Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in May 2020

Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England: 31st SEDERI International Conference
La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, 6-8 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 19 January 2020

We are pleased to announce that the 31st SEDERI (Spanish and Portuguese Society for English Renaissance Studies) Conference will be held in La Laguna (Tenerife, Spain), on 6-8 May 2020. The Conference theme—Hells and Heavens of Early Modern England—draws on the ambivalent connotations of our venue in Renaissance England: Tenerife, considered the most blessed of the Fortunate Islands, but also the one of the awesome, “heaven-daring” peak. Thus, we expect to re-examine all possible literal and figural representations of hells and heavens, from places to states, including conditions of supreme suffering or bliss. Moreover, the Conference also aims at scrutinising divides and liminal sites in which antithetical agents associated with decadence and innovation emerged, coexisted, collided, overlapped, blended and reshaped transformative factors in early modern English society, its language, literature and culture.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers and round tables (in English) on the following and related topics:

  • Representations of sites, transitions and states of evil, expiation and bliss
  • Textual and graphic depictions of in/visible entities and worlds
  • De-/Regeneration and innovation of language, poetics, and culture
  • New learning, theologies and alternative beliefs, mythographies, epistemologies, and political doctrines. Bacon’s Novum Organum fourth centenary
  • Shifting ethical values and moral dilemmas. Genesis of and resistance to ambition, disobedience, pride, crime, injustice, betrayal, and violence
  • Bodily adventures. Trans/gendered and transgressive bodies. Encountering otherness, deviancy, abjection, and monstrosity
  • Physical/spiritual medicines, remedies, consolations, and healings
  • Renaissance ecologies and pre-industrial environmental degradation
  • Lights and shadows of diplomacy (esp. Anglo-Iberian relationships)
  • Wheels of wealth and wreck. Economy, business, and trade
  • Un-/Fortunate travellers, displaced, exiles, pilgrims, and intercultural dialogues. The Mayflower fourth-centenary
  • Laughter, subversion and the grotesque
  • Damnation/redemption of words (censorship, lost texts, libraries, archives, dictionaries, anthologies, translations, data-bases, digital resources, intermediality and transmediality, transmission of texts, and editing)

Proposals must be sent as an e-mail attachment (preferably, doc or docx) to before 19 January 2020, and must contain the following information:

  • The full title of your paper
  • A 200-word abstract
  • Any technical requirements for the presentation (Please, save your power point as doc, docx or Mac. If you are using a Mac, please indicate, and bring your own adapter cable)
  • Your name and institutional affiliation
  • Your postal and e-mail addresses
  • Your SEDERI membership status (member, non-member, application submitted)
  • A short biographical note (100 words)


  • Louise H. Curth (University of Winchester)
  • Nandini Das (University of Oxford)
  • Tanya Pollard (City University of New York, CUNY)

Conference website:

SEDERI Website:

(posted 2 October 2019)

The Synthesis of Fictional and Factional in Literature and Art: The 8th International Conference at the University of Kazan
University of Kazan, Russia, 6-9 May, 2020
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2020

The following list suggests some possible areas for development, but proposals in any area related to the conference theme are welcome:

  • theoretical problems of the nonfictional genres
  • document in arts
  • the history of documentary literature
  • nonfiction and fiction in European and American literature
  • the form variety in interaction of fictional and nonfictional in literature and arts
  • the stylistic diversity of the literary works featuring the synthesis of fictional and nonfictional

The round-table discussion “War, Fascism, Holocaust by means of non-fiction” is planned due to the important dates of 2020.

The workshops will be formed according to the proposals received. Your proposals as well as your abstracts of about 500 words should reach the organizers not later than January 31, 2020

In your application please indicate the following:

  • your name, title and position
  • your citizenship, date and place of  birth,
  • all passport details including the date of  issue and  validity (for official invitation letter needed for Russian visa) + also please attach its scan
  • please specify embassy or consulate where you plan to get Russian visa
  • address, telephone number, e-mail
  • your preference for accommodation ( hotel or hostel).

The registration fee of 500 Rubles (approximately $10) should be paid on arrival.

The papers delivered will be published in the proceedings of the conference. The materials for publication should be submitted within a month after the conference.

We will be happy to receive your proposals via e-mail

Head of the Organizing Board, head of the Department of World Literature at Kazan Federal University, Prof. Olga Nesmelova ( )

Secretary of the Organizing Board Ekaterina Zueva ( )

Don’t hesitate to contact us at any question.

(posted 1 November 2019)

Celebrations, Aspirations and Expectations: International Conference on Urban Studies
Cambridge, UK, 9 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 5 December 2019

Conference website:
An international conference rganised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

Cities are born out of a specific necessity arising at a given moment in time and develop their own ethos based on a unique mentality and ideology, and a certain set of social values and cultural attitudes. Concrete, physical structures and systems, as well as abstract, conceptual notions work together in complex and complicated ways to articulate not only the symmetries and consistencies but also the paradoxes and contradictions of distinct urban and metropolitan areas. They are designed as leading centres of economics or politics, finance and commerce, governance and international administration, research and development, education and media, art and culture, entertainment and tourism. The scope and purpose of making a city are significantly important but the human factor is decisive since the city dwellers are the ones who insert their individual stories of identity into the communal biography of the municipal setting.

The conference aims to explore the interdependence between the cities and their people, the mutual power they exercise upon each other, with cities absorbing individuals and humans conquering urban spaces. It will also focus on the various aspects that characterize the world’s capitals, conurbations and metropolitan regions, their strengths and achievements, challenges and opportunities, problems and solutions, as well as the realities of the 21st century that are placing increasing pressures upon both cities and their inhabitants: overpopulation, overconsumption, poverty, deforestation, pollution, climate change, etc. And last but not least the conference will investigate the heterogeneous nature and the romantic fascination exerted by urban areas.

The main objective of the event is to bring together all those interested in examining the intersections between their professions and/or interests and some distinct aspects of metropolitan life, providing an integrated approach for the understanding of the mechanisms that lie behind the undisputed global centres.

Topics include but are not limited to several core issues:

  • arcology – principles and practices
  • urban architecture and planning
  • landscape urbanism
  • radical planning
  • the mind of the city
  • supercities and the self
  • past, present and future
  • city limits and limitations
  • travel and transport
  • commuting and mobile consumerism
  • economies of urban agglomeration
  • ecological education
  • recycling and waste management
  • economic growth and social responsibility
  • urban agriculture
  • landscapes and cityscapes
  • renewal and transformation models
  • the ethics and morality of the city
  • environmental health
  • global warming
  • gentrification and displacement
  • home and homelessness
  • landscape architecture
  • overcrowding and overpopulation
  • suburban colonization
  • smart cities, intelligent communities
  • progress, productivity and productivism
  • place identity and human experience
  • public spaces and social interaction
  • urban patterns of behaviour
  • addiction, crime and deviation
  • neighbourhoods and sustainability
  • terrorism and counterterrorism
  • local history and cultural heritage
  • historical, cultural and tourist landmarks
  • multiculturalism and exclusiveness
  • placemaking, race and ethnicity
  • urban legends
  • cities and cultural diversity
  • writing the city
  • media representations
  • wisdom and humour

Paper proposals should be sent by 5 December 2019 to:
Please download the Paper proposal form from the Conference website.

