Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in November 2018

The Rhetoric of Prayer
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, UK, Saturday 3 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2018

Prayers in the literary context are the subject of the CLSG day conference.

The full form of the Call for Papers is at

See also the linked bibliography.

The conference page will be progressively updated in the period before the conference, and the conference is open to all who have pre-booked. The CLSG interest is in exploring Christian and Biblical themes in Literature.

The deadline for proposals, which should be emailed to Dr Roger Kojecký (, is 31 May. Papers proposed should have a reading time of about 20-25 minutes and be offered for subsequent publication in The Glass. Your proposal should give a provisional title, should state in a few words how you will tackle your topic, and give brief information about your background.

(posted 14 February 2018)

Owen and / in France
Université de Valenciennes, France, 5-6 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 8 January 2018

Organizers :

Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Université de Valenciennes – CALHISTE)
Elise Brault-Dreux (Université de Valenciennes – CALHISTE)
Sarah Montin (Université Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle – PRISMES)

Keynote : Xavier Hanotte

This is the thing they know and never speak,
That England one by one had fled to France,
Not many elsewhere now, save under France
“Smile, Smile, Smile”, ll. 21-3

In partnership with the Oxford Center for Life-Writing conference “Wilfred Owen and Beyond”, to be held in Oxford 26-28 October 2018, the University of Valenciennes will host an interdisciplinary two-day conference 5-6 November 2018 to celebrate the centenary of Wilfred Owen’s death, near the Sambre and Oise canal, in the North of France. We invite scholars from a vast range of disciplines (literature, biographical approaches, history, local history, translation, and the visual arts). This conference will explore and privilege the link between Owen and France, and thus look at his oeuvre not only beyond his life but also beyond England.

Participants could for instance, though not exclusively, discuss the following questions:


– How was his poetry, imagination and creative thinking nourished by his various stays (Bordeaux, Pyrenees) in France?

– How did his encounter with the French poet and writer, Laurent Tailhade, in 1914, influence Owen’s own creative process?


– To what extent is his poetry inspired by the horrors witnessed and experienced in France as opposed to other geographic areas?

– the notion of “no man’s land” between the trenches and how Owen perceives that specific yet undefinable stretch of land

– War in France as sensory experience (territoriality of the battlefield, materiality of the mud, scents or particular odours, etc.

– The sense of exile: perceptions of the strangeness and foreignness of France


– The proximity of Valenciennes University with Ors, where, in the “Smoky Cellar of the Forester’s House” he wrote his last letter to his mother, and where he was buried in the communal cemetery, naturally encourages a peculiar focus on Owen’s last stay in France.

– We particularly invite contributions related to the poet’s “last” experience: his last march with the Manchester Regiment; his last written words; his last letters; his last completed poem, etc.


– Owen’s reading of French and francophone literature, in particular war literature of the times (Barbusse, Duhamel, Bourdeaux, Péguy, Verhaeren, etc.);

– Owen’s perception of and relationship with the French language

– The translation of Owen’s poems into French;

– Owen and modern memory: the “myth” of Owen and its impact in France (notably his appearances in Francophone literature), his resting place and last battleground as “site of memory”;

– His social and artistic networks in France;


– An intermedial approach is also encouraged as the conference convenes to explore how Owen’s experience in France has been transposed and rendered into other media (images, music, live performances) and how his vision of war and his own death have been aestheticized over the past century.

– On October, 10th, 1918, Owen wrote to Sassoon: “Catalogue? Photograph? Can you photograph the crimson-hot iron as it cools from the smelting? That is what John’s blood looked like, and felt like. My senses are charred”.

Photographs, postcards and archives likely to inform the local context in which Owen lived the last weeks of his short life are going to play an important role in this conference. We would like historians and archivists to join us for the event so as to stimulate studies around life in the army, in particular Owen’s regiments while he was posted in France, but also the social surroundings of Ors or Amiens during that time.

The working languages of the conference are English and French.

Conference timeline
Submission deadline: 8 Jan. 2018
Final acceptance of proposals: 1 Feb. 2018

Please send a 300-word proposal, a short biography with main publications, and 5 keywords relevant to your paper.

All the proposals for the conference should be simultaneously submitted to and/or

Association Wilfred Owen France
Oxford Center for Life-Writing conference


(posted 8 November 2017)

Abortion in the British Isles, France and North America since 1800
University of Paris-Sorbonne, France, 6-8 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 23 December 2017

Conveners: Claire Charlot, Adrien Lherm (Paris-Sorbonne, HDEA EA 4086), and Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq (University François Rabelais, Tours, ICD EA 6297).

Around the world, 2018 will mark the anniversary of a series of events relating to the decriminalisation of abortion: the enforcement of the UK Abortion Act 1967 (50 years), the US Supreme Court ruling of Roe vs. Wade (45 years), and the Canada Supreme Court ruling of R. v. Morgentaler (25 years). The Republic of Ireland is also planning a referendum on the possible repeal of Article 8 of its Constitution which, if approved, would lead to the decriminalisation of abortion there too. In addition, shortly after the British General Election of 2017, Prime Minister, Theresa May, announced that women from Northern Ireland (currently excluded from the British Abortion Act) would be allowed to travel to mainland Britain to secure an abortion on the National Health Service.

Over the years, some countries have authorised abortion on therapeutic grounds (when the physical and mental health of the mother or health of the foetus is at risk), and sometimes extended terminations on other grounds, such as birth control or the right of women to take control over their bodies. In this instance, the context provided by the 1960s and the 1970s would prove decisive in the liberalisation of legislation; a move described by some as ‘permissive’ and by others as ‘progressive’. A reform of the laws on contraception often pre-dated the legalisation of abortion, helping to shape a context in which women sought greater freedom from child-bearing.

However, despite changes in attitudes and legal frameworks, the abortion debate goes on and many attempts have been and are still being made to turn the clock back. This can take various forms: street protests, physical violence (including assault and shootings), legal challenges, and demands for amendment or repeal of existing legislation from anti-abortion lobbies and political movements or parties created for the sole purpose of going back to a world without legally-available abortion.

The aim of this conference will be to consider all these developments in France and in the UK, Ireland, Canada and the United States, and to seek to explain how debate, the Law, as well as the situation on the ground, have changed over the last two centuries in the different countries concerned. Among the possible topics of interest for the conference are:

  • – quantifying abortions and relating the phenomenon to that of statistical knowledge;
  • – charting the evolution of the legislation or rulings which led to the criminalisation and then the decriminalisation of abortion;
  • – examining the social status of women affected by those changes in the countries concerned;
  • – describing and explaining changes in attitudes among the various actors involved: public opinion, the medical profession, politicians, members of the different churches, journalists, the activists of the different movements or political parties and of course women themselves;
  • – exploring the sociological profiles of women who seek abortions.

Such topics raise a number of key questions. Is abortion used today as a method of birth control? Can we speak of abortion on demand? Can we speak of a backlash against abortion? Such questions, it is hoped, will contribute to an interdisciplinary discussion among conference participants concerning the issues raised by abortion.

Proposals for papers on one of these topics – or others – are invited either in French or English, and may address only one aspect of the abortion question at a national level, or adopt a comparative approach. We hope to attract specialists from a wide variety of fields: bioethics, demography, law, religious studies, economics, history, medical studies, philosophy, sociology, political science, and so on.

Please send a proposal (a 500-word abstract and a short CV) to each of the three organisers: Claire Charlot (, Adrien Lherm ( and Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq ( The deadline is 23rd December 2017. Those submitting a proposal will be informed before the New Year whether their paper has been accepted.

Some papers will be published. A registration fee of 20 euros will be asked of participants.

Scientific committee: Françoise Barret-Ducrocq (Paris-Diderot, France), Claire Charlot (Paris-Sorbonne, France), Ann Furedi (Bpas, United Kingdom), Hélène Harter (Rennes 2, France), Françoise Le Jeune (Nantes, France), Adrien Lherm (Paris-Sorbonne, France), Janine Mossuz-Lavau (CNRS, CEVIPOF), Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq (Tours, France), Joshua C. Wilson (Denver, USA).

(posted 27 October 2017

Sc[Arti]: Reflections on the remnant between selection and divergence
University of Milan, Italy, 7-9 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2018

Organized by The Doctorate in Linguistic, Literary and Intercultural Studies in European and extra-European Perspectives of the University of Milan.

Participation is open to all Ph.D. students in the humanities, and to those who completed their Ph.D. within the last three years

Flotsam does not exist in itself: there are no concepts nor entities that intrinsically possess this connotation. Rather, “flotsam” is the residue of a selection process based on shared convictions and conventions, which takes place in time and space according to individual and community dynamics. “Flotsam” is all that exceeds or deviates from what is considered the norm, canon, tradition; the attribution of a negative symbolic value generally follows.

How does this process occur? What causes and justifies a shift from the norm? How then is this remnant represented?

To explore the potential of the theme, Sc[Arti] develops transversely, according to a multidisciplinary approach, which involves the following research areas:

  1. Literary:

Distancing itself from the notion of flotsam as a deviation from the norm of language, at the basis of formalist-structuralist aesthetics, the literary theme of Sc[Arti] considers flotsam as a physical or cultural residue and is interested in its literary representation and its fruitfulness. for critical interpretation. Therefore, the following themes are proposed:

  • Residuality, recovery or oblivion of cultural, literary, aesthetic, memorial flotsam;
  • Literary works that depict the remnant: obsolete reality, environmental literature, it narratives, thing theory, etc;
  • Selection processes related to censorship, self-censorship and translation related to literary productions;
  • Author flotsam: study of variants, annotations, para-texts, and posthumous editions;
  • Flotsam in the canon: selection processes of the canon (authors and texts), relationships between genres and literatures (national, minor, world), forming and canonization of genres;
  • Intermedia flotsam.
  1. Cultural:

The cultural theme of the conference proposes the consideration of flotsam in relation to categories of people, held to be different from the norm, and as the outcome of practices of occlusion or censorship. Starting from cultural studies and critical discourse analysis, the cultural theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Processes for the construction of the identity of ‘flotsam’, also in relation to the I-other relationship, according to a positive-negative scheme;
  • Role of political and media tides in the spreading and consolidation of socio-cultural stigmatisation;
  • Discourse practices and representations related to disability (physical and mental), to gender, to homelessness, to ethnic minorities, to migrants and to both prison and mental confinement;
  • Processes or strategies of limitation and occlusion, censorship, negotiation of ‘flotsam’.
  • Presence/creation of communities of “human flotsam” – online and in the real world – and their representation in time and space in the different text typologies;
  • Artistic, cultural, cinematographic, literary and theatrical strategies and practices consciously implemented by supposed “human flotsam”.
  1. Linguistic:

The goal of Sc[Arti] is to emphasise the phenomenon of flotsam in language in all its manifestations. Linguistic flotsam is the result of a process of selection and exclusion with implications for uses and linguistic practices at the social level. The theme can be articulated from an overview that studies the relationship between language and society, or focus on the observation of details of linguistic phenomena and signification. The linguistic theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Analysis of subaltern linguistic codes (slang, pidgin, dialect etc.) connected to sociolinguistic variables;
  • Contamination and plurilingualism: contact situations, processes of decay and issues of linguistic prestige;
  • Language policy aimed at protecting and safeguarding languages, regional varieties and/or disadvantaged dialects;
  • Legitimization and delegitimization of minority languages in specific fields;
  • Processes of creating and removing taboos relating to specific semantic spheres;
  • Linguistic creativity around specific communicative practices (e.g. swear words).
  1. Didactics:

In a society that presents contexts considered as flotsam of the ordinary, one perceives the necessity to let didactic action enter these “grey areas”. The methodologies and approaches are adapted and reinvented with the unique goal of conveying knowledge by addressing any condition. Sc[Arti] proposes to explore didactic action, invisible yet constant, which takes place in learning contexts that can be considered as “alternative”, not identifiable with scholastic or academic learning in the traditional sense. The didactics theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Applicability of methodologies and teaching approaches within alternative learning contexts;
  • Proposals for educational activities aimed at alternative contexts, with a particular attention to for activities related to language teaching and the teaching of literature in L2;
  • Personal experiences of teaching in alternative contexts that are constituted as methodological-practical contributions of action in the field;
  • Ordinary context of learning and alternative contexts in dialogue: possible ways of conjunction and mutual enrichment.

