Thirteenth Biennial MESEA Conference: Moving Cultures, Moving Ethnicities.
University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu Campus, Joensuu. 12-14 June 2024.
Deadline for submission of proposals: 15 November 2023.
Event organised by
The Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas (MESEA)
Presentation of the event
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
- John McLeod (University of Leeds)
- Anna-Leena Toivanen (University of Eastern Finland)
- Atlantic Studies Lecture: Tobias Skowronek (THGA)
Those of us who are “world”-travelers have the distinct experience of being different in different “worlds” and of having the capacity to remember other “worlds” and ourselves in them. (Maria Lugones, “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception” (1987).)
We believe the one who has power. He is the one who gets to write the story. So when you study history, you must ask yourself, Whose story am I missing? Whose voice was suppressed so that this voice could come forth? Once you have figured that out, you must find that story too. From there you get a clearer, yet still imperfect, picture. (Yaa Gyasi, Homegoing (2016).)
The MESEA 2024 conference invites contributions that address the diverse layers, definitions, and ‘pathways’ of mobility, including the mobility of people from one place to another, crossings and intersections of cultures, and the formation of hybrid cultural forms. At the same time, mobility, border-crossings, and migration move people emotionally, either directly or through a wide range of cultural representations, and generate various emotional responses ranging from joy and relief to fear, loss and frustration. Affecting both those who travel, those who stay, and those encountered when journeying, such experiences are personal and collective, local and global, theoretical and empirical, and reveal the perplexing nature of mobility, whether this is voluntarily or involuntarily ventured.
This conference aims to look into the pluriform contact zones that form with regard to global mobility, and to further explore the ways migration affects experience in diverse ethnic and postcolonial contexts. We seek to examine questions such as:
- How does mobility from the perspective of affect and lived experience shed light on the variety of modes and genres of (post-)migrant experiences?
- How are the experiences of displacement, forced migration, and other conditions of unfreedom represented in narrative?
- How are narratives of mobility and migration formed and articulated historically?
- To what degree do narratives of mobility contribute to the formation of transnational and translocal communities, and which narratives in various affective registers circulate within them?
- In what ways are individual and collective memories of mobility (re)framed emotionally, for instance through expressions of melancholy, dissociation, grief, or vulnerability?
- How is the crossing of cultural borders and transculturation articulated in world literature, film, and performance art?
- What kind of emergent and/or alternative cultural practices are connected with mobility? How do they challenge dominant notions of identity and belonging?
The 2024 MESEA Conference seeks to explore the diversity of the phenomenon in the nexus of culture, history, borders, and geopolitics. Potential paper and panel submissions can address but are not limited to topics such as follows:
- nostalgia and narratives of return
- narratives of forced migration, human trafficking, deportation, and transportation
- trauma, displacement, and emplacement
- Gothic journeys and uncanny spaces
- tragedy, comedy, melodrama, and other genres of migration narratives
- mourning, melancholia, and migration
- activism, solidarity, consciousness raising
- autobiography and memory
- transforming and hybridizing cultural practices and texts
- climate migration/mobility
- home(-making) in migration
- border communities
- rebordering and debordering
- gendered perspectives on mobility
- the ethics and economics of migration
- migration as an opportunity
Abstracts should be submitted to our website at https://mesea.org/ between August 15 and November 15, 2023. Submitters will receive notification of acceptance by January 10, 2024.
The conference will be arranged as an onsite conference at UEF Joensuu Campus.
Preference will be given to complete panel proposals with an inter/transdisciplinary and/or transnational focus. Panels may not include more than 2 participants from the same institution. Presenters are expected to be members of the association in 2024.
MESEA wishes you heartily welcome to a further exciting event!
Submitters will receive notification of acceptance by January 10, 2024.
Jopi Nyman, PhD DSocSc
Professor of English
School of Humanities
University of Eastern Finland
P. O. Box 111
FI- 80101 Joensuu
(Posted 26 June 2023)
Re-Reading British and Irish Landscapes in the 21st Century: Nature, Networks, Identities – An International Workshop.
University of Mannheim (Germany), 14-15 June 2024.
Deadline for proposals: Monday, 30 October 2023.
This conference takes its cue from the fact that various topical tendencies and events have refuelled interest in landscapes and the countryside in recent years, be it the climate crisis, the crisis of national identity in the context of the Brexit debate or reconsiderations of Britain’s colonial past. It aims at exploring the multi-layered interest in British and Irish landscapes in the 21st century, as writers and researchers alike critically engage with the ideologically charged notion of the countryside by re-reading and reconfiguring popular tropes.
