Calls for papers for conferences taking place in November 2024

Material Realisms in Contemporary British Literature.
Montpellier (France): Université Paul Valéry. 7-8 November 2024.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 17.05.2024.

Organiser(s): Catherine BERNARD (Université Paris Cité) / Jean-Michel GANTEAU (Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3)

Presentation

Keynote lectures:

  • Émilie Walezak, Professor of contemporary English Literature, Nantes Université
  • Peter Boxall, Goldsmiths’ Professor of English Literature, University of Oxford

One of the purposes of this conference will be to assess the persistence of realism in contemporary literary production, thereby taking up Emilie Walezak’s contention that “not only are writers reinventing realism today, but that there are also new ways of reading realism” (Walezak). (One of) its main hypothesi/es is that, paradoxically, realism is back with a vengeance so as to chronicle the demise of the stable, enclosed, sovereign human subject that was, precisely, at the heart of the realistic idiom of the past decades. Owing to the influence of feminist theory in such areas as the ethics of care, vulnerability studies and posthumanism, among others, the contemporary subject is seen to be caught in a mesh of interdependences with its environments. A great deal of emphasis naturally falls on the ways in which s/he is both “embodied and embedded” (Braidotti), how s/he is entwined with the rest of the living, vibrant world (Bennett) through the means, notably, of “entanglements” and “contact zones” (Haraway), at times envisaged in terms of “trans-corporeality” (Alaimo), and how s/he emerges out of intra-actions in which relation precedes existence (Barad). When Barad evokes the category of “agential realism” to reconceptualise our understanding of the subject, or when contemporary scholars unearth John Dupré’s notion of “promiscuous realism” (Dupré) to account for the way in which the human is a series of assemblages and entanglements, a holobiont that is “both an individual and an ecosystem” at the same time (Brandt), they do so to describe a reality that has evolved radically – unless it is our frames of perception that have adapted to our understandings of the contemporary crises. In fact, they refer to a subject that is steeped in a materiality that can no longer be denied or overlooked and that presents itself as a priority. 

One of the objectives of this conference will be to address the ways in which such new perceptions are remediated by new realistic idioms that take into account manifestations of a new ordinary, hitherto unidentified forms of life, and inventory them. We aim to engage with texts that process our new experience of such realities and present a universe characterised by an “enmeshing of matter and thought, of embodied aesthetic experience and critical experience” that Catherine Bernard calls a “neo-empiricism” (translation ours), a far cry from the binarisms of yesteryear and the metafictional defamiliarization that went along with them. In other terms, we aim to address the ways in which realism redefines itself from inside, by postulating and presenting continuities as opposed to breaks, and by favouring ontologies relying on connections, interactions and intra-actions. Crucially, such a turn (back) to a materialist-realist agenda entails radical aesthetic issues, among which that of the scalar poetics of fictions intent on making us see such entanglements with the micro-reality of organic life forms (Campos). A case in point has been provided by the recent bout of Covid fictions struggling to disclose the organic materiality of our historical condition.

Ultimately, such a program comes with momentous questions: why do we still need the category of “realism” (as distinct from “mimesis,” “representation,” or simply “materialism”) to account for contemporary production? How does our new interest in and concern for materiality lead fictional writing to re-think itself in relation to a specific reality? And, in that sense, how does this new realism succeed in making the world and our experience of it legible again? Or does it, on the contrary, embrace the uncanny opacity of reality? Ultimately, what does this materialist turn share with historical materialism and its critical political agenda? Thus, might such materialist mediations harbour alternative forms of praxis? 

Possible and not exclusive lines of enquiry are listed below: 

  • The precursors of contemporary material-realist texts.
  • The relevance of naturalism in relation to material realism.
  • The persistence of historical realism in contemporary, material realism.
  • Material realism as inventory.
  • The perception and consideration of the material.
  • The prevalence of metonymy.
  • The presentation of scale effects.
  • The issue of narrative care and the reparative function of material realism.

Website address 

https://mat-real.sciencesconf.org/

Contact details

More in the original CFP inserted below.

(Posted 27 January 2024)


Place and Space in Contemporary English-Written Literatures.
Charles University, Prague. 15-16 November 2024.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 16 June 2024.

Venue: Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Celetná 13, Prague 1

Organiser(s): Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Education, Charles University, Prague

Plenary speakers:

  • Emeritus Professor Susana Onega (University of Zaragoza),
  • Professor Martin Procházka (Charles University)

Presentation

Throughout the second half of the 20th century, literary theory and criticism began to focus on the representation of space and place, which gradually acquired the significance that time and temporality had enjoyed for centuries. The fact that human beings live in space-time, and that these two dimensions significantly determine our existence and are equally crucial for the formation of our identity, opened up a fruitful field of interest for theorists, culminating in what has been called the postmodern “spatial turn”. Its immediate consequence, as Emmanuelle Peraldo notes, is that space “is now considered as a central metaphor and topos in literature”. This relationship is reciprocal: not only do the spatial properties of our existence shape who we are and how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, but our perception and interpretation of space also determine the character and significance of our living environments. The study of textual representations of space is thus one of the ways in which we can better understand not only the spaces in question, but also our own spatial, social and cultural experience, both individual and collective.

