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Conference Report: Education and Cultural Heritage

“Education and Cultural Heritage” Conference

Brussels (Belgium), June 10, 2017

Marisa Kerbizi, “Alexander Moisiu” University of Durrës (Albania) and CEO of “Association of Heritage and Education”

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“Education and Cultural Heritage” Conference was organized by Association of Heritage and Education in cooperation with Cultural Association Konitza, on June 10, 2017. The conference was hosted by Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce, Brussels, Belgium. Scholars from well known academic institutions and universities in the region took part in this conference; worthy to mention a few, La Sapienza University of Rome, Tirana University, “Alexander Moisiu” University, Ministry of Research Technology and Higher Education of Indonesia, Volgograd University, Danubius University of Galati, South-East European University, “Ismail Qemali” University, European University of Tirana,“Fan Noli” University but also Institute of National Economy Bucharest, FEDRA, Young Ambassadors Program Initiative, Centre for the Modern History Documentation of Volgograd Region, etc.

The conference featured a welcoming note by Counselor for Education, Associate Professor Pranvera Kamani, representative of Mission of Albania in EU. A very interesting speech was held by Ms.Amet Gjanaj, Deputy in Belgium Parliament. A Special Guest in ICECH Conference was Ms.Haxhi Bajraktari, Minister-Counselor in Embassy of Kosovo Republic in Brussels. Conference keynote speakers were Prof. Dr. Dhimitër Doka, Tirana University and Associate Professor PhD Gabriela Marchis, Danubius University of Galati, Romania.

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Book Announcement: War Memories – Commemoration, Recollections, and Writings on War

Stéphanie A.H. Bélanger and Renée Dickason (eds.), War Memories: Commemoration, Recollections, and Writings on War

McGill- Queen’s University Press 2017.

4489 pages
ISBN-10: 0773547932
ISBN-13: 978-0773547933

Shaping individual and collective war memories through the art of commemoration.

War Memories explores the patchwork formed by collective memory, public remembrance, private recollection, and the ways in which they form a complex composition of observations, initiatives, and experiences.

Offering an international perspective on war commemoration, contributors consider the process of assembling historical facts and subjective experiences to show how these points of view diverge according to various social, cultural, political, and historical perspectives. Encompassing the representations of wars in the English-speaking world over the last hundred years, this collection presents an extensive, yet integrated, reflection on various types of commemoration and interpretations of events. Essays respond to common questions regarding war memory: how and why do we remember war? What does commemoration tell us about the actors in wars? How does commemoration reflect contemporary society’s culture of war?

War Memories disseminates current knowledge on the performance, interpretation, and rewriting of facts and events during and after wars, while focusing on how patriotic fervour, resistance, conscientious objection, injury, trauma, and propaganda contribute to the shaping of individual and collective memory.

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Book Announcement: Elizabeth I’s Italian Letters

Carlo M. Bajetta (ed.), Elizabeth I’s Italian Letters

New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017

Hardcover and e-book: lxxvii + 285 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan; 1st ed. 2017
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1137442328
ISBN-13: 978-1137442321
Series: “Queenship and Power”


Introduction (pp. xxi- lxxvii)
Letters 1-29 (pp. 1-250)
Appendix 1 [letter 30] (pp. 251-259)
Bibliography (pp. 261-275)
Index of names (pp. 277- 285)

With 9 illustrations from the original manuscripts

About the volume

This is the first edition ever of the Queen’s correspondence in Italian. These letters cast a new light on her talents as a linguist and provide interesting details as to her political agenda, and on the cultural milieu of her court. This book provides a fresh analysis of the surviving evidence concerning Elizabeth’s learning and use of Italian, and of the activity of the members of her ‘Foreign Office.’ All of the documents transcribed here are accompanied by a short introduction focusing on their content and context, a brief description of their transmission history, and an English translation.

