Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in July 2016

Booze as a Muse: writers and their works.
Vienna University, Austria, 1-2 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 January 2016

1607-Uni-WienThe theme of drink in literature has been analysed in many publications, as well as extensively discussed in numerous conferences. However, relatively little has been said within the area of WRITER-DRINK-LITERATURE intersection. The very few publications available tend to focus on the drink-related problems of various writers, most often discussed from medical or biographical perspectives. The aim of this conference is to take a broader view, encompassing the writers( lives, immersed in the spirits, whether acting as a Muse, or not, but, more importantly, the extent to which the fuelling sources influenced (sic!) their literary works (poetry, fiction and non-fiction).

The conference focuses predominantly on 20th century literature.
We welcome proposals addressing the leading theme of the conference.
The confirmed keynote speakers are
– professor Merritt Moseley (University of North Carolina at Asheville)
– professor Rudolf Weiss (Vienna University).
The deadline of abstract submission is 30 January 2016.
There will be no conference fee. The conference volume is planned for publication at the beginning of 2017.
Please, send the proposals to and

(posted 11 November 2015)

Global Fantastika: An Interdisciplinary Conference
Lancaster University, UK  –  4-5 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2016

1607-FantastikaFantastika, coined by John Clute, is an umbrella term which incorporates the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror, but can also include alternative histories, steampunk, young adult fiction, or any other imaginative space.
The 3rd annual Fantastika conference will focus on productions of Fantastika globally, as well as considering themes of contact across nations and borders within Fantastika. It is our hope to draw together academics with an interest in Fantastika from an international audience to share and disseminate Fantastika-related research globally.

We are pleased to announce David Punter, Mark Bould, Sarah Ilott, and Chloé Buckley as our keynote speakers. Professor David Punter’s numerous publications include “‘Pity the Poor Immigrant’: Pity and the Colony’ in Postcolonial Theory in the Global Age. Dr. Mark Bould is the editor of Africa SF (Paradoxa 25) which includes his article ‘From anti-colonial struggle to neoliberal immiseration: Mohammed Dib’s Who Remembers the Sea, Sony Labou Tansi’s Life and a Half and Ahmed Khaled Towfik’s Utopia.” Dr. Sarah Ilott and Chloé Alexandra Germaine Buckley are the co-authors of “‘Fragmenting and becoming double’: Supplementary twins and abject bodies in Helen Oyeyemi’s The Icarus Girl” and are co-editing an upcoming edited collection on Oyeyemi.

We welcome abstracts for 20 minute papers on fantastika as they occur in any medium and form. Some suggested topics are:

  • the production and development of Fantastika in non-Western or non-English-speaking countries
  • Fantastika genres predominant in non-Western/non-English cultures (e.g. magical realism, contemporary mythologies)
  • fictional and real empires
  • globalization, industrialization, development and the future
  • global networks, mobilities, migrations
  • borders, defence of borders, crossing borders and occupations
  • (post)colonial texts and readings
  • notions of the ‘other’
  • ecologies, technologies and biopolitics

Please submit a 300 word abstract to along with a 50 word bionote by March 1st, 2016.

Visit us at, like us on Facebook (“Fantastika Conference”), or follow us on Twitter (@FantastikaPress) for more up-to-date information about the event. And stay tuned for the special “Locating Fantastika” edition of The Luminary, featuring extended papers from last year’s conference, due out in 2016.

(posted 13 November 2015)

Voicing Dissent in the Long Reformation: The 8th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society
Aix-en-Provence, France  –  6-9 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2015

Plenary speakers: Alec Ryrie (Durham), Andrew Spicer (Oxford Brookes), Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), Helen Wilcox (Bangor).
The conference will concentrate on the expression and representation of Protestant Dissent, Nonconformity and Puritanism (1500–1800), with an emphasis on the relationship between written and oral cultures. Topics might include: preaching, singing and praying; public and private devotion; conferences and disputations; epistolary conversation; religion and politics; rumour and defamation; reading and publishing Dissent; the representation of emotions…
The conference is hosted conjointly by Aix-Marseille and Montpellier Universities.

Applicants are invited to send proposals for 30-minute papers or for panels (3 x 30-minute papers). Please include a title for the paper; a summary of no more than 300 words; a 100-word biographical outline; and a one-page CV.
Bursaries are available for doctoral students and young researchers. To apply, explain your need for support, your likely travel costs, and include a reference letter (from e.g. a supervisor).
Send all proposals and communications (Word documents only, no pdf) to:
Deadline: 31 May 2015
All answers by August 2015
Further information on the website of the John Bunyan Society.