Proposals of a transversal nature or those pertaining to two or more themes are welcome.

Conference participation:
Participation is open to all PhD students in the humanities, and to those who completed their PhD within the last three years. Those wishing to make a submission are kindly requested to send us an abstract of 300 words, with max. 6 references, to by June 15, 2018.
In the document, necessarily in pdf format, the following should be included: the title of your paper, reference theme, keywords, name, surname, and email address of the author (or authors); short biographical note indicating University affiliation and research areas (100 words).
Proposals in different languages will be accepted, as long as they have integrative support in either Italian and/or English.

Dates to remember
Deadline for the presentation of abstracts: 15 June 2018.
Notification of acceptance: 30 July 2018
Registration by: 30 September 2018

Registration procedure
Details for the registration procedure will be communicated after notification of acceptance. There is no registration fee.

Conference proceedings publication
A peer reviewed selection of papers will be published in a publication with ISBN.

For further information, please contact

(posted 26 May 2018)

Screening the Industrial City
Saint Etienne, France, 8-9 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2018

Cinema, an art of the masses yet also a very bourgeois art form, was born in the wake of industrialisation in the late nineteenth century. The representation of the city has already been the object of numerous studies in various fields but that of the industrial city seems more of an uncharted territory. Yet, since its early days, cinema has presented the city like the place of the machine, technology and factory work as in Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory in Lyon, Louis Lumière, 1895; Metropolis, Fritz Lang, 1927 or Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin, 1936, to name but a few examples. It is therefore hardly surprising that the industrial city should be widely represented on screen.

Whatever the period, culture and genre considered (documentary and fiction such as social realism, the western, science-fiction, steampunk uchronia, etc.), cinema has always looked into these urban territories with aesthetic, spatial, social and political intents. The questions raised are thus diverse and encourage a multidisciplinary approach. That is why scholars from film studies but also researchers from other fields of expertise who are interested in cinema (cultural studies, urban studies, architecture, urbanism, sociology, history, art, musicology, linguistics, etc.) are welcome to submit a paper on the topic.

The theme of the conference, “Screening the Industrial City”, offers topics for discussion that may include but are not limited to:

1/ Temporality and spatiality: the expanding city (industrialisation, mill/company towns, boom towns, industrial cities); the declining city (deindustrialisation, post-industrial cities, ghost towns); the places and/or non-places of the industrial city (real, rebuilt or imaginary cities used as locations: architecture, urban design, etc.).
2/ Directors associated with industrial cities or territories: Terence Davies and Liverpool, Shane Meadows and Nottingham, Ben Affleck and Charlestown, the Dardenne brothers and Seraing, Robert Guédiguian and l’Estaque, Ken Loach and the industrial North, etc.
3/ Topoi: tradition/modernity, bustle/stasis, circularity/sinuosity and/or linearity, surface/subterranean-ness, fluxes/aesthetics of emptiness, disintegration and the poetics of ruins, etc.
4/ Sounds, music and words: original soundtracks, sound tracks and effects, dialogues, composers, the presence of instruments and/or musicians and/or records in films, etc.
5/ Living in the industrial city: daily life (place attachment, solitude or lack of privacy, dilapidation/slums or housing shortage, the city of exile as the unheimlich/uncanny); the impact of housing on the habits/habitus of working-class people and their feeling about the evolution/transformation of that type of urbanism.
6/ Politics and city/urban policies: cinema as the witness of regeneration campaigns; the debates around industrial heritage (museumisation, gentrification, social cleansing); the industrial city as the circulation of fluxes vs the post-industrial city as the growing fixity of social boundaries (security and increasing privatisation of former public spaces, gated communities, CCTV); cinema as memory of/nostalgia for the industrial city to go against a form of material and symbolical deprivation, to resist an official memory?

Proposals (300 words with a short biography indicating your current position, affiliation and research interests) should be sent by 31 January 2018 to and Notification will be sent by April 2018. The conference will be held in Saint Etienne, France, on the 8th and 9th of November 2018. A selection of papers will be published.

Keynote speaker:
Thierry Paquot, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Urbanism (Paris Est) and philosopher, author of many books about the city, architecture, urbanisation and film. He is also the co-editor of La ville au cinéma. Encyclopédie, Cahiers du cinéma, 2005.

Scientific Committee:
Jean-François Baillon (Université de Bordeaux)
Isabelle Cases (Université de Perpignan Via Domitia)
Andrea Grunert (Université de Bochum)
Georges-Henry Laffont (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Saint Etienne)
Anne-Lise Marin-Lamellet (Université de Saint Etienne)
Gilles Menegaldo (Université de Poitiers)
Stéphanie Schwerter (Université de Valenciennes)
Nicolas Tixier (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Grenoble)
Vincent Veschambre (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Lyon)

Organising Committee:
Anne-Lise Marin-Lamellet (CIEREC), Georges-Henry Laffont (Transformations, IMU-EVS)

(posted 27 October 2017)

Innovation in Language Learning International Conference – 11th edition
Florence, Italy, 8-9 November 2018
New extended deadlne for proposals: 7 September 2018

The objective of the Innovation in Language Learning Conference is to promote transnational cooperation and share good practice in the field of the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to Language Learning and Teaching. The Innovation in Language Learning conference is also an excellent opportunity for the presentation of previous and current language learning projects and innovative initiatives. The Call for Papers is addressed to teachers, researchers and experts in the field of language teaching and learning as well as to coordinators of language teaching and training projects.

Experts in the field of language teaching and learning are therefore invited to submit an abstract of a paper to be presented in the conference.

Important dates:

– 7 September 2018: Last Extended Deadline for submitting abstracts

– 14 September 2018: Notification of Abstracts Acceptance / Rejection

– 17 September 2018: Deadline for final submission of papers

– 8 – 9 November 2018: Conference days

There will be three presentation modalities: oral, poster and virtual presentations.

All accepted papers will be included in the Conference Proceedings published with ISBN and ISSN (2384-9509) codes. This publication will be sent to be reviewed for inclusion in SCOPUS ( Papers will also be included in ACADEMIA.EDU ( and Google Scholar.

For further information, please contact us at the following address: conference@pixel-online.netor visit the Future of Education conference website:

(posted 7 July 2018, updated 27 July 2018, updated 6 August 2018)

Water: 2018 Annual Conference of the French Society for Scottish Studies
University François Rabelais, Tours, France, 8-10 November 2018
New extended deadline for proposals: 30 April 2018

The organising committee appointed by the French Society for Scottish Studies invites proposals for panels and papers to be presented at its 2018 International Conference which will be hosted by the University of Tours and the French Society for Scottish Studies and held at the University of Tours, France.

The theme for the conference is “Water”. The theme of water in its different forms is undeniably original, but not so surprising when applied to Scotland, even for the one who is little acquainted with it.

Water has been a central element in contemporary Scottish painting as seen in the works of Helen Turner, Lorraine McFarland, or Robert Kelsey. The theme of water is deeply related to Scotland’s economy, tourism, leisure, ecology, culture, and social, economic and maritime history. Scotland’s territory has an essential maritime dimension, which enabled fruitful exchanges in cultural, commercial or diplomatic domains, with Europe, the New World, the British Empire.

This is probably what Enric Miralles, the Spanish architect of the new Scottish parliament at Holyrood, had in mind when he developed in 2003 the design of a building and landscape that take their cues from sources as diverse as upturned boats along the Scottish coastline to the delicate flower paintings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, which are strong reminders of Scottish national identity.The ambivalent character of water has been well noted by Scottish writers : water as the origin of life and growth can also be related to the notions of displacement, exile and boundless immensity.

The conference will give participants the opportunity to reflect on the different forms of water, how it can be comprehended, then analyse its different representations, how they express themselves, why they may result from an evolution process or from some conscious choice reflecting cultural, social, political, identity influences or necessities.

This interdisciplinary conference will seek to tackle these issues and highlight their connections with Scotland’s past and present culture, and also the contemporary political, social, judicial debates.

Papers will be welcome on a wide range of research areas. The conference theme provides opportunities for researchers to share their work with colleagues in their area of interest and with researchers in allied fields.

Participants will be able to analyse these constructions / representations of water from a wide range of different angles, including and not limited to:

  • literary perspectives: poetry, travel writings, children’s literature,
  • cultural perspectives: painting, cinema, the performing arts, folklore,
  • historical perspectives: including the representations of Scotland’s past i.e. the political and identity debates about the terms of transmission of memory, the writing and rewriting of history, the construction of Scotland’s memory and how it is perceived by the other nations in Britain, in Europe and the rest of the world, all of these providing a semiotic perspective on how these identities are built up.
  • economic, political, social perspectives: involving leisure and industrial activities, environmental issues, energy benefits, proper access to drinking water (not only “uisge beatha” or water of life).
  • linguistic perspectives: in the larger field of the circulation and adaptation of the major and minor languages in Scotland, the linguistic analysis of items (preferably) related to water could lead to learned studies of the forms of these languages, including an implicit intercultural dimension.

Proposals can take the form of individual papers, but panels, with some British, European and global dimension / perspective are most welcome too.

Overall proposals could fall in, and are not limited to, one or several of the following fields:

1)          Water and how it is found:

  • The rivers, streams, waterways of Scotland: their formation and evolution. Also seas, inner seas, sea lochs; rain, mist and clouds, snow, ice
  • The climatic, geological, geographical specificities related to water: how water shaped Scotland’s territory, lands, isles

2)          Water and how it is viewed in Scottish culture:

  • Water in arts and literatures: water is omnipresent in Scottish landscape, in rivers, lochs, streams, seas; it has inspired painters, musicians, poets, writers eager to celebrate the beauty of Scotland’s landscape, which is always changing because of water.
  • The linguistic specificities of Scottish languages, as seen through the field of water.

