Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2019

“A great community”: John Ruskin’s Europe
Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy, 7-9 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 28 February 2019
One of the last of John Ruskin’s books, a collection of articles written between 1834 and 1885, is entitled On the Old Road. From Calais, where the Ruskin family disembarked for the first time in 1833, at the start of their first contintental tour, the road leads south across France and Switzerland and into Italy, coming to its end in Venice where, in 1888, Ruskin wrote the last words in his diary. The route is marked by many milestones in the life of Ruskin, in his thinking and in his work, and crosses numerous frontiers – frontiers that are often barely noticed. In traversing this vast continent, Ruskin puts behind him the narrow confines of Victorian Britain; his work shapes one of the most important founding moments in the constitution of a distinctively European culture and spirit.
This theme is a core concern of a series of recent historical and aesthetic studies which recognise the crucial importance of place, of myth, and of image in the construction of a common European fabric (see Carlo Ossola, Europa ritrovata. Geografie e miti del vecchio continente, Milan 2017; published in French as Fables d’identité. Pour retrouver l’Europe, Paris 2018; and L’Europe. Encyclopédie historique edited by Christophe Charle and Daniel Roche, Paris 2018), and of studies such as Salvatore Settis’s, Architettura e democrazia. Paesaggio, città, diritti civili (Turin 2017) which deal with key questions of cultural heritage in an interdisciplinary perspective and are driven by strong civic ethos.
On the occasion of the bicenternary of the birth of John Ruskin we invite scholars from across the disciplines to re-read his works, from the Poetry of Architecture to the Stones of Venice, the Bible of Amiens, the Oxford Lectures, St Mark’s Rest and Fors Clavigera, works which refer repeatedly to the concept of a «a great European community» (A Joy For Ever, 1857). The conference will thus build on and develop a theme to which the conference John Ruskin and 19th Century Cultural Travel held in Venice in 2008 was dedicated. In carrying forward the work begun there, this new occasion will also offer an opportunity to explore more recent readings and critical editions which have thrown light on little known aspects of Ruskin’s work, focussing new attention on mobility, both intellectual and stylistic as well a geographic. It will we believe prove fruitful to take a view from outside the confines of the nation and time into which he was born, and look at his ideas in this broader, more modern context.
This conference thus invites scholars to discover or rediscover a self-consciously European John Ruskin, and explore the multiple facets and levels – geographical, historical, critical, aesthetic, socio-political, and cultural – of an œuvre which both deliberately challenges disciplinary boundaries and breaks through national frontiers.
Topics may include but are not confined to the following:
– Ruskin’s European inheritance
– Ways in which his works contribute to the construction of cultural identities both national (English, French, Italian etc) and European
– Ruskin’s view of the roles of religions and Churches in the construction of cultural identity
– Modes of circulation within Europe as evoked and described in his works
– The idea of Europe as object of nostalgia, as utopia, as long-term project
– Ruskin’s symbolic representations of European disgregation.
– Travel diaries and sketchbooks
– Maps
– Europe in its extra-European relations
– Physical geography: seas, rivers, mountain ranges and valley, forests, palins
– Political geography
– Migrations
– Cultural geography (see Denis Cosgrove’s « John Ruskin’s European Visions », 2010).
– The representation of pan-European movements (i.e. Gothic, Renaissance) and styles (Byzantine, Romanesque, Etruscan)
– Re-reading medieval and renaissance painting
– Ruskin’s reception of European literature, of the Bible, of Greek and Latin classics
– Ruskin and his network of friends and contacts in Europe
– Translation of Ruskin’s works, Ruskin and translation
– The European debate on architectural restoration
– The crafts as a model of economic development
– Teaching as a means of transmitting common values.
Organizers : Emma Sdegno, Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia), Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2), Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Abstracts of 300-500 words are to be sent to
They can be submitted either in English, French, German, or Italian
Deadline for submission: 28 February 2019; Acceptance to be notified by 30 April 2019
For any questions, please contact the organizers at:
Scientific Committee
Dinah Birch (University of Liverpool)
Irene Favaretto (Università degli studi di Padova; Scuola Grande di San Rocco)
Sandro G. Franchini (Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti)
Pierre-Henry Frangne (Université Rennes 2)
Martina Frank (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
André Hélard (Classes préparatoires Rennes)
Howard Hull (Brantwood Estate)
Cédric Michon ((Université Rennes 2)
Anna Ottani Cavina (Università di Bologna)
Myriam Pilutti Namer (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Claude Reichler (Université de Lausanne)
Emma Sdegno (Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia)
Salvatore Settis (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa)
Paul Tucker (Università degli studi di Firenze)
Stephen Wildman (Lancaster University)

(posted 7 December 2018)

Illustration and Adaptation
University of Burgundy, France, 10-11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 March 2019
International conference organised by TIL and ILLUSTR4TIO
Keynote speakers: Kamilla Elliott (Lancaster University, UK) and Dave McKean (artist, UK)
Illustr4tio’s forthcoming bilingual international conference will deal with the relationship between illustration andadaptation. It aims to allow specialists from different disciplines to compare and exchange on practice, methodology, and theoretical frameworks. Indeed, several fields co exist without necessarily acknowledging advances in their respective domains. If illustration is a legitimate object of study within intermedial studies (Gabriele Rippl, ed., A Handbook of Intermediality, De Gruyter Mouton, 2015), there are few works that investigate the status of illustration as adaptation, with the exception of works like Kamilla Elliot’s Rethinking the Novel/Film Debate (Cambridge UP, 2003) and Kate Newell’s Expanding Adaptation: From Illustration to Novelization (Palgrave, 2017). More generally, the conceptualisation of illustration introduces questions about the relationship between adaptation and intermediality. It can serve as a starting point for the intersection of the two domains, something Lars Elleström calls for in his essay “Adaptation and Intermediality” (Thomas Leitch, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Adaptation Studies , Oxford UP, 2017).
We invite specialists and practitioners of illustration, adaptation and intermediality to address the theoretical and epistemological links between their respective objects of study. Papers can make use of recent work on these domains and can deal with the English-speaking world, from the Modern to the Contemporary period, as well as other cultures. We encourage participants to reflect on the following themes and questions in this non-exhaustive
  • Illustration as a form of adaptation: can the example of illustration as an intermedial practice participate in redefining what we mean by adaptation? Conversely, can adaptation theory help reappraise illustration as a subject matter and a field of research?
  • Intersections between the realms of illustration and adaptation: what are the boundaries of the field of illustration? In the wake of Henry Jenkins’s works, how can one theorize the convergence between illustration and adaptation?
  • Transmediation between illustration and other media (texts, painting, graphic novels, comics, video games, theatre, film, television series, documentaries, advertising, etc.): theoretical approaches and artistic practices.
  • Professionalisation of illustrators: what approach to adaptation do illustrators have? How to their briefs or commissions impact the perception of illustration / adaptation? What is the role of art school curriculae in this phenomenon?
Proposals of 500-word total (in French or in English) accompanied by a brief biography (100-
150 words) should  be sent by March 1, 2019 to Sophie Aymes and Shannon Wells-Lassagne
Notification: early April 2019
The program will be finalised by May 2019.
A volume of selected papers will be published.
Scientific committee: Sophie Aymes (Université de Bourgogne, France), Nathalie Collé (Université de Lorraine, France), Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis, France), Xavier Giudicelli (Université de Reims,France), Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University, Canada), Maxime Leroy (Université de Haute Alsace, France), Ann Lewis (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), Gabriele Rippl (University of Bern, Switzerland),Shannon Wells-Lassagne (Université de Bourgogne, France).
Organising committee:
– EA 4182 TIL, Texte Image Langage,Université de Bourgogne Franche-Comté
– EA 4343 CALHISTE , Cultures, Arts, Littératures, Histoire, Imaginaires, Sociétés, Territoires, Environnement, Université de Valenciennes et du Hainaut-Cambrésis
– EA 2338 IDEA, Interdisciplinarité Dans les Études Anglophones,Université de Lorraine
– EA 4363 ILLE, Institut de recherche en Langues et Littératures Européennes, Université de Haute Alsace

(posted 11 April 2018)

Black Humour on the Early Modern English Stage
Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France, 10-11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 June 2019

A conference organized by EA Climas and EA SPH, Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Notwithstanding the widespread opinion that ‘black humour’ (‘Humour noir’) was a phrase coined by André Breton, the co-founder of French Surrealism, in 1930s France; or that, as a mood, it epitomized a post-war American type of humour that persisted into the early 1970s as an expression of the disenchantment in the decline and fall of traditional values; research has shown how black humour was well instated in classical literature, not only in humorous epitaphs and epigrams that dealt with the theme of death (Stevanovic 2007), but in Greek philosophical literature (as in Plato’s Phaedon). Moreover, black humour is directly related to the humorism developed in ancient Greece by Hippocrates, Galen or Theophrastus, a theory introduced in classical comedy by Plautus and Menander and later borrowed and adapted by Elizabethan dramatists. Additionally, early modern research has shown how ‘[i]n plague time normal social decorum [was] breached as people put personal survival before established custom’ and that ‘this [was] productive of the characteristic black humour of observer accounts’, such as Dekker’s, who alludes to the ‘foolery, infidelity, humanity… villany, irreligion, and distrust in God’ which his stories ‘lay open’ (Healey, 1995). Parallel to the paradigm of death by disease, black humour, or gallows humour, summoned the tension that opposed hope and doom by joking about the convicted and their sense of despair as a strategy of coping with fear (Freud 1905) both witnessed and experienced.