Registration fee – 100 GBP

Conference venue TBC.

(posted 28 September 2019)

Sites of Feminist Memory: remembering suffrage in Europe and the United States of America
University of Aix-Marseille, France, 12-13 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 19 February 2020

Keynote speaker: Dr Sharon Crozier-de Rosa (University of Wollongong), co-author of Remembering Women’s Activism, Routledge, 2019.

On April 24th 2018, suffragist leader Millicent Garrett Fawcett became the first woman to be honoured with a permanent statue in Parliament Square, one hundred and eighty six years after George Canning, the first of her 11 male predecessors[1]. The unveiling was the culmination of a two-year campaign initiated by activist Caroline Criado Perez. The choice of Fawcett sparked vigorous debate amongst activists and academics alike[2]. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the coming centenary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment has inspired #Monumental Women, a grassroots organization, to mount a campaign for the commissioning of a statue honouring the suffrage leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. This campaign also triggered vigorous accusations that the monument would “white wash” the suffrage past, accusations which resulted in the decision to add the African-American leader Sojourner Truth to the monument[3]. Its unveiling is planned for August 26, 2020 in Central Park, New York. Like Fawcett’s, it will be the first statue of its kind in this most prestigious of public spaces.

These spectacular enshrinements of leading suffrage campaigners in such quintessential sites of national memory can be read as a form of apotheosis for a process begun by the suffrage campaigners themselves to inscribe the suffrage past into our built environments via statues and street names, commemorative plaques and memorial monuments, community cafés and communal libraries[4]. Building on the very recent work of Vera Mackie and Sharon Crozier-de Rosa[5], interrogating the history and effects of that process of creation of literal ”Sites of Feminist Memory”[6], across Europe and the United States, in local, national and transnational settings, will be a central ambition of this conference. We thus invite papers which focus on such literal sites of feminist memory in Europe and the United States and fruitfully engage with the following themes:

  • Where and why have literal sites of feminist memory appeared?
  • What is their relation to surrounding “lieux de mémoires”[7] and to “national” collective memory?
  • Does the creation of these sites borrow from existing traditions of site-creation or is there anything distinctly “feminist” about this process?
  • Are there only “national” or “local” sites of feminist memory or can transnational sites be identified?
  • What effects on collective understandings of “feminism” and the “feminist” past do these sites have, if any?
  • What consequences did/do they have on feminists’ collective memory?
  • How did they shape feminist identities at the time of their creation?
  • How do they shape them now, if at all?
  • What affects are associated with these sites?
  • How stable are the meanings attached to these sites over time?

The other ambition of this conference will be to ponder the more general question of the place of the suffrage past in what Maria Grever has called the ”Pantheon of Feminist Culture”[8]. She meant by this a loose and evolving collection of ”sites of memory” in the sense of Pierre Nora, that is a set of ”leaders, historical events, monuments, rituals, symbols, images, founding texts and historiography”[9] which become iconic and are drawn on by feminists to justify their struggles and identities to themselves, to each other and to their enemies[10]. As the controversies surrounding the statues in London and New York have highlighted, the suffrage past’s place in that Pantheon is hotly contested. Here, we welcome papers which focus on specific suffrage leaders, events, texts, symbols, and images as contested ”sites of feminist memory” in Europe and the United States and which explore some of the following themes:

  • How have these sites of feminist memory emerged?
  • What has been at stake in their memorialisation?
  • How has historical research contributed to or undermined memorial narratives about these sites?
  • Has the place of these sites in the Pantheon of Feminist Culture remained constant or ebbed and flowed? And why?
  • Can transnational sites be identified? Or are these inescapably national?
  • What affects are associated with these sites and their contestation?

It is envisaged that the conference will result in a publication and the constitution of a research network with a view to bidding for international, particularly European, funding.

Please send a 300 word abstract in English to Marc Calvini-Lefebvre ( and Claire Sorin ( by 19 February 2020.

Notification of acceptance will be given by 01 March 2020.

This conference is organised by the Laboratoire d’Études et de Recherche sur le Monde Anglophone (LERMA) of Aix-Marseille Université and supported by the Aix-Marseille Initiative d’Excellence (A*MIDEX)

[1] A statue commemorating the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst was erected in 1930 in Victoria Tower Gardens which run alongside the Houses of Parliament but do not face them as does Parliament Square.

[4] Hilda Kean, ‘Searching for the Past in Present Defeat:The Construction of Historical and Political Identity in British Feminism in the 1920s and 1930s’, Women’s History Review 3, no. 1 (1994): 57–80; Hilda Kean, ‘Public History and Popular Memory: Issues in the Commemoration of the British Militant Suffrage Campaign’, Women’s History Review 14, no. 3 & 4 (2005): 581–602; Laura E. Nym Mayhall, ‘Creating the “Suffragette Spirit”: British Feminism and the Historical Imagination’, Women’s History Review 4, no. 3 (1995): 319–44.

[5] Sharon Crozier-De Rosa, Remembering Women’s Activism (London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2019), especially chapter 1.

[6] Maria Grever, ‘Rivals in Historical Remembrance: Wollstonecraft and Holy Women as “Loci” of Feminist Memory’, The European Journal of Women’s Studies 3 (1996): 101–13.

[7] Pierre Nora, ‘Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire’, Representations, no. 26 (1989): 7–24,

[8] Maria Grever, ‘The Pantheon of Feminist Culture: Women’s Movements and the Organization of Memory’, Gender & History 9, no. 2 (August 1997).

[9] Ibid, p. 101

[10] Lisa Tetrault, Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014); Marc Calvini-Lefebvre, ‘The Great War in the History of British Feminism: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present’, Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique [Online] XX, no. 1 (2015),

(posted 23 December 2019)

Research in the Arts, the Arts in Research
University of Łódź, Poland, 14-15 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 29 November 2019

Artists study the reality they are surrounded by, people they live among, themselves, their instruments of work and how these areas are interconnected. Their work addresses complex issues, establishing dynamic relationships to a whole variety of other disciplines, from philosophy to new technologies. Their creative activity generates knowledge that could not be gained otherwise. Artistic knowledge is acquired through sensory and emotional perception and is practice-based, practice-driven, ‘felt’, ‘embodied’. It crosses the borders of different countries, languages, cultures, disciplines. Many artistic research projects are genuinely multicultural and interdisciplinary. Yet artists still often have to justify the idea that their practice is research.

