Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in August 2022

“Archipelagic Memory: Intersecting Geographies, Histories and Disciplines”
University of Mauritius, 2 – 4 August 2022
Deadline for proposals: 20 March 2022

Archipelagic Memory: Intersecting Geographies, Histories and Disciplines
University of Mauritius, 2 – 4 August 2022 

Confirmed keynote speakers

  • Ananya Jahanara Kabir, King’s College London
  • Stef Craps, Ghent University
  • George Abungu, Archaeologist and International Heritage Consultant
  • Anwar Janoo, University of Mauritius
  • Ari Gautier, Novelist

The concept of the “archipelago” has been discussed and deployed by historians, social scientists, literary and cultural studies scholars since the 1950s to dismantle linear narratives of historical, national and cultural development; to resist the taxonomy of centre-periphery; to emphasise shared human experiences premised on relation, creolisation and cultural diversity; and to inspire research and creative projects tracing discontinuous yet interlinked geographies over a planetary scale. 

Taking the Indian Ocean as a principal site for investigating new meanings and experiences of the archipelagic, the conference will marshal and build upon the different strands of archipelagic thinking already engendered by the Caribbean world to explore connected histories across oceans and seas, and to instigate a theoretical dialogue on memory-production encompassing the Indian, Atlantic, Pacific and Southern Oceans and their articulated spatiality. What has been enabled and what has been precluded by thinking primarily through the model of the Caribbean archipelago and its anti-mimetic patterns of repetition and difference? What has not yet been thought of archipelagically? What if ethnic, national and geological borders are in conflict with each other, resulting in fractured archipelagic identities? How does the sea function as an imagined space that reduces or entrenches geographical and affective distance? How, indeed, does the sea enable archipelagic relations?

Simultaneously, the conference addresses the possibilities offered by an archipelagic approach to memory, one that is mobile and dynamic as much as entangled, even surpassing island and archipelagic spaces. If the past is memorialised as archipelagic, as a series of fragmentary geographies, cultures and histories converging in a fluid space that might also act as a symbol for other connections, how can archipelagic memory enhance traditional practices of articulating the past? How can archipelagic mnemonic projects be multidirectional, reparative and committed to justice, instead of competitive, suppressive or destructive? In light of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the tightening of national borders, and the formation or solidification of ‘social bubbles’, international corridors and archipelagic-like clusters, in what ways can archipelagic thinking help us reconfigure future trajectories in individual, collective, as well as national identities?

We welcome paper and panel proposals from scholars at any point of their academic career addressing the theme of archipelagic memory. Suggested topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

  • Archipelagic epistemologies
    • The memorialisation of transoceanic connections, transnational movements and displacement, and cosmopolitan cultural entanglements in the archipelagic mode
    • New and old meanings of ‘archipelagic thinking’ in the humanities and social sciences and critical archipelagic methodologies for memory studies
    • The archipelago and postcolonial, heritage and memory studies
  • Archipelagic memory practices
    • The thematic and symbolic dimension of archipelagic memory 
    • Performative memory-making in and across archipelagos 
    • Museums, mnemonic centres, non-canonical and disobedient archival practices: orality, musicality, embodied knowledge, the senses
    • Textual and symbolical translation, cultural borrowing and divergence
  • Archipelagic memory spaces
    • Ships, shorelines, port towns and other places where archipelagic memory is inscribed 
    • Isthmuses, canals, peninsulas, and their role in increasing the sense of the archipelagic
    • National, ancestral, and imaginary homelands as archipelagic memory palimpsests
    • Trans-oceanic identification across islands and archipelagos; archipelagos as continents, continents as archipelagic
  • History, trauma, and archipelagic memory
    • Human (e.g. slavery, indenture, genocide, the Holocaust) and natural catastrophes (e.g. storms, cyclones, tsunamis, diseases, climate change) in archipelagic spaces 
    • Ways of remembering and moving beyond past conflicts and collective traumas across oceans and continents
    • Vestiges of the colonial past in the postcolonial archipelagic present
  • Memory and politics in the archipelago
    • Bi- or multi-lateral relations between archipelagic states, small island nations, and established or emerging continental powers
    • Maritime and territorial claims and their impact on regional stability and peace-keeping
    • Activism and its implications in the building of an archipelagic future 

We invite contributions in English and French for 20-minute papers. Please send a 300-word abstract, accompanied by a 100-word bio-note, to: We also invite proposals for panels of 3 papers. Panel proposals must include: a panel title and short description; a 300-word abstract for each presentation, accompanied by a 100-word bio-note.