(posted 26 January 2015)

Periodical Counter Cultures: Tradition, Conformity, and Dissent
Liverpool John Moores University, UK  –  7-8 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 25 January 2016

1607-ESPRitThe 5th International Conference of the European Society for Periodical Research (ESPRit).
From the Black Dwarf to the little magazines of the European avant-gardes, from protest literature of the industrial revolution to the samizdat publications of the Soviet Bloc, from Punch to punk, periodical publications have long been associated with a challenge to dominant and mainstream culture. For ESPRit 2016 we return to this aspect of periodical culture, exploring the counter-cultural role of periodicals with particular emphasis on comparative and methodological points of view. Proposals are invited on topics that include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

  • Periodicals as sites for the genesis and dissemination of counter-cultural ideas, programmes, and manifestos
  • The assimilation of periodical counter cultures into the tradition
  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to the periodical as counter culture and as establishment
  • The agency of periodicals at threshold moments of social, political, and cultural change
  • Illegal and underground publications
  • The interplay between established periodicals and radical newcomers
  • Change and disruption in the history of long-standing periodicals

ESPRit encourages proposals that speak both within and across local, regional and national boundaries and especially those that are able to offer a comparative perspective. We also encourage proposals that examine the full range of periodical culture, that is, all types of periodical publication, including newspapers and specialist magazines, and all aspects of the periodical as an object of study, including design and backroom production.
Please send proposals for 20-minute papers (max 250 words), panels of three or four papers, round tables, one-hour workshops or other suitable sessions, together with a short CV (max. one page), to
The deadline for proposals is 25 January 2016.

(posted 19 October 2015)

‘Salvage’: The Fourteenth Triennial Conference of the British Comparative Literature Association
University of Wolverhampton (City Campus), UK  –  12-15 July 2016
New updated deadline for proposals for papers: 30 April 2016
New updated deadliine for proposals for panels: 30 April 2016

Conference website:
Conference email:

We are pleased to announce that the Fourteenth Triennial Conference of the British Comparative Literature Association will be held at the University of Wolverhampton, UK from 12-15 July 2016.
The theme of the conference is ‘Salvage’, a concept at the very heart of much literary and cultural activity. Translation, reception, re-reading — the vital substance of comparative literary research — all refer to processes by which literature’s significance is activated or released in acts of salvage, acts of saving and, indeed, salvation.
Plenary speakers at the conference will include Professor (Emeritus) David Constantine.
The year 2016 will see a number of anniversaries from the domain of literary and cultural studies within the European sphere alone. Prominent among these is a shared 400th anniversary, that of the death of Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare. This anniversary, we envisage, will form a strand running in parallel to the main conference theme.
Paper and panel proposers are invited to consider incorporating this and other anniversaries into their abstracts where a convergence between the anniversary in question and the theme of Salvage can be credibly established.

Call for papers: Proposals are invited for papers, in English, of no more than 20 minutes’ duration, on or in relation to the conference’s theme of Salvage. Proposals, in the form of an abstract of 250 words accompanied by a brief ‘bio-note’ of 50 words at most, should be submitted by email to by no later than 30 April 2016 (new updated deadline). The abstract should describe the proposed topic, make clear its connection to the conference’s theme, and indicate briefly how the treatment of the proposed topic constitutes a comparative approach to and analysis of the material concerned (in this regard, proposers may refer to the BCLA’s aims on the Association’s web site.

Call for panels: Proposals are invited for panels, in English, comprising 3-4 papers each of no more than 20 minutes’ duration, on or in relation to the conference’s theme of Salvage. Proposals, in the form of an abstract of 250-300 words, should be submitted by email to by no later than 30 April 2016 (new updated deadline). Panel proposers are requested to provide an abstract of 300-350 words, describing the proposed topic, establishing its connection to the conference’s theme, indicating briefly how the treatment of the proposed topic constitutes a comparative approach to and analysis of the material concerned (in this regard, proposers may refer to the BCLA(s mission statement on the Association’s web site) and explaining the links between and complementarity of the proposed papers. This abstract should be accompanied by synopses of 150-200 words of each of the papers, together with a brief ‘bio-note’ of 50 words at most for each of the contributors.

