Calls for papers for conferences taking place in April 2025

Ecological Grief and Mourning in the Literature and the Arts in the Anglophone World (18th – 21st c.).
Institut Catholique de Paris / Catholic University of Paris. 3-4 April 2025.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 15 June 2024.

Venue details: Campus des Carmes of the Institut Catholique de Paris / Catholic University of Paris (74 rue de Vaugirard, 75006 Paris, France) 


  • Héloïse Lecomte (ENS de Lyon)
  • Estelle Murail (Institut Catholique de Paris / Université Paris Cité)
  • Laura Ouillon (Université Paris Cité)

Keynote speaker:

  • Stef Craps: Professor of English Literature at Ghent University


In the wake of Judith Butler’s work on un/grievability, in Mourning Nature (2017), climate change and mental health researcher Ashlee Cunsolo and landscape architect Karen Landman have outlined the complexities of thinking about the grievability of the non-human, and, more broadly, ‘ecological grief,’ this kind of ‘ mourning that resists the artificial separation between bodies that can and cannot be mourned’: ‘It is about recognizing our shared vulnerabilities to human and non-human bodies, and embracing our complicity in the death of these other bodies – however painful that process may be.’ (Cunsolo 3-4) This conference proposes to explore the concept of ecological grief and the fast-growing body of theoretical work that is developing around it against the background of the ongoing sixth-mass extinction and biodiversity loss. The broader reflection about the Anthropocene has also highlighted new ways of reflecting, imagining and representing human and non-human relationships by contributing to decentring human subjectivities and offering new understandings of the living. With this conference, we also wish to think about the longer history of ecological grief from the eighteenth century onwards, including by exploring some of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution. 

Both writers and artists have explored new ways of ‘mourn[ing] beyond the human’ (Cunsolo and Landman, 2), grieving for past, present and future ecological losses, attempting to visualise and express ecological grief but also to carve out spaces of remembrance. In literature, the poetic subgenre of the pastoral elegy is built on the poet’s acceptance of “death as natural […], in line with the season pattern of death and rebirth” (Twiddy 2012, 4). However, the loss of nature itself (turning it into a mirror of human loss) redefines the traditional elegy’s search for consolation (Sacks 1987, 3). This redefines the very function of the pastoral, leading to the emergence of new subcategories such as the “anti-pastoral elegy” (Gilbert 1999, 188) or the “ecological lament”, thus defined by Timothy Morton: “In elegy, the person departs and the environment echoes our woe. In ecological lament, we fear that we will go on living, while the environment disappears around us. Ultimately, imagine the very air we breathe vanishing – we will literally be unable to have any more elegies, because we will all be dead. It is strictly impossible for us to mourn this absolute, radical loss.” (Morton, 186) The very possibility of mourning nature is therefore questioned – is nature grievable? How do we grieve for it? What is the role of writers and artists in this individual and collective process? While to some, environmental grief gives way to desolation or an irredeemable sense of melancholy, others view it as a form of resilience or even a spur to action, a source of activism in art.

The conference welcomes contributions from researchers working in the fields of literature, art history, visual studies, music studies, film studies, game studies, cultural studies, philosophy and anthropology. We particularly welcome submissions that revolve around, but are not limited to, the following concepts and themes:

  • The (un)grievability of the natural environment and the non-human
  • Old and new forms of elegy and ‘ecological lament’ (Morton, 186): the (anti-)pastoral elegy, the proleptic ecological elegy
  • Individual and collective mourning rituals ; creative approaches and responses to grief, mourning, loss and resilience
  • Human and non-human mourning; shared grief
  • The politics of grief; artivism and literature as a form of environmental activism
  • Solastalgia and melancholia 
  • Eco-anxiety and anticipatory grief
  • Extinction 
  • Epidemics and plagues
  • Memorials, memento mori and other ways of remembering
  • Ghosts and spectrality

We welcome the following types of contribution: academic/critical papers, video essays, artistic contributions, live poetry/spoken word and theatrical performances. Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words in English, together with a short biographical note (no more than 150 words), to by 15 June 2024.

Website address 

CFP: Ecological Grief and Mourning in the Literature and the Arts in the Anglophone World (18th – 21st c.) – LARCA

Contact details

(Posted 16 February 2024)

Playing and Playfulness in Salman Rushdie’s Fiction.
Université Côte d’Azur, Nice. Thursday 3 and Friday 4 of April 2025.
Submission deadline: 30 June 2024.