Deadline for proposals: 20 March 2022
Notification of acceptance: 31 March 2022

For more information and regular updates, please visit the conference website,  or contact us at 

Conference Organisers: Sraddha Shivani Rajkomar (University of Mauritius); Luca Raimondi (King’s College London/University of the Witwatersrand); Linganaden Murday (King’s College London/University of Mauritius). Conference Administrator: Rosa Beunel (King’s College London).

Archipelagic Memory – Call for Papers.docx

(Posted 19 February 2022)

16th ESSE Conference Mainz 2022
Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany, 29 August – 2 September
Deadlines : see the detail in this post

Department of English and Linguistics, Faculty of Philosophy and Philology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
and Deutscher Anglistenverband (German Society for the Study of English)
look forward to welcoming you to the 16th ESSE Conference in Mainz, Germany, Monday


  • Submission of proposals for Parallel Lectures (nomination by national associations): 31 May 2021
  • Submission of proposals for Seminars and Round Tables (proposals from prospective convenors): 31 May 2021
  • Submission of individual papers for Seminars and the Doctoral Symposium, as well as proposals for Round Tables and Posters: 31 January 2022
  • Registration will begin on 1 March 2022


ESSE members are invited to submit proposals for seminars and round tables on topics related to our fields of study: English Language (including Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies), Literatures in English, and Cultural and Area Studies. Proposals for seminars and round tables should be submitted directly to the Academic Programme Committee (APC) at National Associations are invited to nominate potential lecturers. Suggestions for lecturers should be sent to the presidents or representatives of the national associations, who will send the nominations to the APC. PROGRAMME FORMAT SEMINARS – Proposals for seminars on topics within the three fields mentioned above should be submitted jointly by two ESSE members from two different national associations. The degree of international appeal will be one of the selection criteria used by the APC. In exceptional cases, the APC may permit one of the two convenors not to be an ESSE member (e.g. because they come from outside Europe), if it is argued that their presence is especially important for the seminar. Seminar proposals must include the names, affiliations and e-mail addresses of the convenors and a 100-word description of the topic. Unlike round tables, seminars are not preconstituted events and will therefore be included within the APC’s future call for papers, although convenors may take an active role in approaching potential participants. The seminar format is intended to encourage lively participation on the part of both speakers and members of the audience. For this reason, papers should be orally presented rather than read. Further directions will follow in the call for papers.

ROUND TABLES – The aim of round tables is to present topics and problems currently seen as shaping the nature of the discipline. At a round table a pre-constituted panel discusses issues of fairly general scholarly or professional interest in front of (and subsequently with) an audience. In
other words, round tables are not sequences of papers, but debate sessions. Proposals should include a 100-word description of the topic and the names and affiliations of at least three participants (including the convenor), who must be drawn from more than one national association. The maximum number of speakers will be five.

PLENARY LECTURES – A number of distinguished keynote speakers, including at least one representing each of the three main fields covered by ESSE (English Language, Literatures in English, and Cultural and Area Studies), will give plenary lectures by direct invitation of the organizers.

PARALLEL LECTURES – In addition to the plenary lectures, there will be approximately 12 parallel lectures given by ESSE members nominated by their national associations. These parallel lectures are expected to have wide appeal and to reflect recent developments in scholarship in one of the three areas mentioned above. They will be fifty minutes in length. National associations should forward a description of their nominee’s proposed topic together with a brief summary of his or her CV. Each national association can propose up to three lecturers, each of them in one of the three main fields mentioned above, so that the APC can have a wide range of options
for the final selection. Please note that ESSE will not finance the parallel lecturers’ costs of attending the conference, but that their conference fees will be waived.

POSTERS – Posters will be devoted to research-in-progress and project presentations. The aim is to provide additional opportunities for feedback
and personal contacts. Further details will appear on the ESSE Messenger website; the deadline for posters will be 31 January 2022.

DOCTORAL SYMPOSIUM – Young scholars who are writing their PhD theses in English studies may apply to make a brief presentation of their work-in-progress at one of three workshops in the fields of English Language, Literatures in English, and Cultural and Area Studies respectively. These presentations should deal with the issues/hypotheses addressed in the thesis, the results so far obtained and above all the methodology applied, with the purpose of getting feedback from peers and
established scholars in the field. Each workshop will be coordinated by two international experts, who will select from the applications and convene the corresponding sessions. Enquiries about this feature should be addressed to Emeritus Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam,
NL): Further details will appear on th ESSE Messenger website; the deadline for the submission of applications
will be 31 January 2022.