With regard to the theme of salvage, proposals for panels considering antiquity/monuments, forgotten books and readers and the literature of al Andalus would be particularly welcome.

  1. Retrieval: recuperation, recovery, rediscovery, exhumation, remembering, recollecting, resurrection, repossession;
  2. Saving: rescue, survival, reprieve, restoration, resuscitation, repair, preservation, conservation, consecration, canonization, quotation, re-edition, translation, legitimisation, de-criminalization;
  3. Saving the spirit: redemption, salvation, renaissance, rebirth, liberation, emancipation;
  4. Re-using: recycling, re-processing, triage, bricolage, ecology, scavenging, transformation, imitation, plagiarising, transmutation, adaptation, metamorphosis, anniversary, commemoration;
  5. Reconfiguring: blending, merging, distilling, filtering, abstracting, editing, expurgating, bowdlerising, disguising, distortion;
  6. Remains: rubbish, gold under dirt, detritus, ruins, monuments, residue, ecology, collage;
  7. The antithesis of salvage: suppression, censorship, stigmatization, defamation, repression, eradication, erosion, disarticulation, oblivion, forgetting.

Please visit our website (see above) for further information about the conference (plenary speakers, programme and activities, fees, accommodation), how to submit a paper and panel proposal and how to register.

(posted 2 July 2015, updated 15 February 2016)

Functional Linguistic and Social Semiotic Approaches to the Media: ESFLC 2016
University of Salzburg, Austria, 13-15 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2016

26th European Systemic Functional Linguistics Conference


Beyond their current social hype, the media have long since been of major concern to linguists. Rooted in rhetorical notions of effectiveness and appropriateness, featuring in early models of communication (e.g. JAKOBSON), surfacing in the principled division of speech and writing and a key idea in text theory (cf. register/mode, HALLIDAY/HASAN) and language variation, the concept of medium has recently been gaining ground in discourse/text linguistics and general linguistic theory. Some would go as far as to claim independent disciplinary status to an evergrowing field of media linguistics. Despite the wealth of notions of medium, there would seem to
be linguistic consensus on at least three relevant key elements of the concept.

  1.  TECHNOLOGICAL: Media are primarily seen as the technological means and infrastructure enabling and shaping the use of language. Technical frameworks like radio, TV, printing, new and social media leave traces in the linguistic styles and the texture of the discourse constructed. Each medium comes equipped with its own material-situational constraints and affordances.
  2. SEMIOTIC: Viewing media as sign systems or semiotic modes opens up a multimodal approach to text and discourse, which seeks to describe the patterns of mode co-operation, combination and integration. In this view, we ask for medium-specific multimodal patterns of texture. But fundamental mode differences, like the question of the autonomy or interdependence of speech and writing, also come to the fore.
  3. SOCIO-CULTURAL/PRAGMATIC: Finally, from a sociolinguistic and pragmatic point of view, media can be recast as socially constituted forms of textual practice. In this view, what is highlighted is the pragmatic

SFL – a linguistics working its way from social functions to linguistic or semiotic structures – would seem to be ideally equipped to tackle questions of the interrelation between media and text/discourse. The ESFL Conference seeks to demonstrate this and showcase the promising work SFL is doing on all aspects of media language and text. The conference invites papers on style, variation and change in media language and media genres of all kinds. To channel contributions and create some order, we plan to set up the following thematic strands:

  1.  SFL and the Media – Theoretical Aspects
    This strand looks at the interrelation between medium and language/textual practices from a theoretical point of view. It seeks to flesh out the Systemic Functional/Social Semiotic approach to media and to compare and contrast this with other approaches; it will also be open to general issues of research design and data collection. Further, the theme will include the social role of media and their growing influences on cultural
    practices in all spheres of life – now often labelled ‘mediatization’ (cf. ANDROUTSOPOULOS 2014).
  2. Media Genres – Linguistic/Semiotic Textures
    This strand opens up the wide spectrum of genres circulating in a large number of possible media. It looks at the typical generic structures and the salient linguistic features of diverse media genres. What would seem particularly profitable are comparative approaches contrasting related genres in different media or inventorying the group of genres constitutive of certain media (e.g. newspaper, magazine, website etc.).
  3. Multimodality – Medium-specific Mode Combinations
    As SFL has proved to be well applicable to modes other than language and to their combination, we also invite papers on multimodal media genres. This strand is geared towards identifying typical multimodal textures and their variability with respect to a number of medium-related factors. The crucial role of the medial language variants speech and writing in multimodal genres will be of particular importance here.
  4. Media Change – Genre Change
    This strand looks at how long-established media genres (e.g. news, advertising etc.) have changed over the years and adapted to shifting media logics. The transfer of a genre from one medium to another and concomitant linguistics/semiotic changes would seem particularly relevant here. Also, how new and social media have led to emerging linguistic practices or adopted and imported generic conventions and linguistic styles from related/neighbouring genres and media is of special importance to this thematic strand.

