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)

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)