While the aesthetic of the so-called ‘green and pleasant land’ is still booming in the nostalgic discourse on England, there seems to be a return (or update?) to the pastoral theme in non-fictional agricultural narratives, such as James Rebanks’ English Pastoral: An Inheritance (2020), as well as in fiction, such as Daisy Hildyard’s Emergency (2022), which are both concerned among other things with the effects of a globalised (agricultural) industry. Ecological and ecocritical viewpoints on environmental change as well as the relationship between humans and more-than-human nature also determine contemporary nature writing; Robert Macfarlane’s Underland: A Deep Time Journey (2019) and Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist (2020) are cases in point. In this context, the hidden structures of roots and fungi and other networks of communication and connection are currently attracting great interest, as for instance in Janice Pariat’s Everything the Light Touches (2022). Global structures are as much involved in the pastoral setting in these examples as regional identities.
Critics have conceptualised different ways of framing this renewed focus on landscapes and the countryside, particularly, but not exclusively related to the notion of the pastoral. Deborah Lilley identifies a ‘new pastoral’ (The New Pastoral in Contemporary British Writing, 2020) in a whole range of contemporary writers responding to the environmental pollution and climate crisis of the present. Besides, anti- or counter-pastoral traditions, such as those described by Raymond Williams in The Country and the City (1973) as a critique of economic conditions, also appear revived. In a 2015 article, Robert Macfarlane documents the flip side of the idealised English countryside in the form of a widespread aesthetic of the “eerie countryside” (https://www.theguardian.com/books /2015/apr/10/eeriness-english-countryside-robert-macfarlane), a concept equally central to novels such as Sarah Moss’ Ghost Wall (2018) and music albums such as PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake (2011).
On the part of postcolonial and Black British literature, which is usually associated with the big city, writers have critically examined the English idyll for some time (V.S. Naipaul’s 1987 novel The Enigma of Arrival being the most obvious example), but this trend has recently increased in pace with novels such as Natasha Brown’s Assembly (2021), which negotiates the country manor as the seat of the legacy of colonial power structures, or the group of writers in Alinah Azadeh’s “We See You Now” project, which comes together on the iconic south coast of England and places it in new contexts to reveal the imperial and global networks in which the supposedly insular English landscape is enmeshed (https://www.southdowns.gov.uk/culture-heritage/we-see-you-now/). This reconsidera-tion of Britain’s colonial past is also at stake in critical projects such as Lucienne Loh’s The Postcolonial Country in Contemporary Literature (2013) or Corinne Fowler’s work on the ‘colonial countryside’ in Green Unpleasant Land (2020).
In light of these trends, we invite proposals for papers (20 minutes) on the following subjects among others:
- rural economies and global networks
- the colonial countryside (Fowler)
- the ‘postcolonial countryside’ and “rural networks of empire” (Loh)
- ‘eerie countrysides’ (Macfarlane), ‘haunted’ or Gothic landscapes
- landscapes and the countryside in crime fiction and folk horror
- ecological and ecocritical perspectives
- the pastoral tradition and new pastorals: ‘black pastoral’ (Grene), ‘dark pastoral’ (Sullivan), ‘post-pastoral’ (Gifford), and others
- regional landscapes and identities including the North-South divide and beyond as well as Ireland
- landscape and national identities / Englishness / Britishness / Irishness
- rural radicals: enclosure, activism, and the commons
- rural poverty, rural ‘Others’ (e.g., the traveller community), and the issue of class
Proposals may cover a variety of genres (non-fiction, fiction, poetry, popular music, and film) and should focus on contemporary examples. Please email your proposal to both Prof. Dr. Caroline Lusin (email@example.com) and Sina Schuhmaier (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Monday, 30 October 2023.
(Posted 11 July 2023)
A Passage to India – Centenary Revaluations.
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn (Poland), 24-26 June 2024.
Deadline for proposals: 1 October 2023.
- University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
- University of Warsaw
- International E. M. Forster Society
A Passage to India, the last novel of E. M. Forster published in his lifetime appeared on the market in June 1924. It confirmed Forster’s position as one of the most eminent novelists of his time and started his international career with Czech and Russian translations both in 1926. The novel has since been adapted four times for the radio, three times for the stage, once for TV, and, most memorably, once for the big screen by David Lean. It has been the subject of academic scrutiny for almost a century, various scholars applying a variety of theoretical approaches to the text. The purpose of our meeting is to reassess the century which has passed since the publication – looking at A Passage to India from all possible angles, within all possible context, debating over its past importance and influence, and trying to foresee the role it may play in the future.