In addition to papers in these four thematic strands and following the tradition of previous ESFL conferences, we also welcome contributions on any other aspect of Systemic Functional Linguistics.

John A. Bateman (Bremen University, Germany)
Jana Holsanova (Lund University, Sweden)
Eija Ventola (Aalto University, Finland)

We invite high-quality, original research contributions, particularly those with a clear focus on language in the media. Abstract submissions should be 300 words maximum plus a short indicative bibliography. Abstracts ought to clearly state the aim of the contribution and explain how it relates to previous or current work within SFL/social semiotics or other research frameworks, especially within media linguistics/media studies. Abstracts should also describe the main part of the presentation and give key references. Please, also indicate which of the four thematic strands your paper will best fit into (EasyChair will ask you to provide this information). The exclusive working language of the conference is English; abstracts must be submitted in English via
EasyChair at the following address:
All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. We, therefore, ask you not to include any information about your authorship in the title or body of your abstract.

Presentations will be organized in 30-minute slots, providing 20 minutes for the talk and 10 minutes for questions/discussion and room changing. Longer presentations may be planned for multiple-author papers. The thematic sections will run parallel for most of the time.

In addition, the conference will host 1 or 2 workshops, which should be related to the overall conference theme. We would, therefore, also welcome proposals for 90 or 120-minute workshops.

Geoff Thompson ESFLA Young Scholar Bursary
The European Systemic Functional Linguistics Association is sponsoring a bursary for the ESFLC 2016 conference, in honour of Geoff Thompson. Young scholars (Ph.D students or those who have completed within the last two years) may apply for this bursary once their paper has been accepted by the conference organizing committee. The bursary covers the conference fee for one awardee; it also covers his/her travel + accommodation up to €200 (receipts must be provided).
To apply: Send the conference acceptance email, proof of current Ph.D. status or having
completed within the past two years, and a cover letter explaining how your proposed paper for the ESFLC furthers the work of Geoff Thompson to ESFLA Chair Anne McCabe ( by April 1st, 2016. The GT Bursary awardee will be notified by April 20th.

Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 31 January 2016
Notification of Acceptance: 15 March 2016
Registration Opens: 1 April 2016
Deadline for Registration/Payment: 31 May 2016

Hartmut Stöckl (Salzburg University)
Martin Kaltenbacher (Salzburg University)
Volker Eisenlauer (Salzburg University)
Christian Grösslinger (Salzburg University)
Melanie Kerschner (Salzburg University)
Sonja Molnar (Salzburg University)
Jana Pflaeging (Salzburg University)
Caitlyn Rhodes (Salzburg University)
Anja Schwarzl (Salzburg University)

Conference E-Mail:
Conference Website:

(posted 27 January 2016)

Food & Medicine in Chinese & American & Chinese-American Short Stories: International Conference on the Short Story in English
Shanghai, China  –  13-16 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 December 2015

1607-ShangaiPanel Organizers:
Jeff Birkenstein, Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington, USA
Tristan Beach, Baotou, Inner Mongolia, China

“What is distinctive about American food writing is how constant and close to the 
surface is its sense of moral struggle.”