3)          Water and how it is used:

  • Water and the formation of Scotland’s identity throughout history (including trade and migrations with Europe, the British Empire and the world, the formation of river and maritime communities like seamen, fishermen, shipwrights…)
  • Water and leisure: water enabled the rise of leisure activities and recreations, like swimming, rowing, pleasure sailing…
  • Water in the field of transports, economy, education, and the related government / local policies
  • Water and the sea (including fishing, maritime transport, communications across the seas, the Navy, shipwrecks and disasters at sea, coastal and insular communities…)

4)          Water and how it is handled:

  • Environmental issues and Scotland’s ecology: water and the Scottish regions: the issues, debates, projects related to water resource, (fresh) water conservation, access to water, and its uses.

Proposal details: New extebded deadline is 30 April 2018

Participants are invited to submit a short proposal in French or English (maximum 500 words) indicating the scope of their intended paper or panel, together with a short biographical note.

Please email your abstract to the main organizer:

For further details see our website:

(posted 9 December 2017, updated 4 April 2018)

Romanticism and Time
Université de Lille, France, 8-10 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2018
Conference of the French Society for the Study of English Romanticism (SERA)
Co-organized by the Université de Lille and the Université de Lorraine, with the support of the Institut Universitaire de France and of the SERA
Keynote Speakers
Kevis Goodman, University of California, Berkeley
Paul Hamilton, Queen Mary, University of London
A roundtable on Romanticism and Periodization will be chaired by David Duff, Queen Mary, University of London
Scientific Committee
Prof. Caroline Bertonèche, Université de Grenoble-Alpes, President of the SERA, Prof. Laurent Châtel, Université de Lille, Prof. David Duff, Queen Mary, University of London, Prof. Thomas Dutoit, Université de Lille, Prof. Jean-Marie Fournier, Université Paris Diderot, Prof. Marc Porée, École Normale Supérieure, Prof. Laura Quinney, Brandeis University, Prof. Fiona Stafford, Somerville College, Oxford
The 2018 Conference of the French Society for the Study of English Romanticism will explore the complex and creative relations British Romanticism entertains with the notion of time. “Eternity is in love with the productions of time” (Blake), and Romantic literature walks the line between the eternal and the provisional, the evanescent and the irreversible, between the ambition to foster “Nurslings of immortality” (P. B. Shelley) and a commitment to “ke[ep] watch o’er man’s mortality” (Wordsworth).
The conference will be an invitation to look at Romantic meditations on the course of human life, from the poetics of infancy and coming of age, to the literature of maturity. Whether contemplating “the rude/ Wasting of old Time” (Keats), attending to the “shadows which futurity casts upon the present” (P. B. Shelley), or awaiting an apocalyptic revelation at the end of time, Romanticism offers a meditation on history, reflecting on the burdens of the past and on the disruptions of time in revolutions.
Memory vies with erasure within Romantic poetry as, for instance, De Quincey’s “mighty palimpsest” challenges the “voluminous scroll” (Smith) of Memory. Contained within Clare’s “Now is past” is the constant tension among past, present, and future in Romantic poetics. That strain between reminiscence and prophecy also manifests itself in the multiple temporalities of Romantic fiction and performance. Subverting philosophical conceptions, but also the Newtonian physics of time, Romantic writing thus creates its own sense of time, in its own terms, forms, and figures.
In its ability to bend the course of time, the Romantic movement appears as essentially untimely. Its uncanny persistence into later literary movements and contemporary theory upsets the linearity of periodization. This conference is also an invitation to study the various temporalities of Romanticism as a form of cross-fertilization between nations. As Romanticism developed at different moments and within different cultures in Europe, but also across the Atlantic, we welcome comparative studies, based on reception and translation.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
  • The representation and manipulation of time in Romantic writing and performance
  • The poetics of infancy, coming of age, and maturity in Romantic writing
  • Romanticism and History, from the revolutionary to the apocalyptic
  • Romantic memory, from anamnesis to erasure
  • Prophecy and the will to shape the future in the politics of Romanticism
  • Untimely Romanticism, and its persistence in later literature and theory
  • The times of Romanticism: its comparative developments and adaptations in Europe
Presentations will be expected not to exceed 30 minutes. Most presentations and papers will be in English. Final papers will be considered for publication following a peer-review process.
Abstracts of up to 300 words along with a short biographical note should be sent to the conference organizers before 30 April 2018. Early submissions are encouraged.

(posted 29 January 2018)

Romanticism in the Age of World Wars
Leuven, Belgium, 11-13 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 May 2018

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Santanu Das (King’s College London)
Marc Redfield (Brown University)
Paul K. Saint-Amour (University of Pennsylvania)

Confirmed Panel Conveners:
Jan Mieszkowski (Reed College)
Debjani Ganguly (University of Virginia)
Petra Rau (University of East Anglia)

Topic and format: Recent scholarship has productively situated romanticism against the background of ongoing global wars (Bainbridge, Shaw). It has also shown how the romantic experiences of total war (Mieszkowski) and of a weirdly mundane wartime (Favret) have decisively shaped modern conceptions of war. Such critical work has enriched our understanding of romanticism and our appreciation of its planetary entanglements, but it also invites us to revisit cultural production in the war-torn long twentieth century that measures its distance from, and proximity to, romantic war-work. Timed to coincide with the Centennial of the World War I Armistice, and taking place in an iconic world war heritage site, this conference is not only interested in the discrete (if protracted) events of the two World Wars. Taking seriously Paul K. Saint-Amour’s compelling thesis that the aftermath of World War I inaugurated a “perpetual interwar” lived in anticipation of an always imminent coming war, we also want to explore to what extent war is an encompassing rather than an intermittent condition in the age of the War on Terror and ubiquitous drone warfare.

How does the legacy of romanticism inform literary, aesthetic, and cultural responses to the age of World Wars? Do literary and artistic engagements with the World Wars fit or update romantic templates for writing war(time)? To what extent do romantic evasions and obsessions persist in global responses to war? How does the planetary scale of modern war perpetuate romanticism’s disavowals of its colonial entanglements? To what extent does the global career of romanticism animate non-Western responses to wars that, even if they are called World Wars, were unevenly distributed across the globe? And does the war-afflicted afterlife of romanticism open up new avenues for a comparative romanticism—for discovering novel differences and resonances between different national romanticisms? What is the cultural impact of the fact that Britain was not involved in European wars between 1815 and 1914 (excepting the Crimean War) while casually waging World War as a Brexit Empire avant la lettre (if never), and how does this affect cultural responses to twentieth- and indeed twenty-first-century World War across Europe and the globe? The conference wants to explore these and other questions through a sustained confrontation of the legacy of romanticism in the age of World Wars.

Apart from a number of sessions tailored by invited conveners, the conference will consist of sessions culled from the responses to the call for papers, two keynote lectures (by Santanu Das and Paul K. Saint-Amour), and a Geoffrey Hartman Memorial Lecture delivered by Marc Redfield. The work of Hartman, who died in 2016, consisted in a sustained reflection on the interface of romanticism and the aftermath of trauma. As Hartman was born in the interwar period in Germany, spent World War II in rural England, and moved on to a brilliant postwar career in the United States, his legacy invites us to probe the geographical and historical reach of the interface of romanticism and war. His stunning claim that somehow Wordsworth saved English culture from the disastrous ideologies that ravaged continental Europe in the twentieth century still deserves testing.

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations or for three-paper panels. Topics could include, but are emphatically not restricted to

  • Romantic resonances in literary and artistic responses to the World Wars
  • Challenges to romantic notions of war in global engagements with World War
  • The afterlife of romantic tropes and techniques in World War literature and art
  • The persistence of the lyric and other romantic genres in an age of war
  • Transnational redeployments of romantic elements
  • The relation between romanticism and modernism in the face of war
  • Romanticism between revolution and catastrophe
  • Romantic aspects of the imagining of globality, planetarity, and total war
  • Liberalism, nationalism, and other political romanticisms

Submission: Send proposals as a Word-document to or use the online application at
Paper proposals should contain a 300-word abstract, a 100-word bio, and contact data. Panel proposals should contain a 200-word panel description, 300-word abstracts for the different papers, short bios of all panelists, and contact data.
Deadline: 1 May 2018. We will inform you about the acceptance of your proposal no later than 30 May 2018.
Organized by: Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp), Ortwin de Graef (KU Leuven), Tom Toremans (KU Leuven), Pieter Vermeulen (KU Leuven), and doctoral students Ana Ashraf (KU Leuven), Laura Cernat (KU Leuven), and Kahn Faassen (KU Leuven).
Venue: Leuven Irish College (Leuven, Belgium)
Questions? For all queries, please contact
Conference website: Please check for regular updates and for information on organizers, venue, costs, submission platform, and registration procedure.

(posted 1 March 2018, updated 25 April 2018)

Transnationalism and Imperialism: New Perspectives on the Western
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France, 15-16 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 31 March 2018

A conference organized by EMMA (Études Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone), CAS (Cultures Anglo-Saxonnes) and CORPUS (Conflits, Représentations et Dialogues dans le Monde Anglo-Saxon)

Venue: Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, Site Saint Charles

Keynote speakers: Matthew Carter (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Andrew Patrick Nelson (Montana State University)

This conference is a follow-up to a symposium entitled “Politics of the Western: a Revisionist Genre” organized by Hervé Mayer (EMMA EA741) at Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3 on December 8, 2017. The aim of this conference is to question the film genre of the Western as being essentially American by focusing on the transnational dimension of Western narratives and images, as well as the circulation, reception, and production of Westerns outside the United States.

The genre has been widely read within the confines of a national culture and cinema in the U.S. André Bazin and Jean-Louis Rieupeyrout (1953) famously labeled the Western “the American cinema par excellence,” and film genre studies since have consistently resorted to a “sociohistorical analysis” to read the genre as the cinematic expression of an American identity (Le Bris 2012). In recent film studies, the Western genre is still widely explored, understood, and constructed as an American genre despite overwhelming evidence of foreign production and global circulation since the invention of cinema. In doing so, studies of the Western strengthen the construction of an American exception that the genre—and the myth of the West it is grounded in—itself promoted. In order to emancipate studies of the Western from discourses of American exceptionalism, this conference proposes to connect film genre studies with the recent field of transnational cinema. Transnational cinema generally refers to films that cross national borders, as stories, productions, and sometimes both. But the concept of transnationalism can be interpreted more widely as a repositioning of film studies, in which the “study of national cinemas must then transform into transnational film studies” (Lu 1997, emphasis in original). This “critical transnationalism” approaches film from the viewpoint of international networks of production and reception rather than from national film traditions, exploring the complex economic, political, and cultural negotiations between transnational and national along with questions of “postcoloniality, politics and power” (Higbee and Lim 2010).