Guest Speakers: 

  • Ana Cristina Ferreira Mendes (University of Lisbon), 
  • Stephen Morton (University of Southampton), 
  • Marc Porée (École Normale Supérieure, Paris), 
  • Florian Stadtler (University of Bristol)

Because they affect the linguistic, narrative, structural, cultural and intermedial spheres, the motifs of playing and playfulness should allow us both to pay homage to the astounding richness of Salman Rushdie’s fiction and to question its puzzling complexity. Rushdie’s art of parodically recycling cultural material from all sorts of historical and geographical origins likens him to postmodernism’s intrinsic syncretism and its “aesthetics of hybridity” (Stadtler) or its palimpsestuous nature (Porée) just as his mocking deconstruction of all metanarratives appears reminiscent of the postmodernist determination “to subvert all centers of authority” and to “romp in polyphony, in plurality, in maximum freedom, in a joyous relativity where all that is rigid is overturned” (Olsen). However, the systematicity of the recourse to tongue-in-cheek metafiction and “self-parody” (Pesso-Miquel 2007) may also encourage us to wonder whether this form of “exhibitionist acrobatics” could not be a means to “give expression to a boastful metafictional self-awareness as the text obsessionally sings its egomaniacal and selfishly seductive song” (Gonzalez). From a postcolonial perspective, Rushdie’s hegemonic foregrounding of playfulness similarly seems to lend itself to ambiguous interpretations. If his densely intersemiotic texts ostentatiously display “the legacies of colonial modernity” (Morton) and are therefore “appropriable to a bourgeois, predominantly western intelligentsia” (Ahmad), his desire to constantly mix eastern and western codes, to forge a hybrid, bastardised novelistic art may be construed as a proof of “residual faith in utopian grand narratives, a desire to reconstruct some notion of the New” (Baker). Besides these postmodernist and postcolonial approaches, other fertile fields of investigation may be found in the interaction between playing and poetry so much does the author of Midnight’s Children strive to generate linguistic, stylistic, syntactic and rhetorical innovation in a manifest will to reenchant the English language. Finally, the humorous dispositions enacted by such a prominent presence of playing and playfulness may also be examined, and Rushdie’s humour à la Sterne (Pesso-Miquel 2004) or his Rabelaisian grotesque (Porée and Massery) seem to pave the way for fruitful comparative analyses.

Please find hereafter a (by no means exhaustive) list of possible topics:

  • Playing around, humour, funny jokes (who are the addressees?)
  • Playing with tradition, magical realism, “the alternative great tradition of the novel”
  • Playing with his own sources of inspiration
  • Playing with geographical boundaries, remapping the world
  • Playing with words, neologisms and linguistic inventiveness: poetry or showmanship?
  • Playing with formal boundaries, hybridisation, parody, pastiche
  • Playing as an antidote to despair
  • Playing by ear, oral tradition, songs, rewriting old stories and myths
  • Playing games, pretence, wearing masks, metaleptic ludism
  • Playing with fire: Scheherazade, historically traumatic events
  • Playing by the rules, Americanisation and “selling out”

Proposals of circa 300 words should be sent to 

by the 30th of June 2024. Please enclose a short biographical note of a dozen lines.

Further details in the original CFP enclosed below.

(Posted 4 April 2024)

Discourses, Realities and Representations of Defiance. Literatures, Cultures and Civilisations of the Anglo-Saxon World, Commonwealth and BRICS countries.
Université Paris Cité. 3 and 4 April 2025.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 1 November 2024.

Venue: Université Paris Cité, Campus des Grands Moulins (13th arrondissement of Paris, France).


Institutions: Le Mans University and Paris Cité University (France) 
Organising committee: 

  • Dr. Nargès BARDI (Université Clermont Auvergne, France) 
  • Dr. Marie-Annick MATTIOLI (Université Paris Cité, France) 
  • Prof. Ludmila OMMUNDSEN PESSOA (Le Mans Université)  
  • Prof. Michel PRUM (Université Paris Cité, France) 


The conference theme, understanding defiance in the Anglo-Saxon world, Commonwealth, and  BRICS countries, is of significant importance in the field of humanities and social sciences. We aim to  identify, at various points in their histories, how defiance is constructed and understood in the sense  of ‘challenge’ that the French word défiance shares with the English noun defiance – which appeared  in the early 14th century under the influence of the French word desfiance. Your research and insights  will contribute to our collective understanding of this crucial aspect. 

This conference is part of the debate opened up by Nancy Nyquist Potter (2016) in her introduction to  her eulogy of defiance: ‘Although most societies occasionally regard defiant behaviour as heroic,  more often defiant behaviour is met with suppression, punishment or medicalization. Defiance  behaviour is usually deemed disruptive to society and harmful to self, and sometimes that is true.  […][Yet there are] conditions under which defiance might be desirable and praiseworthy’ [….] Even  today, few people are praised for defiant behaviour and to my knowledge, no one writing in virtue  theory has yet claimed defiance as one of the virtues’.  

Proposals for papers in English or French may focus on, but are definitely not restricted to, the  following areas: 

  • Philosophy/Sociology of defiance 
  • Methods and practices of defiance 
  • Forms, values and functions of defiance
  • Representations and embodiments of defiance 
  • Declared defiance, written defiance and represented defiance 

They may cover different fields of study and combine them (sociology, anthropology, political studies,  cultural studies, history, literature, economics, media, journalism, linguistics, etc.), different countries  in the Anglo-Saxon area, the Commonwealth and the BRICS, and deal with all areas of learned or  popular culture (visual arts, different ‘genres’ of fiction, sports, music, collectors’ items, cultural and  media practices, games, literature, etc.). 