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Book Announcement: Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage

Michael Dobson and Estelle Rivier-Arnaud (eds.), Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage

Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 1 June 2017. 195 pages

ISBN-10: 1443882801
ISBN-13: 978-1443882804

Why have contemporary playwrights been obsessed by Shakespeare’s plays to such an extent that most of the canon has been rewritten by one rising dramatist or another over the last half century? Among other key figures, Edward Bond, Heiner Müller, Carmelo Bene, Arnold Wesker, Tom Stoppard, Howard Barker, Botho Strauss, Tim Crouch, Bernard Marie Koltès, and Normand Chaurette have all put their radical originality into the service of adapting four-century-old classics. The resulting works provide food for thought on issues such as Shakespearean role-playing, narrative and structural re-shuffling. Across the world, new writers have questioned the political implications and cultural stakes of repeating Shakespeare with and without a difference, finding inspiration in their own national experiences and in the different ordeals they have undergone. How have our contemporaries carried out their rewritings, and with what aims? Can we still play Hamlet, for instance, as Dieter Lesage asks in his book bearing this title, or do we have to kill Shakespeare as Normand Chaurette implies in a work where his own creative process is detailed? What do these rewritings really share with their sources? Are they meaningful only because of Shakespeares shadow haunting them? Where do we draw the lines between interpretation, adaptation and rewriting? The contributors to this collection of essays examine modern rewritings of Shakespeare from both theoretical and pragmatic standpoints. Key questions include: can a rewriting be meaningful without the readers or spectators already knowing Shakespeare? Do modern rewritings supplant Shakespeares texts or curate them? Does the survival of Shakespeare in the theatrical repertory actually depend on the continued dramatization of our difficult encounters with these potentially obsolete scripts represented by rewriting? Continue reading “Book Announcement: Rewriting Shakespeare’s Plays For and By the Contemporary Stage”

Book Announcement: Shakespeare on Screen: The Tempest and Late Romances

Sarah Hatchuel and Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin (eds.), Shakespeare on Screen: The Tempest and Late Romances

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

The series

The second volume in the re-launched series Shakespeare on Screen is devoted to The Tempest and Shakespeare’s late romances, offering up-to-date coverage of recent screen versions as well as new critical reviews of older, canonical films. An international cast of authors explores not only productions from the USA and the UK, but also translations, adaptations and appropriations from Poland, Italy and France. Spanning a wide chronological range, from the first cinematic interpretation of Cymbeline in 1913 to The Royal Ballet’s live broadcast of The Winter’s Tale in 2014, the volume provides an extensive treatment of the plays’ resonance for contemporary audiences. Supported by a film-bibliography, numerous illustrations and free online resources, the book will be an invaluable resource for students, scholars and teachers of film studies and Shakespeare studies.

The authors

Sarah Hatchuel is Professor of English Literature and Film and Head of the Groupe de Recherche Identités et Cultures (GRIC) at the University of Le Havre, as well as President of the Société Française Shakespeare. She has written extensively on adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays, including Shakespeare and the Cleopatra/Caesar Intertext: Sequel, Conflation, Remake (2011), Shakespeare, from Stage to Screen (Cambridge, 2004), and A Companion to the Shakespearean Films of Kenneth Branagh (2000), and has also written on television series, including Lost: Fiction vitale (2013) and Rêves et séries américaines: la fabrique d’autres mondes (2015). She is Co-editor-in-chief of the online journal TV/Series.

Nathalie Vienne-Guerrin is Professor in Shakespeare studies at Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier and Director of the Institut de Recherche sur la Renaissance, l’âge Classique et les Lumières. She is co-editor-in-chief of the international journal Cahiers Élisabéthains and Co-director (with Patricia Dorval) of the Shakespeare on Screen in Francophonia Database ( She has published The Unruly Tongue in Early Modern England, Three Treatises (2012) and is the author of Shakespeare’s Insults: A Pragmatic Dictionary (2016). She is Co-editor of the online journal Arrêt sur Scène/Scene Focus.

Details here:

Gender Studies Network: CFPs of particular relevance

Anglo-Iberian Relations: From the Medieval to the Modern
Zafra, Extremadura, Spain, 19-21 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: extended to 2 June 2017

Northernness: concepts, representations, images
Université de Mulhouse, France, 12-13 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2017

Texts and Territories: The Curious History of the Middle Ages
Call for chapters for an edited volume
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017

Beyond Crisis – Reassessing Raymond Williams’ Cultural Materialism
University of Potsdam, Germany, 19-21 January 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2017

Constructions of Identity: New World – New Ideas
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 27-28 October 2017
Deadline for proposals: 1 September 2017

Book Announcement: Mark Twain & France: The Making of a New American Identity

Paula Harrington and Ronald Jenn, Mark Twain & France: The Making of a New American Identity

University of Missouri Press (USA), 2017

Blending cultural history, biography, and literary criticism, this book explores how one of America’s greatest icons used the French to help build a new sense of what it is to be “American” in the second half of the nineteenth century.