Several scholars have pointed out the blind spot of transnationalism in the study of the Western and started to explore the genre from more de-centered perspectives. In a 2001 article on Cormac McCarthy, Susan Kollin called for researchers to abandon the idea of the Western as a “quintessential American form” and invited them instead to “recognize that its sensibilities have been shaped by a larger history of imperialism”. In their respective contributions to Zoos humains(2011), Pascal Blanchard, Eric Deroo and Eric Ames underline the ideological familiarity between Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show and other spectacles of imperialism at the turn of the 20th century. In his study of French colonial cinema, Abdelkader Benali (1998) notices that “several levels of comparison can be established between the French colonial cinema and the American Western”, referencing narrative structure, themes, dramatic content, or what he calls the “ethno-anthropological dimension” of those genres. Expanding on ideas put forth by Richard Slotkin (1992) and later by Stanley Corkin (2004), James Chapman and Nicholas Cull, in the first chapter of Projecting Empire (2009) which focuses on the British and American co-productions of empire films in the 1930s, mention the “common ground” of Western and empire films, again citing narrative structures (expansion, taming of the frontier, clash of civilization and savagery). These various arguments seem to invite the following hypothesis: that the Western is not so much an American exception, but rather the American expression of a transnational ideology and culture of imperialism. That only a limited percentage of American Westerns feature the Indian wars and territorial conquest does not change the fact that the entire genre explores racial and gender hierarchies, as well as issues of progress and violence inherited from, and shaped by, a history of imperialism. The very category of the “Western” as a genre can therefore also be questioned as other labels (empire cinema or cinema of exploration) may better capture the common features of imperial cinemas beyond national borders.

Along with the ideological and narrative similarities between the American Western and other spectacles of imperialism, another largely unexplored field of study is that of the circulation and reception of Westerns outside the United States. Quantitative studies on the exportation of American Westerns abroad are needed to specify the vague estimates presently available, as well as studies on the marketing strategies developed by studios to sell their products outside the United States. One recent step to answer this question is Russell Meuff’s 2013 study of the target marketing of John Wayne films in 1950s France. If Hollywood’s construction of foreign markets is important to understand how producers conceived the appeal of their products beyond national borders, the reception of American Westerns abroad is as important to understand how those products interacted with, and contributed to shape, national or local cultures. Talking about Cheyenne Autumn in a 1967 interview with Peter Bogdanovich, John Ford mentioned the interest of European audiences for the Indian as one of the reasons for making the film. This interest needs to be verified. More specifically, it begs the question: to what extent does/did the American Western crystallize national or local issues of imperialism? One hypothesis that could be addressed is that American Westerns acted as a foil to audiences of imperial nations: it represented both a foreignness that allowed for dissociating criticism (Americans murdered the “Indian”) and a familiarity that was exhilarating (the white man’s epic), the level of historical dissociation being proportionate to the guiltless enjoyment of an imperial story. Some scholars point to more complex power relations at work in the circulation and reception of American Westerns. One example is Peter Bloom’s contribution to Westerns: Films Through History (2001), in which the author explores how the reception of populist American Westerns in 1930s Algeria affected French rule in the colony. Such reception studies can shed new light on the issue of American cultural imperialism.

In addition to the circulation and reception of American Westerns abroad, one last area of transnational discussion of the Western is that of foreign productions. Of the three areas of study mapped out for this conference, this is the most well-known and explored. Studies of non-American westerns have developed since the 1980s (Frayling 1981), focusing predominantly on Italian Westerns that were successful in the U.S. and worldwide (those of Sergio Leone and, to a lesser extent, Sergio Corbucci), but there remains much work to consider the diversity and complexity of Western productions outside the U.S., notably by considering how the genre’s imperialist thrust—the economic conquest of space and celebration of hard masculinity at the expense of a racial other—has been used to reflect on national and international concerns. Attention to the transfer of Western motifs and figures (costumes, color schemes, songs and music, the use of low-angle shots and narrative montage to emphasize heroic feats, the advance of civilization, etc.) to address national concerns and sometimes critique imperialist ideologies would be welcome. A first step in that direction was taken with the recent publications of International Westerns (Miller 2013) and Critical Perspectives on the Western(Broughton 2016), which break new grounds in focusing on reinterpretations of the Western by foreign industries such as Hungary, Brazil, Bangladesh, and South Africa. International Westerns is especially noteworthy for its attempt to fill in the gap of a “book-length survey of the breadth of the international Westerns” [xvi], but, while the book crosses the borders of the American Western, it reestablishes those borders in its treatment of foreign Westerns as local rewritings of the genre within national cinematic traditions. The extent to which non-American Westerns reinstate the idea of an exceptionally American genre even as they appropriate the genre remains to be assessed.

The following venues of investigation can be addressed:

The American Western as the expression of a transnational culture of imperialism:

  • comparative studies of the Frontier/Western myth and other colonial or imperial narratives;
  • transnational origins of Frontier/Western mythology;
  • comparative studies of the American Western and other colonial or imperial cinemas;
  • interactions of the American Western with other national cultures (appropriation, acculturation, redefinitions)
  • discussion of the national label “Western” as opposed to transnational genre categories such as empire cinema or cinema of exploration.

The American Western abroad: circulation and reception:

  • economic, cultural, political implications; American marketing strategies abroad;
  • the reception of American Westerns in foreign countries and the degree to which they resonate with national cultures of imperialism.

 The non-American Western: the production of Westerns abroad:

  • case studies of non-American English-language productions (Australia, Canada, Italy, etc.);
  • comparative studies of American Westerns and non-English-language productions (Argentina, Brazil, German, French, Manchuria, etc.).

Transnational studies of the Western: definitions, theory, practices:

  • Surveys of national academic corpuses on the Western;
  • Comparative studies of national academic corpuses.

Proposals in English (350 words including a short bio and bibliography) must be sent to Marianne Kac-Vergne (, Hervé Mayer ( and David Roche ( by March 31, 2018. They will be reviewed by the scientific committee. Notification of acceptation will be sent to participants by May 1, 2018.

Download the selective bibliography.

Organizing Committee: Marianne Kac-Vergne (CORPUS EA4295), Hervé Mayer (EMMA EA741) and David Roche (CAS EA801)

Scientific Committee: Mathilde Arrivé, Jean-François Baillon, Zachary Baqué, Lee Broughton, Matthew Carter, Christophe Chambost, Claude Chastagner, Florent Christol, Claire Dutriaux, Sarah Hatchuel, Gilles Menegaldo, Monica Michlin, Andrew Patrick Nelson, Anne-Marie Paquet-Deyris, Peter Stanfield, Vincent Souladié, Clémentine Tholas-Disset

(posted 2 December 2017)

Protest, Identity and the Imagination: Relational Forms IV, Literature and the Arts since the 1960s
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal, 15-17 November 2018
Deadlne for proposals: 31 May 2018

Confirmed keynote speakers: Edna Longley, Manuel Portela, Martin Halliwell, Michael Longley

1968 is a momentous year in the global socio-political memory: it has come to be seen as the culmination and epitome of a series of processes involving protest, and the affirmation of previously silent or subaltern causes. Such processes and causes were predicated on challenges to established powers and mindsets, and hence on demands for change, that have had rich consequences in literature and the arts. This conference proposes to address this imaginative wake of the rebellious late 1960s, with a particular but not exclusive focus on word-and-image relations. Of the various strands of socio-political memory associated with the period that this conference is designed to commemorate and ponder, some attention will be given to the developments marking the beginnings (c1968) but also the proclaimed end (1998) of the Northern Irish Troubles. This particular instance of legacies of violent conflict but also fraught peacemaking will be interrogated at a juncture in European history in which national and regional identities are in various ways on the frontline of political discussion once more, with consequences and outcomes that remain unclear.

In sum: the conference avails itself of a commemorative design to consider the impact on literature and the arts of a much mythologized historical period. We want to showcase and discuss the impact of its defining causes, hopes and regrets on the creative imagination, preferably from a comparatist perspective.

As indicated by the number in its title, this conference is the fourth in a series of academic events that reflect the ongoing concerns of the eponymous research group (Relational Forms), based at CETAPS (the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies).

The organisers will welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to the above. Suggested (merely indicative) topics include:

  • empowering the imagination: the late 1960s and beyond
  • the art of protest: words and images in action
  • literature – and the world out there: conflict and violence in public vs literary discourses
  • narratives of dissension: fiction, youth and conflict
  • staging protest: drama and the political imagination since the 1960s
  • screening protest: film, television and the political imagination
  • poetry, protest and identity/ies since the 1960s
  • action, reaction: stereotype and iconoclasm (verbal, visual)
  • disruptive, constructive?: tropes of conflict and the making of contemporary societies
  • take my song for it: vocal music and fraught selves since the 1960s
  • translating dissent: protest represented across languages
  • urban sights and sounds: street art and writing since the 1960s
  • subaltern identities and gaining/giving voice: hybrid constructions
  • protest through affirmation: picturing alternate communities
  • remediating protest since the 1960s: from audiovisual to digital media

Submissions should be sent by email to

Please include the following information with your proposal:

  • the full title of your paper;
  • a 250-300 word description of your paper;
  • your name, postal address and e-mail address;
  • your institutional affiliation and position;
  • a short bionote;
  • AV requirements (if any)

Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2018
Notification of acceptance: 30 June 2018
Deadline for registration: 15 October 2018

Registration Fee: 80 Euros
Student fee: 65 Euros

Registration details will be posted online in September 2018
All delegates are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation.
More information available later at
Organised by the Relational Forms research area

Executive Committee:Rui Carvalho Homem, Jorge Bastos da Silva, Miguel Ramalhete Gomes, Jorge Almeida e Pinho, Márcia Lemos

For further queries please contact:
CETAPS – Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 PORTO

(posted 21 March 2018)

Resisting Extractivism in Border Zones: Art and Protest from the Arctic North to the Global South
Universitet i Tromsø, Arctic University of Norway, 15-17 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 April 2018

This event will combine academic conference panel presentations, public lectures, film, and media installations. Panels will consist of 20-minute presentations.

Recent decades have witnessed the colossal social, economic, and environmental impacts of an ever-expanding human need to manage, commodify, and harness the latent energies of a wide variety of resources. Grouped under the label of extractivism, the practices arising from this need have been tied to both global climate change and massive migrations, and their effects have been disproportionately severe in areas recent scholars have identified as “border zones”: liminal, ambivalent, or “in-between” spaces marginalized by the demarcation of nation-states and global flows of capital and information. Artists, filmmakers, fiction writers and poets have been vocal about extractivist exploitation affecting border zones throughout the globe, blurring the lines between artistic representation and activist engagement.

The unevenly felt impact of extractivism on border zones has begun to be acknowledged. For instance, indigenous communities from North and South America to arctic northern Europe have seen their land-based rights to self-determination disrupted by strip mining, unconventional oil and gas production, and rare earth extraction. Similar processes have further impoverished already marginalized rural populations from China to the Niger Delta, and have left vast sacrifice zones in East and West alike, and desertification and rising sea levels throughout the globe have already begun to create displaced populations. Yet far from being limited to the recent past, such situations have important historical precedents including (to name just two pertinent examples) rubber production in the colonial Belgian Congo and the beginnings of large-scale mining, clear-cut logging, and hydroelectric operations in the rural United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Nor is there any end in sight in the shift to a postindustrial economy: we can see the legacy of such practices and their effects in the vast mining operations supplying the rapidly growing digital economy of the early twenty-first century with rare earths and other minerals underpinning its operations and constant expansion.

Extractivism is a term most often understood in relation to large-scale, profit-driven operations for the removal of natural resources such as petroleum, minerals, lumber, and other commodities. In an extended sense, the term refers more generally to an attitude or habitus in which the resources of the earth—natural, human, informational—serve a means-ends function, in which they stand as commodities to be extrapolated and turned to profit. Despite the proximity between extractivist practices and border zones, however, these two concepts have rarely been addressed in conjunction, and the issue of aesthetics and representation as sites of potential opposition has often been missing from the discussion entirely.

