Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in October 2020

Eco Consciousness: Imperatives in American Culture. The 2020 RAAS-Fulbright Conference
Ovidius University Constanta, Romania, 8-10 October 2020
Dealine for proposals: 15 March 2020

The topic of the conference invites contributors to reflect on the significance of ECOlogy as key concern in the United States of America and around the world today. Some of the questions the conference hopes to discuss are: have decision makers and communities developed effective strategies of dealing with climate change and the ECOlogical crises of this century, has American culture addressed the problems that threaten the ECOsystem responsibly and equitably, does ECOcriticism help in raising environmental awareness when applied to American cultural productions. The conversations to take place will focus on developments emerging from environmental humanities, embracing interdisciplinary perspectives originating with literary studies, media studies, cultural studies, geography, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, political science, international relations, law, economics and other associated fields.

Proposals for papers and panel discussions can relate, but are not limited, to the following topics:

  • ECOcritical readings of American literature / culture;
  • ECOfeminism;
  • ECOdramaturgy;
  • ECOtheology;
  • ECOlogy and the American city;
  • ECOlogy and the American youth culture;
  • ECOlogy and ethnicity in the U.S.A;
  • ECOlogy and trauma;
  • ECOactivism and its discontents;
  • ECOeffectiveness and sustainability in a digitalized world;
  • environmental justice: theory and practice;
  • reversing climate change: challenges and solutions;
  • preserving biodiversity;
  • land / animal / human rights in the context of natural disaster;
  • the return to nature: synchronic and diachronic perspectives;

We are pleased to announce that

  • Professor Philip John Davies, Eccles Centre for American Studies, The British Library, UK
  • Professor Adina Ciugureanu, Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania; Treasurer, the European Association for American Studies; Fulbright Ambassador
  • Professor Roxana Oltean, University of Bucharest, Romania

have accepted our invitation to participate in the conference as key-note speakers.

Proposals for 20-minute papers should be submitted by 15 March 2020 in the form of an abstract of 150-200 words. As each paper will be followed by 10-minute discussions, participants are kindly asked to limit the presentation to their time-slot. Those interested in proposing a panel discussion should submit the title and the names of at least three other academics who will participate in the talk.

If you are interested in participating, please fill in the registration form attached separately to this message and return it at the following e-mail address:

Conference fee:
RAAS members – 200 RON;
Non-RAAS members – 75 EURO / 100 USD

Download the Conference registration form.

(posted 13 January 2020)

An I for an Eye: Poetry in a World of Images, 20th and 21st centuries
Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, 14-16 October 2020
Deadline for proposals: 14 April 2020

The fruitful intersections between the word and the image have long fascinated poets and artists alike. From the early days of the avant-garde, imagism, simultaneism, vorticism, futurism, surrealism, and concrete poetry, among other trends, fully engaged with the rich and inexhaustible play between language and image. In their aesthetic, epistemic and creative dimensions, they paved the way for the Age of the World Picture.

Postmodernism has challenged the distinction between poetry and art, and by extension, between seeing and reading, between the word and the world, as well as between signifier and signified, allowing for a free play of meaning, which does not ignore the materiality of the word. It also actively reverses the roles of author and audience, reader and viewer, and poetry and art.

That we live today in a culture strongly dominated by the visual and the image may seem far too obvious. In the wake of Foucault’s panopticon and surveillance, Debord’s Society of the Spectacle, and Jameson’s late-capitalist postmodern market society, wher social space is saturated with the culture of the image (Jameson 1998), and Kaja Silverman claims that “words have the potential to be as open as our perceptions” (2011, 74). With the possibilities opened up by technological progress, we could also argue that an active resistance to looking may be the measure of our own desire for freedom, as a mode of resistance to power.

At present, social networks and mass culture reconfigure conditions of reading and spectatorship within a global community. In an effort to understand how this process of reconfiguration occurs, poets and writers as much as visual artists have incorporated mass media technologies (the photo, movie camera), appropriated mass cultural forms (the press, film, advertising, slogans) and the social networks (Twitter, Instagram) as models for the construction and composition of their own work.

This conference aims at investigating why so many poets and artists have placed the relations of reading to seeing and of literature to images at the center of their concerns. What is at stake when artists treat words as pictures and pictures as words? What do we mean when we speak of visual poetry at present, and of an understanding of the visual arts that is “literary”? How does poetry and the visual relate to, and reflect upon, issues as crucial as authorship, language, subjectivity, or the relationship between art, history, politics and popular culture in the 20th and 21st centuries?

We welcome creative proposals, workshops, roundtables and panels, as well as individual presentations which address, but are not limited, to the following,

  • The visual in poetry
  • Intersections between the visual and the word
  • Framing the visual in poetry
  • Words on a canvas
  • Calligrams
  • Poetry and optics
  • Poetry, the visual and formalism
  • Myth, visuality and poetry
  • Still Life, Portrait, Landscape, Composition in poetry and the visual
  • Poetry and perspectival notions of vision
  • Poetry and the moving image
  • Visual poetry
  • Poetry and visual art
  • Poetry and vision(s)
  • Poetry and photography
  • Mirroring effects
  • Electronic poetry
  • Holograms
  • Experimental visual poetry
  • Poetry and digital art
  • Scopophilia and scopophobia
  • Poetry, the visual, and techniques of observation
  • Iconicity, indexing, spatial-temporal semiosis
  • The visual and the invisible
  • Haunting images and echo effects
  • Poetry, the visual and synesthesia
  • Poetry on the screen, smartphone apps and other formats
  • Poetry and the modern panopticon

Keynote speaker: Belen Gache

Deadline for submission of 350-word abstracts: Tuesday April 14, 20<20.

Venue: Facultad de Filología, Universidad Complutense, Madrid

Organization: Poetics Group, U. Complutense, Madrid


A selection of papers and creative presentations will be submitted to a major publisher

(posted 4 December 2019)

MCWE 2020: The Second International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience
Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I”, Bucharest, Romania, 15-17 October 2020
Deadline for proposals: 30th April 2020

Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I” and New Bulgarian University are pleased to announce The 2nd International Conference on Military Culture and War Experience that will  be held on 15th – 17th October 2020 in Bucharest, Romania. The conference will be hosted by Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I” and organized in partnership with New Bulgarian University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The ever-growing debate over whether the propensity toward war is an innate feature of human beings or, on the contrary, a socio-political construct and cultural phenomenon, has created more advocates of both sides than exclusive answers. This is mainly because the definition of war has always been inclusive and subject to a persuasive rhetoric meant to either secure public support or elicit utter dissociation.

From words and expressions like: threat, hostility, attack, conflict, clash of arms, opposing forces, defense, violence, death, destruction, usually associated with the broad term “war” and which tend to come to one’s mind when exposed to messages on the subject, to more recent and topical keywords such as holocaust, concentration camps, gas chambers, crime, terrorist attack, asymmetry, cyber warfare, counterstrike, displacement, refugees, or to abstract words like peace, justice, power, freedom, evil, hostility, bravery, cowardice, it seems that  every  important military and political functional concept, within a particular mind-framing discourse, is inherent to war, although military culture is in essence heavily based on the principle of defense and peacekeeping.

During human history, the definition of war has suffered major changes regarding core concepts, capabilities and manpower, two of the main factors of this ongoing transformation being the refined communication strategies used to report on war and the development of state of the art technology. The war discourses, metaphors and euphemisms we live by structure today’s world and some of the times make language act as a “terrorist organization” (Collins, John and Glover, Ross (eds.), Collateral Language, New York University Press, 2002) that shapes and “domesticates” public response to ideas that otherwise would have been unthinkable or unacceptable. By using war metaphors in communication and discourse, a distinctive frame of mind is set to acquaint the public with the unsettling psychological background of the message, before anything else, so that the tensional context is included in the reception and interpretation process.

Thus, a set of beliefs sedimented through the extensive use of structural metaphors related to war is accessed whenever particular metaphorical clusters meant to shape emotional meaning are used. They automatically set the reading and decoding vibe and fashion the unconscious emotional response to texts/discourses on such topics, mainly due to the past experiences and various definitions of war that have along the history of humankind established a trend of  thought on the matter.

Topics and Scope

This conference aims to create a multinational and multidisciplinary forum for discussions on changes in the rhetoric of military culture and war experience with emphasis on language/communication competence and performance within NATO and on the analysis of historical, (inter)cultural, personal and social identity contexts from the philological and cultural studies perspective. We invite scholars as well as practitioners from different fields of expertise including literature, visual arts, cultural studies, gender and identity studies, philosophy, anthropology, linguistics, language acquisition, etc, and all those interested in exchanging theoretical and practical approaches to these topics. We suggest the following topics; however, papers on other aspects of the conference theme are also welcome:

  • War in literature, biographies and visual arts;
  • Postwar fiction;
  • Utopian and dystopian fiction;
  • Hero cults, myths and legends;
  • Poetry of the World Wars;
  • Confessional poetry;
  • Military anecdotes and slang;
  • War metaphors and identity conflicts;
  • Trauma and migration;
  • Diplomatic language and discourse;
  • Military cross-cultural competence;
  • Power effects of language;
  • Military strategic communication;
  • Totalitarian communication and propaganda;
  • Foreign languages and language policies in the military;
  • Language skill as a main interoperability tool in NATO;
  • Military technical vocabulary;
  • Media coverage of war and terrorism;
  • Gender, race, age and disability in the military;
  • Implications of military culture and stereotypes;
  • Deployment and military families;
  • Education and (re)adjustment to military/civilian/ veteran

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 papers, panel sessions where 3 or 4 speakers address a shared topic, and workshops where contributors address questions of practical activism. Please, send your abstract and a short bio-bibliography no later than 30th April 2020, by registering on or contact us at:


The accepted paper abstracts will be published in the Book of Abstracts, available to all participants. Abstract proposals should be sent no later than 30th April 2020. Full papers are expected by 30th August 2020 and authors are advised to use the following guidelines:

  • Language:
  • The page-limit for articles: no more than 12 pages, works cited
  • The margins: left – 25 mm, right – 25 mm, top – 25 mm, bottom – 25 mm, header and footer –15
  • 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 Keywords under the abstract, in English (TNR 11);
  • Text of the article: at one line below 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
  • 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 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.

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 Military Technical Academy “Ferdinand I”. Address: 39-49 George Coșbuc Blvd., Bucharest, Romania, 050141.


Further information will be made available on the conference website as soon as possible.


Deadline for proposals: 30th April 2020

Abstract acceptance notification: 31st May 2020. Deadline for full paper submission: 30th August 2020. Early Registration: 31st July 2020.

Late Registration: 30th August 2020. Conference dates: 15th -17th October 2020. Conference dinner: 16th October 2020.


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

We look forward to welcoming you at the conference!

(posted 19 December 2019)

Multicultural Discourses in a Turbulent World: 7th International Conference on Multicultural Discourses
Cluj-Napoca, Romania, 24-26 October 2020
Deadline for proposals: 2 April 2020

Co-organised by:

  • International Association of Multicultural Discourse Studies;
  • Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Letters, English Department,
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania;
  • Hangzhou Normal University, China

The successful international conferences on Multicultural Discourses organized in China, Brazil, and the Netherlands, respectively, have reinforced the importance of Cultural Discourse Studies in contemporary social science and the humanities.

The 7th International Conference on Multicultural Discourses, under auspices of the International Association of Multicultural Discourses, will be co-organized by the English Department of the Faculty of Letters, Babeş-Bolyai University, Romania and the School of Contemporary Chinese Communication Studies, Hangzhou Normal University, China.

The event will be hosted at the Faculty of Letters, Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania from October 24‑26, 2020.

Mankind is witnessing yet again the centennial moment of global transformation and the world is ridden with grave challenges and great opportunities.

To answer to these uncertain winds of change, scholars from various fields such as communication, media, language, literature, society, culture, international relations, etc. are encouraged to offer their insights into topics including, though not restricted to, the following:

  • Multicultural discourses of (anti)globalization, diversity, connectivity, globalism
  • Multicultural discourses of security, conflict, war, peace
  • Multicultural discourses of protectionism, (in)tangible borders, immigration, racism
  • Multicultural discourses of development, the Developing World, the Global South
  • Multicultural digital, multimodal, literary, cinematic discourses
  • Multidisciplinary, multicultural approaches to human discourses

Plenary Speakers

  • Johannes Angermuller, Open University, UK
  • Ioana Bican, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
  • Raili Marling, University of Tartu, Estonia
  • Laura Pardo, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Shi-xu, Hangzhou Normal University, China


Abstracts of about 250 words, panel proposals of about 500 words (of min 4 speakers with 250 words abstracts) should be sent to the organizers at the following email address:


  • Deadline for submission of abstracts and panel proposals: April 2, 2020.
  • Notification of acceptance will be sent out not later than April 30, 2020.

Conference fee

  • 150 euros (coffee breaks, lunches and conference materials will be covered);
  • 75 euros for doctoral students and young researchers (under 26).

Ph.D. candidates should present a document from their home institution proving their academic status.

The conference fee can be paid on the spot or electronically. Details will be provided after the acceptance of the papers.

PMresentation format

  • parallel sessions
  • plenary speeches

Confeence website:

(posted 14 July 2019)

Movement and Mobility in America: 40th  Conference of the American Studies Association of Turkey (ASAT)
Ondokuz Mayıs University, Samsun, Turkey, 26-27 October 2020
Deadline for proposals: 30 April 2020

Movement and mobility lie at the core of American society. Whether through immigration, internal migration, social mobility, or domestic and global expansionism, the United States has always been defined as a nation of frontiers and pioneers, a country that is constantly (re)defining itself, where self-(re)invention is part of the American dream. Movement and mobility in the American context can also be physical, sociological, psychological, or even political, as in the case of mobilizing for social movements.

With its agenda of stemming the alleged “tide of illegal aliens” by building a wall along the US-Mexico border, the Trump Administration has prompted a reevaluation of movement and mobility across the political spectrum. While some argue that this has stimulated a visible resurgence in activism and a revival of social movements in the United States, others have seized the moment to express that this so-called “new wave” of protest is not so new at all, and is part of a long continuum of public engagement that originated during the colonial era.

From protests against the Stamp Act, Tea Act, and Townshend Duties in the eighteenth century; to the abolitionist, and women’s and workers’ rights movements of the nineteenth century; to the peace, civil rights, free speech, and anti-nuclear activism of the twentieth century; to the use of social media as an organizing platform in the twenty-first century, Americans have defined, and have been defined by, movement and mobility, using it to counter injustice by voicing their opinions and taking to the streets. As US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has expressed, “Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you”—a dictum that Americans have been following for over three centuries.

ASAT invites the submission of individual abstracts, panels, and workshop/roundtable proposals that explore all aspects of this theme. Possible subthemes include, but are not limited to:

• The literature of movement, mobility, and activism
• Travel narratives; life writing
• Im/migration; inner and outer space
• Social mobility; self-(re)invention
• Movement, mobility, and rebellion in American history
• Frontiers, borderlands, and pioneers
• Manifest Destiny, expansionism, and imperialism
• Ethnic, class, and race-based activism
• Feminist, women’s, and gender activism
• LGBTQIA+ activism; human rights advocacy
• Social media; virtual activism (#metoo, #TimesUp, etc.)
• Civil rights movements; union and labor activism
• Healthcare movements; patients’ rights activism
• Mobility and dis/ability
• Peace, anti-war, anti-nuclear movements
• Radical activism; power movements
• Environmental activism; free speech activism
• Cross-generational activism; global movements
• Activism and nostalgia; commemorating past movements
• The politics/logistics of activism; activist fatigue; infighting
• Intersectionality; the limits of activism
• Critiques of activism and clicktivism
• Activist pedagogy; teaching activism
• Comparative approaches; future directions

Proposals should be sent to the American Studies Association of Turkey ( and should consist of a 250–300 word abstract, five keywords, and a short (200 word) biography for each participant. The time allowance for presentations is 20 minutes. An additional 10 minutes will be provided for discussion.
We expect all participants to attend the entire conference out of professional courtesy. Please keep this in mind while submitting an abstract.
Submission deadline: April 30, 2020
Selected papers will be included in a special issue of the Journal of American Studies of Turkey (JAST) based on the conference theme.

More information will be posted on our website as it becomes available:

(posted 2 October 2019)

Powerful Literary Fiction Texts II (PLit. II): A Stylistic, Empirical and Performance-based Approach
Paris, France, 28-30 October 2020
Deadline for proposals: 15 February 2020

Works of prose fiction include pieces of writing that are prone to provide both emotional and cognitive pleasure because they are made of “language at its most distilled and most powerful” (Rita Dove). Yet these passages too often escape an analysis that combines close reading with, on the one hand, the reading aloud of the text – so that it can be experienced to the full by the audience – and, on the other hand, a study of the text’s potential effects on readers – hereby advancing a hypothesis of readers’ impressions and of the linguistic features responsible for them. This international conference series invites contributors to select and explore prose extracts through such a mixed approach.

Each excerpt – be it a set of phrases or sentences, a paragraph or a longer extract – will thus be orally performed and examined as a textual composition likely to elicit specific responses on the readers’ part. Questions dealt with in the presentations can include:

  • How does the text capture the readers’ attention or interest?
  • How does it provide aesthetic appeal and trigger powerful positive, negative or mixed emotions?
  • Which other effects apart from eliciting strong emotions can render prose fiction powerful? Which role do emotions play in these other kinds of effects (e. g. persuasion, behaviour and personality change)?
  • Is the impact closely bound to the time of reading or are some effects created to stick with the reader for longer? And then: How can this be linked to specific stylistic features?

The compelling effects such pieces of text provide are usually due to:

  • The relationship between the part and the whole: the way the selected excerpt articulates with the rest of the narrative it is taken from, its specific function and purport within the respective work of fiction.
  • The chosen piece of text itself: although the powerful effect produced in a reader is partly due to his or her subjectivity, we assume it also results from the way the author’s language organises and conveys the cognitive realities of real or fictitious experience.

The presentation format thus involves four successive stages:

  1. A brief introductory presentation of the story from which the chosen extract is taken, and of the excerpt’s function or purport within the rest of the narrative.
  2. The reading aloud of the extract: thanks to this oral performance, the text will be experienced by the audience as ‘living’ material embodied through human voice.
  3. A close reading aiming to discover the text’s mechanisms. If all linguistic choices are potentially meaningful (Leech & Short 2007: 27), which are the ‘powerful’ ones, responsible for the audience’s reactions? Tools pertaining to the field of literary linguistics may be helpful to identify the effectual stylistic features: lexical choices and coinages; syntactic choices, including tense and aspect; figures of speech and other stylistic devices, such as ellipses, rhythm, sounds, et cetera.
  4. The explicit highlighting of the hypothesized connection between the identified linguistic features and the effects they have on readers.

Contributors are especially welcome to present empirical research on reader perception of specific textual phenomena or stylistic features, but testable hypotheses are also suitable.

Any kind of fictional literary prose or drama text may be considered, irrespective of subgenre, literary tradition, or intended audience. However, poetry, historical non-fiction texts, and translation analyses are unfortunately not suitable.

Note: This conference has been conceived as a convivial event, aiming to foster interaction between attendees: there will be only one talk at a time and lunches will be provided, as well as an opening reception on the first evening of the conference.

Submission guidelines: Presentation time for each paper will be 20-25 minutes, followed by a 5-10 minutes discussion.

Please submit a short bio (not longer than 50 words) including your name and institutional affiliation, and a completely anonymised file consisting of the abstract (up to 300 words, excluding references; unpublished work) and the literary excerpt(s) under study (no longer than 350 words altogether).

If the selected excerpts are not in English, we kindly ask contributors to base their presentation on an English translation (preferably a professional one) that allows following the argument of the paper.

Please send the two files to the following e-mail address:

The deadline for submission is February 15th, 2020.

Keynote speakers

  • Sandrine Sorlin, Professor of English language and linguistics at Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3 (France)
  • Raymond A. Mar, Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto, Canada)


  • Mariane Utudji, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 (France)
  • Victoria Pöhls, Max-Planck-Institute for Empirical Aesthetics (Frankfurt, Germany)
  • Dr Craig Jordan-Baker, University of Brighton (United Kingdom)

(posted 1 January 2020)