Website address  

Contact details Organising committee:

For further details please check the original detailed call inserted below.

(Posted 17 April 2024)

LAPASEC 2025. Class in the Long Eighteenth Century: Britain and Beyond.
University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. 4-6 April 2025.
Deadline for submissions: 5 June 2024.

Christoph Heyl (Univ. Duisburg-Essen) and Rémy Duthille (Univ. Bordeaux Montaigne) are continuing the long tradition of the Landau-Paris Symposia on the Eighteenth Century, welcoming both established scholars and early career researchers. The LAPASEC series focuses on the literature and culture of the British Isles of the period, but it is also open to topics relating to the British colonies, France, Germany, and further afield. Our conference will also include a panel showcasing the doctoral projects of emerging scholars. We encourage both current PhD students and those planning to begin a PhD in the near future to apply. For those in the early stages of their academic careers, we are seeking to fund travel, accommodation, and related conference costs. We invite 20-minute papers in English or French with a discussion time of 10 minutes; contributions to the PhD panel are expected to be 10 minutes with a discussion time of 10 minutes. 


The long eighteenth century witnessed a host of social changes that affected print culture to varying degrees. The centrality of urban culture, the pulse of individualism, the bourgeois clubs, the consumerist disposition of European nations, political confrontations, fiscal economies affected by war, trade relations, and travel circuits, all were part and parcel of that era. From the South Sea Bubble to the hunger riots of 1766 to the abolitionist attacks, the social structure of England proved to be both adaptable and resilient.

In 1986, Linda Colley observed that “no period of British history has been more ruthlessly anatomized in the search for social tensions and class consciousness” than the long eighteenth century (Colley, “Whose Nation? Class and National Consciousness in Britain 1750-1830”, Past & Present, 113 (1986), p. 98). Indeed, the lasting impact of classic critical interventions published in the 1960s-1980s by Eric Hobsbawm, E.P. Thompson, Christopher Hill and others is indubitable, and Colley’s remark on the abundance of scholarship focussed on class in Britain seemed entirely justified then. Today, however, it appears that many cultural phenomena are primarily discussed with foci set on race or gender. Among the three very useful categories of race, class and gender, class has become somewhat unfashionable, with Paul Langford’s A Polite and Commercial People: England 1727-1783 (published in 1989) being the last major work dedicated to class in the eighteenth century. 

Often, a stratified vision of Britain as a set of class dualisms ruled the imagination: rich-poor, aristocrat-peasant, upper-lower, gentry-crowd, patrician-plebeian, fashionable-labouring. Penelope J. Corfield, however, complicates a binary view of societal dynamics when she observes in her recent monograph on Georgian Britain that “as the tectonic plates were shifting in the upper and middle echelons of society, so too were changes afoot ‘below’, among the masses. The ‘labouring poor’ or ‘lower orders’ were turning into ‘workers’, with all the implications that terminology entailed.” (Corfield, The Georgians: The Deeds and Misdeeds of 18th-Century Britain (2022), p. 287) Regardless of terminology, concepts of “class”, “rank”, “order”, “station”, or “degree” were, of course, in flux and perceptively discussed in Britain well before Marx. The question of social rank and class identity was more often than not couched in a rhetoric of privilege, meaning that the inclusion of other paradigmatic factors clouds an already cloudy image of class dynamics. For example, one recurring uncertainty was whether gender weighed more than social status in particular circumstances like those related to individual experiences and identity formation. Clearly, class and its discourse warrant a renewed inquiry as they underpin almost every other intellectual debate of the period.

Our conference aims at augmenting the relevant issues of race and gender in the eighteenth century with reflections on their respective class dimension, and at bringing together a diverse range of approaches and methodologies.

Possible themes may include, but are not restricted to: 

  • The advent of the middle classes
  • Social mobility and its perceived absence on the Continent
  • The French Revolution and its reception
  • Class anxieties and social unrest 
  • Manners and Morals
  • Humanitarianism and institutions for the destitute
  • Travel writing and international perspectives on class in Britain
  • Economic changes 
  • Class and the metropolis, and class beyond the metropolis
  • Class, authorship and literature
  • Class in Romanticism
  • Education and social ladder
  • Politics and religion
  • Philosophy
  • The visual arts and music 
  • Class and material culture (architecture, furniture, fashion etc.) 
  • Print media and public discourse
  • Class and nostalgia
  • Revisionist histories of class
  • Class, colonialism and slavery

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a volume of conference proceedings.

Conference languages: English and French


  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Heyl, 
  • Anjali Rampersad, M.A., 
  • Christian Feser, M.A.

Deadline: Please e-mail your proposal (c. 250 words), contact information and a brief biographical note (c. 100 words) to the conference organisers ( by 5 June 2024

For further details, see the original CFP below.

(Posted 12 May 2025)