Professor Anita Auer (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Professor Işıl Baş (Istanbul Kultur University, Turkey)
Professor Rainer Emig (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany)
Professor Anja Müller-Wood (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz,
Professor Vincent Renner (University of Lyon, France)
Professor Titela Vîlceanu (University of Craiova, Romania)
Professor Susanne Wagner (Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz,



Call for Posters
Please send your proposals for Posters to
Deadline: 31 January 2022

Call for Seminar Papers
The Call for Seminar Papers will open in September 2021 when the seminars have been chosen.
Scholars wishing to present their paper at the ESSE 2022 Conference in Mainz are invited to submit 200-word abstracts of their proposed presentations directly to the convenors of the respective seminars.
Deadline for abstracts: 31 January 2022
In most seminar sessions, the presentations will be limited to 20 minutes including discussion.

Doctoral Symposium
One of the features of the 16th ESSE Conference is the Doctoral Symposium, which continues an ESSE tradition dating from 2012 and is designed to provide a platform for young scholars to present and receive feedback on their work. The Symposium is open to PhD students who are writing their theses in English Studies and are at least in the second year of work on their doctorate at the time of the Symposium. To be eligible, either their supervisor or they themselves must be known to the Treasurer of
ESSE as a member of an ESSE-affiliated Association (or, in relevant countries, of a Department that belongs to an ESSE-affiliated Association)
at the moment of application.
Participants will have an opportunity to make a brief presentation of their work in progress in one of three strands: English Language & Linguistics, Literatures in English, and Cultural & Area Studies. Their presentation should deal with the issues addressed or hypotheses tested in their doctoral research, the results so far obtained, and above all the methodology applied, with the purpose of gaining feedback from established scholars in the field and from their peers. Each presentation will last no longer than 10 minutes, followed by 15 minutes’ discussion. Participants are expected to attend all the presentations in their own strand and to take part in the discussions. There will also be extensive opportunities for informal contact with other participants and with the academics present at the conference. The Symposium will be opened by the President of ESSE.
Note that each PhD student can submit an application to only one strand of the Doctoral Symposium and should specify in the application which strand they wish to be placed in. Applications must include a letter from the student’s PhD supervisor giving the (provisional) title of the dissertation and confirming that the student is working under his/her supervision and has completed at least his/her first year of PhD studies. The Treasurer of ESSE will check the eligibility of all applicants and their supervisors. Participants in the Doctoral Symposium can participate fully in the ESSE Conference and can, if they so wish and their abstract is accepted, present a paper in one of the seminars.
The application should take the form of a summary of the project of no more than 300 words, indicating:
• The main topic and issues, including the thesis proposed/hypothesis
• The methodology (theoretical tools and standpoints);
• Where relevant, the corpus under consideration;
• The results obtained so far.
Each strand of the Symposium will be coordinated by two experts (to be known as Convenors). They will make a selection from the applications received, chair the discussions and respond to the presentations.
Applying to participate
Applications (including the letter from the applicant’s supervisor) should be sent, no later than 31 January 2022, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU Amsterdam, Netherlands) at, to whom general enquiries can also be addressed. The eligibility check and the selection of submissions by the Convenors will be completed and announced by 15 February 2022.

Applying for financial support
Those applicants who have been selected for participation can apply to ESSE between 15 and 28 February 2022 for financial support, to a maximum of €500 per applicant. Eligible expenses are airfares, ground transportation costs and accommodation. Applicants for financial support must themselves be members of their national associations affiliated to ESSE, except for those whose associations do not consider PhD students eligible as members; in this case, their supervisors or the department to
which they are affiliated must be members of an association affiliated to ESSE. Applications for financial support will be considered during March by a Committee consisting of the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium and the three Convenors from the ESSE Board; the Committee’s definitive decision will be communicated to all applicants by 30 March 2022.
Applications for financial support should be sent, no later than 28 February 2022, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands) at Each application for financial support should include three documents (in attachment to the e-mail of application):
• the applicant’s CV;
• a letter detailing the applicant’s eligibility clearly and fully explaining the need for financial support, including a provisional budget for travel costs and/or accommodation expenses;
• a signed statement from the applicant’s supervisor, including a declaration that it is impossible for the applicant to draw on private means or any other sources of funding, including funding earmarked for the ongoing doctoral project, for the purpose of participating in the ESSE Doctoral Symposium.
Please note that ESSE’s decisions about selection for participation and about financial support are final and not subject to appeal.

(posted 10 April 2021)