We acknowledge that “border zones” are best thought of as places of hybridization, negotiations, and creative human activity, and we are interested in locating practices that scrutinize and reveal the depredations of extractivist logic and aim at dislodging its hegemony. We seek papers that examine the effects of “extractivism” in either a narrow or a broader sense on border zones/marginalized areas. In particular, we are interested in papers examining the ways in which writers and artists have engaged creatively with extractivism-related issues in their work, and the ways in which cultural practices have emerged to confront such issues.

This event will be sponsored by the Border Poetics/Border Culture research group at the Universitet i Tromsø – Arctic University of Norway. The event will combine academic conference panels with public lectures, films, and exhibitions, and will take place against the backdrop of the Norwegian Arctic, a location with close proximity to fragile arctic landscapes and threatened indigenous populations. We seek in particular to create dialogues between the Arctic North and the Global South surrounding issues that resonate throughout border zones dispersed around the globe.

Please contact Dr. Justin Parks, Border Poetics/Border Culture research group coordinator, for more information:

Conference Website:

(posted 6 April 2018)

Tracing Non-Human Agency in Literatures in English
Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Germany, 15-17 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2018

Confirmed Key Note Speakers:
Prof Dr Roman Bartosch (University of Cologne)
Prof Dr Pieter Vermeulen (KU Leuven

This conference will explore the range of relationships between the human and the non-human in literature, engaging with questions such as: How do non-human agents influence what is often perceived as ‘human actions’? How does the agency of the environment, technology, animals and other non-human agencies challenge the belief in human superiority? Acknowledging the disruptive agency of non-human actors, this conference proposes an engagement with non-human agents that puts to test the exclusive status of the human. We welcome contributions by PhD students who work in the fields of Postcolonial Studies, Anglophone Literatures and Cultures, Comparative Literatures, Posthumanism, Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies or Cultural Studies who are interested in engaging with the topic of “non-human agency in literature”. The conference will provide a platform for exchange and collaboration among PhD students.

The topic “Tracing Non-Human Agency in Anglophone Literatures” proceeds from the assumption that non-human actors displace traditional western models of agency. The non- human is not merely an object for human interpretation or a static background against which human agency may be played out. Rather, it claims an agency of its own, which affects humans in frequently unpredictable ways. Though literature and other creative practices have always acknowledged the agency of non-human, it is only now – with the advent of more and more critical thought in the fields of posthumanism and ecocriticism – that we have the critical tools to adequately address the productivity of the non-human and its manifold influences and impacts. The non-human, so our assumption, shows its intractable agency in numerous ways: It may act back, ‘stare back’, or defer human action.

The discussion of non-human agency touches upon a number of topics that can also be discussed from a historical perspective:

  • Environmental Agency
  • Material Objects
  • Animals and the Creaturely
  • Digital Turn and Agency of the Machine
  • The Agency of Literature
  • Non-human Agents and Memory

The disruptive agency of non-humans compels scholars to re-think human/non-human relationships and re-conceptualize western concepts of modernity. This conference seeks to address the ways in which literature can bring non-human agency to the fore. We want to analyze the ways in which literature establishes the non-human environment as a dynamic configuration that not only surrounds humans, but which is constituted by and dependent on non-human actors. Proceeding from the assumption that humans only exist in their relation to non-human agencies interacting with them, this conference addresses the following questions: How can a thinking beyond the primacy of the human propel the acknowledgement of new forms of relationality? What are the ethical implications of decentering the human as the predominant unit of reference (Braidotti 2013)? How can literature avoid anthropomorphizing non-human agents?

Taking our cue from these questions among others, we will critically re-evaluate the ethical responsibility of literature and its potential to re-negotiate the relationship between the human and the nonhuman.

If you are interested in contributing, please send an abstract (300 words) for a 20-minute presentation including a short biographical note (50 words) and the topic of your current project to one of us no later than July 31, 2018. The conference language is English.

Contact Information:
Bettina Burger (
Yvonne Kappel (
Judith Rahn (

(posted 18 April 2018)

Place, Space, Region and Cultural Identity in Anglophone Literatures, Arts and Cultures
Prešov, Slovakia, 20-21 November 2018
New extended deadline for proposals: 15 October 2018

Place and space have often been studied in the context of human geography or sociology (Yi Fu Tuan, Soja) but the critical study of both has also become a part of literary and cultural studies in the past decades. In this context, place and its connection with particular locality and space have been understood, on the one hand, as a unique phenomenon representing a specificity not only of geographical but also of cultural environment often connected with a specificity of  culture and cultural identity of a region. For example, in American literature and culture these were especially the American South and the West which have been understood as specific regions in which the place has been understood as closely connected with culture and cultural identity not only of the ethnic population characteristic for these regions such as Native American (the West, the Southwest, the South), African American (the South and its relation to slavery) or Hispanic (Latino) population (the West and the Southwest). In Australian literature and culture, the study of the connection between the Aboriginal culture, place and the region, or of Tasmanian literature and culture can be understood in a similar context. On the other hand, more recently, the place and space as connected with the postmodern period and often urban environment have been understood as entities losing their specificity because of the uniforming power of modern technology and globalization (Augé and non-places, for example). This conference´s aim is to explore the connection between place, space, region and cultural identity and the various ways these relations manifest themselves in Anglophone literatures, film, arts and cultures with the main emphasis on American, Australian, British and Canadian literatures and cultures. This theme can be discussed in the context of literary, cultural, postcolonial, feminist, gender, interdisciplinary and other studies. The conference organizers encourage innovative research and discussion in these fields. The conference is organized as a part of the research project VEGA 1/0953/17 Specificity of Cultural Identity of the Region in Anglophone Literatures Specificity of Cultural Identity of the Region in Anglophone Literatures and KEGA 052PU-4/2018. The conference will focus on, although is not limited to, the following themes:

  • Place, Region and Cultural Identity in Anglophone Literatures, Arts and Cultures
  • City: Place, Region or Non-Place (Augé, Lipovetsky)?
  • Place, Region and Postmodernism in Anglophone Literatures, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Region, Human and the Post-Human Culture and Identity
  • Place, Region, Spirituality and Philosophy in Anglophone Literatures, Arts and Cultures
  • Regional space and culture and their relation to national and global cultural, social, geographical and economic space
  • Cultural Imagery – here and there, home and away, domestic and foreign understanding of the local and the regional
  • Is There a Post-Postmodern Place, Region and Cultural Identity?
  • The American West, the Southwest and Native American Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • The American West, the Southwest, Chicano/a and Hispanic American Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Aztlán: Place, Region and Cultural Identity
  • The American South and African American Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Hawaii: Place, Region and Cultural Identities in Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Alaska: Place, Region and Cultural Identities in Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Space, Region and Cultural Identity: Australian Aboriginal Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Tasmania- Place, Space, Region and Cultural Identity in Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Space, Region and Irish, Scottish, and Welsh Literatures, Arts, and Cultures Place, Region and Cultural Identity in Canadian Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Region, Native American and Inuit Cultural Identity in Native in Canadian Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Region and Cultural Identity in Quebeçois Literature, Arts and Cultures
  • Place, Region and Cultural Identity in the South African and Carribean Literary, Artistic and Cultural Contexts
  • Fantastic place/space/region and cultural identity-is there any connection?

Papers should be prepared for 20-minute presentations which will be followed by a discussion.

Abstracts of proposed papers (200-300 words) should contain the title, name of the author and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address and email address). The abstracts including a short c.v. should be sent to by October 15, 2018. The select papers will be published.

The conference language is English.

Conference fee:   EUR 80
Early Bird Rate: EUR 70
Doctoral students EUR 40
The registration fee does not include travel expenses and accommodation.

Please e-mail your 250-300 word abstracts to by October 15, 2018 (new extended deadline)
15 October, 2018 Registrations (at early bird fee)
31 October, 2018 Deadline for full registration

All these topics can be treated from an interdisciplinary perspective including various approaches and disciplines such as Literary, Cultural, Social, Film, Philosophical, Media and Film, History, Gender, Linguistics, Artistic and Other Studies. When finalized, the conference will host writers who will be reading from their work during the conference.

One of the aims of the conference is to attract doctorate scholars from Europe to exchange views on the discipline.

Postgraduate Seminar
There will be a meeting and a seminar for post-graduate students dealing with these fields of study. This is still provisional; based on lectures and reading specific texts, the seminar may be taken as part of the university studies equivalent to a course with a particular number of credits to be acknowledged by participants’ institutions. This seminar will be based on lecturing and a discussion of set literary texts. Doctoral students are encouraged to present their papers at the conference (these presentations will not coincide with the seminar programme which will be conceived as a separate activity).

Each individual writer, conference participant, or publishers will have an opportunity to present their works at the conference

Organizing Committee:
Prof. PhDr. Jaroslav Kušnír, PhD.
Professor Howard Wolf, PhD., State University of New York at Buffalo
Prof. PhDr. Anton Pokrivčák, PhD.
Prof. PhDr. Michal Peprník, PhD., Palacký University at Olomouc
Prof.PhDr. PhDr. Silvia Pokrivčáková, PhD.
PaedDr. Miloš Blahút, PhD.
Mgr. Jakub Souček, PhD.
Mgr. Jana Ščigulinská, PhD.

(posted 13 July 2018, updated 26 September 2018)

From Tokens of Love to Archived Relics: Private Life and Material Culture in Indian Ocean Societies
University of Reunion Island, France, 21-22 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 January 2018

Sponsored by the Observatory for Indian Ocean Societies (O.S.O.I.- FED 4127), D.I.R.E. (E.A. 7387) and L.C.F. (E.A. 4549) research laboratories

Venue: Moufia Campus, Arts and Social Sciences Faculty, Saint-Denis, La Réunion

Writing the history of the private lives of individuals is no easy task. As pointed out by French historian Alain Corbin, any attempt to rediscover such a past is practically doomed to failure as “one can’t write the history of the private life of those who have left no trace”[1]. Are the private attitudes of those who are “marginal to or marginalized by society”[2], or those whose lives appear only briefly in archives, condemned to remain only briefly and superficially documented?

Contributing to the current dynamic wave of scientific research on the history and cultures of Indian Ocean societies, this conference will discuss material culture relating to private and emotional life in the Indian Ocean region[3]. How have past and present societies given shape and depth to affection and emotion and to feelings of love through material culture? In a vein similar to the initial research seminar entitled ‘Témoins d’amour, témoins de vie: Objets et images de l’intime’ held on the 12th of November 2015, this conference will focus on the study and interpretation of love tokens and other reflections, representations and expressions of romantic and sentimental feelings and discourses over the centuries. One of the main concerns will be to question the functions and meanings of these material objects in intimate exchanges or in what Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly qualifies as the “deepest corners of the soul”[4].