Our aims, however, are somewhat broader than this. We do not want a too detailed project to deter you from joining us in Olsztyn. A Passage to India is central to our meeting this year but we do not want the novel to overshadow other aspects of Forster’s life and work completely. Our conference is intended as a celebration of E. M. Forster and an opportunity for all Forsterians to come together. Consequently, we are interested in all possible aspects of Forster’s oeuvre and life, as perceived by various theories, methodologies, and schools. Do not hesitate to contact us with your proposals, no matter how far-fetched they may seem as long as the proposed studies update and enrich the scholarly discourse on the life and work of Forster.
The conference will take place in Olsztyn (an old city in north-west of Poland) in the new campus of the University of Warmia and Mazury on the banks of the picturesque Kortowo lake. Olsztyn is served by the Olsztyn-Mazury airport but you may choose to fly to Warsaw which is less the 3 hours away on the train.
We do understand that long-distance travel is still subject to a variety of restraints while academic financial resources are limited. Consequently, the conference will be organised in a hybrid way – the proceedings will also be available online in real time and they will be recorded and posted online. However, please, note that those presenting their papers must attend the conference in person. If you cannot join us in Olsztyn, please, select pre-recorded presentation.
The Academic Committee
- Prof. Santanu Das (All Souls College, University of Oxford, UK)
- Prof. Ewa Kujawska-Lis (University of Warmia and Mazury, Olsztyn, Poland)
- Prof. Claire Monk (De Montfort University Leicester, UK)
- Prof. David Scourﬁeld (Maynooth University, Ireland)
- Prof. Harish Trivedi (University of Delhi, India)
- Prof. Tania Zulli (Roma Tre University, Italy)
- Dr Maaz Bin Bilal (O. P. Jindal Global University, India)
Submission Guidelines and Acceptance Policy
Proposals should consist of a maximum 200 word abstract and a short biographical note including your academic affiliation (if available) and contact details. They should be sent to the following address email@example.com . Proposals are welcome until October 1st 2023 – the authors of the accepted papers will be notified of the acceptance within three weeks. Please, indicate how you would like to present your work choosing from the options below. However, note that the Organising Committee may offer a different form of presentation such as a poster/lightning talk instead of a paper.
- Presentation forms:
- Paper (15 to 20 mins – a presentation of a single paper by one or more authors).
- Lightning talk (5 mins – a short paper for a focused presentation). We especially encourage young scholars to present their on-going research projects in this form.
- Poster (for poster sessions). Posters can present research results or research in progress. We especially encourage young scholars to present their projects in this form.
- Pre-recorded audiovisual presentation available a month in advance on our website – with a general discussion during the conference. It is possible to combine pre-recorded presentation with a poster or a lighting talk.
- The conference fee is 150 € (for PhD students 125 €) for active participants. The fee will cover lunch and coffee-breaks, conference dinner, and a guided city tour. The conference fee for those participants who choose to take part online is 75 € (for PhD students 50 €). All participants will receive certificate of attendance.
- We will provide basic technological needs such as Internet, projectors, power cords, sound systems, and cables.
- All further details will be available from the website of the Society: http://society.emforster.de
- Facebook users may also consider following our page at https://www.facebook.com/IEMFS or joining the group of our Society at https://www.facebook.com/groups/448009452056029/ to get the latest updates.
- You may find updates on Facebook event – https://www.facebook.com/events/692015782764947
- Twitter users will find information at https://twitter.com/Interna06416174
- Twitter hashtag: #apassagetoindia2024
- If you would like to join the Society, please, go to: http://society.emforster.de/members
A preferably Open Access publication is planned – details will be presented during conference. All forms of participation in the conference are eligible for submission of papers to the conference proceedings.
(Posted 14 July 2023)
Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language in educational settings: Issues and specificities: ARDAA Conference 2024.
Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. 26, 27 & 28 June 2024.
Deadline for submissions: 10 September 2023.
The starting point for the conference, “Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language in Education Settings: Issues and specificities”, will be the study of language and education policies around the world so as to position EFL teaching and learning in France. This particular interest arises because of a competition between two hegemonies: the teaching of French as a foreign language and the teaching of English as a foreign language. This rivalry has resulted in the development of teaching practices and traditions in France that were not fully oriented towards the specificity of English. It is therefore necessary to clarify the meaning of “English didactics” as well as its place in the world.
First, the notion of “English didactics” makes one think of English Learning/Teaching for the purposes of communication, in the context of the academic discipline, English and Anglophone studies. One of the goals of this conference is to establish what we mean when we say “English” today, since the word could refer to English as a second language, English as a foreign language, English as an academic language, English for specific purposes, or English as a lingua franca.