Academic research too has become increasingly inter- and multidisciplinary. Cultural Literacy [CL] is the ability to think in literary ways about any topic or question, using the key concepts of textuality, fictionality, rhetoricity and historicity (see How can the creative arts and CL come together to think about the contemporary world?

This Symposium is designed to generate active discussion, focusing on thinking and talking rather than formal presentations. If your proposal is accepted, it will be included in a ‘book of presentations’ that all participants will be asked to read in advance of the Symposium. The contributions will be grouped together into parallel break-out sessions of 90 minutes during which each presenter will briefly summarise their points and the subsequent discussion will aim to explore the key theme of the panel.


  • Creative work as a source of cultural, social, psychological and political information;
  • Interpreting art works as cultural, political or pedagogical products;
  • Rethinking the role of art and the artist in society;
  • Art in multicultural and multilingual contexts (the questions of translation, cross-cultural understanding, multicultural conviviality, etc.);
  • The subjectivity and reliability of claims in artistic research;
  • The relevance of artistic research for developing skills for cultural literacy and the potential of cultural literacy to inform artistic research;
  • The relationship between the artistic work, the critical text and the viewer/ reader/experiencer;
  • Objects of high culture and popular culture (for example, novels, poetry books, graphic novels, performances, events, films, memes, tweets, blogs, comic strips, tabloids, computer games, advertisements among others) as learning material about reality in which we live.

Researchers & artists who are either more senior or in early-career are welcome to submit a proposal, though preference may be given to the latter. ’Early-career’ includes postgraduates & academics up to 10 years after completion of the PhD, and artists in the first 10 years of their creative activity.

You are invited to submit a proposal in English for a 5-minute presentation. It should consist of your name, affiliation, email address, title, a 300-word statement on any area of the symposium topic and a mini-biography (max. 300 words). Please send this to Naomi Segal ( and Joanna Kosmalska ( by the deadline of Friday 29 November 2019. Proposals that arrive after this date will not be considered.

A number of bursaries for Early-career researchers & postgraduates will be available to support attendance at the 2020 symposium. The competition for these bursaries will be announced in mid-December 2019.

Prior membership of CLE is required; see

Standard:  €150 / PLN 650
Students (+ ID)/ Unwaged: €75 / PLN 330
The registration fee includes coffee breaks, lunch, and all conference documentation.

Booking will open on 16 December 2019 & close on 27 March 2020

The Symposium Programme Committee
Jernej Habjan, Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts / Joanna Jabłkowska, University of Łódź / Joanna Kosmalska, University of Łódź / Jarosław Płuciennik, University of Łódź / Naomi Segal, Birkbeck University of London / Ricarda Vidal, King’s College London

For all information: see

(posted 16 September 2019)

(E)motion in Changing Worlds
Thessaloniki, Greece, 14-16 May 2020
New extended deadline for proposals: 20 October 2019

The Department of English Literature of the School of English at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, in collaboration with the Hellenic Association for the Study of English (HASE), invite scholars to submit proposals for the international conference (E)motion in Changing Worlds to be held in Thessaloniki, 14-16 May, 2020.

Emotion, whether as energy current, flow, impact or intensity, is a force of movement and a force on the move. Motile and contagious, it travels and circulates within and across (non/human) bodies and (non-)places. To feel is often an urge to move towards, to move away or to move in sync.

Mobility, whether enforced or voluntary, be in the form of travel, tourism, migration, exile or as basic human need to come in or avoid encounter and connection, is also necessarily an affective event. It is charged with emotion, shaped by, but also shaping, its force. We move when moved; dynamics of feeling always impinge upon the ways we move or the trajectories we follow.
It is the aim of this conference to add to the existing body of thought on emotion and affect theory, focusing in particular on this inextricable link between emotion and mobility. We are interested in the ways in which affective structures and the dispositional dimensions of life impact and are impacted upon by physical, cultural, class, racial, gender, technological or juridical modes of mobility in contexts (present or past) that see people, ideas, images and civic structures being actively on the move. We invite papers that explore the different ways in which this interaction between “states” of being, feeling and moving govern how and where we move, think, speak and connect with others.
We invite papers in the fields of literature, language, culture and art that discuss (e)motion in relation (but not limited) to the following:

  • Identities (race, gender, class, ethnicities)
  • Bodies (human and animal)
  • Travel (tourism, trade and transport)
  • Geography (e.g. emotional geography)
  • Media and Digital Technologies
  • Urban Ecology and Eco-criticism
  • Biopolitics

Abstracts (300 words) and a short biographical note (150 words), together with your affiliation (if any) and title of your paper should be addressed to Dr. Effie Botonaki or Dr. Maria Ristani, and sent to
The new extended deadline for the submission of abstracts is 20 October 2019.

Conference website:

(posted 4 May 2019, updated 17 Septembe 2019)

30th  Conference on British and American Studies
Timişoara, Romania, 14-16 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 February 2020

The English Department of the Faculty of Letters, University of Timişoara, is pleased to announce its 30th international conference on British and American Studies, which will be held in May 14-16, 2020.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

  • Professor Dirk Geeraerts, University of Leuven
  • Professor Ștefan Oltean, University of Cluj-Napoca
  • Professor Aline Ferreira, University of Aveiro
  • Professor Vesna Goldsworthy, University of Exeter and East Anglia

Presentations (20 min) and workshops (60 min) are invited in the following sections:

  • Language Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Semiotics
  • British and Commonwealth Literature
  • American Literature
  • Cultural Studies
  • Gender Studies
  • English Language Teaching

Abstract submission
Please submit 60-word abstracts, which will be included in the conference programme:

Deadline: 15 February 2020

Conference fee
The early conference registration fee is EUR 100, to be paid by March 15; the late registration fee is Euro 120.
For RSEAS members, the early registration fee is lei 300; the late registration fee is lei 350.  

Conference website
Event website:

For additional information, please contact:
Luminiţa Frenţiu: or, tel + 40 744792238
Loredana Pungă: or, tel + 40 763691704

(posted 4 October 2019)

3rd International Conference on Sustainability in Education
Prem Castle, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia, 15 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 30 March 2020

Jelšane Primary School cordially invites professionals in the field of education and the interested public to the 3rd International Conference on Sustainability in Education, which will be held in Prem Castle, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia on 15th May 2020.

Refreshments will be provided at the conference site. After presentation there will be a rock concert with the young band Rivertone. There will also be a delicious conference dinner at the nearby Rural Tourism Jenezinovi, where we recommend you to book your accommodation. Contact: Ms Tamara Frank Česnik at or 00 386 31 793 578. Parking is available below the castle.

 Topic to be covered (but not limited to) at the conference is: examples of good practice on all levels of education.

