificities and the way individual characters and typologies are constructed – as conventional or non-conventional representations of men and women, in real or imaginary contexts.
Dr. Adrian Radu, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Octavian More, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P4. Objects of memory, the memory of objects
Objects as repositories of memory both constitute and transcend the capacity of the human to capture the past, crystallize the present or project a future. Acting simultaneously as “lieux de mémoire” and anticipations of what is to come, things cease being merely mnemonic prostheses and reveal themselves as causes, firmly locating the “human” within the materiality of the world. The panel invites papers considering the role of objects as agents of memory and their functions as nodes at the multiple intersection between the human and the nonhuman.
Dr. Petronia Popa-Petrar, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Carmen Borbely, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P5. Cross-linguistic Challenges in Theoretical Linguistics
Theoretical models are abstract representations of discernible patterns in selected data and subject to constant revision/ improvement upon expanding the data domain. Linguistic models are no exception: upon their emergence, no conceptual model is expected to incorporate the vast linguistic diversity of natural languages.  We invite participants to contribute with data across languages, dialects or historical stages that support, enrich or challenge existing models in semantics, syntax or pragmatics.
Dr. Adriana Todea, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Imola Farkas, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

(posted 4 February 2019)

Politically incorrect: does the world belong to polyglots?: 3rd International Conference of Foreign Languages (III CILE)
School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal,  30-31 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 8 March 2019

Convener: Foreign Language Department, ESE-IPB

Throughout history several languages have become lingua franca as a result of conquests, commerce or religious conversion (cf. Ostler, 2011), thus being inevitably associated with the building of empires. This happened with Greek, Latin, Portuguese, German, French and English, which has originated a linguistic, cultural and political uniformity, although other vernacular languages coexisted.
The value of national cultures, following Herder’s ideas on cultural diversity, has gained momentum through the restoration of traditions and customs, traditional literature (cf. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Almeida Garrett’s Romanceiro, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s Rimas y Leyendas or Fernán Caballero’s Cuentos de Encantamiento) and language varieties which have been considered exotic. Conversely, the notion of standard or prestige becomes part of the discourse of several nations claiming sovereignty. This means that, on the one hand, linguistic peculiarities are defended, while, on the other, there is an attempt to silence them, in order to replace them for the emergent national languages. Through the development of the comparative method and the discovery of the language families (based on their relatedness), a process of linguistic prescriptivism is imposed, which will only be deconstructed throughout the 20th century.
Based on these new principles, there are mentions of social and cultural prestige languages and minority languages creating linguistic stigmas which do not favour the transcultural and translinguistic correlation.
The prestige inherent to certain varieties is not related to any moral or ethnic categories, but to the ideology they reflect. Presently, English, as one of the latest lingua franca, has imposed itself in international and multinational organisations as a preferential linguistic bridge, if not the only one. This sole use of a language leads
us to question whether this is a politically incorrect attitude, too downgrading of a reality which is, by nature, multilinguistic. Bearing this idea in mind, we would like to challenge this monolinguistic and uniform trend, as well as to value all languages and cultures with no prejudice.
This will be the main assumption for the III CILE debate, since we believe that learning a set of foreign languages will open doors, overcome borders and enrich cultures. In today’s world, which asserts borders and reasserts identities to overcome both disconnection and incommunicability, we acknowledge the natural poliglotism of border regions, the century old cultural cosmopolitanism and their porosity.
Nowadays, it is not enough to master one foreign language. Globalization, deterritorialisation, the dislocation of migrations, from diaspora and exile, demand that we become poliglots able to express ourselves in order to establish intercultural relations. As Edward Said (2007) argues, it is fundamental to cultivate the perception of many worlds and their complex traditions. Benefits of multilingualism are paramount to enable us overcome the linguistic gap among cultures. The language is no longer the homeland because any homeland is only temporary (Said, 2003). Crossing borders breaks thought and experience barriers, leading us towards an awakening of plural language learning, thus the reconquest of the tower of Babel.

As such, topics and themes of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:
● Foreign languages as an exclusion vs inclusion factor in migrations
● Polyglot writers
● Minority languages vs prestige languages
● The strength of dead languages
● Lingua Franca throughout history
● Monolingualism vs. Plurilingualism
● FL/culture, memory and identity
● Translation and FL teaching

Deadlines and other information:
• 8th March: final deadline for 1st submission
• 9th March: 2nd call
• 29th March: deadline for 2nd call
• 30th April: authors’ notification, including those who do not wish to publish their paper
• 15th June: submission of full articles for the double-blind peer review process
• 31st July: authors’ submission after the review process
• 15th September: final version paper submission
• The publication of the selected papers will be done in the form of online Proceedings with ISBN.
• A maximum of 2 papers per author will be accepted, either individually or in group
• Information through the e-mail:
• Webpage of the event:
• Platform for the submission of abstracts:

Registration (including coffee breaks, previous proceedings and the publication in the proceedings for III CILE):
• Early bird registration APEF and members: 60€
• Registration for APEF and members after 2nd September or at the conference: 80€
• Early bird registration until 20th September: 80€
• Registration after 20th September or at the Conference: 100€
• Registration for IPB students: 20€
Organising Committee ESE-IPB:
• Alexia Dotras Bravo
• Ana Maria Alves
• Cláudia Martins
• Dominique Guillemin
• Elisabete Mendes Silva
• Isabel Chumbo

Scientific Committee: (under construction)
Supporting institutions: APEF (Portuguese Association of French Studies) and (Network of Higher Education Language Centers in Portugal)

(posted 15 February 2019)