Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in March 2021

Working-class Women Write!
University of Northampton, UK, Friday 5 March 2021
Deadline for proposals: 30 December 2020

While women have contributed a huge amount to literary history, most of those women came from the middle classes; working-class women rarely had either the leisure time or the educational opportunities to produce their own writing. While Aphra Behn and Jane Austen were writing in the late 17th and early 19th centuries respectively, the first British novel by a working-class woman, Miss Nobody by Ethel Carnie Holdsworth, was not published until 1913. 100 years later, despite progress in some areas, working-class women are still very much a minority in today’s vast publishing industry.  To reflect on that fact and consider the ongoing obstacles as well as new opportunities, the conference scope is writing in English by working-class women in the last century 1920-2020, in any form and medium including short fiction, poetry, novels, autobiography, journalism, essays, screen writing, blogging and other digital platforms. The aim is to examine and celebrate the range of women writers from working-class backgrounds writing in the period and investigate the variety and character of their works in their social and political contexts.

To foreground and promote contemporary working-class women’s writing, we also welcome contributions in the form of readings, screenings and talks from working-class women currently writing creatively today. We will have a book stall of critical and creative writing on sale throughout the day. Our conference title serves as a reminder that despite appearances to the contrary working-class women do indeed write. It also expresses our hope that more working-class women take up the pen or the keyboard and write themselves into history.

Plenary speaker: Professor Selina Todd, author of Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney, and a Cultural Revolution

We particularly invite papers and contributions which cover any of the following topics although would welcome any contribution relevant to the conference topic:

  • Working-class women writers and the creative industries
  • Genres – life writing, romance, science fiction, crime writing etc
  • Material obstacles facing working-class women writers
  • Working-class women writers and political affiliation – socialism, communism, anti-fascism, nationalism, fascism
  • Writing beyond the metropole/ in the post-colony
  • Biographical approaches to working-class women writers
  • Marxist criticism and the place of the working-class woman writer
  • Examining representations of class in individual texts
  • Writers’ Networks/groups, collaborative writing and publishing
  • Writing about work, leisure, the city, the natural world, war and peace
  • Methodological issues in the study of working-class women’s writing
  • The working-class woman writer/critic in academe

Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr Claire Allen ( and Dr Sonya Andermahr ( by 30 December 2020.

Health and Safety issues in relation to COVID-19.In case participants are not able to attend on-site, online, interactive,  attendance/presentation opportunities are available. Participants attending/presenting online will benefit from a discounted fee. Every precaution possible is taken to create a safe environment for participants attending on-site (masks, gloves, distance seating, etc.). Finally, should the conditions do not allow the conference to be held on-site as expected, the event will shift to a fully virtual format.

(posted 11 September 2020)

New Perspectives in Science Education International Conference – 10th Edition
Florence, Italy, 18-19 March 2021
Abstract Submission Deadline: 21 October 2020

All accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings with ISBNISSN, DOI, ISPN codes. The Proceedings will be included in and indexed in Google Scholar. The Proceedings will be sent to be reviewed for inclusion in the Conference Proceedings Citation Index by Thomson Reuters (ISI-Clarivate).

Make your contribution to innovation in science education, SUBMIT your paper now.

Health and Safety issues in relation to COVID-19.In case participants are not able to attend on-site, online, interactive,  attendance/presentation opportunities are available. Participants attending/presenting online will benefit of a discounted fee. Every precaution possible is taken to create a safe environment for participants attending on-site (masks, gloves, distance seating, disinfection etc.). Finally, should the conditions do not allow the conference to be held on-site as expected, the event will shift to a fully virtual format.