This panel seeks to investigate food and/or medicine in contemporary Chinese or American or Chinese-American short stories.
Food and
 foodways have long been present in fiction, of course, but inadequate
critical attention has been paid to this often most fundamental of narrative strategies. As food and medicine play vital roles in not just public health but also social and cultural health, this panel seeks to further the exploration of their roles in literature (focusing on short stories), and inspire interest in future study.
What we call “Significant Food” (or significant medicine, traditional or contemporary, Eastern or Western) in fiction is
food used as a significant plot or other substantial literary device, food
and/or medicine where the important concomitant cultural signifiers related to nourishment and 
the table and/or restoration or degradation of the body assume a crucial narrative role.
The reasons for investigating food and medicine in fiction are simple. On one
level, food and medicine can be pleasurable and healthful, and writing and reading about this phenomenon can also be
so. Yet from myriad political, economic,
cultural, medical and moral perspectives, food and medicine can also be a source of great
conflict, of bodily degradation and destruction. This breadth of significance exists because in some fiction food
and medicine become more than themselves and
this is the focus of this panel.
Recent Nobel Prize winner Tu Youyou is noted for her connecting TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) to effective treatment of malaria, which has reinvigorated interest in Chinese medicine in the West and sparked further debate over its usefulness and practicality. In turn, how is this reflected in (short) fiction? While there is a wealth of information on TCM, and its use in literature has been well established, there is a general lack of critical inquiry into its place in fiction, especially short fiction. Mo Yan writes that China lacks a modern short story tradition, yet Lu Xun and his contemporaries have produced copious volumes of mostly untranslated or perhaps untranslatable short work that includes food as well as TCM. Medicine is often presented as either the cure or cause of calamity in fiction just as the nourishing powers of food transform narratives and characters.
Montanari writes that this language of food, “[t]his aggregate of conventions,
which we shall call ‘grammar,’ informs the food system not as a simple compilation of products and foods,
assembled in a more or less casual fashion, but rather as a structure, inside
of which each component defines its meaning”[2].  Roland Barthes argues that food is “perhaps
the functional unit of a system of communication”[3]. The possibilities are no doubt endless, but
in order to provide us with a context, we hope to focus on Chinese or American or Chinese-American short stories from
the 20th and 21st centuries.

Short stories should be written in, or translated to, English.
Please send a
250-350 word abstract and a brief C.V. (separate MS Word attachments) by December 31,
2015 to Jeff Birkenstein at:
Conference website:

(posted 16 November 2015)

Michel Foucault: Discourse Theory and the Archive
Göttingen University, Germany, 16 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 10 April 2016

This year marks not only Michel Foucault’s 90th birthday, but also the 50th anniversary of the publication of his seminal book Let Mots et les Choses, which made Foucault a prominent intellectual figure throughout Europe. We would like to commemorate this double anniversary with a one-day symposium organised by the Department of British Literature and Culture at Göttingen University in cooperation with the Göttingen Center for Genderstudies and the Center for Theory of Culture and Society.
While Foucault has introduced many persistent concepts to the fields of critical, cultural, and literary theory, one that has increasingly attracted attention during the past ten to fifteen years is the archive.
Foucault himself employs the term ‘archive’ ambiguously (cf. Eliassen). Depending on context, the archive signifies
a) an analytical and systematic concept in Foucault’s historical epistemology as put forward in The Archaeology of Knowledge;
b) a historically embedded institution that registers, stores, processes, and provides data about populations and nations; and, last but not least,
c) a singular space that can be experienced aesthetically and that therefore belongs to a group of socially and historically constructed spaces that Foucault referred to elsewhere as ‘heterotopias’.
As concept, ‘the archive’ thus finds itself at the centre of several current academic debates and concerns.
What is more, ‘the archive’ can often be seen as a driving force behind recent transformations of the fields of literary and cultural studies, heralding important turns such as the material, the spatial, or the medial turn.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers that investigate the relevance of Michel Foucault and his concept of the archive for literary, cultural, and media studies.
Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to the following:

  • Gender studies in/and the archive
  • Literary museums and other places of literature
  • Literature and digital archives
  • The role of the archive in (post)colonial discourse
  •  The archive as a place of the contest between theory and practice
  • Archives in media theory and media studies
  • Archives in literature / Literature as archive
  • The curation of things and objects and knowledge production

We intend to publish a selection of papers after the conference. One or two panels of the symposium will be reserved for young scholars. We therefore encourage graduate and postgraduate students to apply.
Conference convenors: Johannes Schlegel, Ralf Haekel, Julia Kroll
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a short biographical note to no later than April 10. We will notify you by April 17.

(posted 12 March 2016)

Coetzee’s Other Arts
University of the Western Cape, South Africa, 18 July 2016
Deadlline for proposals: 1 April 2016
(post ACLALS conference at Stellenbosch, UWC and UCT)
Much recent scholarship on the work of J. M. Coetzee has focused on the relationship of his work to specific writers and literary traditions as well as to the broader philosophical tradition. Coetzee’s interests and activities, however, extend beyond the text-based focus of most of this scholarship to collaborations with visual artists and composers as well as text-based performance arts like film and opera, not to mention poetry. At the same time, the recently expanded Coetzee archive is enhancing our understanding of his long-standing engagement with forms like film and photography, providing the basis for the recently published Two Screenplays (UCT Press, 2014), and shedding light on the range of adaptations for theatre and film that have been staged and mooted over the years.

This conference, then, aims to extend the current critical discussion to consider Coetzee’s sustained engagement with other art forms. What we are terming Coetzee’s Other Arts will focus on Coetzee’s relationship to artistic forms beyond the printed novel, with a particular emphasis on non-literary and performative forms such as photography, film, painting, sculpture, music, dance, opera and theatre. We welcome proposals for papers that speak broadly to this topic, which might include:

  • Coetzee’s collaborations with other artists (Berlinde de Bruyckere, Nicholas Lens)
  • Adaptations of Coetzee’s novels for theatre, opera, film, music, or visual arts and responses to his work by other artists
  • Coetzee’s critical and non-fiction writings on film, music, visual arts and poetry as well as his engagement with writers known for their dramatic works (Beckett is only the most obvious)
  • Photography, film, theatre, dance or opera as they feature within the fiction
  • Coetzee’s formal engagement with the conventions and techniques of other art forms in his fiction, especially non-verbal and performance-based forms, as well as poetry

Reorienting Coetzee scholarship around a broader range of artistic forms will, it is hoped, bring new material and contexts to existing areas of critical debate. Coetzee’s Other Arts aims to offer fresh perspectives on such topics as the representation of the body in the fiction, Coetzee’s interest in nonhuman animals, his engagement with philosophy and the philosophy of language, his work’s relationship to history and politics, and the various ways in which his work is located – regionally, nationally and internationally. Coetzee’s persistent reworking of the novel form and conscious engagement with its history, as well as his sustained concern with textuality and the materiality of writing, will act as a platform for a reconsideration of questions of genre and medium, building on and contributing to existing scholarship on, for example, the relationship between drama and the novel form (Hodgson Anderson 2009, Kurnick 2012, Marshall 1986, Puchner 2002). It is also hoped that efforts to conceptualise Coetzee’s relationship with art forms other than narrative fiction will contribute to scholarship on adaptation, intermediality and performance.

The conference will be hosted at the University of the Western Cape, and is co-organised by UWC Department of English and the Faculty of English Language and Literature, Oxford.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words by April 1, 2016 to

Conference organisers
Dr Kate Highman (UWC)
Dr Michelle Kelly (Oxford)
Dr Hermann Wittenberg (UWC)

(posted 2 March 2016)

David Jones: Dialogues with the Past
University of York, United Kingdom  –  21-23 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2016

In ‘Past and Present’ (1953), David Jones claimed: ‘The entire past is at the poet’s disposal’. The interweaving of this ‘entire past’ with the present moment fundamentally characterises Jones’s art and thought, from his visual reimagining of historical figures, to the etymologically rich allusions of his poetry, to the unusual philosophy of history manifested in his essays and letters. The analysis of Jones’s visual or poetic works often reflects the act of excavation: the unique layering of images, words and ideas, the resonant symbolism and shades of meaning. the blending of cultural traditions and dynamic interweaving of whole civilisations.
As 2016 marks the centenary of the Battle of the Somme which profoundly shaped Jones’s imagination and thought, it provides an ideal moment to reconsider the entirety of Jones’s engagement with the many, various, elusive and intertwined ‘pasts’ through which he conceived history and culture. It will be an opportunity to explore Jones’s own style, subject matter, allusive practice and intellectual questions including the role of ‘memory’, ‘inheritance’ and ‘history’ in art and life, while also reflecting upon Jones’s own past and contemporary moment.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Tom Dilworth (English)
Adam Schwartz (History)
Paul Hills (History of Art)
Evening Events:
Screening (21 July) – An Artist’s Retrospect: Selections from Lost Jones Interviews and Programmes
Performance (22 July) – Echoing Sacredness and Sound: Sources of Jones’s Audio-Visual Imagination

We welcome papers from scholars and postgraduates of multiple disciplines, including but not limited to: English, History of Art, History, Philosophy, Theology and any others that may offer relevant perspectives to the study of David Jones. Papers might include but are not limited to any of the following topics in relation to the thought and works of Jones and his contemporaries:

  • The Historical Moment of In Parenthesis (cf. Blunden, Graves, Sassoon)
  • The WWI Tommy in Visual Art
  • Dialogues with Cyclical Theories of History
  • Modern Responses to Tradition of War Poetry
  • The Poet as ‘Rememberer’
  • Concepts of ‘Tradition’ or ‘Contemporaneity’ (cf. T.S. Eliot, W.H. Auden)
  • The Classical Tradition
  • Historical Resonance of Jones’s Painted Inscriptions
  • The Anathemata and Archaeology
  • Medievalism and the Welsh Arthurian Tradition (cf. Robert Graves, J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • Historical or Mythic landscapes and Figures in Visual Art
  • Biography and Retrospect
  • Catholicism and Cultural History (cf. Christopher Dawson)
  • Linguistic Interaction and Etymology: Welsh, Latin, Greek and English
  • A Jonesian ‘Theology of History’?

Abstracts of around 250 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to:
The deadline for paper proposals is 31 January, 2016.
Also, see our website at

(posted 7 December 2015)

ECSAS Panel: Peripheral Modernity and South Asian Literary-World
University of Warsaw, Poland  –  27-30 July 2016
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2015

“Peripheral Modernity and the South Asian Literary-World” is a conference panel, jointly held by Sourit Bhattacharya (University of Warwick) and Priyanka Basu (SOAS, London), at the 24th Biennial European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS), to take place at the University of Warsaw, Poland, July 27-30, 2016.

The 2008 global downturn has compelled the social sciences and humanities to refocus on the concept of “crisis” in capitalism and rethink the relations between “core” and “periphery.” What is crucial to this era of crisis is the emergence of the BRICS countries and the corresponding shifts in the world system. Debates on world literature and comparitivism have been alert to these readjustments (Moretti, 2000; Orsini, 2003; Spivak 2003; Damrosch, 2005; Warwick ReC, 2015) as well as the proliferation of the neo-social realist novel (Adiga, Hamid, etc).
Given the important place of South Asia in contemporary literary and cultural studies debates, this panel would like to interrogate the South Asian region through the lens of “peripheral modernity.” In her article, “Aspects of Peripheral Modernisms,” (ARIEL, 2009), Benita Parry asks the scholars in postcolonial and world literature studies to approach the modern ‘world’ not as multiverse or plural but essentially a ‘one and unequal’ system where core, peripheral, and semi-peripheral societies are coerced together for capitalist exploitation. Often such a system results in a literary mode that represents the “incongruous overlapping of social realities and experiences from radically different historical moments.” (Parry 30). Borrowing from Michael Löwy, Parry calls this mode “irrealism” which is marked by the juxtaposition of “the mundane and the fantastic, the recognizable and the improbable, the seasonal and the eccentric, the earthborn and the fabulous, the legible and the oneiric, historically inflected and mystical states of consciousness” (Parry 39).
Parry’s focus remains mainly on Eastern European territories, Middle East, and East Asia. This panel would like to expand the geography and interrogate the moments, modes, processes of capitalist modernity in the South Asian regions. Not only has there been a strong question of a subset of core and peripheries in South Asia in recent times, the popularity in production, consumption and circulation of literary and artistic products has compelled many to think of the alternative or shifting world capital of letters. Thus a study of South Asian literary world and peripheral modernity allow us a relational understanding of the history and consequences of capitalist exploitation in the periphery and the shifting geographies of world literary capitals in contemporary times. Some of the questions the panel raises are:
Is South Asia a periphery to the capitalist world system or has it set up its (associated) system of core and peripheries (enabled by the strategic and economic negotiations between India and other SAARC nations)? What role do ‘social’ components such as space, gender, or caste play in understanding the peripherality of modernity? Could terrorism or civil war, petro-capitalism or religious fundamentalism tell us more about this specific arena of capitalist modernity? How do we situate the vernacular aesthetics or the contemporary popularity of white collar English novels in this? Finally, how are we making a “literary world-system” in South Asia through the international circulation and reception of Anglophone literature and awards? The panel invites proposals based on literary, visual, and performance-based texts to uniquely situate South Asian transformations in the past decades.

​Submission Procedure: The last date of sending abstracts for paper presentations is November 30, 2015. The abstracts must consist of: a paper title, the name/s or email address/es of the author/s, a short abstract of 300 characters, a long abstract of 250 words, and a short bio-note (75 words).
It should be submitted via the Propose a Paper link on the ‘Panels’ website. The link to the website is:
The ‘propose a paper link’ is at the bottom of the website, highlighted in red.
​For details, also see this link:
For any queries, please write to: or​

(posted 12 October 2015)