The time available for presentations will be 15 minutes, questions from the audience included. ICT will be available. You are encouraged to present without using ICT.

The conference languages are: Slovenian, English, Croatian and Serbian.

You are kindly invited to send abstracts of your papers of 150 words and register for the conference at Google Sheets, using the link:

The due date for sending speaker proposal forms is 30th March 2020. You will be notified of your paper’s acceptance by 3rd April 2020.

Conference fee (includes organisation, conference pack, dinner): 70 euros.

If you have any questions, contact Dr Tadej Braček at

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at Prem, Ilirska Bistrica, Slovenia.

(posted 25 November 2020)

Cosmopolitanism and World Citizenship
London, UK, 16 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 30 November 2019

Conference website:
An international conference organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

“I am a citizen of the cosmos” Cynic Diogenes replied in the fourth century BCE when he was asked about his origins. What does it mean to be a global citizen today? Highly complex, multilayered and always contemporary, the concept of cosmopolitanism offers fertile ground and uncharted waters for scholarly interpretations. For millennia, philosophers have theorized on the meaning of global citizenship in an effort to identify who are the “kosmopolites”, the real citizens of “the Small World, the Great” in the words of Nobel laureate Odysseus Elytis.

The London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, pluralistic and multicultural itself, wishes to explore this journey of global citizenship over the centuries and identify its past, understand its present and theorize about its future. The roots, developments and faces of global citizenship, its transformation and the identity of citizens in a globalized world will be explored in an effort to understand the challenges we face. Who are cosmopolitans? What are their roles in and contributions to our multicultural global society? What is the role of national citizenship and what are the political and institutional implications? Can cosmopolitanism offer solutions to this challenging and highly controversial era? What are the cultural, social, economic, political and personal dimensions and to what extent can they affect our reality? Are the notions of global citizenship problematic or might cosmopolitanism offer solutions to global problems?

  • Our conference wishes to bring together scholars from various disciplines such as history, philosophy, literature, linguistics, theology, political and social sciences in order to explore the wide spectrum of global citizenship.
  • Multiculturalism, cultural diversity and awareness
  • Social and individual multiculturalism
  • Cultural pluralism and democratic values
  • The politics of multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism in literature and art
  • Comparative multiculturalisms
  • Psychology of multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism
  • Multiculturalism in education
  • Multiculturalism, immigration and integration
  • Reflections of multiculturalism in the media
  • Multicultural rights, freedoms and pressures
  • Social justice and multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism, religion and secularism
  • National and regional multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism and conflict resolution
  • European and American multiculturalism
  • Multiculturalism between philosophy and reality
  • The history and future of multiculturalism
  • The multiplicities and limits of multiculturalism

All paper submissions and conference activities must be in English. Submissions may propose various formats, including:

  • Individually submitted papers (organized into panels by the committee)
  • Panels (3-4 individual papers)
  • Roundtable discussions (led by one of the presenters)
  • Posters

Proposals (up to 250 words) and a brief biographical note should be sent by 30 November 2019 to:

Please download the Paper proposal form from the Conference website.

Registration fee – 100 GBP
Provisional conference venue: Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1E 7HX

(posted 28 September 2019)

Lines of Heredity: Eugenics and Gender in European Literature, 1880-1935
Leuven, Belgium, 18-19 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2020

This symposium is organized in the context of a large comparative research project, Literary Knowledge, 1890-1950: Modernisms and the Sciences in Europe, by the research lab MDRN at the University of Leuven in Belgium.

First keynote speaker: Prof. Angelique Richardson (University of Exeter).

Second keynote speaker to be announced later.

During the late 19th and early 20th century evolutionary theory and new insights in heredity were becoming increasingly influential in social debates. Theories of Darwin, Spencer, Lamarck and Mendel were used to address anxieties about degeneration across Europe. Eugenicists sought to improve both the individual and the nation by influencing processes of procreation and selection so as to bring about the ‘ideal’ human race. Literary authors too raised their voices in this widespread concern with private and public health, the body and the future of the race. They addressed these concerns in highbrow modernist writings, social stories, courtship plots, family sagas, bildungsroman or art novels and used eugenic discourse and biological theories in doing so. The result is, of course, not a homogeneous body of eugenic literature. To the contrary, eugenic and genetic theories were deployed, commented on and disseminated in a variety of ways. Male and female authors used eugenic theories to take radically different stances within the woman question, but women writers too were often divided as to how eugenic insights could best be used for feminist purposes.

This conference aims at a better understanding of the different ways in which eugenic theories were used to address questions related to gender and sexuality in European literature from 1880 to 1935. Eugenic theories circulated across Europe, but the reception and response by literary writers was often very different. Similarly, the woman question that emerged at the end of the 19th century, was debated in different ways in different European countries and this also shaped literature’s intervention in these debates. By bringing together these different perspectives, the conference hopes to achieve a more nuanced and comprehensive picture of the intersections between eugenics and literature around the turn of the 20th century.

We invite papers about all European literary traditions that address such questions as the following:

  • How is the new biological and genetic knowledge presented and mediated in literary texts?
  • How is the discourse of eugenics deployed in literary texts?
  • How are eugenic theories used to serve the emancipation of women in society or, conversely, how are they used to argue for traditional gendered divisions and roles?
  • How did evolution and eugenics shape feminist ideas in literature?
  • How did the use of eugenic theories change across the period?

Topics might include (but are not limited to)

  • Debates on motherhood, reproductive health, pregnancy, breast feeding, birth control, family planning and abortion
  • Representations of illness, feeblemindedness, degeneracy and insanity
  • Atavism, Hereditary diseases, family health and genetics
  • Evolution and sexual difference
  • Biological essentialism
  • Representations of women doctors and nurses
  • Depictions of female ancestry and lines of heredity
  • Degenerate masculinity and ‘fit’ manhood
  • Eugenic partner choice

Please send an abstract (350 words) and a short bio to Fatima Borrmann ( by 31 January 2020. The presentation of papers should not exceed 20 minutes.

(posted 16 October 2019)

The Popcultural Life of Science: Stories of Wonder, Stories of Facts
University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland, 20 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 20 January 2020

For decades, we have been fed scientific and popcultural stories of the “we use only 10% of our brain capacity” sort. Recently, a set of new truths has been granted to us. For instance, in his 2014 popscience book Hirnrissig [Harebrained], the neurobiologist Henning Beck debunks 20 of the most widespread neuromyths, including the ubiquitous misconception that our brains work like superfast computers with limitless capacity and the idea that you can train your brain as if it were a muscle. Although these revelations of his are not new to people whose data consumption revolves around topics of trivia, anecdotes and scientific myths, others may appear indeed surprising. Bearing in mind the popularity of the theory that mirror neurons govern our behaviour, it is rather surprising to read that the scientists involved have merely put forward some preliminary observations on the basis of experiments conducted on monkey brains; and that it is far too early to create parallels and explain complex human behaviours through mirror neurons theories.

Since Beck’s revelations are in no way exclusive, they support – along with many other recent discoveries – the view that there is a larger trend or predilection we, collectively, are guilty of: we take an interesting kernel of truth, a piece of trivia encountered by accident, and we run with it, creating and spreading wild theories, without so much as checking the source. Science and popculture are particularly susceptible to these kinds of interpretation: when presented to a non-specialist audience, a fact is filtered through relatable analogies and helpful metaphors which nonetheless simplify and dilute it. As a result, noble efforts at popularising science also open facts to abuse. As history teaches us, it takes only one unsubstantiated study to create a movement of people who distrust the scientific consensus so much that they will not vaccinate their children.

Thus, the paradox that haunts popculturally disseminated knowledge in the age of Instagram is that, to reach many, popcultural scientists often promote simplistic versions of complex phenomena and thus discourage time-consuming in-depth analyses, to the detriment of both the addressees and sciences themselves. However, as an important intellectual commodity whose influence on our everyday life is difficult to exaggerate, science disseminated in the popcultural form should not be disregarded. Not only is it an immensely popular phenomenon but, what is perhaps more important, it shapes the trajectory of how we see and how we will see the value of scientific knowledge in the future.

Having this in mind, we invite scholars of various fields to present their take on the popcultural life of science: examples, consequences and side effects of popularisation of scientific knowledge through weird tales, strange fictions and stories of wonder. Among the specific themes that might be covered in ten-minute long presentations are the following (the list is by no means exhaustive):

  • popcultural representations of science and scientists
  • scientification of popculture versus “popculturing” of science – mechanisms, processes, consequences and side effects
  • relationships between scientific and popcultural discourses
  • how to “science” in the age of Instagram – popularity, money and responsibility
  • tale of science or tale of wonder?
  • “get fact” – science in the service of clicks
  • popcultural narratives of scientific problems – scientific facts or myths
  • mythbusting – demystifying and remystifying science in popculture
  • popculture as new mythology of science
  • mythos, pathos and logos in the stories of science
  • funification of science
  • popcultural functions of science
  • popculture as science/science as popculture
  • popcultural contributions to science

We welcome scholars from various academic fields to submit their proposals by 20 January 2020. Abstracts (no more than 150 words) in English should be registered online at Notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 25 January 2020. Further deadline and editorial details on submitting texts prior to the seminar will follow.

The seminar is intended as a workshop and speakers are to submit their papers beforehand. During the seminar, each speaker briefly summarises the main points of his or her work, afterwards, all the participants are invited to take part in a discussion.

The seminar fee is 250 PLN for participants from Poland and 60 EUR for international participants, and it includes a meal, coffee breaks and seminar materials.

A selection of papers will appear in a Web of Science indexed journal and/or in a post-seminar monograph issued by a prestigious publisher.

Find us on: and

Contact us at:

(posted 5 November 2019)

Turning Points: Interpreting the Past, Explaining the Present and Imagining the Future
Athens, Greece, 22-23 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2019

Conference website:

An international conference organised by London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research

Why “Turning Points”? Because amid history’s relentless unfolding come singular years of change. Come fulcrums in time when a genuinely new tomorrow takes hold among people, nations, and states.

“Do not call it fixity, where past and future are gathered” as the poet wrote, “there is only the dance”. Why? What’s at work? What’s the momentum? Why the decisive moment? Who or what drives the forces that make history’s twists and turns happen in the dance of the past to the future? The attractions, the repulsions, the needs?

This issue is now of particular relevance in light of the recent advanced analysis in the social sciences, history, the humanities and other pertinent domains regarding the hinges of profound alteration that occurred in 1918, 1948, 1968, 1978 and 2018 — our key case study years. Our Turning Points conference attempts to gather together and expand this work to a new level now that scholarship has achieved an advanced stage of understanding key socio-economic, cultural and policy issues for these times.

Other relevant approaches complement specific, by-the-year, Turning Points. They are our newest digital technology and cultural shift changes of the 20th into the 21st century; key expressions of disruptive and creative social protest; the threshold pressures in modern times of monetary shifts, climate changes and the restless, fickle forms of European & US populism; political and cultural leadership in Western nations that have marked the end and the beginning of old and new eras.

Turning Points offers ambitious attempts under one intellectual roof to gather the international issues of these debates together, to seek answers and expand analysis into fresh territory. We shall work with milestones rich in contradictions, controversies, evolutions, revolutions and liberations.

We invite proposals from various disciplines — including history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, media, arts, medical and health studies, technology, cultural studies, gaming, economy, computer science, architecture and literature. We also welcome representatives of artistic groups, think tanks and non-governmental organizations that wish to share their views on society and human identity.

Turning Points seeks to promote collaboration for advancement and new innovative outcomes in a scholarly world where interdisciplinarity is often more important in words than in practice. Turning Points seeks to bring together scholars from different fields in order to promote multilevel and multifaceted approaches — hoping to engender new collaborations, research project ideas and, of course, future publications.


Papers, roundtables and workshop proposals are invited on the following themes. Our list is by no means restrictive and we invite additional, germane proposals.

War(s) and impact

  • World War 1, 1918 and related topics.
  • War’s Aftermath: 1918 as Lethal Jumping Board.
  • Technological Progress & Media Power in Warfare.
  • Nation Building: 1918 v. 1948.
  • Leadership and Cultural Identity.
  • Anticipating Another War — the Crucial Years.

Politics and influential figures

  • May ’68 in Europe — roots, outcome, legacy.
  • M. L. King, Jr. Assassination (1968).
  • Robert Kennedy’s Assassination (1968) — ramifications: social & political, domestic & international     impact.  -Assassination & the hero-making process (martyrdom) in a national (or) international context.
  • National, international violence — trends, methods political & social connections
  • Execution of the Romanov family (1918) and the eve of the Soviet Union — impact & legacies of a decisive year.
  • Nelson Mandela is born (1918); year of his birth & death compared.
  • Barack Obama’s 2008 US Presidential election campaign; Obama’s new use of social media & campaign funding; Obama versus Trump; past & current conditions.
  • Spain becomes a democracy (1978) after the rule of Franco; explaining Spain in the new century; current conditions & (un)European perspectives & prospectives.
  • The Mexico City 1968 Olympics: Tommie Smith & John Carlos give the Black Power salute as inspiration for people of color & race in the modern world.
  • 1968: non-violence and mass movements of the pre-social media era.


  • The dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1918): the beginnings of global violence and European dream.
  • The birth of the State of Israel (1948) — Dream? Survivor? Ruler? Interpreting Israel’s key roles in the global arena.
  • Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Opens for Signature (1968). Modern times and global Treaties: reality or joke?
  • Apollo 8 (1968). The Cold Wa’s on-going “Space Race”, policy, power and propaganda. The impact of the space race on geopolitics and technology advancement. New perspectives on space exploration compared to earlier achievements: necessity or game?
  • Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (1968): realities and legacies; living in a new capitalistic world: pros and cons.
  • North Korea seizure of USS Pueblo (1968) — propaganda and new/old worlds.
  • The beginnings of the Iranian Revolution that took place in 1979: reasons, impact in global geopolitical arena, current developments, the role of Iran in the region, cultural and religious impact.
  • The Four Asian Tigers: 60 years later: Historical analysis: impact on global economy, political, culture advancements: negatives and positives.
  • Social Welfare, Health, Rights and Movements National Health Service (NHS) is established in the UK (1948): Social Welfare amid economic neoliberalism.
  • Women’s right to vote in Britain (1918): impact in other countries: comparisons & meanings.
  • Spanish Flu (1918-1920) as case study of Epidemics &Historical Development — Lessons of the Spanish Flu and challenges of current global outbreaks.
  • The New Arab Protests (2018-19) — the so-called New Arab Spring: roots, impact and future developments.
  • Popular Culture

Our key years all offer outstanding examples of US & European popular culture, ripe for study with serious critical masses in place. For example, US Popular Culture of 1968 offers range of studies that deal with:

  • Release of the Beatles’ “White Album” (Nov. 22).
  • The cultural & social effect from popular music of: “Sittin’ On The Dick of the Bay”, Otis Redding “Jumpin Jack Flash”, Rolling Stones’ “Harper Valley P.T.A”, Jeannie C. Riley’ “Love Child”, Diana Ross & The Supremes “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” Marvin Gaye.
  • Mary Hopkin on Apple Records releases”Those Were the Days” and “Turn Turn Turn” — embodying the nostalgia & optimism, brooding and determinism of the era.
  • Aristotle Onassis and Jacqueline Kennedy marry on 20 October 1968 — celebrity culture: a tricky leap forward (or not).
  • Selection of outstanding ’68 films released: 2001: A Space Odyssey; The Graduate; Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner; Bonnie and Clyde; Valley of the Dolls; Odd Couple; Planet of the Apes; Rosemary’s Baby; Funny Girl; Bullitt — exploitations & innovations, cinematic impact on cultural identity. How were these films expressive of their era?

Literature and the Arts
Sample assortment of ’68 literary publications ripe for analysis:

  • Myra Breckinridge, Gore Vidal
  • Couples, John Updike.
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick.
  • The Public Image, Muriel Spark.
  • Enderby Outside, Anthony Burgess.
  • Airport, Arthur Hailey.
  • Couples, John Updike.
  • True Grit, Charles Portis.
  • John Steinbeck dies (1968); his legacy.
  • The “death” of Cubism (1918) — a new world without Picasso? Art and impact on culture, political and national identity; artists and global figures; avant-garde art for the masses.

Business & Economics

  • First Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet (1968). Pros and cons of a “smaller” world.
  • British Railways, 1948-1997. Pros and cons of the privatization of mass transportation.
  • Intel, the chip manufacturing giant is born (1968). Advantages and disadvantages of such a powerful company-monopoly or evolution?


In sum, our Turning Points conference impels the analysis of key theoretical questions with practical concerns. How and why do history-altering events come to a head at one time? Are there predicative, universal conditions — possibly even laws that cause this to happen — or is each Turning Point case different? Why the curious coincidence of 1918, 1948, 1968, 1978, 2008? How, where, when and why does socio-economic and political policy anticipate, control, foster or deter Turning Points?


All paper submissions and conference activities must be in English.
Submissions may propose various formats, including:

  • Individually submitted papers (organized into panels by the committee)
  • *Panels (3-4 individual papers)
  • *Roundtable discussions (led by one of the presenters)
  • *Posters


Paper proposals up to 250 words and a brief biographical note should be sent by 1 December 2019 to:
Please download the Paper proposal form from the Conference website.

Standard registration fee – 220 GBP    Student registration fee – 180 GBP


Organizing & Academic Committee Chairs: Dr. Konstantinos D. Karatzas, London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, UK

(posted 28 September 2019)

House and Home in Literature and Culture
Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland,  22-23 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 February 2020

Few ideas are as universally key, basic and primal as home. A number of crucial fields of study and significant concepts etymologically stem from “home”: economy, ecology, domination, the uncanny (das Unheimliche), nostalgia, and others. To state the obvious and quote the editors of Our House: The Representation of Domestic Space in Modern Culture, Gerry Smyth and Jo Croft, “the house is an absolutely fundamental part of our lives” (2006: 12), and since everyone has had some experience of (some kind[s] of) home, studies of this subject matter stand out from other cultural disciplines where the object of analysis may be less accessible.

The interdisciplinary field of housing studies has grown rapidly since the beginning of the 21st century and especially – certainly not by accident – in the aftermath of the bursting of the housing bubble in the US in 2007, and the ensuing global financial crisis. In The Domestic Space Reader, editors Chiara Briganti and Kathy Mezei write:

From the popular to the academic and across national boundaries, the subject of domestic space has of late garnered enormous attention. Besides drawing the notice of the media (television home improvement shows, real estate programs, popular magazines, dedicated sections on the home in newspapers, Facebook, YouTube, etc.), and inviting obsessive, even erotic attention, it has become an important academic subject. (2012: 9)

In the context of “[t]he immense reach and influence of global and transnational economies,” the authors see “a contrary desire for the local and the domestic, which has increased the scrutiny of the home” (ibid., 4), as “the seemingly everyday practical space of the home offers a surprisingly rich resource to mine for the understanding of cultures, peoples, and histories” (ibid., 12). At the same time, clearly reflecting ongoing problems in many countries, such as lack of affordable housing (the housing crisis), migration and displacement, there has been a noticeable need and “desire to peel away the layered meanings of home” (ibid., 13), including “[n]ot only belonging but also exile, longing for home, homelessness, and homesickness” (ibid., 6).

As David Madden and Peter Marcuse observe in their book In Defense of Housing: The Politics of Crisis, “[h]ousing is always more than just housing” – one of its most important “nonresidential roles” being that it is “an instrument for politics” (2016: 85), since “it uniquely helps to structure social life” in the sense that it “creates and reinforces connections between people, communities, and institutions, and thus it ultimately creates relationships of power” (ibid., 89). In accordance with the belief expressed by Rowland Atkinson and Keith Jacobs in their House, Home and Society, namely that housing studies “is by no means the preserve of sociology departments […] but is active wherever it is being practiced” (2016: 159–160), our seminar offers an opportunity to reflect on house and home in their literary and other cultural representations. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers addressing (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • the motif of house and/or home in literature and other media (film, TV, visual arts)
  • the house as a site of historical or cultural significance
  • the domestic space as a site of power
  • house and home and family (e.g. normative vs. alternative family models)
  • gender relations in the domestic sphere (e.g. [non-]patriarchal roles, the housewife, the stay-at-home dad, etc.)
  • house as a body / the body as home
  • the haunted house motif
  • the home invasion horror genre
  • home ownership vs. homelessness
  • (not-)at-homeness – narratives of (not) belonging and/or homesickness
  • homeland, migration, the politics of home
  • house and home and nostalgia
  • the planet Earth as home / home beyond Earth

Please send a 200-word abstract together with a short biographical note to The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 February 2020. Notifications about proposal acceptance will be sent by 1 March 2020.

There is no conference fee.

Venue: Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, al. Mickiewicza 9, 31-120 Kraków, Poland.

Organisers: Dr Ewa Kowal, Dr hab. Bożena Kucała, Dr hab. Beata Piątek

(posted 13 January 2020)

Human mobility and cultural identities through history: Migration, Inspiration, Transformation
Larnaca, Cyprus, 26-29 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 30 March 2020

We are pleased to invite you to the 4th International Conference on Arts and Humanities, organized by the International Centre for Studies of Arts and Humanities (ICSAH) and the Dante Alighieri Society of Nicosia in cooperation with Larnaca Municipality and the Pontificia Università Salesiana. After the success of the past events, shaped by a fruitful exchange of ideas, this year our aim is explore the topic of human migration and its consequences in creating cultures and transforming identities. The conference is to be held in 26th-29th May 2020 at the Hall of Arts and Literature in Larnaca, Cyprus.

We warmly welcome all papers broadly relevant to the subject without predefining chronological and territorial limitations, as the major goal of the conference is to address questions that involve more than one research field and promote multidisciplinary dialogue and cooperation. The papers will be published online and in a dedicated volume.

Abstract. Human mobility is a building block in the historical development. Migrants act as a cultural bond in the exchange of ideas and achievements that shape and re- shape cultural identities throughout history. Whether peaceful or a fruit of conflicts, human migration has led to new inspirations and innovations, while in the same time has caused deterioration and destruction.

We invite proposals that enable to delineate the perception of migration in different cultural and disciplinary contexts by studying the political, social, cultural and psychological effects of this phenomenon as reflected in literature, art, history and philosophy. We encourage also papers that accentuate on the influence of this phenomenon in strengthening social cohesion and creating multicultural values in human society, but also the adverse impact of the recurring cultural transfer on receiving societies.

About ICSAH. The International Centre for Studies of Arts and Humanities is a non- profit, interdisciplinary organization dedicated to the research, study and education in a vast range of disciplines in the field Arts and Humanities. The mission of the organization is to:

  1. Promote the worldwide understanding, study and teaching across a range of disciplines of the Arts and Humanities, including, but not limited to
    • Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Contemporary History
    • Ancient and modern languages and literature
    • Classics, Philosophy
    • Religions and History of Religions
    • Anthropology and ethnic studies
    • Archaeology
    • Visual arts
    • Performing arts, including theatre, dance, music
    • Those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods
    • Cultural heritage
  2. Provide additional forums for the exchange of ideas regarding Arts and Humanities in schools, Universities, libraries, museums and other contexts
  3. Support the interchange of research and the scholarships of knowledge, teaching and service in the Humanities through conferences, publications and relative activities

Submission rules: To submit a proposal for a paper of approximately 20 minutes or a poster, please send an abstract of 350 words or less to by March 30th, 2020. The proposed contributions should not have been previously published or accepted for publication elsewhere. Abstracts should include a title, a summary of the presentation, name of the author/s, institutional affiliation and email.

Conference languages: English, French, Italian.

Conference fee: 50€

For further information about the conference, please see our website Please address any further enquiries to

(posted 15 October 2019)

Reading #Instapoetry
University of Glasgow, UK, 27 May 2020
Deadline for submissions: 30 January 2020

Conference organisers: JuEunhae Knox (University of Glasgow) and James Mackay (European University Cyprus)

One of the unexpected side effects of the digital age has been the revival of poetry as a popular art form. Rupi Kaur’s collection Milk and Honey has become an astonishing worldwide publishing phenomenon, but she is only the most high profile example of a new wave of poets who have bypassed the traditional routes to success. These poets create poetry that is generally short and places heavy emphasis on inspirational messages, and then use various social media platforms, most notably Instagram, to share their work directly with a reading public. Audiences that have traditionally been resistant to literary work have flocked to these writers, and in a few short years this movement – if indeed it should be classified as a movement – has become enormously popular. At the same time, the poetry world has seen something of a backlash against these writers, most notably exemplified by  Rebecca Watt’s essay “The Cult of the Noble Amateur” (PN Review, 2018). Instapoetry has also been largely snubbed by academia for several reasons, not least that much of the poetry itself is resistant to formal analysis on account of its simplicity of message and lack of formal innovation. Although some collections of Instapoems have achieved great success, most Instapoetry is ephemeral, never intended to leave the Instagram platform, and writers are often adolescent or even younger, untaught and not widely read. The sheer volume of Instapoetry, too, is daunting: #poetsofinstagram alone links to nearly nine million poems and poetic images. There is little critical consensus on how to deal with poetry that relies as much for impact on the language of visual design and hypertext/hashtagging as it does on the actual text of the poem.

This will be the first symposium of its kind devoted to academic discussion of these writings and what their content, appearance and functioning in a digital sharing economy can tell us about the current moment. We welcome proposals on any aspect of #instapoetry, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Precedents to Instapoetry trends, particularly in popular verse or past literary movements
  • Therapy cultures and the therapeutic value of #instapoems
  • Reformulations of race and gender in the #instapoetry feed, particularly given the predominance of young women of colour among prominent Instapoets
  • Poetry in material cultures (e.g. Victorian tapestry, seaside postcards or greetings cards) and its relationship to instapoetry
  • Digital humanities approaches to the #instapoetry archive
  • Analysis of the visual grammar of #instapoems
  • De-professionalisation of poetic labour in the digital economy
  • Global #instapoetry examples and their function in local cultures
  • Tagging culture and poetry sharing

One of our primary aims is to put together the basis for a collection of academic essays on poetry’s interaction with social media.

We enthusiastically welcome non-traditional and interdisciplinary approaches. The aim is to open up discussion of this new poetic phenomenon, and we are hoping to have participation from one or more #poetsofinstagram.

Abstracts should be around 250 words, and should include your name, institutional affiliation, and email address. Please send abstracts to by January 30th, 2020.