Holly Williams, in an article published in The Independent in January 2015 writes about Dominic Dromgooles’s production of Middleton and Rowley’s The Changeling that it manages to ‘find black comedy in a grisly plot of murder, adultery and deceit’, astutely describing the play itself as a ‘tonal changeling’, oscillating between tragedy and the ‘pitch-black comedy’. The fundamental ambivalence alluded to in Williams’s review has long been identified as one of the defining features of a genre described in 1955 by S. Schoenbaum, writing on Middleton’s tragedies, as ‘a novel kind of drama – a drama that occupies a middle ground between comedy and tragedy’. These plays, with their disturbing blend of clashing genres often share that formal and moral ambivalence which transforms the most sinister of situations, the most scathing dialogues into eerily comic scenes. In Laughing and Weeping in Early Modern Theatres (2007), Matthew Steggle offers several definitions of laughter which help us realize that it is perhaps only one side of a bipolar passion. Thus, for Laurent Joubert, in his Traité du Ris (1579), laughter is a mixture of pleasure and displeasure ; Quintilian links laughter to hatred ; Hobbes depicts laughter as ‘a Suddaine Glory arising from Suddaine Conception of some Eminency in our selves by Compassion with the Infirmities of others, or with our owne formerly’, while for William Prynne, laughter is ‘inappropriately pleasurable and ultimately demonic in origin’.

Recent performance studies have challenged Nicholas Brooke’s basic premise that laughing is a transhistorical constant which implies that early modern audiences had the same reactions as those observed in today’s theatres. Horrid Laughter in Jacobean Tragedy (1979) nonetheless presents an interesting survey of plays which best exemplify a genre where the farcical and the grotesque alternate with tragedy and horror, where sarcasm, bitter irony, sardonic one-liners undermine the dark and the grandiose, as in The Jew of Malta, which Brooke calls ‘a marvelous farce’ (8), Marston’s Antonio plays, where ‘tragic rhetoric and blatant farce’ constantly intertwine (6), Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy and its macabre comic strain, and several plays by Middleton, Webster and Ford, which, in Brooke’s words, ‘end, again and again, with the grandeur and the grotesquerie simultaneously perceived, tears and laughter equally projected.’ (9). Does it therefore make sense to speak of a specific comic vein, a vein fit for the black humour or black comedy intrinsically linked to some early modern tragedies? What, in the plays of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson or Webster and their motley combination of tragedy and comedy, causes audiences to laugh wryly, derisively, cruelly or wholeheartedly of things so dark, horrible or grotesque that they can only be dealt with through the filter, albeit a black one, of laughter?

Black humour seems inherently defined by the spectacular degree of aesthetic and rhetorical self-consciousness with which it operates. By negotiating its stance between the principles of unity and multiplicity, connection and disjunction, it displays all the techniques of the baroque (Berry, 1972). Metatextually, by combining the « camp » and the horrific, Marston contributes to the fashioning of black humour on the Jacobean stage, while Webster points us to the « bitter play » to come, in the play’s Induction (line 25). It would be worthwhile exploring how such variations in self-conscious denomination assume a larger scope, as they are deeply interrelated with audience reception (and production) of black humour. There are those plays that induce laughter in response to a set of humoristic devices that might seem mechanistic and limited ; others address a larger aesthetic and moral framework (strategies of coping with the fear of death or illness) and open up new pathways were it only by (at times unwittingly) devolving the production of black humour to their audience (and critics). Our conference will try to explore the various strategies at play in works of the period that resort to black humour, a lesser-known yet fascinating facet of Maeterlinck’s ‘infernally poisonous black diamonds’. Papers on Shakespeare are as inevitable as they are welcome, but contributions on works by other dramatists are particularly encouraged. Possible topics of investigation include (but are not limited to): Cultural origins and foundations of black humour; black humour: beyond the oxymoronic; black humour, self-conscious aesthetics and denominations; black humour and audience response; black humour, trauma and therapeutic management; the dialectics of black humour.

Please send a 250-word abstract and a short (100-word) biography to the conference organizers: by 15 June, 2019 (notifications of acceptance will be sent by 15 July). Papers will preferably be given in English. A selection of papers will be published.

Organizers: Antoine Ertlé (, Catherine Lisak (

Confirmed keynote speaker: Attila Kiss (University of Szeged, Hungary).

(posted 8 April 2019)

Writers in Neo-Victorian fiction
Université de Caen Normandie, France, 11 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

Maison de la recherche en Sciences Humaines

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Patricia Duncker

Reflecting on the art of writing neo-Victorian fiction, Patricia Duncker draws a whole list of “authors ripe for imitation, adaptation, or reinvention, […] [such as] Wilkie Collins, all the Brontës, the 1860s fashion for sensation fiction, Henry James and the Victorian ghostly writers, especially M.R. James, the ubiquitous Oscar Wilde, and more dangerously, Charles Dickens.” (Duncker 257). Not only does Duncker specifically stress the art of adaptation, pastiche and/or parody that, in part, is at the bottom of the neo-Victorian project, but her enumeration also significantly alludes to the presence of Victorian writers within neo-Victorian fiction, as is to the case, literally, in her recent novel, Sophie and The Sybil (2015) that features George Eliot amongst its main characters.

Considering, with Kate Mitchell that, “[n]eo-Victorian fiction prompts authors, readers and critics to confront the problem of historical recollection […] what is involved in this re-creation of history, what it means to fashion the past for the contemplation of the present” (3), the present conference seeks to engage with the recollection and re-presentation of writers in neo-Victorian fiction.

Which writers are remembered or not? Who is remembered and what is remembered, obliterated or mis-remembered about them? Is the focus on their activity as writer or/an on their private lives? How are these writers turned into characters? Such are some of the questions this conference will address in relation with the politics and revisionary aims of the neo-Victorian project.

The neo-Victorian genre, especially its biofictional branch, seems to have benefited from and followed the booming demand for historical narratives (especially biographies) in the 1990s (Steveker 68). In the case of “celebrity biofictions” which often revolve around “revelations of the salacious and traumatic aspects of the lives of participants in the long nineteenth century” (Kohlke 4), the notion of canonicity seems to be questioned. Famous Victorian writers like Charles Dickens and Lord Tennyson have indeed been the object of mocking depreciating neo-Victorian representations (Gutleben). On the other hand, recent Neo-Victorian representation of writers might be understood as the early twenty-first-century’s “fresh commitment to what we might call the reality of history” (Boxall 41).

Taking up the figure of a writer in fiction is an act of appropriation but also of denial. As Georges Letissier puts it about transfictional characters: “the neo-Victorian character denies the death verdict of the closed book, or any compulsory order of textual residence, through a process of migration that is an extension of fictitious life.” (Letissier n.p.). In the course of migration and expansion, the return of dead authors in neo-Victorian fiction may range from a sort of collapse between the author figure and his/her work (e.g. Tobias Oates in Jack Maggs (1997)) in contradiction with Barthes’s “Death of the author”, a thin boundary between biography and fiction (e.g. Peter Ackroyd’s The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde (1983)) to the staging of the encounter with a writer from the past (e.g. Kathleen A. Flynn’s The Jane Austen Project (2017)).

Considering the self-consciousness and meta-reflexivity which define neo-Victorian fiction (Heilman and Llewelyn 4), the representation of the act of writing is of particular interest, be it in the representation of Victorian writers as well as the self-staging of neo-Victorian writers themselves – one may think of Fowles in The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969). Our concern with the representation of the writer includes fictional figures of such as Lamotte and Ash in Possession, or Sugar in The Crimson Petal and the White.

Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to the following:

  • Retrieving/staging/plotting authorial figures of the past
  • Literary tradition: staging the relation with the predecessor<
  • the representation of fictional writers
  • Reception/transmission/construction of the authorial figure – canonicity/oblivion
  • Cultural afterlife of writers
  • Nomenclature (biofiction/fictional biography etc.)

The organisers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers about the representation of writers in neo-Victorian fiction. Please send 250-word abstracts, with a 50-word biography to Armelle Parey ( and Charlotte Wadoux (charlotte by April 30th, 2019. Notification will be sent in the following month.

List of works cited:
BOXALL, Peter. Twenty-first-Century Fiction, a Critical Introduction. Cambridge UP, 2013.
DUNCKER, Patricia. “On Writing Neo-Victorian Fiction”. English: Journal of the English Association, Volume 63, Issue 243, 1 December 2014, Pages 253-274.
GUTLEBEN, Christian. Nostalgic Postmodernism, the Victorian tradition and the contemporary British novel. Amsterdam : Rodopi, 2001.
HEILMANN, Ann and Mark Llewellyn. Neo-Victorianism.
The Victorians in the Twenty-First Century, 1999-2009, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
KOHLKE, Marie-Luise.
Neo-Victorian Biofiction and the Special/Spectral Case of Barbara Chase-Riboud’s Hottentot Venus” Australasian Journal of Victorian Studies Vol 18, No 3 (2013)
LETISSIER, Georges. « Neo-Characterization in the Neo-Victorian Novel », E-rea [En ligne], 13.1 | 2015, mis en ligne le 15 décembre 2015. URL : ; DOI : 10.4000/erea.4834
MITCHELL, Kate. History and Cultural Memory in Neo-Victorian Fiction: Victorian Afterimages. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.
STEVEKER, Lena. “‘Eminent Victorian’ and Neo-Victorian Fictional Biography” Nadine Boehm-Schnitker and Susanne Gruss (eds.), Neo-Victorian Literature and Culture: Immersions and Revisitations. New York; London: Routledge, 2014.

(posted 17 December 2018)

MCWE 2019: The 1st International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience
New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria, 11-12 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

New Bulgarian University and Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I” are pleased to announce the 1st International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience, which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria on 11-12 October 2019.

This conference had originally been planned to take place on 1-2 November 2019 but had to be rescheduled.

War involves a cumulation of traumatic multilevel experiences with strong individual and collective implications that pass from one generation to another, being impossible to forget but also mandatory to be remembered in order not to be repeated. While the whole world is affected by it, the “soldier  above all others prays – as Gen. Douglas MacArthur says – for peace, for it is [he] who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war” (qtd in Donnithorne, 2009: 173). A military career is more than just a job. Prepared to face the danger, the men and women who serve in the armed forces of a country are constantly exposed to a unique set of pressures that derive from the responsibilities they assume, but also to a system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviours and artefacts meant to help them and their families cope with the world they live in. Like any other social group, the military have a culture of their own, with deep roots and ramifications – one that may be difficult to understand by ordinary civilians; one that may raise admiration or hatred; one that cannot be ignored.

Topics and Scope
We suggest the following topics; however, papers on other aspects of the conference theme are also welcomed:

  • War in literature, biographies and visual arts
  • Important military leaders and events
  • Types of warfare, military tactics and strategies
  • Multinational coalition operations
  • Challenges of military engineering
  • Military technical vocabulary
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Migration and globalization
  • Media coverage of war and terrorism
  • Psychological effects of war
  • Education and adjustment to military / civilian life
  • Implications of military culture and stereotypes
  • Military career field management
  • Veterans and their problems
  • Impact of deployment on military families
  • Gender, age, disability, etc in the military.

This conference aims to create a multinational and multidisciplinary forum for discussions on changes in the perception of military culture and war experience. We invite scholars as well as practitioners from different fields including military science, literature, visual arts, history, cultural studies, philosophy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, management, science and technology and all those interested in exchanging theoretical and practical approaches to these phenomena and processes.

The official language of the conference is English, though presentations may also be delivered in any other language provided they are accompanied by a PowerPoint in English.

We welcome proposals for individual 20-minute paperspanel sessions where 3 or 4 speakers address a shared topic, and workshops where contributors address questions of practical activism. Please, send your proposal no later than 30 April 2019, by registering on

Publishing Opportunities
The accepted paper abstracts will be published in the Book of Abstracts, available to all participants. An e-Book of Proceedings will be posted to the Conference webpage. Abstract proposals should be sent no later than 30 April 2019.

Full papers are expected by 1 October 2019 and authors are advised to use the following submission guidelines:

  • Language: English.
  • The page-limit for articles: no more than 12 pages, works cited included.
  • The margins:left – 25 mm, right – 25 mm, top – 25 mm, bottom – 25 mm, header and footer –15 mm.
  • Paper setup: A4, 1,15 space between lines, 20 mm margins, justified;
  • Title of the article: Caps, Times New Roman 14 Bold, Centred, at 50 mm above the text;
  • Author’s name, scientific title and academic affiliation: Times New Roman 12 Bold, under the title, at 2 lines distance;
  • Abstract: Approximately 250 words in English, Times New Roman 11, italics, at two lines distance under the author’s name, in English;
  • Five Keywordsunder the abstract, in English (TNR 11);
  • Text of the article:at one line bellow the abstract, in English, Times New Roman, 12, justified;
  • No endnotes(footnotes only): font size 10, numbering: continuous; No Page Breaks in the document; All graphic elements set in line with the text.
  • Bibliography /Works Cited: 2 lines distance from the end of the paper; single column format, Times New Roman 12, italics, under the bibliography, at 2 lines distance. Sources must be quoted according to the latest edition of the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers;
  • Biodata: 2 lines distance from the end of the Bibliography;Times New Roman 12; justified.
  • Submission link:

Every submitted paper must represent original and unpublished work: it must not be under review or accepted elsewhere and there must be a significantly clear element of novelty distinguishing a submitted paper from any other prior publication or current submission. Full papers are subject to PEER REVIEW and will be evaluated according to their significance, originality, technical content, style, clarity, and relevance to the conference theme.

Accepted papers will be published in Journals with ISSN such as: Journal of Military Technology and Journal of Philology and Intercultural Communication, or in a prestigious collective volume. More information will be available as soon as possible.

The conference will be held at New Bulgarian University. Address: ul. “Montevideo” 21, 1618 g.k. Ovchakupel 2, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Registration Fee
Further information will be made available as soon as possible.

Important Dates
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019.
Abstract acceptance notification: 31 May 2019.
Conference fee: 30 June 2019.
Submission deadline for full papers: 1 October 2019.
Conference dinner: 11 October 2019.

For more details on submissions or conference organization, please check our website: or contact us:

(posted 28 December 2018, updated 8 January 2019)

Podcasting Poetics
Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany, 11-12 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2019

Organizers:  Alyn Euritt (Leipzig), Patrick Gill (Mainz)

The past fifteen years have seen podcasting emerge as a form increasingly confident of its own virtues and the constructive affordances it can bring to bear on storytelling. As Dario Llinares, Neil Fox, and Richard Berry suggest in Podcasting: New Aural Cultures and Digital Media, “podcasting has transitioned into a new phase, a ‘new aural culture’, with its applications and effects requiring wider interdisciplinary conceptual approaches” (4). To this end, our conference sets out to investigate the history of this new medium’s development as well as the present state of podcasting poetics. Participants are invited to present papers from a variety of perspectives, which may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • narratology, seriality, and form
  • audiences and listening publics
  • interactivity and fan culture
  • monetisation
  • affect and intimacy
  • relation to other media (including radio drama, audiobooks, smart speakers)
  • position within convergence culture
  • aurality

We are pleased to announce that Richard Berry will be the keynote speaker.Please send suggestions for 20-minute conference presentations to by April 30, 2019. Abstracts should extend to no more than 300 words and be accompanied by a short biographical note.

(posted 22 February 2019)

Challenges and Solutions in Education, Teaching and Learning
London, UK, 12 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 20 July 2019

organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

Attempting to answer the what-is-worth-knowing questions, the conference will explore major themes concerning the current situation in education, teaching and learning. It will focus on globally relevant challenges such as multicultural education, education for citizenship, social inequality and schooling, gender and socialisation, new technologies and new literacies. It will examine the ways of overcoming the challenges as well as provide perspectives and dialogue on education systems around the world focussing on the major factors of academic achievement.

Papers are invited on topics related, but not limited, to:

  • Childhood Education
  • Adult Education
  • Home Education
  • Special Education
  • Education Policy and Leadership
  • Academic Advising and Counselling
  • Work Employability
  • e-Learning and e-Testing
  • Distance Learning
  • Blended Learning
  • IT in Education
  • Teaching Methodologies
  • Education Management

Proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 20 July 2019 to:

Download paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 100 GBP   

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

(posted 8 June 2019

Decolonizing the Victorians
School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, 14 October 2019
New extended deadline for proposals: 21 September 2019

Org. University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES-CEAUL), in collaboration with the Centre for Indian Studies

Keynote speakers:

Jyotsna Singh, Professor of Renaissance Literature, Michigan State University, USA

Neilesh Bose, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in History, University of Victoria, Canada

“Decolonisation is always a good idea – of course – but it’s a complicated one. ‘Postcolonial studies’ implies that colonialism is definitely ‘post’. Is it? Whose colonisation of whom are we talking about? (…) The categories are infinite, the hierarchies complicated and intersecting, the project of domination ongoing.” (Arundhati Roy 2017)

The recent debates surrounding the decolonization of the university (Mbembe 2016) and the dismantling of the institutional structures that sustain white power prove that postcolonial and decolonial critiques need to remain centrifugal forces in the context of the liquid, neoliberal university (Mbembe 2003; Mignolo 2007; Young 2012; Bhambra 2014; Mignolo and Walsh 2018; Bhambra et al. 2018). These debates also demonstrate that, to circumvent the limited imaginations of neoliberal institutions, fields of inquiry such as English studies have to continuously travel beyond their foundational onto-historical ethnocentrism and Anglo-American-centred theoretical frameworks (Hitchcock 2001).

Building on the discussions taking place in English departments across universities in the UK (Ranasinha 2019), this seminar aims to contribute to the debate on what might be entailed in the next step of decolonizing the English studies curriculum in a semi-peripheral English department whose locus of observation, interpretation, and enunciation is located in a non-English speaking country.

With a focus on decolonizing the Victorians, proposals for papers and pre-constituted panels (with three speakers each and a chair) should engage with at least one of the following questions:

  • How does the mediating role of English as the lingua franca of western academia replicate the colonial dynamics of the nineteenth century?
  • How can the colonial dynamics of English studies be revised and reinvented outside of the Anglosphere?
  • How do we reinvent English studies in ways that do not rely on pre-existing extractive colonial patterns relating to labour, production, and value, but at the same time foreground these immanent patterns?
  • In terms of praxis, how can the concerns with the imperial contexts in which English studies articulated its mission (in India, for example) be incorporated into not only the practice of criticism and theory, but also university pedagogies?

Please send proposals to Ana Cristina Mendes, Department of EnglishSchool of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon ( September 21, 2019 (new extended deadline).

(posted 7 June 2019, updated 26 August 2019)

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction
Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier-3, France, 17-19 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 15 January 2019

A conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research),

Keynote speakers

  • Elke D’hoker, K.U. Leuven, Belgium
  • Ann-Marie Einhaus, Northumbria University, UK

Short Fiction as Humble Fiction

The title of this conference may sound like a provocative statement. It may suggest a definition of the genre as a minor one, as has too often been the case in the history of the short story. Yet the conference has another purpose altogether. We would like to shift the perspective and claim short fiction not exactly as a minor genre, but as a humble one. As such, what can short fiction do that the novel cannot? What can it better convey?

We suggest to use the concept of the ‘humble’ as a critical tool that may help reframe and redefine short fiction, a notoriously elusive genre. How do short story writers deal with humble subjects – humble beings (the poor, the marginal, the outcasts, the disabled, etc.) and the non- human (animals, plants, objects), the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the mundane, the prosaic? How do they draw attention to what tends to be disregarded, neglected or socially invisible (Le Blanc) and how do they play with attention and inattention (Gardiner)? How do they contribute to an ethics and a politics of consideration (Pelluchon)? What rhetorical and stylistic devices do they use? What happens when they broach humble topics with humble tools, a bare, minimal style, for instance? How does the humble form of the short story – its brevity – fit humble topics? Does it paradoxically enhance them? Does the conjunction of the two give the short story a minor status or can it be empowering? In other words, should the humble be regarded as a synonym of ‘minor’ or as a quality and a capability (Nussbaum)?

Asking such questions will open a rich debate. How does the humble nature of short fiction connect with the epiphany, the moment of being, the event? If along with Camille Dumoulié we consider that the ethical dimension of short fiction stems from its being ‘a genre of the event’, could a humble genre also be considered an ethical genre? If there is an ethics of short fiction as a humble genre, where can it be located? Since the term ‘humble’, from the Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly,’ itself from humus ‘ground’’ – is often used as a euphemism for ‘the poor’, we can consider its representation of humble characters (as in Joyce’s Dubliners or Eudora Welty’s short stories) as well as the way this genre handles the theme of poverty, of extreme hardship and constructed deprivation (as in Dalit short fiction) or its representations of and reflections on the earth and all that relates to the environment. The theme of the humble is also manifest in its very inclusiveness and openness to the reader, or in the very precarious nature of the genre, in its openness to other genres. Dealing with short fiction as a humble genre will thus lead contributors to take into account its interactions with humble arts and media: the art of engraving, sketching or photography used in the illustrations of the volumes or magazines in which many modernist short stories were initially published; the radio that broadcast so many short stories, sometimes read by the short story writers themselves, as occurred on BBC4 with, for instance, Frank O’Connor; the web today, with flash fiction online, micro fiction or video performances of short fiction. How do these various art forms and media shape each other and how do these interactions construct short fiction as a humble genre? In other words, how does the motif of the humble morph into an ‘experiential category’ (Locatelli) or a poetics of the humble?

Reframing the humble as an aesthetic category will help reread short fiction and better capture its elusive contours, focusing either on well-known short fiction by famous writers that will be approached from a different angle or retrieving some unfairly neglected texts from oblivion, as, for example, Ann-Marie Einhaus, has started doing in her work on The Short Story and the First World War. Or again, Elke D’hoker’s current work on short fiction and popular magazines.

This conference means to cross national borders and disciplinary boundaries, especially those separating literature and the visual arts or literature and philosophy. The questions asked can be broached through short fiction in English by writers of various nationalities over the 19th and 20th centuries until nowadays. The suggested acceptations of the term ‘humble’ are not limitative but indicative.

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Christine Reynier ( and Jean-Michel Ganteau (jean- by January 15th, 2019.

A selection of peer-reviewed articles will be published in The Journal of the Short Story in English and Short Fiction in Theory & Practice.

Organising committee:

Lynn Blin, Isabelle Brasme, Jean-Michel Ganteau, Laura Lainvae, Xavier Le Brun, Maroua Mannai, Judith Misrahi-Barak, Christine Reyn

Works cited:

  • E. Bowen, Collected Impressions, New York: Alfred Knopf, 1950, 38.
  • D’Hoker, Elke, and Stephanie Eggermont, ‘Fin-de-Siècle Women Writers and the Modern Short Story’, English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920, 58/3 (2015): 291-312.
  • Dumoulié, Camille, Littérature et philosophie : Le gai savoir de la littérature, Paris: Armand Colin, 2002, 55.
  • Einhaus, Ann-Marie, The Short Story and the First World War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
  • Gardiner, Michael, ‘Everyday Utopianism: Lefebvre and his Critics’, Cultural Studies 18.2/3 (March/May 2004): 228-54.
  • Le Blanc, Guillaume. L’invisibilité sociale. Paris: PUF, 2009.
  • Locatelli, Angela, ‘”The Humble/d” in Literature and Philosophy: Precariousness, Vulnerability and the Pragmatics of Social Visibility’, in The Humble in 19th, 20th and 21st-Century British Literature and Arts, I. Brasme, J-M Ganteau and C. Reynier eds., Montpellier: PULM, 2017, 147-64.
  • Nussbaum, Martha, Creating Capabilities. The Human Development Approach, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011.
  • Pelluchon, Corine. Ethique de la considération. Paris: Seuil, 2018.

(posted 7 June 2018)

Possibility and Necessity: Concepts and Expressions of modality. A Conference in Honour of Paul Larreya
Université de Pau & des Pays de l’Adour, France, 17-19 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 March 2019

Research Centres ALTER, UPPA (EA 7504) et CLIMAS, UBM (EA 4196)

Discourse may be conceived as a space where subjects act and interact. We propose the study of this interaction between subjects from the perspective of modality, a notion which, in one of its most frequent definitions, corresponds to the fields of possibility and necessity. Linked with the work of the research group “Subjects, representations and societies” affiliated to the ALTER research laboratory (Art/Languages: Transitions and relationships), questions will be addressed concerning the sharing, structuring, conception and representation of this space through the expression of modality, which covers various notions such as possibility, impossibility, necessity, contingency, certainty, probability and plausibility.

Looking in detail at the concepts of possibility and necessity will enable the study of diverse types of modality including the traditional distinction made between root modality and epistemic modality. Larreya has proposed to divide epistemic modality, sometimes known as “the modality of knowledge”, into two sub-categories: inferential modality (epistemic modality per se) and implicative modality, which may be considered as “a sort of semantic link between epistemic modality and deontic modality” (Larreya 1984: 173). This raises the questions, amongst others, of the division of the semantic domain of modality, of the relations between evaluative modality, on the one hand, and possibility and necessity, on the other hand, and of the links between epistemic modality, evidentiality and mirativity.

Modality may also be defined as a category that comments on the « reality of the process », a reality that is first and foremost an idea. Modality enables us to question what is true and what is false, the convergence with or divergence from reality, the good and the bad, the notions of evaluation and judgement etc. In other words, modality is sometimes equated with the expression of the speaker’s attitude towards the propositional content, even if it cannot be reduced to just that.

Studies could describe the specific use of (different types) of markers in expressions of possibility and necessity, as well as the diversity of these markers. One may consider, in particular, modal auxiliaries, modal expressions and idioms, lexical modals, but also other parts of speech and constructions that contribute to the expression of a modal stance.

Several approaches may be considered, although the list is not exhaustive:

  • epistemological approach: definition of the concepts of possibility and necessity in linguistics, which may be linked with fields from other disciplines;
  • historical dimension: the emergence of modal markers, the loss of certain forms of modalization (subjunctive);
  • similarities and differences between various types of markers used for the expression of possibility and necessity;
  • specialized or non-specialized forms and constructions used in the expression of one of the two fields;
  • prosodic approach to modality: interaction between markers of modality and prosodic markers;
  • structuring the area of modality: on one side, the relationships between epistemic, root, inferential and implicational modalities and on the other, the link between these modalities and other concepts (evidentiality, mirativity, etc.); impervious or porous borders between the different fields;
  • distinction or linking between different language attitudes that cover the notions of possibility and necessity (e.g. judgement, assessment, engagement, etc.);
  • utterer attitude/stance and the pragmatic dimension;
  • distinction between modality and modalization;
  • modality and reported speech;
  • dialectal approach: modality and grammaticalization in creole languages;
  • types of markers and textual genres : the expression of modality in different genres – specialized discourse (judicial, medical, commerce and trade, etc.), autobiography, political discourse, discussions on forums and blogs, etc.;
  • modality and teaching: expression of possibility and necessity in learning situations and second language acquisition;
  • multimodal analysis and the expression of possibility and necessity by non-verbal means.

The aim of this conference is to enable interaction between specialists from different branches of linguistics – English, Spanish and French especially (psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, morpho-syntax, phonology, etc.). Contributions from specialists in other fields (psychology and philosophy in particular) would/will also be welcome. (Reference: Larreya, Paul (1984). Le possible et le nécessaire. Modalités et auxiliaires modaux en anglais britannique. Paris: Nathan Recherche)

Guest speakers

  • Pierre Cotte, Sorbonne Université
  • Patrick Dendale, University of Antwerp

Scientific committee: Jean Albrespit, Université Bordeaux Montaigne; Viviane Arigne, Université Paris 13; Johan van der Auwera, University of Antwerp; Kasper Boye, University of Copenhagen; Agnès Celle, Université Paris Diderot; Bert Cornillie, University of Leuven; Pierre Cotte, Sorbonne Université; Monique De Mattia-Viviès, Aix-Marseille Université; Patrick Dendale, University of Antwerp; Ilse Depraetere, Université de Lille; Lionel Dufaye, Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée; Roberta Facchinetti, University of Verona; Grégory Furmaniak, Université Sorbonne-Nouvelle; Christelle Lacassain-Lagoin, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour; Laure Lansari, Université Paris Diderot; Jean-Marie Merle, Université Nice Sofia-Antipolis; Juana Marín-Arrese, Complutense Madrid University; Fabrice Marsac, University of Opole; Johanna Miecznikowski, University of Lugano; Élise Mignot, Sorbonne Université; Bérengère Moricheau-Airaud, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour; Claude Rivière, Université Paris Diderot; Laurent Rouveyrol, Université Nice Sofia-Antipolis; Raphael Salkie, University of Brighton; Tracey Simpson, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour

Organizing committee


  • Due date for submissions : 30 March 2019
  • Replies from scientific committee : 15 May 2019

Talks may be given in English or French
Publication project: written contributions chosen by the scientific committee will be included in a publication
Please send your submissions (500 words), with a short bio-bibliography, to the three members of the organizing committee for 30 March 2019. Please indicate the title and the name(s) of the author(s) in your email and attach the abstract in text or .pdf formats giving the title only, and not the name(s) of the author(s).

(posted 16 January 2019, updated 21 January 2019)

International Conference on Ecocriticism and Environmental Studies
London, UK, 10 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 20 July 2019

organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

Multiple environmental crises are increasingly inescapable at both transnational and local levels and the role of the humanities in addition to technology and politics is more and more recognized as central for exploring and finding solutions. Representations of nature’s agency have become central to many studies conducted in literature, culture studies, philosophy, history, sociology or political science. This conference aims to explore the relationship between the physical environment and text in its broader meaning as well as analyse the social concerns raised by environmental crises.

Conference panels will be related, but not limited, to:

  • Sustainable Development
  • Biopolitics
  • Animal Studies
  • Cultural and Literary Ecology
  • Ecolinguistics
  • Ecosophy
  • Ethnobiology
  • Ecofeminism
  • Posthumanism
  • Environmental Arts
  • Environmental History

We invite proposals from various disciplines including political sciences, history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, literature, linguistics, etc.

Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 20 July 2019 to: Please download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 100 GBP

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

(posted 8 June 2019)

Treacherous Words: Fake News, Censorship and the Unsayable
Department of Languages and Cultures, University of Aveiro, Portugal, 23-25 October 2019
Deadine for proposals: 31 May 2019

The recent emergence of concern about fake news is a consequence of the importance of public opinion. It presupposes that some form of democracy is operative and therefore there is a need to manipulate it. But there is nothing new about lying, misrepresenting, obfuscating and minimizing unhelpful information. Undemocratic and democratic regimes alike have been doing this for years. Pravda and Isvestia were iconic sources of state-sanctioned fake news and their successors continue to operate today. So what is different? Is it not the way that we keep ourselves informed that has changed? Philosophically, we have become acclimatized to the idea that we live in an age of post-truth, that all perception is relative. Practically, we are being bombarded with informational excess. It seeks you out, it overwhelms you, it comes at you at speed. Additionally, it is not obsessed with sourcing and fact-checking. The result is that opinion-formation and political decisions are being made on the basis of appeals to emotion and personal belief. Traditional sources of authority have so far proved themselves unable to combat this effectively, since new social media have transformed access to and reliance on information. Even reputable scientists and experts have become marginalized as untrustworthy elites. In addition, celebrity culture has confused what constitutes newsworthiness, and a whole cadre of professionals mediate and determine what reaches the public as information.

Alongside the straightforward manipulation of information, control over liberty of expression and artistic freedom has deployed different strategies over time. Historically, religion and politics have been at the centre of censorial practice, but recently, systems of close monitoring have progressively been extended to bring about the imposition of social models, cultural programmes and even aesthetic objectives. Indeed, processes of self-censorship have offered themselves as alternative ways of obstructing the act of communication. These range from withdrawing the very will to verbalization to self-scrutiny as to what it is permissible to say. In this way, repression shapes the mechanisms by which the codification of expression and specific strategies of resistance develop, given the (more or less effective) ploys needed to elude censorship.

The official abolition of censorship in democratic systems has not wholly eradicated it. Social, religious, cultural, diplomatic and even economic pressures can (and often do) have repressive effects. In the same vein, so-called corporate censorship is very much a reality that affects the arts and the media. Plainly, efforts to stifle what is perceived to be undesired have not ceased.

Thus, there are innumerable ways to shut down expression (even the temptation felt in many fields – obeying their own internal logic – to silence the voices of multidisciplinary interlopers), which have been investigated, from different perspectives, in the related domains of language sciences, anthropology, sociology, literary, cultural and translation studies, amongst others. The importance of the role of language in the development of global communicative capabilities (generating ways of resisting ambiguity and manipulative practices, or facilitating them) has become increasingly evident in the above-mentioned fields. These have perhaps learned from romanticism the value of the unsayable as a type of higher wisdom, capable of indicating, for each field, the gaping division between the impulse to verbalise and the many barriers that impede effective expression.

With these thematic considerations in mind, we invite proposals for papers on the following sub-topics:

Fake News

  • – Epistemology and truth
  • – Information in the age of social media: crises in traditional media
  • – Populism, demagoguery and the challenge to democracy;
  • – Infotainment and its discontents
  • – Science, pseudo-science and statistics


  • Repression and ideology
  • Censorship and the rhetoric of resistance
  • Censorship and self-censorship in artistic creation
  • Censorship and self-censorship in translating and interpreting
  • Corporate censorship

The Unsayable

  • Taboos, secrets and other interdictions
  • The politics and the poetics of the unsayable
  • Between languages and cultures: ill-fated translations
  • Translation and manipulation
  • Silence and (in)communicability

The conference fee is 100 euros for researchers with papers, 50 euros for scholars without papers and 40 euros for postgraduate students with papers. Postgraduate students must furnish proof of their enrolment in higher education courses to qualify for the reduction.

Proposals for papers of 20-miinute duration in any of the above-mentioned areas, in either Portuguese, English, French or Spanish, should be sent to the organizing committee on or before the 31st of May 2019. Proposals for papers should be submitted via the address: , including the following information: Name of the author, institutional affiliation, contact address (e-mail), as well as the title and a summary of the paper (maximum 250 words) and a brief bio-note. Authors should also indicate in which of the three thematic area they believe their papers should be included.

Notification of acceptance will be given on or before the 30th June 2019. Enrolment and payment must be completed on or before the 20th July 2019. All pertinent information relating to the conference will be updated on its official page:

(posted 26 March 2019)


Shakespeare and European Romanticism
Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Budapest, Hungary, 24-25 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 22 August 2019

“Once I had read an entire play, I stood there like a blind man given the gift of sight by some miraculous healing touch.” Goethe

Edward Pechter’s 2011 monograph Shakespeare Studies Today bore the subtitle Romanticism Lost. But is Romanticism (still) “lost” for today’s Shakespeare studies? And, conversely, can Shakespeare in any sense be “lost” for Romantic studies? Shakespeare scholars are certainly showing a revived interest in Romantic concepts and phenomena, while a range of important studies have examined Shakespeare’s remarkable influence in Britain and Europe from the late 18th to the early 19th centuries (Bate 1986, 1989; Delabastita and D’hulst 1993; Dávidházi 1998; Han 2001; Ortiz 2013; O’Neill 2013; Ryan 2015, 2019). This workshop is organised with the aim of finding out what Shakespeare and the European Romantics have to say to each other in the critical context of Europe today.

Romantic interpretations of Shakespeare range from Herder’s historicised playwright to Blake’s visionary, and seem to offer writers and readers of the period not simply entertainment or insight into their own circumstances and societies, but a way of understanding the world. The playwright’s ghostly presence is equally apparent in the works of contemporaneous philosophers, especially those influenced by German Idealism, while his role in the nascent nationalisms of the period testifies to the peculiar power of his fiction to shape social and political realities.

This workshop hopes to forge new ground in this field by bringing together literary scholars, philosophers, theologians, art historians, and historians to better understand how and why such diverse thinkers and artists thought through Shakespeare. We invite contributions of 20- minute presentations (followed by a 5-minute response and 10 minutes of questions) from Romanticists working on Shakespeare and Shakespeareans working on Romantic poets, novelists, painters, composers and/or Idealist philosophy. Because of the workshop format, we can accept only a handful of proposals, but scholars are also welcome to attend as participants and contribute to the discussion. Confirmed speakers include Kiernan Ryan (Royal Holloway, London), Ágnes Péter (ELTE, Budapest), and David Jasper (University of Glasgow).

In particular, we aim to approach three main topics:

  1. What functions did Shakespeare serve for thinkers of the romantic period?
  2. How do Romantic/Idealist understandings of Shakespeare aid interpretation of Shakespeare and his age?
  3. What is the relevance of such understandings of Shakespeare for current methodologies in literary studies?

Please send an abstract of 300 words and a brief biography to by 22 August 2019.

Organising committee: Tibor Fabiny (Chair), Sam Gilchrist Hall and Veronika Ruttkay (Members), Gyöngyi Matus-Kassai (PhD student, ELTE: Student helper)

Registration fee (covers lunch and coffee breaks):
Normal: 60 EUR
Student: 30 EUR
Partial fee waivers are available to participants from low and middle income countries.

(posted 26 July 2019)

Constructions of Identity 10. Anniversary Edition: History, Memory and Accomplishment
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 24-26 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 1 June 2019

Conference website:
Conference email:
Conference venue: Facultatea de Litere, str. Horea nr. 31, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

In 2019 the Faculty of Letters in Cluj and the Department of English proudly celebrate 100 years since professor Petre Grimm took on the position of lecturer of English, marking the beginning of what was to become the Department of English Language and Literature. In the context of a century of English studies in Cluj, under the overarching theme of “History, memory and accomplishment”, papers are invited in the area of English literary and cultural studies, literary theory, linguistics, on the following, but not only, topics:

  • literature and history, a complicated contemporary relationship;
  • histories and anniversaries: morphologies of accomplishment;
  • narratives and archive: memorial modalities;
  • forgotten histories;
  • (cultural) memory, amnesia, and the ethics of remembering and commemoration;
  • historical memory and life-writing;
  • writing (in) the gaps: history, trauma, and the ethics of memory;
  • the translating eye: travel writing and historical memori(es);
  • cultural memory and recovering silenced histories;
  • cultural memory and the ethics of translation;
  • celebrating the past: public sites of memory;
  • new memorial technologies;
  • prospective memory and “archaeologies of the future”;
  • studies of English literature in non-English speaking countries;
  • the study of English, translation, and national literatures;
  • cross-linguistic perspectives on syntactic and semantic issues;
  • challenging syntactic and semantic models;
  • theoretical, general or comparative approaches to interface phenomena;
  • the diachrony of English and other languages;
  • understanding language acquisition;
  • contributions to linguistic typology;
  • pragmatics and oral discourse;
  • monolingual and bilingual speech.

Proposals of 20-minute papers should be submitted to by June 1st, 2019, in the form of an abstract not exceeding 200 words. If you wish to submit a paper for one of the panels below, please state so clearly or send it directly to (one of) the convenor(s). A selection of papers will be published.

Conference fee
100 euro;
50 euro for young researchers (under 26), PhD students.
There will be an additional optional fee of 20 euro for a final dinner.

The participants will be notified of their proposal’s acceptance / rejection. Registration procedure to be added soon.

Keynote speakers
Professor Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck, University of London) – confirmed
Professor Susan Irvine (University College London) – confirmed
Professor Patrick McGuinness (University of Oxford) – confirmed
Professor Virgil Stanciu (Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca) – confirmed

Panels already proposed (more will be added following submissions)

P1. Medieval and Manuscript Studies
The panel invites papers on all aspects of medieval English and manuscript studies. Papers focusing on the Alfredian translations into Old English are particularly welcome.
Dr. Adrian Papahagi, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P2. Shakespeare and History
The panel invites papers on Shakespeare’s use of history, from the Roman plays to his English kings.
Dr. Adrian Papahagi, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P3. The Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction of Femininities and Masculinities
The aim of this panel is to explore the Victorian and Neo-Victorian novel from the perspective of gender, gender roles and representation and to provide a framework to discuss the literary output of the Victorian and contemporary periods with their gender specificities and the way individual characters and typologies are constructed – as conventional or non-conventional representations of men and women, in real or imaginary contexts.
Dr. Adrian Radu, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Octavian More, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P4. Objects of memory, the memory of objects
Objects as repositories of memory both constitute and transcend the capacity of the human to capture the past, crystallize the present or project a future. Acting simultaneously as “lieux de mémoire” and anticipations of what is to come, things cease being merely mnemonic prostheses and reveal themselves as causes, firmly locating the “human” within the materiality of the world. The panel invites papers considering the role of objects as agents of memory and their functions as nodes at the multiple intersection between the human and the nonhuman.
Dr. Petronia Popa-Petrar, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Carmen Borbely, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

P5. Cross-linguistic Challenges in Theoretical Linguistics
Theoretical models are abstract representations of discernible patterns in selected data and subject to constant revision/ improvement upon expanding the data domain. Linguistic models are no exception: upon their emergence, no conceptual model is expected to incorporate the vast linguistic diversity of natural languages.  We invite participants to contribute with data across languages, dialects or historical stages that support, enrich or challenge existing models in semantics, syntax or pragmatics.
Dr. Adriana Todea, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
Dr. Imola Farkas, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca

(posted 4 February 2019)

Literature and Media: productive intersections
University of Lodz, Poland, 24-26 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 Juy 201

Conference orgainzed by the Faculty of Philology Department of Studies in Drama, University of Lodz, Poland

In the digital era, which has progressively emerged from the age of photography and film, a fruitful collaboration between theatre, film, new media and literature creates provoking meanings and interpretations, as well as new fields of study. Through intensive assimilation, incorporation and synthesis not only are classical forms of the literary and the visual challenged and redefined, but primarily new genres or forms of communication are produced.

The relation between literary forms and visual media or art has developed into a complex environment of transmedia narratives in which communicative channels never exist merely in one medium and form. Also in visual arts, the merger contributed to the development of a new kind of immersive art that destabilizes traditional connection between images and words, imposing new narrative practices.

The conference aims at addressing a variety of issues concerning the relations between drama, theatre, literature and media or, more generally, word and image. On the one hand, we invite conference papers that explore ways in which literature responds to the emergence of multiple media, and how literary or dramatic texts function in the (new) media environment. On the other hand, we would like to address questions about new media and their relation to the more traditional literary forms or narrative techniques – in particular how new media adapt and incorporate formats and genres developed by literature and its conventions. In visual arts, which use technological means to question the distinction between objects and viewing subjects, artists are interested in affective relations of the senses rather than conventional narration and representation. The conference seeks to reflect on the role and function of word and image in art projects that facilitate bodily experiences with the help of new technologies. It is assumed that digitalization has reconfigured the ways we produce and understand artistic process, facilitating new ways of communication and conversation in art.

Therefore, the conference organisers invite papers and presentations related to theatre, literary and media studies, from film adaptations of classical literary works, through remakes and new adaptations of traditional motifs, characters and genres, drama in performance or tv drama, to explorations of literature as part of networked communication in digital media and contemporary art.

The welcome topics are related but not limited to the following fields of research:

  • Contemporary theatre performance,
  • Theatre adaptations of classical drama and works of fiction,
  • Digitalizing theatre productions, theatre archives,
  • Digital literary archives,
  • Theatre reviews – reviewing life performance / art / art installation,
  • Literature and cinema in digital, social media,
  • Literature in computer games,
  • Film adaptation of drama and fiction,
  • Film remakes,
  • TV series and TV drama,
  • Digital literature,
  • Graphic novel and their film adaptation,
  • Life writing and new media,
  • Transmedia and multimodal narratives,
  • Sound technologies and literature,
  • Narration in visual arts,
  • Artistic practices and literature,
  • Digital

We are proud to announce three names of plenary speakers who will be delivering keynote lectures at our conference:

  • Dr Kathleen Loock – Freie Universität Berlin
  • Prof. Andy Lavender – University of Warwick
  • Kelly McErlean – Dundalk Institute of Technology

The conference fee is 100 Euro (400 PLN), and it covers conference materials and lunch breaks but not accommodation.

Paper proposals (up to 300 words, plus a short biographical note) can be sent to this address:
Deadline for submitting proposals is 31 July 2019.

All necessary information about the conference can be found here:

Organising committee: Dr. Magdalena Cieślak – University of Lodz Dr. Justyna Stępień – Szczecin University Dr. Michal Lachman – University of Lodz

Kathleen Loock is a postdoctoral researcher at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies, Freie Universität Berlin. Her research focuses on Hollywood’s remaking practice, seriality, and the role memory and cultural repetition perform on the level of identity formation and imagined collectivization in changing historical, social, and political contexts. She is author of Kolumbus in den USA (Transcript-Verlag, 2014), co-editor of the collection Film Remakes, Adaptations, and Fan Productions: Remake/Remodel (with Constantine Verevis, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and has edited the following special issues: Serial Narratives (LWU: Literatur in Wissenschaft und Unterricht, 2014), Exploring Film Seriality (Film Studies, with Frank Krutnik, 2017), and American TV Series Revivals (Television & New Media, 2018).
Andy Lavender is Professor of Theatre & Performance and Head of the School of Theatre & Performance Studies and Cultural & Media Policy Studies at the University of Warwick. He was previously Head of the School of Arts at the University of Surrey, and Dean of Research and (before that) Head of Postgraduate Studies at Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London. He publishes on contemporary theatre and performance, in particular looking at intermedial and cross-disciplinary work, new production processes, and performance in relation to the public sphere. Recent writing includes the monograph Performance in the Twenty-First Century: Theatres of Engagement (Routledge 2016), and the articles ‘Living in the Moment: Duration now and then’, Performance Research, 23:4/5, 2018, 186-190; ‘The Internet, Theatre, and Time: transmediating the theatron’, Contemporary Theatre Review, 27:3 (2017; he was also co-editor of this special issue of CTR, ‘Encountering the Digital in Performance’); and ‘Modal transpositions towards theatres of encounter, or, in praise of “media intermultimodality”’, Theatre Journal, 66: 4, 2014, 499-518. He is series editor of 4×45, published by Digital Theatre (online videos) and Routledge (print volumes). His work as a theatre director is largely in the field of devised multimedia performance, in particular using digital technologies. Recent work includes Agamemnon Redux, part of the Mask & Avatar workshop project exploring motion capture for live performance with colleagues from Paris 8 and Warwick universities (presented at Issy-les-Molineaux 2017, Warwick and Athens 2018).
Kelly McErlean has won several awards including a Golden Spider Award and Digital Media Award for his work in film, photography and new media. He holds a PhD in Visual Culture from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and an MA in Mass Communications from Leicester University, UK. He has authored graduate and post-graduate courses in film and new media for national and international delivery. Working with the European Broadcasting Union, he successfully project managed eLearning and on-site contracts for many international broadcast organisations. Kelly is a full-time Programme Director and academic researcher in the Department of Creative Arts, Media and Music, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland. He is an educational consultant for several UK universities and is an academic writer with Pearson. His book ‘Interactive Narratives & Transmedia Storytelling’ was published 2018 by Taylor & Francis, New York.

(posted 3 July 2019)

Common Room: Crisis/Catastrophe/Apocalypse?
Płock, Poland, 25-26 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 30 September 2019

The name of the annual Common Room conferences organised by the Department of English Studies within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the State University of Applied Sciences in Płock, Poland refers to the literary salon held in London by Stefan and Franciszka Themerson, an extraordinary couple of Polish-born artists and intellectuals, during the years 1957-1959. It hosted numerous scientists, academics, artists and literary figures and was the site of unique lectures, presentations, artistic evenings, concerts and discussions. It is the intention of the organizer to recreate the truly interdisciplinary spirit of what the Themersons defined as a “friendly meeting place and a forum for the exchange of ideas.”

This year’s seventh edition of the conference is devoted to a broadly defined notion of crisis – both real and perceived – along with its implications. On the one hand, crisis may sooner or later lead to a palpable catastrophe; on the other hand, it gives rise to apocalyptic visions of the end of the world or the collapse of human civilization. Reflections on crisis, whose awareness seems to permeate all areas of human activity nowadays, result in ineluctable fears about the current world order coming to an end. Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic images of the future are not only the obvious consequence of our anxiety over what lies in store, but also a desperate warning against disastrous effects of our misguided actions, a variety of dangerous phenomena beyond our control as well as all sorts of crises afflicting humankind. Such images, which abound in contemporary culture, are in themselves manifestation of the prevailing axiological, epistemological and ontological crisis. In his lecture “On a Newly Arisen Apocalyptic Tone in Philosophy” Jacques Derrida reminds us, however, that the word “apocalypse” derives from Greek, meaning “to reveal” or “to uncover”, thus highlighting the potential connection between the discourse of crisis, premonitions of disaster and the disclosure of truth that can restore the lost harmony and be the beginning of the new world order.

In his last novel Hobson’s Island Stefan Themerson leads the characters towards a catastrophe, which annihilates the utopian idyll of the picturesque island and its residents when civilization and politics inevitably reach the piece of land purchased by an American millionaire just before The Great Depression. The novel is characterized by the prophetic forecast of the imminent death of dreams for a better world – numerous critics interpreted it as a self-proclaimed admission of the failure of Themerson’s moral theory put forward by the artist in his earlier works, which consistently eulogized human decency. Hobson’s Island, like the rest of his artistic oeuvre, reveals Themerson’s trademark flippancy, as the author does not by any means follow T. S. Eliot’s famous apocalyptical dichotomy – rather than dying “with a bang” or “a whimper”, his characters die from laughter…

Drawing our inspiration from the Themersons’ innovative and interdisciplinary works, we invite contributions from all researchers interested in exploring the phenomenon of a broadly understood crisis, its potentially catastrophic outcomes as well as apocalyptic visions of the future. The papers may address the following as well as related topics:

  • apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic visions of the world and civilization in culture: literature, visual arts, theatre, film, music, comics, video games and others;
  • apocalypse as a metaphor in literature, film, theatre, visual arts and others;
  • the Holocaust; war as an apocalyptic experience; religious/ethnic extermination and cleansing;
  • portrayals of an end in historical and fictional narratives;
  • ecocriticism;
  • awareness/lack of awareness of the implications of environmental degradation; ecological disasters; climate catastrophe; annihilation of wildlife species and ecosystems – reality and representations;
  • political, feminist, ecological and other dystopias;
  • utopias and dystopias in representations and experiences of urban space
  • aesthetics of crisis in literary and cinematic narratives: noir, neo-noir, cyberpunk, horror and others;
  • crisis of language, meaning and/or communication; crisis of representation;
  • crisis of the notion of truth in conventional/digital media and political messages;
  • crisis of the notion of the real: new technologies and the virtualization of reality; literary and cinematic representations of a virtualized world;
  • the role of the discourses/narratives of crisis and catastrophes in media and propaganda;
  • major crises of modernity and postmodernity: crisis of identity, crisis of ideas and values, crisis of faith and spirituality, crisis of interpersonal relationships, crisis of culture, existential and ontological crises, epistemological crisis, crisis/end of “grand narratives”, crisis of authority in society, crisis of tradition and others;
  • crisis of traditional genres and/or an aesthetic crisis in literature, film, theatre, music, visual arts and others;
  • crisis/eclipse of the canon in culture: literature, arts, education and other fields;
  • crisis/eclipse of traditional cultural patterns related to sexuality, human body and/or social roles along with its representations in literature, film and visual arts;
  • crisis/eclipse of hegemony: culture, power, empires, patriarchy, masculinity and others;
  • economic, financial, political and social crises/catastrophes throughout history and their consequences;
  • the notion of crisis in philosophy of history; crisis as a philosophical category;
  • migrant crisis and its implications; how culture and arts respond to the migrant crisis;
  • crisis of (liberal/deliberative) democracy; crisis/eclipse of traditional political categories. structures and institutions;
  • crisis as an opportunity in politics, business, economy, psychology, culture and other fields;
  • crisis management; managing through crises; management by crisis;
  • life crises/catastrophes/apocalypses – personal and developmental – and/or their representations in literature, film and visual arts: mourning and loss, relationship breakdowns, loss of status, losing control of your life, loss of dignity, addictions, adolescence, midlife crisis, old age and others.

Since it is our goal to run the conference in the spirit of the Themersonian Common Room, which was so interdisciplinary and versatile that it escaped facile categorization, we cordially invite not only specialists in philology, literature studies, cultural studies, linguistics and translation studies but also representatives of other academic disciplines such as film studies, media studies, political science, economics, sociology, pedagogy, psychology, philosophy, history, ethnography, arts studies, etc. to join the discussion.

The conference is part of the annual Themersons Festival (the festival’s website:, commemorating and celebrating the creative output of Stefan, who was born in Płock, and his wife Franciszka. All delegates will be able to participate in the numerous events of the festival including workshops, concerts, exhibitions, theatrical performances and film screenings. All the key information concerning Płock, the Themersons Festival, the previous editions of the Common Room Conference as well as useful travel and accommodation tips can be found on our new website:

The conference languages will be Polish and English. We welcome submissions for papers in English or Polish from experienced researchers as well as graduate students, PhD candidates or anyone with a keen interest in the theme of the conference. Abstracts in English or Polish (max. 250 words) along with the title of the proposed paper and short information about the author should be submitted online by 30.09.2019 using the registration form on our new website:

You can also contact the Conference Organizing Committee and send your enquiries or submissions for papers directly at:

Notifications of acceptance will be sent in the quickest possible time and the approved participants will be notified by 01.10.2019 at the latest. It is intended that all the papers presented at this conference will be eligible for publication. Information on our previous publications can be found on the new website.

The conference fee is as follows:
– early registration (until 18.08.2019): 200 PLN (50 euros). The fee must be paid by 18.08.2019.
– regular registration (after 18.08.2019): 280 PLN (70 euros). The deadline for paying the fee is 04.10.2019.

Money transfers in Poland (PKO BP SA):
Account Number: 46 1020 3974 0000 5102 0084 8077

International money transfers:
Account Holder: PWSZ Płock,
International Bank Account Number (IBAN):
PL 46 1020 3974 0000 5102 0084 8077
Code Bic (SWIFT address): BPKOPLPW

Please make sure that your name and the name of the conference: “Common Room” are included in the transfer description section. Should you require an invoice, please fill in the “Invoicing address” section in the Registration Form.

Yours faithfully,
The 2019 COMMON ROOM Conference Organizing Committee:
Anna Suwalska-Kołecka, Ph.D. and Jakub Ligor, Ph.D.

(posted 20 June 2019)

Narratives of Displacement
Oxford, UK, 26 October 2019
Deadline: 20 July 2019

organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research


The conference seeks to explore the narratives of displacement and to demonstrate the validity of a cross-disciplinary approach which brings together the historical, cultural, social and literary expertise in the handling of text. The conference will particularly focus on time and space representations and on treatment of the theme of cultural ambivalence and identity conflict. The subject of displacement will be regarded as both a migration, voluntary or forced, and a sense of being socially or culturally “out of place”.

Papers are invited on topics related, but not limited, to:

  • migrations and deportations (expatriation, expulsion, exile, etc.)
  • journeys, pilgrimages, missions
  • mobility and place
  • rootlessness and taking root
  • foreignness and indigeneity
  • (re)settlement and (non)residence
  • nomadism and place attachment
  • hotels, guesthouses, shelters
  • multiculturalism, interculturalism, transculturalism

We also welcome poster proposals that address the conference theme.

The conference aims to bring together scholars from different fields. We invite proposals from various disciplines including history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and literature.

Proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 20 July 2019 to:

Download Paper proposal form.

Registration fee – 120 GBP

Conference venue: St Anne’s College, University of Oxford

(posted 6 June 2019)

Politically incorrect: does the world belong to polyglots?: 3rd International Conference of Foreign Languages (III CILE)
School of Education, Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Portugal,  30-31 October 2019
Deadline for proposals: 8 March 2019

Convener: Foreign Language Department, ESE-IPB

Throughout history several languages have become lingua franca as a result of conquests, commerce or religious conversion (cf. Ostler, 2011), thus being inevitably associated with the building of empires. This happened with Greek, Latin, Portuguese, German, French and English, which has originated a linguistic, cultural and political uniformity, although other vernacular languages coexisted.
The value of national cultures, following Herder’s ideas on cultural diversity, has gained momentum through the restoration of traditions and customs, traditional literature (cf. Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Almeida Garrett’s Romanceiro, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer’s Rimas y Leyendas or Fernán Caballero’s Cuentos de Encantamiento) and language varieties which have been considered exotic. Conversely, the notion of standard or prestige becomes part of the discourse of several nations claiming sovereignty. This means that, on the one hand, linguistic peculiarities are defended, while, on the other, there is an attempt to silence them, in order to replace them for the emergent national languages. Through the development of the comparative method and the discovery of the language families (based on their relatedness), a process of linguistic prescriptivism is imposed, which will only be deconstructed throughout the 20th century.
Based on these new principles, there are mentions of social and cultural prestige languages and minority languages creating linguistic stigmas which do not favour the transcultural and translinguistic correlation.
The prestige inherent to certain varieties is not related to any moral or ethnic categories, but to the ideology they reflect. Presently, English, as one of the latest lingua franca, has imposed itself in international and multinational organisations as a preferential linguistic bridge, if not the only one. This sole use of a language leads
us to question whether this is a politically incorrect attitude, too downgrading of a reality which is, by nature, multilinguistic. Bearing this idea in mind, we would like to challenge this monolinguistic and uniform trend, as well as to value all languages and cultures with no prejudice.
This will be the main assumption for the III CILE debate, since we believe that learning a set of foreign languages will open doors, overcome borders and enrich cultures. In today’s world, which asserts borders and reasserts identities to overcome both disconnection and incommunicability, we acknowledge the natural poliglotism of border regions, the century old cultural cosmopolitanism and their porosity.
Nowadays, it is not enough to master one foreign language. Globalization, deterritorialisation, the dislocation of migrations, from diaspora and exile, demand that we become poliglots able to express ourselves in order to establish intercultural relations. As Edward Said (2007) argues, it is fundamental to cultivate the perception of many worlds and their complex traditions. Benefits of multilingualism are paramount to enable us overcome the linguistic gap among cultures. The language is no longer the homeland because any homeland is only temporary (Said, 2003). Crossing borders breaks thought and experience barriers, leading us towards an awakening of plural language learning, thus the reconquest of the tower of Babel.

As such, topics and themes of interest include, but are not restricted to, the following:
● Foreign languages as an exclusion vs inclusion factor in migrations
● Polyglot writers
● Minority languages vs prestige languages
● The strength of dead languages
● Lingua Franca throughout history
● Monolingualism vs. Plurilingualism
● FL/culture, memory and identity
● Translation and FL teaching

Deadlines and other information:
• 8th March: final deadline for 1st submission
• 9th March: 2nd call
• 29th March: deadline for 2nd call
• 30th April: authors’ notification, including those who do not wish to publish their paper
• 15th June: submission of full articles for the double-blind peer review process
• 31st July: authors’ submission after the review process
• 15th September: final version paper submission
• The publication of the selected papers will be done in the form of online Proceedings with ISBN.
• A maximum of 2 papers per author will be accepted, either individually or in group
• Information through the e-mail:
• Webpage of the event:
• Platform for the submission of abstracts:

Registration (including coffee breaks, previous proceedings and the publication in the proceedings for III CILE):
• Early bird registration APEF and members: 60€
• Registration for APEF and members after 2nd September or at the conference: 80€
• Early bird registration until 20th September: 80€
• Registration after 20th September or at the Conference: 100€
• Registration for IPB students: 20€
Organising Committee ESE-IPB:
• Alexia Dotras Bravo
• Ana Maria Alves
• Cláudia Martins
• Dominique Guillemin
• Elisabete Mendes Silva
• Isabel Chumbo

Scientific Committee: (under construction)
Supporting institutions: APEF (Portuguese Association of French Studies) and (Network of Higher Education Language Centers in Portugal)

(posted 15 February 2019)