Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in December 2019

4th Memory, Melancholy and Nostalgia International Interdisciplinary Conference
Gdańsk, Poland, 9-10 December 2019
Deadline for proposals: 31 October 2019

Conference website:

Contact e-mail addresses:

Organizers/ Scientific Committee:
InMind Support (Poland)
Professor Wojciech Owczarski – University of Gdańsk (Poland) Professor Filipe D.Santos – Nova University of Lisbon (Portugal)
Professor Polina Golovátina-Mora – Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Colombia) Professor Paulo Endo – University of Sao Paulo (Brazil)

In our modern world, which some have argued to be disjointed while immersing itself ever deeper in crisis, the turning back towards “the olden days” and the ensuing nostalgia constitute a noticeable phenomenon, both individually (the memory of biography) and collectively (the memory of History). Another important – and seemingly also quite noticeable – phenomenon is the longing for something vague, indefinite or never existent.

Hence, during our interdisciplinary conference we would like to concentrate on the phenomena of nostalgia and melancholy. We are interested in all expressions of longing for the past, from the reassuring and action-propelling ones to those which paralyze us, bringing despair and utter dejection.

We want to describe the experience of nostalgia and melancholy in its multifarious manifestations: psychological, social, historical, cultural, philosophical, religious, economic, political, artistic, and many others. We will also devote considerable attention to how these phenomena appear and transform in artistic practices: literature, film, theatre, and visual arts. This is why we invite researchers representing various academic disciplines: anthropology, history, psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology, politics, philosophy, economics, law, literary studies, theatre studies, film studies, memory studies, migration studies, consciousness studies, dream studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies, medical sciences, psychiatry, cognitive sciences, design, project management and other.

Different forms of presentations are encouraged, including case studies, theoretical investigations, problem-oriented arguments, and comparative analyses.

We will be happy to hear from both experienced scholars and young academics at the start of their careers, as well as students. We also invite all persons interested in participating in the conference as listeners, without giving a presentation.

We hope that due to its interdisciplinary nature, the conference will bring many interesting observations on and discussions about the role of memory, melancholy and nostalgia in the past and in the present-day world.

Our repertoire of suggested topics includes but is not restricted to:

I.  Memory and Affects

  • unwanted memory
  • nostalgia or melancholy?
  • non-melancholic nostalgia
  • nostalgia and longing
  • the healing power of nostalgia
  • nostalgia as an illness
  • nostalgia and depression
  • nostalgia and psychoanalysis

II.  Common Experiences

  • nostalgic epochs
  • nostalgic nations
  • nostalgic generations
  • nostalgia and the myth of eternal return
  • nostalgia, melancholy and totalitarianisms
  • nostalgia and war
  • nostalgia and melancholy of the expelled
  • nostalgic patriotism
  • nostalgia and nationalism
  • nostealgia and gender
  • nostalgia and religion
  • nostalgia and language
  • nostalgia and melancholy in the postmodern world
  • nostalgia and post-memory

III. Individual Experiences

  • return to childhood
  • nostalgia for something indefinite
  • nostalgia for the future
  • nostalgia for a traumatic experience
  • nostalgia, melancholy and old age
  • nostalgia, melancholy and death
  • nostalgia, melancholy and mourning
  • nostalgia, melancholy and love
  • nostalgia, melancholy and imagination
  • nostalgic phantasms
  • nostalgic dreams

IV. The Arts

  • nostalgia and melancholy as a theme in literature, film, and theatre
  • nostalgic literature
  • nostalgic cinema
  • literature and the arts as a vehicle of memory
  • literature, theatre and film in search of lost time
  • nostalgic literary genres
  • melancholic artists

V. Society

  • nostalgia and political movements
  • nostalgia, melancholy and memory places
  • nostalgia, melancholy and memorials
  • nostalgia, melancholy and incentives
  • nostalgia, melancholy and community development
  • nostalgia, melancholy and migration
  • nostalgia, melancholy and meaning-making
  • nostalgia, melancholy and drive to change
  • nostalgia and product development
  • nostalgia and melancholy in the work environment
  • nostalgia and melancholy in international development
  • nostalgia and melancholy in leadership
  • nostalgia and melancholy in policy

Please submit abstracts (no longer than 300 words) of your proposed 20-minute presentations, together with a short biographical note, by 31 October 2019 both to:

(posted 27 September 2019)

Daniel Defoe and His Work: METU British Novelists International Conference
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 12-13 December 2019
Deadline for abstract submission: 30 August 2019

The Department of Foreign Language Education at Middle East Technical University is pleased to announce the call for its 25th British Novelists Conference, the theme of which is “Daniel Defoe and His Work.” The conference will be held on 12-13 December, 2019 in Ankara, Turkey.

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations on any aspect of Daniel Defoe’s work. Interdisciplinary and comparative approaches are also welcome. Please send abstracts of about 250 words to by 30 August 2019. Please include your name, institutional affiliation and contact information in your submission.

Further information about the conference and its venue can be found at

Queries can be directed to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Margaret J. M. Sönmez at

(posted 16 April 2019)

Herstory Re-Imagined: Women’s Lives in Biographical Fiction and Film
Centre for Life-Writing Research, King’s College London, UK, 16-17 December 2019
Deadline for proposals: 21 June 2019

Convenors: Julia Lajta-Novak (Vienna) and Caitríona Ní Dhúill (Durham)

How do the lives of historical women become the raw material of novelists and filmmakers? This conference addresses the current boom in biographical novels and biopics about women’s lives, encompassing a broad conception of ‘woman’ that includes queer and trans life narratives. Figures as diverse as Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, poet Sylvia Plath, surgeon James Miranda Barry, painter Artemisia Gentileschi, and actress Jiang Qing are the subjects of fictions in various formats and degrees of literary ambition, while pilot Amelia Earhart, stateswoman Margaret Thatcher, blues singer Bessie Smith, and first lady Jackie Kennedy – to name just a very few – have been prominently re-imagined on the silver screen. The conference examines the contemporary repackaging of historical women’s lives in narrative genres, exploring possible connections and tensions between these stories and earlier feminist perspectives on ‘herstory’ and women’s (in)visibility.

Scholars of biofiction and film have drawn attention to the ways in which biographical novels and biopics are implicated in the construction of female subjectivity, while the field of life-writing research has seen a rise of interest in questions of gender identity. This conference aims to bring studies of biofiction and biopics into close dialogue with gender-sensitive approaches to biography, so as to shed light on the interactions between life writing, fiction, and dynamics of gender. We are particularly interested in papers that rigorously consider the theoretical questions at the heart of this conference: How do fictions and films about historical women relate to, or challenge, existing theories of women’s biography or gender-sensitive approaches to life writing? What common parameters are available to narrate women’s lives, and how can these be historicised? What does the fictional element contribute to (or subtract from) the image generated of the subject in relation to previous representations? What is the ideological thrust and broader cultural function of these narratives? And how do these re-imagined herstories trouble or confirm the sex-gender systems within and against which they operate?

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, …

  • Notable women in cultural memory: exemplarity and ideological functionalisation of the protagonist/s; if representations of past lives tell us more about views of femininity at the time of their production than in the biographee’s life-time, what need does a novel or film fulfil in its respective present? What narrative/filmic strategies render visible the location of the fiction within a specific culture of gender?
  • Genre and gender: What generic features distinguish biographical or fictional/filmic representations of historical women (plot model, typical features/ motifs/ representational modes)? To what extent do these corroborate or unsettle gendered subject positions? What understandings of life writing, and particularly women’s lives, are encoded in the genres? (e.g. experimental, clichéd, genre fiction, self-reflexive approaches, spot-light approach, collective biography etc.)
  • Postcolonial theory and intersectional approaches: how is the depiction of female subjectivity in biopics/ biographical novels inflected by other categories such as ethnicity, class, or age?
  • Female biopics/ biofiction in the marketplace: the mass-market demand for “real lives”; biofiction/biopics and literary/film awards; biographical fiction and film as media of gendered celebrity culture, commodifying women’s lives for public consumption
  • Reception:What processes of identification are at work in the reception of biofiction/ biopics? How can theories of affect and empathy help to illuminate these? What can reviews of biopics/ biofiction tell us about the discursive construction of gender identity via different modes of reading/ watching biographical fiction and film?

Keynote speakers:
Prof. Diana Wallace, University of South Wales
Dr. Belén Vidal, King’s College London

& reading by acclaimed novelist Patricia Duncker

Conference language: English.

Deadline: Please email your proposal (250w) and a brief bio note (80w) to  by 21 June 2019.

Notifications: 23 August 2019.

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a peer-reviewed collection or special journal issue.

(posted 7 December 2018)