Therefore, we welcome proposals focusing on diverse spatial aspects of Anglophone literatures of the past three decades from a range of relevant critical perspectives, addressing concerns such as

  • spaces/places in time; spaces/places and time
  • spatial identities; identity and place/space
  • spatial topoi
  • spatial dichotomies  
  • places/spaces of transgression
  • spatial anxieties
  • liminal places/spaces
  • the country and/or the city
  • houses and/in literature
  • architecture and/or urban planning in literature

Paper proposals should include: 

  • full name of the applicant
  • affiliation
  • email address
  • title of the paper
  • abstract (150-250 words)
  • preferred presentation date (15 November/ 16 November). 
  • Proposals should be summited on one of the organisers’ email addresses (petr.chalupsky@pedf.cuni.cz or tereza.topolovska@pedf.cuni.cz). 

Website address: webkajl.pedf.cuni.cz/conference

Contact details

Read more in the original CFP below.

(Posted 22 February 2024)


Voices from the Margins – 9th international conference of the Tunisian Association for English Language Studies (TAELS).
Hammamet / Monastir – Tunisia. 22-23 November 2024.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 30 June 2024.

Organiser(s)

Tunisian Association for English Language Studies

Presentation

 The international conference “Voices from the Margins” aspires to explore the rewards and challenges of the margin and provide a platform for discussion aiming at granting space to the downgraded voices of marginalised communities and underrepresented minorities to erupt and disrupt time-honoured hierarchies. The conference is meant to be an occasion to celebrate the neglected chronicles of those who have been historically deprived of agency and denied access to power structures. More than ever, marginalised voices are cruising towards visibility and empowerment by resisting erasure, reclaiming agency and asserting their presence in political, ideological and discursive structures that often seek to nullify their existence. By giving vent to the aspirations of these voices, we are granted entry into the profound significance of narratives from the margins, recognizing their potential to shake the foundations of hegemonic discourse, contest metanarratives and redefine societal constructs where subordination, oppression and injustice reign supreme. These narratives stand as testaments to the persistent endeavours at dismantling cultural, psychological, and epistemic barriers that seek to categorise, delimit, and confine all those who do not conform to normative structures to the narrow limits of the periphery.

It is within this framework that the conference aims to bring researchers and academics together to critically engage with marginality-focused issues from multiple perspectives and diverse standpoints. The conference is intended as an interdisciplinary event. Hence, we invite presentations from different academic disciplines such as history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, literary studies, linguistics and others. Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses. The steering committee would like to share a global call and invite participants to submit individual and panel proposals related, but not limited, to the following topics: 

  • Rethinking marginality
  • Voicing the subaltern
  • Discourses on marginality
  • Narratives of resistance and resilience
  • Voice, agency and empowerment 
  • Legacies of violence, servitude and indentureship
  • Vulnerability, exploitation and marginalised communities
  • Racism and invisibility
  • Gender and marginalisation
  • Intersectionality and marginalities
  • Discourses of madness and deviance
  • Global media and marginalised voices
  • Social media and marginality
  • Marginalised cultures in the media
  • Transnationalism, migration and refugee status
  • Diaspora communities and marginality
  • Corporeal and psychological marginalization
  • Marginalised bodies
  • Ablesim and disability

Website address: www.taels.org

Contact details

Further details about submission, registration can be found in the original CFP inserted below.

(Posted 4 April 2024)


Intertextuality in Anglophone Literature: Contemporary Reflections on Traces and Echoes.
Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris. 29-30 November 2024.
Deadline for proposal submissions: 31 May 2024.

Organiser(s)

  • Florian Bousquet 
  • Yasna Bozhkova 
  • Béatrice Pire 
  • Aliette Ventéjoux 

Presentation

Intertextuality is one of the most fundamental concepts to explore the manufacturing of community in literature. Originating in the work of Julia Kristeva, who drew inspiration from the theory of “dialogic imagination” (Bakhtin), intertextuality emphasizes that “every text is an intertext” (Barthes). The literary canon could thus be defined as a network of intertextual relationships, or even as an echo chamber, where the polyphony of each work resonates with and through other works. The aim of this conference is to examine contemporary issues regarding intertextuality. Among other interests, we will be looking at auctorial strategies to deal with the dynamics of marginalization and exclusion from the canon. Quotation, parody, allusion and pastiche are all intertextual modes that aim to disrupt, subvert or rewrite the canon, and establish new genealogies outside traditional hierarchies. In this way, the intertextual approach intersects fruitfully with the tools of feminist, queer, intersectional, African-American and postcolonial criticism. Postmodern literature tends to attenuate the conflictual side of intertextuality, either holding all appropriation to be non-existent, exhilarating or reduced to a metafictional game with no relation to reality. Intertextuality also helps us to probe an “artificially” intelligent world based on repetitive algorithmic structures. The influence of one text on another becomes diluted or more easily identifiable, thanks to the development of new textual research tools.

Website address 

Contact details

Read more in the original CFP below.

(Posted 29 March 2024)