While critics have generally dismissed Mark Twain’s relationship with France as hostile, Harrington and Jenn see Twain’s use of the French as a foil to help construct his identity as “the representative American.” Examining new materials that detail his Montmatre study, the carte de visite album, and a chronology of his visits to France, the book offers close readings of writings that have been largely ignored, such as The Innocents Adrift manuscript and the unpublished chapters of A Tramp Abroad, combining literary analysis, socio-historical context and biographical research.

About the authors

Paula Harrington, Colby College, Maine, USA
Ronald Jenn, Université Charles de Gaulle, Lille 3, France

Book Announcement: The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real

Arnaud Schmitt, The Phenomenology of Autobiography: Making it Real

© 2017 – Routledge

Making it Real takes a deep dive into the experience of the reader. Dr. Schmitt argues that current trends in the field of life writing have taken the focus away from the text and the initial purpose of autobiography as a means for the author to communicate with a reader and narrate an experience. The study puts autobiography back into a communicational context, and putting forth the notion that one of the reasons why life writing can so often be aesthetically unsatisfactory, or difficult to distinguish from novels, is because it should not be considered as a literary genre, but as a modality with radically different rules and means of evaluation. In other words, not only is autobiography radically different from fiction due to its referentiality, but, first and foremost, it should be read differently.


Conference Report: Letters: International and Interdisciplinary Academic Conference

Letters: International and Interdisciplinary Academic Conference

Interhotel Cherno More, Varna, Bulgaria

27-29 April 2017

Peyo Karpuzov, St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

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Convened at the Bulgarian coast of the Black Sea, the conference gathered scholars with a wide range of interests within the humanities from China through Europe to the USA and Canada. It was organised jointly by the Bulgarian Society for British Studies (BSBS) and the Bulgarian American Studies Association (BASA) in conjunction with the Alma Mater Centre of Excellence in the Humanities at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and the Faculty of Modern Languages at St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. The topic of the conference, ingeniously devised to accommodate papers on the two principle meanings of the word “letters” as graphic signs and written messages and all the space between them, gave the participants generously free licence to unfold their creativity and self-expression which everyone took due advantage of. Additionally, the conference hosted a Transatlantic Seminar on the US recent presidential elections.

The conference featured a welcoming note by Ludmilla Kostova (University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria), who presided diligently over the organising committee and the smooth flow of the event, three plenary lectures by prominent scholars, twelve concurrent sessions – among which an experimental Skype panel which proved a daring but altogether successful endeavour – and an afternoon sightseeing trip to the botanical gardens and Queen Marie of Romania’s summer residence in nearby Balchik. The first-day keynote lecture by Tsenka Ivanova, Dean of the Faculty of Modern Languages, University of Veliko Tarnovo,  focused on alphabets as crossroads of culture and politics. The keynote speaker on the second day was ESSE’s President Liliane Louvel (Université de Poitiers, France) who dwelled on the mediating role of letters between texts and images, exemplified by a vast array of pictorial representations from the past and present. Distinguished poet and scholar Nick Norwood (Columbus State University, GA, USA) delivered the last plenary lecture on the third day of the conference, capturing the audience’s attention with his talk on Richard Howard’s epistolary strategies. The papers, presented in the concurrent sessions, built on the plenary insights and brought the discussion of “letters” into the multifarious directions and beyond new horizons. The conference was held in the spirit of mutual respect and fruitful exchange of ideas and heated, but friendly, discussions marked especially the third day of the conference, after the joyful trip to Balchik had served as a socialising catalyst among the participants.

The proceedings of the conference are to be published in the annual STUDIA PHILOLOGICA UNIVERSITATIS TARNOVENSIS series at the beginning of 2018.

New ESSE Board members and national representatives

Dr. Titela Vilceanu, University of Craiova (Romania) – President of RSEAS (the Romanian Society for English and American Studies) and national representative for Romania.

Professor Terry Walker, Mid-Sweden University, Sundsvall (Sweden) – President of SWESSE (The Swedish Society for the Study of English) and national representative for Sweden.

Details about the Board of ESSE can be found here: