Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in April 2022

Theatre in Times of Crisis
Heidelberg University, Germany, 22 April 2022
Deadline for submissions:  10 March 2022

contact email: Dr. Nevin Gürbüz-Blaich or

On behalf of the English Department at Heidelberg University, we are convening an international symposium that will be held online via HeiCONF on 22 April 2022.

People have always redirected to the theatre for relief in times of crisis since theatre originated. Disasters such as pandemics have been highlighted on stage since the ancient Greeks. In the 16th and 17th centuries theatre organisations in London endured many closures because of the disruptions of the plague. The production of these iconic plays such as Shakespeare’s King Lear (written under quarantine), or Thomas Middleton’s The Revenger’s Tragedy, which were interrupted in their first run due to plague closures, is evidence of the enduring sense of drama. Against the background of the global crisis, we have all experienced in the last two years and in the course of moving to a more digitalized world, we invite doctoral candidates and early career researchers from all disciplines to submit abstracts for consideration. The conference aims to explore different modes and functions of drama, representation, and reflection in the age of transformation and how it has anticipated and responded to new forms of global human-induced crises in the twenty-first century.

Our keynote speakers are:

  • Professor Dan Rebellato (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Prof. Clare Wallace (Charles University, Prague)

Proposals can be on any topic on the relationship of contemporary theatre and drama with mass transformation, pandemics, and trauma. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to the following: Fear and anxiety, dystopia-utopia, psychology, capitalism, migration, spatiality, environment, disasters, etc.

The standard length of a talk will be 20 minutes.

We plan to publish the selected papers in an edited volume. To apply, please send your proposal not more than 300-words in length to:  or

Please mention your full name, level of study and name of university and faculty. The deadline for submitting your proposals is 10 March. We will respond to them by 20 March 2022.

(posted 19 November 2021)

Shakespeare and his Contemporaries: The IASEMS Graduate Conference at the British Institute of Florence
Florence, Italy, 22 April 2022
Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2021

Topic: “True Originall Copies”? |

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: SONIA MASSAI (King’s College London) and RORY  LOUGHNANE (University of Kent) 

***NOTE: The conference will take place in hybrid, in person and online, form.***

Given the uncertain European public health situation due to Covid 19, this conference will be held in  hybrid form, in person and online, and will be reconverted onto an online-only platform if conditions  do not allow an in-person conference to run smoothly. The hybrid form will at all events enable early  career scholars around the globe to join the discussion and subsequent publication plans, and we  welcome their proposals. 

The 2022 IASEMS Graduate Conference at The British Institute in Florence is a one-day interdisciplinary  and bilingual English-Italian forum open to PhD students and researchers who have obtained their  doctorate within the past 5 years, or are still at an early career stage.

This year’s conference will provide an opportunity to lead up to the approaching worldwide 400th Anniversary celebrations of the First Folio. Selected papers will be published in the proceedings edited  by our keynote speakers, proff. Rory Loughnane and Sonia Massai, in time to join the 2023 celebrations.

Drawing on recent research (see Rasmussen, 2017; Smith, 2017; Jowett, 2017; Watts, 2015;  Rasmussen and West, 2012; West, 2013; Massai 2007, 2013; Loughnane and Power, eds, 2013, 2020; West  and Proudfoot, 2003; Werstine 2003), the conference will seek to illuminate the literary, linguistic, and  cultural significance of the First Folio, considered in its multifaceted textual dimension but also as a popular culture phenomenon. We welcome papers adopting a variety of approaches to topics that include,  but are not limited to, the following:

  • First Folio as cultural object
  • First Folio as ‘true copy’ and its relations with other Shakespearean texts
  • Authority
  • Provenance
  • Text layout, act and scene divisions, paratextual materials
  • Preservation, conservation and book collection
  • Textual reception
  • Literary, linguistic and cultural representations IN and OF the Folio (in other texts, in films, popular  media etc.)
  • The First Folio and original spelling and pronunciation
  • Editing Folio texts
  • The cultural significance of Shakespearean celebrations and anniversaries
  • The status of the First Folio through history (including celebrations held in different historical periods)  ⎯ Issues of genre
  • Canon and apocrypha, expanding the canon, authorship
  • Questions of performance

Candidates are invited to send a description of their proposed contribution according to the following  guidelines:

  • the candidate should provide name, institution, contact info, title and a short abstract of the proposed  contribution (300 words for a maximum 20-minute paper), explaining the content and intended  structure of the paper; please include both a short bibliography and a short biographical note;
  • abstracts are to be submitted by Monday, 31 January 2021 by email to and;
  • notification of acceptance will be sent by February 10th, 2022;
  • each finished contribution should not exceed 20 minutes and is to be presented in English (an exception  will be made for Italian candidates of departments other than English, who can give their papers in  Italian);
  • participants will be asked to present a final draft of the paper ten days before the Conference.

Speakers who are IASEMS members can apply for a mini-grant to go towards travel expenses:  (

For further information please contact Luca Baratta: (

(Posted 4 Janaury 2022)

Experimental Life-Writing
Wrocław, Poland, 22-23 April 2022
Deadline for propsals: 15 November 2021

Organised by University of Wrocław and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Conference website:

The capacious category of life-writing accommodates conventional biography and autobiography – with their insistence on linearity, coherence and a stable sense of the self – as well as auto/biographical works that embrace digital media, mix genres and break down neat life narratives into fragments. In order to give a name to the disruptive strand of the auto/biographical tradition, Irene Kacandes has proposed the term “experimental life-writing,” which encompasses texts employing an unconventional formal device “for the purposes of fact or of enhancing, reinforcing or drawing attention to the referential level.” They are driven by the desire “to convey some aspect of the ‘realness’ of certain life experiences that could not be conveyed as well without pushing at the form itself.” Kacandes distinguishes between experiments regarding time, medium, the relation between the author, subject and reader, and the work’s focus. Julia Novak goes on to define “experiments in life-writing” as works that “push at the boundaries of existing forms to mould them into something that better suits the writer’s efforts of representation.” In her co-edited volume (with Lucia Boldrini) Experiments in Life-Writing (2017), she suggests an alternative classification, based on experimentation with the auto/biographical subject, generic composites, style, structure, intertextuality and metalepsis, names and pronouns, and media. 1975 – the year of the publication of Roland Barthes by Roland Barthes and Joe Brainard’s I Remember – can be viewed as the onset of that overtly experimental streak in auto/biographical writing, which has recently yielded such diverse works as David Clark’s 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (2008), Joan Wickersham’s The Suicide Index (2008), Anne Carson’s NOX (2010), Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts (2015), Una’s Becoming Unbecoming (2015) and Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House (2019). However, as Max Saunders has argued, that tradition can be traced back to the Modernist practice of autobiografiction and claim such literary classics as Virginia Woolf’s Orlando (1928) and Gertrude Stein’s The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933).

Our conference aims to theorize, historicize, and exemplify the still very fresh critical notion of experimental life-writing. We have a particular interest in contemporary Anglophone writing and welcome comparative papers about works in English and other languages. Possible issues and forms to explore in conference papers include (but are not limited to):

  • fragmentary life-writing,
  • genre-defying graphic memoirs,
  • multimodal, multimedia and collage-like life-writing,
  • digital/online biography,
  • conceptual (life-)writing,
  • postmodern life-writing and avant-garde autobiography,
  • anti-biography,
  • fake auto/biography,
  • the self as archive/database,
  • digital identities and the quantified self,
  • auto/biography and social media,
  • formal experimentation in the context of trauma, grief and/or radical vulnerability,
  • queer life-writing,
  • autobiography in the second or third person,
  • generic hybridity in life-writing,
  • unconventional relations between the author, narrator, subject and reader,
  • playing with frames/framing,
  • pedagogical implications of experimental life-writing.

Proposals (ca. 300 words), together with a biographical note, should be sent to Vanessa Guignery ( and Wojciech Drąg ( by 15 November 2021.

Keynote speakers:
Irene Kacandes – professor of German and comparative literature at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Author of Talk Fiction: Literature and the Talk Explosion (2001) and Daddy’s War: A Paramemoir (2009).
Teresa Bruś – associate professor at the University of Wrocław. Author of Life Writing as Self-Collecting in the 1930s: Cecil Day Lewis and Louis MacNeice (2012) and Face Forms in Photography and Life Writing of the 1920s and 1930s (forthcoming).

Guest author:
David Clark – media artist, filmmaker, visual artist and professor at NSCAD University in Halifax. Author of A Is for Apple (2002), 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (2008) and The End (Death in Seven Colors) (2015).

Scientific Committee: Vanessa Guignery, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon; Wojciech Drąg, University of Wrocław; Gerd Bayer, University of Erlangen; Alison Gibbons, Sheffield Hallam University; Robert Kusek, Jagiellonian University; Grzegorz Maziarczyk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin; Merritt Moseley, University of North Carolina at Asheville

Organising Committee: Vanessa Guignery, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon; Wojciech Drąg, University of Wrocław; Radosław Siewierski, University of Wrocław; Emilia Staniek, University of Wrocław; Martyna Szot, University of Wrocław; Eleonora Wojciechowska, University of Wrocław; Lech Zdunkiewicz, University of Wrocław

This conference is planned as an on-site event to be held at the Institute of English Studies of the University of Wrocław in Poland. The conference fee is EUR 80 (or PLN 360).

(posted 22 January 2021)