If giving shape to love and affection enables us to cast a different light on the question of the relation to the other, it also acts as a confirmation of the authenticity of the emotions being expressed: the gifts made to a loved person are tangible proof of the very existence of the love relationship, and as love tokens, they are likewise evidence of past subjectivities. In Rabindranath Tagore’s The Supreme Night, the memory of the sensual link which unites the disdainful young narrator to his would-be bride (who is incidentally wedded to a notary in his absence) is brought back by the sound of rustling fabric and the tinkle of bracelets and by the fragrance of her feminine intimacy[5]. Gifts can also testify to the existence of a contract and thus become a source of alienation. Just like a protraction of the body of the other, absent but reified, the object becomes, in its turn, a fetish. The concept of a material culture, defined by art historian Jules Prown as “the study through artifacts of the beliefs — values, ideas, attitudes, and assumptions — of a particular community or society at a given time”[6], will be at the heart of our discussions. To what extent do people’s relation to objects inform us of the relations between sexes and on intimacy?[7]

If objects are a means of discovering the past and working against the oblivion of intimate moments, echoes of past Indian Ocean generations, they are also a key source of information and knowledge of our relation to history and the very practice of historians. As underlined by French scholar Michel de Certeau, the elements selected and highlighted by a historian become a work of memory, a monument of its own[8]. What is the status of the object, a fragment of intimacy, which is unveiled to the public? Who decides to unveil the object? The boundary between the private and public spheres, the notion of heritage, but also of posterity will be vital questions addressed by this conference. It will also examine other aspects of intimacy such as the multiple readings and interpretations of the object at different points in time and space, and the question of popular and family history, with a focus on the amateur historians’ contribution to our general understanding of the past.

We welcome a diversity of formats ranging from the visual and the written to the tactile and the three-dimensional, to the gustatory, the audible and the olfactory (photographs, texts, correspondence, food packaging, scented jasmine petals found in love letters…). These tokens, whatever their age, will be analyzed as a means of questioning the relation to the other.

This event will be organized along (but not limited to) the following themes:

  1. History of private life and material objects: archaeology of daily life, love relations and sexuality, private and public lif
  2. Conservation and archives of the Indian Ocean: The objects as vessels for heritage, collective and individual memory, conservation policies regarding objects and artefacts (museums, libraries, archives), the historian and memory, heritage, amateur historians and their contributions, the relation between family, popular and academic history.
  3. Specificity of the objects of the Indian Ocean region: Role played by fetishism, the question of taboo, the object as work of art expressing love, the object as a sign (language and knowledge, symbol, hint), the social imagination: the status of the object which crystalizes people’s fears, desires, and memory.

The speech proposals (400 words max.) along with a short biographical note are to be sent before the 30th of January 2018 to both organizers:
Françoise Sylvos,
Florence Pellegry,

The selection will be confirmed by the 15th of March 2018.

The proposals will be studied by the scientific committee for the conference:
Pr Géraldine Chouard (Université Paris-Dauphine)
Pr Evelyne Combeau-Mari, (Université de la Réunion)
Dr Florence Pellegry, (Université de la Réunion)
Dr Sandra Saayman (Université de la Réunion)
Pr Françoise Sylvos, (Université de la Réunion)
Pr Vilasnee Tampoe – Hautin, (Université de la Réunion)
Pr Gilles Teulié (Université d’Aix-Marseille)

The oral presentations in French or in English will last 20 minutes each followed by a 10-minute discussion.

Registration fee for all speakers: 50 euros (30 euros for doctoral students or retired academics).

A selection of articles will be published in a bilingual volume after the conference.

Key words: Object, history of private life, love, memory, imagination, Indian Ocean
[1] Alain Corbin, Gilles Heuré, Historien du sensible, Paris : La Découverte ; 2000. p.154.
[2] Clare Anderson, “Introduction to Marginal Centers: Writing Life Histories in the Indian Ocean World”, Journal of Social History, vol. 45, n° 2, 2011, p.337.
[3] We will deal with the entire Indian Ocean region, which includes the islands in the south of the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Réunion, Mayotte, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles), the countries on the east coast of Africa (South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zanzibar etc.), but also India, Sri Lanka, Iran and Pakistan, the eastern part of the region (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, The Philippines etc.), without forgetting isolated island communities such as those of Diego Garcia, Maldives etc. and the austral territories.
[4] Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly in Brigitte Diaz, « Le XIXe siècle intime » Les choses, Le Magasin du XIXe siècle, n° 21, 2012, p. 281.
[5] Rabindranath Tagore, Aux bords du gange, Paris : Gallimard, « Folio » ; 2010. p.32-33.
[6] Jules Prown, “Mind in Matter: An Introduction to Material Culture Theory and Method,” Winterthur Portfolio, n°17, 1982, p.1.
[7] As underlined by Malanjaona Rakotomalala (INALCO) in her 2010 introduction to the 45th issue of Etudes Océan Indien which explores questions of love and sexuality in the Eastern part of the Indian Ocean, studies bearing on the history of private life in this region are few and far between. In fact, while researchers do focus on problems linked to gender and the social condition of women, the “realm of the relations between the sexes” still needs to be critically mapped out, cf. Malanjaona Rakotomalala, « Présentation », Amour et sexualité du côté de l’océan Indien occidental (Comores, Madagascar et île Maurice), Études océan Indien, n°45, 2010, p.7-12.
[8] Jean-Paul Resweber, « L’écriture de l’histoire », Le Portique, n° 13-14, 2004, URL : (visited on 18/06/2017).

(posted 9 November 2017)

Narratives of Power and Empowerment
Sousse, Tunisia, 23-24 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2018

An international conference organized by the Tunisian Association for English Language Studies (TAELS)

The manifestations of power in history, society, culture, science, international relations and politics are multi-faceted. Power has always been an integral dynamic of human relations, forms of government and domination, social class and cultural hegemony. Human achievements throughout history and the major events that have shaped international politics in the past and presenthave been deeply influenced by old and new conceptions of powers. The human experience over time and themetamorphosed shape of the world are simple reflections of the impact of power on the course of history and human development.

Critical readings of power have recently engaged in questioning long-standing narratives on social, political, gender, and even linguistics norms. The recent tradition of critical analysis in the humanities in general, and in political, legal, and media discourses in particular, paved the way for new understandings of the inherent dynamics of hegemony and domination in human relations and interactions. Academic disciplines such as sociology, history, anthropology, linguistics, and cultural studies have devoted more and more space for questioning established interpretations of different types of discourses, giving prominence to voices and attitudes that have long been forgotten or marginalized, to say the least.

These new orientations in critical and innovative readings of traditional narratives on power have grown into a counter-paradigm that has gradually advocated a more visible presence of the voices that have long been unheard. Widely referred to as empowerment, the new tradition has adopted a citizen-centered advocacy approach that is now most apparent in the discourses of human rights, gender studies, innovative artistic expressions, and post-colonial writings.

In literary and cultural studies, writers and critics have sought to interrogate the hegemonic discourses of narratives claiming authority and unity. Discourses of power such as ‘History’, the Enlightenment, colonialism, patriarchy, ethnocentrism, among many others, rest on ego-centric, supremacist ideologies that intend to devalue and exclude other forms of discourses that do not operate within the confines of their dogmatic frames. In an attempt to unlock discursive silences, narratives of empowerment spring from the premise that speaking truth to centers of power offers alternative visions, bringing to the limelight the narratives of those who were eclipsed in the shadow of “Grand Narratives” (Lyotard). The intricate relationship between narrative as a form of discourse and power (Foucault) offers venues for exploration in a transcultural world where limitations are transgressed, meaning is disseminated (Derrida; Bhabha) and identities are negotiated.

It is within this framework that the steering committee welcomes individual and panel proposals related, but not limited, to the following topics:

  • The sociolinguistics of power
  • Power in discourse studies
  • National/international power
  • Depictions of power in the media
  • War and peace
  • Empowerment and capacity building
  • Representations of power and empowerment
  • Imperialism and colonialism
  • Genderand women studies
  • Minorities and resistance
  • Nationalism and power
  • Power and memory
  • Power and engaged arts
  • Subversion and emancipation


We welcome individual abstracts for 20-minute presentations and complete panel proposals of four papers treating a similar theme or topic. Priority will be given to panel proposals. Participants are kindly invited to submit their proposals via the appropriate link below no later than April 30th, 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be communicated by May 31st, 2018.
– Individual submissions:
– Panel submissions:
We accept abstracts and papers written in English, Arabic and French.
TAELS editorial board will select a number of papers that will be published after peer-reviewing in a collective volume on the proceedings of the conference.

Participation fees
Presenters of accepted papers will be required to deposit a participation fee of 250 TND (250 Euros for international participants)to TAELS bank account no later than August 31st, 2018.
TAELS Bank Account
IBAN: TN 59 1070 5007 0481 8407 8872
Bank address: Rue HédiNouira – 1001 Tunis – Tunisia
Swift code: STBKTNT
TAELS Address: ISLG, Rue Ali Jemel, 6000, Gabes – Tunisia

The amount will cover:

For Tunisian participants:

  • One full-accommodation night at a four-star hotel inSousse,
  • Conference materials,
  • Two copies of the conference proceedings after publication.

For international participants:

  • Two full-accommodation nights at a four-star hotel in Sousse,
  • Conference materials,
  • Two copies of the conference proceedings after publication.

For advice and more details about transportation and accommodation, please send your requests to TAELS team will be happy to assist in making your stay most comfortable.

(posted 6 February 2018)

Emotions: the Engines of History
Sosnowiec, Poland, 23-24 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 31 May 2018

University of Silesia, Katowice
Faculty of Philology
Institute of English Cultures and Literatures
H/Story Research Circle

The etymology of the word “emotion,” whose first use dates back to the sixteenth century, betrays the multiplicity of its meanings. Derived from the Middle French emouvoir (to stir up), it traces its origins back to the Latin emovēre (to remove or displace), which in turn comes from the Latin movēre (to move). The notion of movement, then, or a change of state, has always accompanied the way people conceptualise emotions. History is, similarly, a record of movement, fluidity, and volatility, and this approach is increasingly being extended to the study of humanity’s past, with emotion studies bringing increased sensitivity to historical, literary and cultural enquiries. Approaching emotions as “engines,” that is catalysts of past events and processes is, however, fraught with challenges. It is largely due to the fact that the roles of irrationality and emotionality as motivating elements in history and its narratives are not easy to determine and often elude scientific study due to their intimate and highly personal nature. Likewise the very thought that historical decisions affecting the lives of many might have been made under the capricious influence of somebody else’s emotional state fills us with dread. And yet, we suspect or perhaps even know that many events of both distant and not so distant past have been dictated by emotional disposition and moods of those who made them. If fear, hatred, desire, disgust, pity, envy, love and shame affect our individual choices, they might as well influence the decisions whose consequences go beyond one’s singular or communal experience. From the Ides of March, through the separation of the Church of England from Rome, to the role of the social media in the most recent presidential elections in the USA, emotions have shaped and influenced historic events giving rise to groundbreaking social and political changes.

Seeking to bridge the gap between various approaches to the study of motivations in the past, the conference Emotions: the Engines of History aims at a multidisciplinary examination of the connection between emotions and history as well as of the multiplicity of ways in which this connection has manifested itself across cultural and literary studies. Thus, we invite scholars working in various disciplines and fields of study to consider the points of intersection between the study of emotions and the study of history, and to engage in a discussion concerning the representations of these intersections in different media across cultures and centuries.