One must also consider the difference between teaching English and teaching through English (intensive courses, CLIL programs, the internationalization of certain degree programs, etc.). This discipline could be interpreted as belonging to the field of the didactics of languages and cultures (Galisson & Puren, 1999; Galisson, 2002), a discipline centered around observation, analysis, interpretation and intervention in the interconnected environments, practices and processes involved in teaching and learning.
One may also consider English didactics as a unique branch within the field of language didactics, that can be divided into several sub-fields: linguistics (Bailly, 1998), history (Puren, 1988), praxeology (Galisson & Puren, 1999; Bailly, 1998; Narcy-Combes, 2005), among others. It may also fall within the field of the didactics of plurilingualism (Huver & Macaire, 2021; Candelier, 2008; Moore, 2006; Macaire et al., 2003), which focuses on the language
user’s linguistic and communicative repertoire when exchanging with the “other,” as well as on the intercultural dimension in which the native speaker is not the only point of reference. English didactics therefore appears as a complex domain, requiring further reflection. To summarize, this conference aims to understand and define the peculiarities of English didactics and its place in today’s globalized world.
This conference will be an opportunity to analyze the epistemology of the field, in relation to its historical evolution and other types of didactics (French and other foreign languages, plurilingualism). Also, it will offer a chance to study common objects of research (the most salient, those which require further development, and those which have become obsolete), the teaching-learning environments including tools and resources (pedagogical practices, classroom contexts, etc.), and lastly, methodological questions and the relationship between research, fieldwork, and training.
Participants are invited to submit proposals on 4 areas:
Topic 1 – Epistemology
The first subtheme will allow us to establish a new epistemological anchor.
How do the didactics of English today relate to the didactics of French as a foreign language, the didactics of languages, the didactics of languages-cultures, the didactics of plurilingualism, etc.? What are their foundations? How have they evolved since it became a field of research? This subtheme calls for a genealogical approach that will allow us to complete the history of English didactics up to the present day, taking into account how its role has evolved in educational settings (Sarré & Whyte, 2016; Tardieu, 2021, 2023). Here, we are referring to the predominance of English over other languages in France and Europe as a whole. How is this
“hegemony” dealt with in the world, in terms of language policy? This approach will also attempt to situate English didactics in relation to other didactics and the other research disciplines that contribute to didactics (linguistics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive sciences, neurosciences, etc.) and/or teaching (linguistics, literature, civilization, translatology). Reflections could also focus on the geographical evolution of the discipline, potentially in parallel with the historical evolution (France, Great Britain, USA, Europe, Asia, world…) or its evolution in institutions (primary, secondary, higher education).
The contributions within this subtheme will help clarify the position of English didactics in the global landscape.
Topic 2 – Objects of Research and contexts for teaching-learning
Presenters could talk about the focus of their current research: foreign/second language learning, LANSOD (LANguages for Specialists of Other Disciplines), English for Specific Purposes (translation, literature, grammar, history, etc.), English for Academic Purposes, Specialized English, Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL), Inclusive & Special Needs Education, etc. These topics can be applied to different contexts: primary and secondary school, higher education, continuing education, teacher training and professional development. Different course setups, in formal and less formal learning contexts, can be studied: in-person, blended learning, flipped classrooms (Alsowat, 2016), distance learning, synchronous and asynchronous learning. This subtheme is meant to give a full view of current research in English didactics. It will show the most salient and frequently studied research objects, including those which have been abandoned and those which require further attention. For example, it will include contributions about evaluations and certifications, autonomous learning, oral interactions in class, corpus-based learning, the use of online translators, remote tutoring, the use of technology, e-tandems (Jauregi & Melchor-Couto, 2017), the use of plurilingualism (Gabillon, 2022), and the link between formal and informal learning (Sockett, 2016; Toffoli & Sockett, 2015).Research presented as part of this subtheme will help to establish a more stable definition of English didactics and its signature research foci (specific objects, common points with language didactics, etc.), while also offering a critical look at its issues and limitations.
Topic 3 – Teaching aids, resources, tools, and educational materials
Research under this subtheme will cover teaching aids, resources, and pedagogical tools that result in reflective practices. Within a course, different tools are utilized: note sheets, logbooks, learner diaries, games (serious games, video games, board games, simulations, children’s games, etc.). They pertain to different fields: children’s literature, the arts, drama, the professional world, the world of culture, academia, etc. What is the function of these educational tools? How are they used: in their original state or modified, transformed, and adapted? Do they facilitate English learning or add to reflections in this field? Can the use of these educational materials be guided by specific theories in teaching?