If you have any questions, please contact JuEunhae at and/or James via

(posted 11 November 2019)

Culture and Anarchy. Reading Matthew Arnold Today II
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal, 28-29 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 March 2020

Confirmed keynote speakers
Professor Stephen Prickett (Regius Professor Emeritus at the University of Glasgow, Honorary Professor at the University of Kent)
Professor Laurel Brake (Professor Emerita, Birkbeck College, University of London)

It has been 150 years since Matthew Arnold published his landmark Culture and Anarchy. His essays in book form are not only a powerful critique of Victorian society and values but also of modern ones. Contemporary political, economic and cultural issues provide an opportunity to revisit Arnold’s thought critically, to assess his enduring legacy, and to appraise the modern predicament in relation to distinguished cultural achievements from the past.

As part of an ongoing dialogue between researchers from the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies (CETAPS) and the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES), this international conference aims to reflect on the meaning of Culture and Anarchy and other works by Arnold, with a special focus on their relevance for the present. The conference follows upon Culture and Anarchy: From Arnold to Brexit, an event that took place at the University of Lisbon in December 2019.

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Arnold and modernity; Arnold’s modernity
  • Arnold and the idea of the sage
  • Arnold and other intellectuals – of his time and of our own
  • Arnold and the theory/ies of culture
  • the role and nature of cultural institutions
  • culture and societal transition(s)
  • anarchy, freedom and security
  • unity and divisiveness in culture and society
  • the liberal legacy and the question of equality
  • culture, politics and religion
  • translating Arnold; Arnold’s translators and translations
  • the international reception of the work of Matthew Arnold

Submission process

Abstracts for individual (20-minute) or panel presentations in English or Portuguese are welcome. Please include the following information with your proposal:

  • the full title of your paper;
  • a 250-300 word description of your paper;
  • 5 keywords;
  • your name, postal address and e-mail address;
  • your institutional affiliation and position;
  • a short bionote (circa 7 lines);
  • AV requirements (if any).

Please send submissions and address all queries to:
Deadline for the receipt of proposals: 15th March 2020.
Notification of acceptance: 15th April 2020.
Deadline for registration: 4th May 2020.

Fees and registration
Registration fee: 90.00 euros
Student fee: 40.00 euros

Further information will be posted on the conference website:

Organizing Committee: Alcinda Pinheiro de Sousa (CEAUL) | Iolanda Ramos (CETAPS/UNL) | Jorge Bastos da Silva (CETAPS/FLUP) | Teresa Malafaia (CEAUL)

(posted 31 January 2020)

In-between “pop-” and “post-”: contemporary routes in English culture
University of Verona, Italy, 29-30 May 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 February 2020

Since their first appearance in the 1970s, Cultural Studies have aimed at proposing a new approach for the investigation of different fields of knowledge, far from any kind of boundaries and categorizations. This approach is also connected to the denunciation of arbitrary definitions in terms of class, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality in a post-modern society, as well as to any kind of cultural and identity value expressed, not only but also, by pop-culture. In this context, the relevance given to the post-modern deconstruction of narrations and identities, emphasised by many scholars, has led to a plurality of different readings and a multiplicity of discourses.

The concept and the role of the prefix “post-” has been discussed and developed in a huge variety of diverse scenarios of meanings. The Cultural Studies perspective insists on its positive value as producer of knowledge and meaning in a de-centred panorama, as already asserted by Stuart Hall.1 On the other hand, the concept of “pop,” introduced by the work of Raymond Williams, Stuart Hall, and John Fiske, is more concerned with “how meanings, such as those drawn from popular culture offerings, are interpreted and used in everyday life.”2 The reference is to a culture that comes from the people, but which can, at the same time, influence and intertwine with the so-called “high-culture.”

In the latter period, indeed also a new perspective on culture has been introduced. The clear-cut division between high and low has started to fade away and a new form of hybrid culture has been born from the interaction of different cultural productions. Intertextuality, multimediality and the influence of the World Wide Web have made this phenomenon possible. The Cultural Studies perspective frees popular culture from ideological constraints by making it a liberating practice in which meaning is not imposed but continually negotiated: “Meaning is constructed – given produced – through cultural practices. […] We map new things in terms of, or by extension or analogy from, things we already know.”3 At the same time, also the current post-modern, post-national, and post-human society is conforming to those practices in order to create new paradigms and forms of cultural exchange and debate.

The conference aims at investigating the evolution of English culture and literature in contemporary society through a Cultural Studies perspective. Through the analysis of literary texts, plays, movies, comics, advertisements and commercials, and the depiction of their connections to the global cultural scenario, a picture of the evolution of the English cultural production of the last decades will be proposed. The conference is open to the following areas of research: literature, philosophy, linguistics, history and anthropology, art, old and new media, sociology.

We invite contributions which study, discuss, and promote – among others – the following issues:

  • English Literature from the Early-Modern to the new Millennium and its re-writings
  • Brex-lit
  • Comparative Literatures
  • Literature and (post-)culture: post-colonial, post-modern, post-human, post-national
  • Popular culture and popular literature and their possible interactions
  • Philosophy and mass culture
  • Art and Aesthetics in the contemporary era
  • Old and new mass-media in contemporary society (cinema, radio, photography, social media, etc.)
  • Advertising communication
  • Literary and linguistic analysis of movies, TV-series, documentaries, biopics,
  • Historical, anthropological, sociological analysis of contemporary society and its constructs theoretical constructs
  • Presentation and analysis of artistic installations

The Conference is addressed to scholars of any institution, as well as to independent researchers, PhD students, and students from MA and BA courses.

The time limit for individual presentations is 20 minutes. In addition to 20 minutes papers, we are also inviting BA and MA students to submit for a round-table session, where they will be able to discuss research ideas and work-in-progress related to the themes of the conference.

For round-table discussion, please submit abstracts of no more than 50 words. For individual papers please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words (title included). All proposals have to be sent in .pdf format by February 15, 2020 to the following address:

All submissions should be written in English and will undergo anonymous review. Name, affiliation, and research field should appear only in the text of the e-mail.

Acceptance will be communicated by March 15, 2020. A registration fee (50 euros, including coffee breaks, lunches, and conference folder) will be requested to scholars, independent researchers and PhD students. Mode of payment details will be shared after the communication of acceptance.

Further information regarding the accommodation will be posted on the conference website and sent to participants once abstracts have been accepted.

Coordinators: Alessia Polatti (University of Padova/Bologna), Roberta Zanoni (University of Verona)

1  (1992) “The question of cultural identity”, in Hall S. – Held D. – McGrew T. (eds.), Modernity and its futures, Polity Press – The Open University, London.
2 Fowles, Advertising and Popular Culture, xv.
3  Paul du Gay, “Introduction” in Doing Cultural Studies, ed. Paul du Gay, (London: Sage Publications, 1997), 14.

(posted 10 January 2020)