(posted 18 July 2020)

Literary and scientific culture(s): Continuities and Discontinuities in English for Specific Purposes. GERAS 42nd International Conference
Université de Lorraine, Nancy, France, 18-20 March 2021
Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2020

In 1959, in Britain, C.P. Snow described two “cultures” that he believed radically divided the field of knowledge – a literary culture and a scientific culture. In France, this divide remains to this day, as evidenced by Sokal & Bricmont (1997). It should be noted that at the time of Snow’s writing, classical literature was highly valued socially – to the detriment of science. Today, the opposite is true, but the divide remains. And reading Morin (1994), one can understand how the historical formation of academic disciplines in the 19th century led to such divide. This implies that both diachronic and societal aspects may be taken into account when trying to characterize the phenomenon. It is therefore around this divide between sciences and humanities that the GERAS 2021 conference, which will take place on March 18-20 in Nancy, wishes to examine the relationship between language skills and domain-related knowledge. Primarily addressed to English for Specific Purposes (ESP), this investigation may also be directed to other Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP).

As for ESP, the first issue arising from this divide is that of a scientific status (Saber 2019). To what extent is this matter related to the methodology being used or to the domain involved? To put it in a somewhat provocative wording, is working on ASP for science / health, for example, more scientific than working on ESP for economics? Is it more scientific to work on large computerized corpora than to analyze the content or rationale of an ESP course? Among the many issues raised by such questioning, without being exhaustive, let us mention the following: interdisciplinarity (Morin, 1994; Darbellay, 2011), teacher-researchers training, the influence of institutional frameworks, teaching and translation – both in LANSAD and Language Studies departments as well as LSP-focused jobs.

From a practical point of view, this theme also reminds one of a general feeling that was expressed very early on (Isani 1993) and which still seems to be experienced by teachers – uncertainty regarding one’s legitimacy towards learners, that Bhatia (2004: 204) describes as a form of nervousness. Another aspect of this issue that could be addressed is therefore the recurring debate between linguistic knowledge one the one hand and domain-specific knowledge on the other, or the degree to which the mastery of a given domain is necessary in order to teach its related language. What teacher-training or professional experience must teachers hold in the field being taught in order to feel at ease with their professional identities and, thereby, feel legitimate in front of theirs students – who are experts in that field? To (try to) put an end to this debate, Van der Yeught (2018) suggests a new way forward which would allow us to avoid getting stuck in this duality – that he describes as “sitting between two chairs”. This conference is thus intended as an opportunity to reflect precisely on a possible “third (middle) chair” (ibid.) and to try to overcome this dichotomy.

In the LANSAD sector, the issue of student specialization and the relationship between this specialization and the different varieties of English is central. How do you bridge the gap between general language and ESP? Could a solution be to evoke “a field of discourse” or “expertise” (Whyte 2014)? Also, counting on which teachers? LANSAD departments are mostly composed of associate professors and certified teachers trained in traditional language studies; and despite the many positions available in ESP, there are still too few teacher-researchers trained in this particular area of English Studies. Finally, at a time when a heated debate over the introduction of a mandatory English certification at the bachelor’s degree level is taking place, isn’t it more important than ever to think about now to assess / certify the ESP skills of our students?

In didactics, we might have to wonder about the pedagogical practices that can be set up in the classroom in order to reconcile the various issues involved when teaching ESP – as opposed to general language. We may also question the existence of a didactic approach to English for scientific and literary purposes –as well as legal, economic, academic, health-related, etc. purposes– about which teachers in each of these fields will concur. The conference will therefore allow practitioners to present their visions and conceptions of ESP teaching as well as their own teaching practices (for example, with the use of FASP, which may be an interesting meeting point between literary and scientific cultures). The conference will thus be the opportunity to share our pedagogical expertise – be it cross-disciplinary or, on the contrary, based on a specific student population with specific training course objectives.

Finally, translation specialists may enquire about the position of translation within these continuities and discontinuities between literary and scientific culture(s). Does translation contribute to building bridges (Bensimon, 1998: 3)? Between language and specialized fields? Between the Humanities and Sciences? Or do we rather see discontinuities / breaks appearing in the guise of problems of “translatability and untranslatability of cultures” (Rüdiger & Gross 2009)? The privileged position of translation and Translation Studies, often seen as being at a crossroads between disciplines (Duarte et al. 2006), invites us to think about the interdisciplinary aspect that is inherent to the activity of translating – both in general and in a professional context (Froeliger, 1999). Also, what are the specific features of specialized translation? In an environment increasingly dominated by technology, as Lavault-Olléon notes, “[m]ore than ever before, it is necessary to encourage openness to other areas of the human sciences and that places translation in a whole that takes into account all the aspects of the transfer operation […]” (Lavault-Olléon 2007: x).

Submission guidelines
On these very broad issues, authors are invited to submit their proposals according to these guidelines:
Format: 300-word abstracts (excluding bibliographical references)
Languages: English (preferred) and French (in order to facilitate the participation of our international colleagues, communications in French should be accompanied by slides in English)
Deadline: December 1st 2020
Abstract submission: (en construction)

Plenary speakers:
Roger POUIVET, Université de Lorraine (France)
Thomas TINNEFELD, Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft des Saarlandes (Allemagne)
Shona WHYTE, Université Côte d’Azur (France)

Organizing committee:
Nicolas Molle, UFR LANSAD – laboratoire ATILF; Yvon Keromnes, UFR ALL Metz – laboratoire ATILF; Justine Paris, Université de Paris – membre associée ATILF; Stéphanie Lerat, INSPE Lorraine – laboratoire ATILF; Adam Wilson, UFR ALL Metz – laboratoire IDEA; Carine Martin, UFR LANSAD – laboratoire ATILF; Carmenne Kalyaniwala, UFR LANSAD – laboratoire ATILF; Vanessa Boullet, UFR ALL Nancy – laboratoire IDEA

BENSIMON, P. 1998. Présentation. Palimpsestes 11, 9-14.
BHATIA, V. K. 2004. Worlds of Written Discourse. Londres : Continuum.
DARBELLAY, F. 2011. Vers une théorie de l’interdisciplinarité? Entre unité et diversité, Nouvelles perspectives en sciences sociales : revue internationale de systémique complexe et d’études relationnelles, 7(1), 65-87.
DUARTE, J. F., ROSA, A. A. & T. SERUYA. 2006. Translation Studies at the Interface of Disciplines. Amsterdam / Philadelphie : John Benjamins.
FROELIGER, N. 1999. Le traducteur face à l’interdisciplinarité. Revue des lettres et de traduction, Université Saint-Esprit 5, 101-112.
ISANI, S. 1993. Langues de spécialité et savoir disciplinaire : contrainte institutionnelle ou outil pédagogique incitateur d’une interaction communicative ? ASp 2, 199-208.
LAVAULT-OLLEON, E. (éd.). 2007. Traduction spécialisée : pratiques, théories, formations. Berne : Peter Lang.
MORIN, E. 1994. Sur l’interdisciplinarité. Bulletin Interactif du Centre International de Recherches et Études transdisciplinaires 2 [En ligne],
RÜDIGER, P. & GROSS, K. 2009. Translation of Cultures. Amsterdam : Rodopi.
SABER, A., 2019. De la scientificité de l’anglais de spécialité. ASp 76, 1-8.
SNOW, C. P. 1959. The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press.
SOKAL, A. & J. BRICMONT. 1997. Impostures intellectuelles. Paris : Odile Jacob.
VAN DER YEUGHT, M. 2016. Protocole de description des langues de spécialité. Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité. Cahiers de l’APLIUT 35(1) [En ligne], DOI :
VAN DER YEUGHT, M. 2018. Une épistémologie et une théorie des langues de spécialité au service de solutions pour le secteur LANSAD. In C. Chaplier & A.-M. O’Connell (éd.), Épistémologie à usage didactique- Langues de spécialité (secteur LANSAD). Paris : L’Harmattan, 53-95.
WHYTE, S. 2014. « Contexte pour l’enseignement-apprentissage des langues : le domaine, la tâche et les technologies ». Synthèse d’habilitation à diriger des recherches non publiée, Université du Havre.

(posted 14 July 2020)

Reference : (co-)construction and use. International conference LED 2021
Université Grenoble Alpes, France, 25-26 March 2021
Deadline for submissions: 27 November 2020

During these challenging times of Coronavirus, we understand any apprehension about making plans to attend a conference which might require air travel and a hotel stay. The LED 2021 Conference will take place on 25-26 March 2021 in some shape or form, be it in-person or virtually. We are looking forward to receiving your abstracts, wherever you may be.

Organised by Laure Gardelle (Université Genoble Alpes, LIDILEM), Laurence Vincent-Durroux (Université Genoble Alpes, LIDILEM), Hélène Vinckel-Roisin  (Sorbonne Université CeLiSo)

Conference website:

Reference is considered here in the nominal domain – pronouns included – and is understood as the designation of the mental representation of an entity, regardless of whether the latter exists in the extralinguistic world.

A great amount of research on reference has been devoted to the constraints on the interpretation of referential expressions in anaphoric contexts (e.g. Government and Binding Theory for the syntactic constraints on sentence-internal anaphora; issues of referential opacity for coreferential NPs in subject and object positions; or discourse anaphora); later on, more general studies on reference have considered pragmatics (e.g. Grice’s Maxims in Gundel et al. 1993) and the influence of the cognitive status of the referent (e.g. Accessibility theory, Ariel 1990; Givenness Hierarchy, Gundel et al. 1993; Centering frameworks, Grosz et al. 1995, Walker et al. 1998, Strube & Hahn 1999). But these studies, as well as more recent research (e.g. Abbott 2010, Gundel & Abbott 2019), have also brought to light the limitations of such theoretical models. They are important in that they establish definite trends, but all they can make out are trends, as the referent’s cognitive status obviously interacts with other factors – besides, many of these studies are based on constructed examples.

It is this complexity that the present conference will seek to explore, by bringing together specialists of various fields and languages. It will place the speaker/user at the core of the referential process: as stressed by Strawson (1950) among others, it is not a definite description that refers by itself, but a speaker who uses a definite description to refer to something in a given speech situation.

Contributions to the following issues, based on any of the world languages, are particularly welcome:

  • In addition to the cognitive status of the referent, what factors are at play in the construction and management of reference? In particular, what is the influence of constituent order (e.g. role of a rather ‘flexible’ syntax, as in German, or of a more rigid syntax, as in French), of syntactic functions (e.g. pre-eminence of the syntactic subject), nominal determiners, information structure, or the predicate? The study of ambiguous references may contribute useful insights into the issue. Another aspect is the influence of conventions (whether the conventions of a culture [Wu et al. 2013], of a genre or of a micro-community of practice) in the choice of a type of referential expression. For example, Thurmair (2003), Landragin & Schnedecker (2014) or the research programme Democrat (ANR 2016-2020) have evidenced the role of genre-related conventions for highly codified genres such as cooking recipes, instruction manuals or children’s books. But do conventions exist in all genres, and do they always carry the same weight in comparison with other parameters?
  • In the studies mentioned above, the focus is mostly on the singular. Yet studies on the plural have shown further complexity (Gardelle 2019). For example, the same NP the children may be given a distributive, a collective or a cumulative interpretation depending on the associated predicate (e.g. Abbott 2010 for English, Gunkel 2017 for German); the plural is also likely to create referential blurring (for example the aqueduct was invented by the Romans does not mean that all the Romans were involved, Link 1983). This fact has been well documented for personal pronouns, especially “gregarious” ils in French (A l’hôpital, ils ont dit…, ‘At the hospital they said…’, Kleiber 1992, Johnsen 2019), pronouns in indirect anaphora (Ich angele jetzt schon seit Stunden, aber sie wollen einfach nicht anbeißen, Schwarz 2000) or French nous ‘we’, which can be either inclusive or exclusive. Blurred reference, of course, also brings to mind impersonal pronouns such as French on (see Fløttum 2004 on the six values of on in academic papers). This blurring effect is often exploited pragmatically in discourse, for emotional distancing (they), rhetorical effects in political contexts (we) or even “arbitrary reference” (Gunkel 2017) for some quantifiers (mancher Gast / so manch N – manch ein…). A closer look at the reference / quantification interface will provide a better understanding of plural reference and more generally, of the process of referential construction. Similarly, considering the problems posed by referential blurring for automatic detection and annotation of coreference in various languages may provide insights on how to deal with referential ambiguity (in the wake of Stede 2016) and complex plurals.
  • In addition, the studies mentioned above examine how the types of referential expressions compete. But how is a form selected within a given type? Collins & Postal (2012), for instance, have compiled the uses of ‘pronominal imposters’, as in How are we doing today? used by a nurse to enquire about a patient’s health. Another example is the variety of NPs used by the British press to refer to Kate Middleton, with proper names ranging from her full name to Kate, Waitie Katie and other variants (Hoffstetter 2016; for comparable cases in German, see Balnat 2015, 2018). What are the possible effects of variation from the expected “norm”? Is it possible to detect recurrences, or even conventional expectations, in such variations and their effects? The study of antonomasia, metonomy and metaphor will be another interesting way to examine the complex issues of denomination and representation of the referent. 
  • Further research into the oral and non-verbal dimensions of reference is also crucially needed: in particular, what part do they play in the (co-)construction of reference? Regarding the phonological dimension, Ariel (1990)’s Accessibility Marking Scale distinguishes between stressed and unstressed pronouns; but stress is still understudied in research on reference based on spoken corpora. Apart from creating a contrast with another referent, what is the role of stress? Another aspect is that of kinetics – gestures, head movements, targeted gazes and pointing. How do these components contribute to the (co-)construction of reference, during language acquisition (Morgenstern 2006, Morgenstern & Parisse 2017,Hannken-Illjes & Bose 2018) but also beyond?
  • The study of reference (and its acquisition where appropriate) in speakers with non-typical development (e.g. deaf children, fitted with hearing aids or not) or people who have Alzheimer’s disease or schizophrenia, will also provide useful insights into the parameters at play. In particular, it has been shown that cognitive overload may impact the form of anaphoric pronouns (Bourdin 2015, Vincent-Durroux et al. 2018); are there effects on reference in general as well?
  • The issue of the construction of reference also raises that of its co-construction, in both spoken and written interaction. For example, the study of anaphora has made out cases of competition for domination (Salazar-Orvig & Grossen 2011), or conversely cases in which speakers helped each other in order to establish reference when a useful word was missing from a non native speaker’s lexicon (David, Poussard & Vincent-Durroux 2019). In another domain, how is co-construction effected in the social media, especially Facebook® or Twitter® (Aktas, Scheffler & Stede 2018), or in mediated communication (e.g. WhatsApp®, text messages)? How is reference achieved in multimodal texts, when emoticons and smileys, or even pictures or photos, have a referential role (see Pappert 2017, or the sms4science project ( led by Rachel Panckhurst)?
  • Finally, the exploitation of reference for argumentative purposes is still underresearched today. To what extent may a “marked” referential expression (or referential chain) be regarded as part of the argumentative strategy? A closer look at the various links of a given reference chain might prove useful in this respect: in the wake of recent research on the distinction between “conceptual (non-)restrictiveness” and “referential (non-)restrictiveness” for attributive adjectives (ein schwarzer Rabe, die verdammte Tür – Fabricius-Hansen 2009a/b), or on cases of immediate repetition of proper names in journalistic writing (Vinckel-Roisin 2018), an area for further research is the argumentative role of full NPs (e.g. Spezifizierungsanaphern, Consten & Schwarz-Friesel 2007, or various studies on general nouns). Similarly, the argumentative, rhetorical angle will be relevant to consider categorisation within a referential chain. For example, nominalisation implies that the categorisation is taken for granted, so that referring to a company as the furniture giant makes rejection of that status difficult. How is this linguistic fact deliberately put to use in argumentative or rhetorical contexts; and how can rejection of the proposed status be achieved?

Keynote speakers:

  • Catherine Emmott, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • Lutz Gunkel, Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Mannheim, Germany
  • Manfred Krifka, Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin, Germany

Key dates:

  • Deadline for submission: 27 November 2020
  • Notification of acceptance: 11 December 2020
  • Proposals of around 700 words (plus up to 5 references), together with a short bio, should be sent to The proposals should be sent both in .doc(x) and .pdf formats. The talks may be given in English or in French.
  •  Following the conference, submitted papers will be considered for a publication with an international impact, subject to double blind peer review.

(posted 2 May 2020, updated 5 October)