Specific topics may address, but are not limited to:

  • history of emotions (changing perceptions on how emotional states used to be understood)
  • historical takes on emotions (the Annales school, psychohistory, externalists vs. internalists debate)
  • historical text as an emotional artefact, historical narratives of emotionality
  • influence, manipulation and emotional provocation in history
  • emotions in history-making and history-writing processes
  • irrationality, chance, moods and dispositions in history
  • emotional disorders and mental infirmity in history
  • propaganda and the language of emotion
  • empathy and sympathy in history and its narratives
  • the opposition between rationality and irrationality in history and its narratives
  • historical taboo topics and emotions related to them
  • emotions behind mistakes and misunderstandings in history
  • methodologies in the history of emotions
  • the emotional turn and the turns in history and historiography
  • the migrant experience and emotions
  • emotions in the histories of indigenous cultures
  • concealing emotions in texts (literature under censorship)
  • emotions in popular culture and the history of fan studies
  • emotional fragility of genders in history

We are happy and honoured to announce that two eminent scholars have agreed to give plenary addresses at the conference:

  • Prof. Catherine M. Clarke (University of Southampton), who has published widely on the literature and culture of the Middle Ages, as well as experiences and uses of medieval culture today.
  • Dr. Kristine Steenbergh (Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam) who specialises in early modern English literature and has published on the cultural history of emotions, ecocriticism / critical ecologies and the environmental humanities, and gender theory.

We welcome scholars from various academic fields to submit their proposals (ca. 250 words) by 31 May 2018. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 30 June 2018.  A selection of papers will appear in a post-conference monograph.

The proposals should be sent to:

The conference fee is 120 EUR and 90 EUR for full fee participants and graduate students respectively (for participants from Poland the full fee is 450 PLN and the reduced fee is 350 PLN). The fee includes a meal, coffee breaks and conference materials.

Conference Organisers: Rafał Borysławski, Ph.D., D.Litt.; Nina Augustynowicz, M.A.; Alicja Bemben, M.A.; Marta Gorgula, M.A.; Justyna Jajszczok, Ph.D.; Aleksandra Musiał, M.A.; Agnieszka Podruczna, Ph.D.; Patrycja Sokołowska, M.A.

(posted 21 March 2018)

Blues in the 21st Century: Myth, Social Expression and Transculturalism
Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania, Italy, 23-24 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 30 June 2018
Since its beginnings in the late 19th century, the Blues has been more than a music style with a seminal impact on 20th century popular music. As a medium of social expression, it articulated the tribulations of an entire black culture, male and female.
Discourses about race were as much an integral part of the evolution of the blues as were those of class, when young white kids – in America and European countries, especially the UK – adopted the music for their political and social ends. Idealising/romanticising black models of living, their interpretations verged on myths on the one hand, but on the other brought out transcultural features of the blues in their performative acts.
Other realms of performing arts, such as literature, films, etc., speak of the flexibility of the blues. Its commercialisation by white and black record companies, or annual festivals, is another proof of its durability. Bearing this in mind, any doubt about the survival of the blues in the 21st century is rendered obsolete.This multi-disciplinary conference aims to trace the socio-political, historical, economic, transcultural, linguistic and musicological dimensions of the blues, and to emphasise the viability of this artistic and social medium.

We invite contributions on themes that may include (but are not limited to):

  • The Blues in film and media, or social media
  • Performers and performance (current or historical perspectives)
  • Typologies of Blues performance (festivals, street music, busking, etc.)
  • Socio-political phenomena, music of protest
  • History and cultural heritage, African roots, etc.
  • Impact on literature and other cultural forms
  • Urban/rural musical contexts and identities
  • White and black identity issues
  • Forms of audience participation
  • Musical travel and forms of tourism linked to the Blues
  • Blues and Gender
  • Blues and kindred/related styles
  • Future of the Blues (e.g. Rap, etc.)
  • National scenes and their differences/analogies
  • Blues and Marketing (foundations, awards, challenges)

The conference will be held in Catania, at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Catania (, from 23-24 November, 2018.

Abstracts of not more than 250 words should be sent, by 30 June 2018 to Uwe Zagratzki ( and Douglas Mark Ponton ( Please indicate your name, professional/academic affiliations, a postal address and email. Authors will be informed of the outcome of the selection process by 15 July.

Selected contributions will be included in a peer-reviewed volume for publication.

(posted 21 May 2018)

Crossroads II: City/Non-City
Institute of Modern Languages, University of Białystok, Poland, 29-30 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2018

The Institute of Modern Languages is pleased to invite scholars from Poland and abroad to the Crossroads II Conference: City/Non-City that will be held on 29-30 November 2018 at the University of Białystok. The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and sharing the findings of research related to the city—as a place and space—which is the scene of everyday life, the silent witness of alienation and tragedy, the goal of many physical and spiritual journeys, and the object of fantastic speculation.

We encourage broadly-contextualised contributions discussing these problems in both literature and culture against historical, social, philosophical, psychological, artistic and other backgrounds. We are interested in bringing together researchers involved in such diverse disciplines as the history of Anglophone literatures, cultural, feminist, gender, and postcolonial studies.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • the city and questions of identity
  • the city and the problem of alienation
  • the city and the experience of nostalgia
  • the city and art
  • the city as a place and/or space
  • the city versus the wilderness
  • the city and non-city
  • problems of the Global City
  • problems of the megacities
  • the city as a living organism
  • garden cities and towns in literature
  • urban legends
  • urban fantasy fiction
  • the city and the uncanny
  • legendary and imaginary cities in Anglophone literature
  • fantastic, unreal and labirynthine cities
  • literary (fictionalized) representations of cities in Anglophone literature
  • strategies of coping with ‘overwritten’ cities such as Venice, Paris, Rome, London, New York
  • the city and travel writing
  • post-apocalyptic cities
  • science fiction and cities of the future
  • utopian and dystopian cities / cities and towns in dystopian and utopian fiction and non-fiction

We are proud to announce that our keynote speakers are going to be
dr hab. Paulina Ambroży, prof. UAM
dr hab. Anna Maria Tomczak

We invite proposals for 20-minute talks with additional 10 minutes for discussion.
Abstracts of proposed papers (200-300 words) must contain the title, name of the author and contact information (institutional affiliation, mailing address and email address). All abstracts accompanied by a short biographical note should be sent to by June 15, 2018. The participants will receive notification of acceptance by June 30, 2018.
The conference will be held in English. Selected papers will be published in a reviewed collection of essays and/or in a peer-reviewed journal (Crossroads)

Conference fee: PLN 400 / EUR 100
Doctoral students PLN 300/ EUR 75

Organizing Committee: dr hab. Jerzy Kamionowski – Head of the Conference, dr hab. Grzegorz Moroz, prof. UwB, dr Sylwia Borowska-Szerszun, dr Anna Maria Karczewska, dr Weronika Łaszkiewicz, dr Jacek Partyka, dr Tomasz Sawczuk, mgr Ewelina Feldman-Kołodziejuk – Conference Secretary, mgr Anna Dziok-Łazarecka

Institute of Modern Languages
University of Białystok
15-420 Białystok, Liniarskiego 3

For more information, visit our website:

(posted 6 March 2018)

Dikes of Courage: Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement and the Aesthetics of Protest
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal, 23-24 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 8 September 2018

Fifty year after the assassination of Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s is frequently memorialized as a moment of almost inevitable national redemption, when a call to the better angels of American consciousness brought the country together to overcome injustices that no longer plague the present. As historian Jeanne Theoharis argues in A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History (2018), this interpretative frame has frequently constructed a self-congratulatory discourse that whitewashes the immense obstacles and violence faced by the Civil Rights movement and its leaders, rather than soberly remember the “dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear” that, in Dr. King’s words, the movement demanded of its activists, and measure the incompleteness of what was then achieved. This process is seen in the yearly appeals to depoliticize Martin Luther King Day in the name of national unity and reconciliation, as well as in efforts to decouple the most successful social movement of the twentieth century from contemporary protests against lingering racial injustice (such as Black Lives Matter), often accused of distorting a sanitized version of its legacy.

The conference invites reflections on the representation of the Civil Rights movement not only in American historiography, public and media discourses but in literature, visual culture, filmic, musical and televisual texts produced in the last fifty years. It encourages an approach that goes beyond the understanding of these texts as artifacts that produce social memory, to ask how they illuminate debates about the aesthetics of protest, the relationship between activism and art, the collective and the personal, the politics of identity and intergenerational remembering. It also welcomes approaches that identify the networks between pasts and presents, following Ashraf Rushdy’s concept, in Remembering Generations (2001), of African-American cultural texts constituting a palimpsest where what has happened in other space and time becomes experientially available, examining both the creative dialogues between the civil rights movement artists and their predecessors of the Harlem Renaissance and beyond, and the aesthetical frames used by the contemporary generations of “post-black” artists and writers to invoke and reimagine that legacy. It is also interested in comparative approaches that explore the influence of the African-American civil rights praxis and aesthetics of protest in other campaigns for equality that emerged during and after the 1960s namely Native-American, Asian-American, Latino/a and LGBTQ movements.

The following topics are a sample of the broad scope of concerns the conference welcomes:

  • African-American literature and the civil rights movement
  • The Neo-slave narratives of the 1960s and after
  • The Black Arts Movement
  • African-American theater and civil rights: from Lorraine Hansberry to Suzan-Lori Parks
  • The Civil Rights Movement on the big and small screen
  • Music and Civil Rights: From “Mississippi Goddam” to Motown
  • Civil Rights movement in biography and memoir
  • African-American feminism in the civil rights movement
  • Visual arts and civil rights: from the Spiral Group to Basquiat and Kara Walker
  • The Civil Rights Movement in African-American satire
  • Afroturism: The Civil Rights Movement and Speculative Fiction
  • Writing against race? Contemporary “post-black” literature
  • Representing the civil rights movement in the media: journalism and photojournalism
  • Whitewashing the civil rights movement: contemporary political discourses
  • The Civil Rights movement in Southern literature
  • The influence of the Civil Rights Movement in other American Equal Rights Campaigns
  • Black Lives Matter and the legacy of the civil rights movement
  • Looking from a distance: the international impact of the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Civil Rights Movement in World Literature
  • The Civil Rights Movement in Translation
  • International approaches to teaching the Civil Rights Movement

This conference is organized by the American Intersections Strand of CETAPS

Participants should submit a 250 word abstract by September 8, 2018, accompanied by a brief bio-note.
Inquiries should be emailed to Teresa Botelho (, Isabel Oliveira Martins ( and Maria Teresa Castilho (
Go to for more information and submission of abstracts.