Presenters can reflect on various types of resources and how teaching aids are selected in relation to concepts such as authenticity, creativity, or engagement. They could also consider their own use of teaching/learning materials to facilitate task completion, solve problems, or develop language skills, and question their relevance to the needs and interests of the learners. Lastly, presenters may also focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using a variety of resources.
Essentially, presentations within this subtheme will encourage the sharing of teaching practices and experimenting with new concepts and approaches in English didactics.
Topic 4 – Theory, methodological questions, and training reflective teachers
Research in English didactics is backed by linguistic theories and learning theories. These theories could be explained, along with the pedagogies they inspire.
Those presenting under this subtheme could discuss specific methodological practices within often restricted research contexts. Different approaches could be presented: comprehensive or experimental research, action-research and development, research and creation, etc. Researchers in English didactics are often faced with institutional and ethical obstacles: difficulties obtaining authorization to observe classrooms, a lack of means, personal data protection, data management plans, etc. Meanwhile, English didactics training courses are being offered to students in universities via teacher preparation and continuing education, professional development, research training and research-based training (Wright, 2010).
Presentations could focus on research methodology and field research, with a focus on the “practitioner-researcher” perspective (Narcy-Combes, 2005): experiential, participatory, and collaborative approaches; the creation of corpora; data collection procedures; analyzing qualitative, quantitative, and mixed data; data processing tools, etc.
Discussions will allow us to situate English Didactics in terms of its contributions to society.
Submission guidelines (Oral presentations or Posters)
- Languages: English (preferred) and French (in order to facilitate the participation of our international colleagues, communications in French should be accompanied by slides in English)
- Format: 300-word abstracts (excluding bibliographical references)
- Deadline: 10 September 2023
- Notification of acceptance: 15 December 2023
- Abstract submission: https://ardaa2024.sciencesconf.org/ => “Submission”
Anonymization: make sure you leave no trace of your identity anywhere in your abstract (may it be in your text or in your files, if applicable)
A special session for POSTERS will be organised. PhD students (in the process or having completed) are strongly encouraged to participate. A prize will be given to the poster receiving the most votes.
- ARDAA members & partners: €40 until 30 March 2024 (early-bird), then €50 until 1st June 2024 (standard fees)
- Other participants: €80 until 30 March 2024 (early-bird), then €100 until 1st June 2024 (standard fees)
Registrations will open in January 2024.
Conference site: https://ardaa2024.sciencesconf.org/
CFP (in French and English)
(Posted 6 July 2023)
Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), 27-29 June 2024.
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2023.
Event organised by Lena Linne & Burkhard Niederhoff
In “A College Magazine”, Robert Louis Stevenson famously described his literary apprentice ship as an exercise in imitation: “I have thus played the sedulous ape to Hazlitt, to Lamb, to Wordsworth, to Sir Thomas Browne, to Defoe, to Hawthorne, to Baudelaire, and to Obermann.” The works that were eventually published are hardly less indebted to previous texts than his earlier attempts at literary pastiche. “No doubt the parrot once belonged to Robinson Crusoe. No doubt the skeleton is conveyed from Poe”, Stevenson admits in “My First Book”, an essay on the genesis and the sources of Treasure Island. Some critics have used these self-depre cating comments, in particular the “sedulous ape”, to support their claim that Stevenson was a derivative writer lacking in originality. Others, by contrast, have praised him as a precursor of postmodernism who was aware of, and brilliantly exploited, the inevitable intertextuality of all writing.
Many of the papers given at this conference will explore the way Stevenson used, adopted and responded to texts by other writers, and the way other writers used, adopted and re sponded to texts by him. The term text will be interpreted broadly and papers on film, graphic novels etc. will be welcome. We also invite comparative papers that engage with analogues or parallels rather than sources and influences, situating Stevenson’s works within a genre or within their nineteenth-century context (e.g. “Stevenson and Wilkie Collins as Writers of Sen sation Novels”). Moreover, there is room for theoretical investigations that take their cue from essays such as “A College Magazine” or “My First Book” and analyse Stevenson’s ideas about the genesis and structure of literary texts. Finally, we will welcome papers that engage with the multiple texts that often lurk behind what is considered a single text; those who are interested in editing Stevenson’s writings could compare different layers or versions of a text and the editorial problems resulting from them. Further creative interpretations of the conference theme are possible and welcome. Proposals (200-300 words) for twenty-minute papers are warmly invited and should be sent to one of the organisers by November 30, 2023 (firstname.lastname@example.org, burkhard.nieder email@example.com). If you have any questions, please contact the organisers.
(Posted 27 April 2023)