Registration fees: 60 Euros (full fee): 30 Euros (student fee)

Organizing committee: Teresa Botelho, Isabel Oliveira Martins, Maria Teresa Castilho, Natália Telega Soaresn, Susana Costa, Jaqueline Pierazzo

(posted 23 May 2018)

International Conference on London Studies: “Versions of Londonness”
London, UK, 24 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 September 2018

Organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

Link to the official event website:

Since its beginnings, London has been regarded as the epitome of progress and advancement even in times of profound crisis and discord, exerting the charm of the vast setting that concentrates most, if not all, human experiences. From ancient Londinium to the 21st-century metropolis, the ever expanding urban settlement has emerged as a complex heterogeneous entity forging a particular code of conduct governed by imagination and originality, talent and vision that generate almost endless significations of the self.
The conference will explore the particular spirit of the English conurbation, one of the most influential cities in the world, aiming to identify some of the features that make up its distinctive personality. It will promote an interdisciplinary perspective on the various issues related to the process of making London into a powerful centre of social, political, economic, scientific, cultural, artistic and literary authority. The conference will also focus on the distinctive symbolism of the city and the particular states of mind generated by the interaction with the insular megalopolis, and the way in which people – Londoners either by birth or adoption, as well as temporary residents and transient visitors – translate geographically recognisable sites into culturally constructed places.
Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

  • London ages: from prehistory to the 21st century
  • London and the rest of Britain
  • myths, legends and tales of the city
  • iconic symbols and landmarks
  • metropolitan landscapes and identity
  • the city and its people: whose London? what is a Londoner?
  • the language(s) of the city
  • representations of London in the arts
  • utopian/dystopian visions of the metropolis
  • >walking and talking in the city
  • old and new secrets of the city
  • love and death in London
  • fun in London, funny London
  • the senses of London
  • the alternative metropolis
  • post-Brexit London
  • the Thames and the lost rivers of London

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 15 September, 2018 to
Selected papers will be published in the post-conference e-Book.

Please download the paper proposal form from the official website:

Registration fee – 100 GBP

Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX

(posted 23 August 2018)

Religious Encounters: between Coexistence and Cohabitation
Valenciennes, France, 29-30 November 2018
Deadline for proposals: 20 May 2018

Following in the footsteps of the international conference organized under the sponsorship of the Calhiste in 2015, Power: Expressions and Representations, the conference, Religious Encounters: between Coexistence and Cohabitation targets study of the United States, Spain and those countries that fall within the American and Spanish/cultural spheres of influence. The conference also opposes the notion of coexistence, which may be defined as merely living together without interaction, with that of cohabitation, here signifying the idea of different and possibly opposing factions living together with interaction taking place. Oriented by these poles, this international forum invites researchers to examine the dynamic between secularity, religion, and government. The backdrop for such study is provided by the practical realities involved in both Spanish and American governance. For example, while the Spanish Constitution of 1978 stipulates that the Spanish State is a non-confessional constitutional monarchy, the role of religious institutions and their influence on the exercise of power is a recurrent issue of contemporary cultural and political debate. Similarly, despite avowed church/state separation, the special relationship between religion and government in the United States remains one of the nation’s most well known, defining, and significant characteristics. Sometime partner, sometime antagonist, religion has been a pillar in American governance and, just as in Spain, constitutes a fundamental and often controversial subject in the study of the nation.
Researchers are asked to pay special attention to those arguments and contexts which make possible the “encounters,” whether they be harmonious, neutral, or antagonistic.
Suggestions for contributions
I/ It is obvious that in contemporary secular societies, issues such as religious displays, the organization of religious events, same-sex marriage, and abortion engender debate concerning the place and meaning of religious practice. It is also equally clear that defining how a specific society must be a-religious depends on reflection that takes into account its individual and institutional religious expressions.

A first consideration for research may therefore be the notions of religious cohabitation and coexistence in a society as well as the relationship that different creeds maintain with temporal and spiritual institutions.
II/ Despite the desire to construct a secular society, religious practice remains a sensitive issue in our societies and its socio-political importance may emerge from the virulent actions such practice can engender. The desecration of the university chapels at the University of Madrid, the burning of black churches in the United States, and the recurrent destruction of places of worship in general are a constant reminder of how religious discourse may be perceived as a political and cultural threat.
Consequently, a second consideration for research may be the violence carried out in the name of (or against) religious beliefs, as well as the ideological, economic, or cultural motivations which drive such violence. Analysis may also consider the responses provided by the judicial system and the media
III/ Found on the cultural frontiers of history, the problematics elicited by this conference seem to have always thrived within the opposed movements of expansionism and concentration. For example, political expansion, such as that of the Roman Empire, of medieval Islam or of Christian Hispania irrevocably prompted the incorporation of populations that did not share the same beliefs. The question of assimilation or exclusion of minority communities then became a question concerning the domestic policy and, even, the economic survival of a region. Moreover, the discovery and progressive economic and political conquest of the New world by European and Oriental populations brought about a concentration of diverse cultural practices that; 1) established specific economic and social relationships and; 2) constructed a new, far more cosmopolitan society. To better understand the development of contemporary relationships concerning religious identity, a third consideration may be the manner in which situations grounded in the history of our societies are presented as arguments or justifications within the parameters of modern debate. 
Researchers are invited to send a brief CV (maximum two pages), an e-mail address, and a summary of 30 lines in French to the organizers:
Deadline for proposals: May 20, 2018
Conference date: November 29-30, 2018
Conference languages: English, Spanish, French
Publication languages: English, Spanish, French

(posted 26 March 2018)

Innovation and Experiment in Contemporary Irish Fiction
Leuven Centre for Irish Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium, 29 November – 1 December 2018
Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2018

Since the turn of the twentieth-century, Irish fiction has seen innovation and experimentation on many different fronts. Many novelists have pushed the boundaries of the novel form and also the Irish short story is being rewritten along new lines. It is in this respect telling that the Goldsmiths Prize for innovative fiction has, since its inception in 2013, already been awarded to three Irish novelists and that many other Irish writers have won major prizes such as the Booker Prize, the Costa Award, and the BBC short story award. To get a sense of the variety of innovation and experimentation that is going on in Irish fiction at the moment, think of the re-kindling of (post)modernist experiment by Eimer McBride, Mike McCormack and Caitriona Lally; the extraordinary take of ordinary life by Sara Baume, Colm Tóibín, Donal Ryan, and Claire-Louise Bennett; the play with genre conventions in the work of Claire Kilroy, John Banville, and Anne Enright; the powerful re-invention of the historical novel by Lia Mills, Sebastian Barry, and Mary Morrissy; or the darkly comic tales of Irish life on the part of Kevin Barry, Lisa McInerney, Keith Ridgway and Paul Murray. In the short story too, formal experimentation and innovation can be found in the work of a new generation of Irish writers: Danielle McLoughlin, Lucy Caldwell, Mary Costello, and Colin Barrett have exploited the conventions of the traditional Irish realist story to suit their own thematic ends, while writers like Jan Carson, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Roisin O’Donnell and June Caldwell combine the realist story with magical, folkloric or fantastic elements to tell tales about contemporary Dublin and Belfast life.

By exploring the work of these and many other contemporary Irish writers, the conference aims further scrutinize the form and function of experimentation and innovation in Irish fiction today. Topics that will be addressed include those of genre and genre hybridity, style, rhetoric, narrative structure and intermediality: Which new fictional techniques are being used and what thematic or ideological aims do they serve? To what genres or subgenres can these texts be said to belong and how are generic conventions deployed in new ways? How do these fictional texts move over into neighbouring genres, such as life writing, journalism, non-fiction and history? In addition, the conference hopes to address literary historical questions about the new developments: In what ways do these works hark back to earlier waves of experiment: modernism, postmodernism, avant garde movements? Do these texts incorporate or intertextually refer to earlier traditions of Irish or, more generally, European literature? The interaction between formal experiment and thematic innovation is also a central question pertaining to the conference theme: Which themes are being privileged or explored in these texts? How do they raise new and pressing questions about (Irish) life? This also leads to the question of the ‘Irishness’ of these new fictions: Do they embody a specifically Irish tradition or are they part of international movements and traditions? To what extent are formal innovations linked to the thematic concern of many writers to explore the changes in contemporary Ireland? Apart from papers addressing these and related questions, we also invite papers that apply new critical models (e.g. from such fields as affect theory, the posthuman, book studies, ecocriticism, gender studies, memory, trauma and age studies) to contemporary Irish fiction.

Please send a 300-word abstract for a 20-min paper, along with a 100-word biographical note to and before 15 May. The conference will take place in the Leuven Irish College, where accommodation is also available.

(posted 22 February 2018)

How to Chant for a Thin Place”: Borders and Bridges in World Literature and Art
Phytorio, Nicosia Municipal Gardens, Cyprus, 30 November 30th – 1 December  2018
Deadline for proposals: 1 September 2018

Link to UCY call:

The conference is organised by the Faculty of Humanities, University of Cyprus, in honour of Professor Stephanos Stephanides on the occasion of his retirement from the University of Cyprus. The conference is free and open to the public.

the old sea
between two islands
was once
my dwelling
till the horizon lifted
to let us through
so I still wonder
how to write thick poetry?
how to chant for a thin place?
(extract from the poem “Karpassia” by Stephanos Stephanides, 2007)

This conference proposes a gathering of ideas that thematically relate, stem from, or respond to the multi-layered and interdisciplinary scholarly and literary work of Stephanos Stephanides. Few Cypriot writers have succeeded in producing work that functions as a bridge between the literatures of post-colonial transnational communities. The multiple dimensions of Stephanides’ contribution to literature, critical theory, and translation studies place Cyprus at the epicenter of conversations on Indian, Caribbean, American as well as Mediterranean communities. The goal of the conference is to take Stephanides’ poetry, prose, critical work, and films as a springboard for a productive exchange amongst scholars and creative practitioners around the ideas of transitional literatures and translatability, as well as performative, creative, and ritual practices, and post-colonial critique. New perspectives that introduce radical reconfigurations of identities, aesthetics, and language are particularly welcome.

We also welcome responses that focus specifically on the work of Stephanos Stephanides, examining the breadth of his scholarly and literary output, his institutional role and contribution to the development of literary studies and academia in Cyprus, critical approaches to his work as ethnographer, resonances between his work and that of other local and international authors, and reflections on his memory writing.

We invite proposals for papers, panels, and creative contributions across disciplines may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Life writing and transcultural memory
  • Vernacular cosmopolitanism
  • The translation of heritage and translation as activism
  • Theorisations and creative practices of translatability
  • Queering the spatial and the temporal
  • Creative cross-cultural practices in post-colonial literatures
  • Ritual poetics and poetic rituals
  • Literary ethnographies and autoethnographies
  • Cyprus as real and symbolic space
  • Theory of islands and border poetics

Presenters are welcome to use multiple media and formats, including performance and new media.

Scientific committee: Alev Adil, Ellada Evangelou, Stavros Karayanni, Chrystalleni Loizidou, Anastasia Nikolopoulou

Invited keynote speaker:
Christopher Merrill (born February 24, 1957) is an American poet, essayist, journalist and translator. Currently, he serves as director of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He led the initiative that resulted in the selection of Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature, a part of the Creative Cities Network. In 2011, he was appointed to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Deadline for abstracts up to 200 words and short bios: 1st of September.

Contact and Submission Guidelines:

Please send brief abstracts and short bios at

Abstract submission deadline: September 1st, 2018

Acceptance notifications by mid-September.

(posted 29 July 2018)