Calls for papers – Conferences taking place in December 2022

METU British Novelists International Conference: Wilkie Collins And His Work
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, 8-9 December 2022
Deadline for abstracts: 30 June 2022

METU British Novelists International Conference: Wilkie Collins And His Work
8-9 December 2022
Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey 

The Department of Foreign Language Education at Middle East Technical  University is pleased to announce the call for its 26th British Novelists  Conference, the theme of which is “Wilkie Collins and His Work.” The  conference will be held on 8-9 December, 2022 in Ankara, Turkey. 

We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations on any aspect of Wilkie Collins’s work. Interdisciplinary and comparative approaches as well as studies focusing  on broader topics such as Wilkie Collins’s work and the Victorian period,  sensation fiction, detective fiction are also welcome. Selected papers may be  considered for publication in a book volume or a journal issue. 

Please send abstracts of about 250 words and a short academic bio to  bnic2022@metu.edu.tr by 30 June 2022. Please include your name, institutional  affiliation and contact information in your submission. All submitted abstracts  will go through a blind peer-review process. 

Queries can be directed to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hülya Yıldız Bağçe  at huyildiz@metu.edu.tr 

Further information about the conference and its venue can be found at:  http://www.britishnovelists.metu.edu.tr/index.htm

(Posted 20 April 2022)


“The British working class since the 18th century – Identity(-ies), representations, (re)definition” – International Conference
Université Côte d’Azur, Nice, France, 15-16 December 2022
Deadline for submissions: 31st May 2022

By the mid-19th century, workingmen were already such a well-established socio-economic group in Britain that Marx and Engels were adamant that the country would be the first to witness the rise of the ‘dictatorship
of the proletariat’.

However, the dramatic shift they advocated never happened even as the workers’ movement went from strength to strength in terms of organisation and commitment towards addressing the consequences of all manner of crises taking place on a rather regular basis.

Despite these bitter and sometimes long-drawn-out industrial disputes (e.g. the so-called ‘hunger marches’ of the 1920s and 1930s, or the large-scale strikes in the coal-mining sector in the early 1970s and the mid-1980s), the working class seems to have eventually withered to such an extent that John Prescott, the former Labour deputy Prime Minister, and a workingman’s son, felt justified in saying in 1997: ‘We are all middle class now’.

Does this then mean that there is nothing, or little, left today of a social group that was inevitably conspicuous in days gone by not only on account of its involvement in extractive industry, manufacturing, land and sea transport, and so on, but also due to its very presence in the urban environment (working-class districts and leisure activities, accents, speech patterns, clothes, etc.)? Or is John Prescott’s pronouncement purely normative, i.e. the archetype of an external viewpoint? Besides, is it not a fact that dealing with ‘the workers’ or ‘the working class’ has always consisted in expressing a specific viewpoint, inspired either by a sense of pride and respect or by pure distrust, without regard to that socio-professional category’s objective characteristics?

All these terms, nowadays, may sound old-fashioned, even stigmatising, while the word ‘worker’, which in this day and age basically means the same as ‘wage-earner’ or ‘employee’, tends to cloud the issue. On the other hand, what about the use by e.g. the managers of a major e-commerce company of the word ‘associate(s)’ to refer to those shop-floor employees who, in fact, generally perform tiring, repetitive, low-skilled and poorly-paid tasks, i.e. tasks typical of those carried out by the ‘workers’ of yesteryear?

Which probably brings us back to the beginning of this overview: indeed, understood as the outcome of a disadvantageous power relationship within the economic sphere, the working class seems therefore not to have disappeared since it is an integral part of that relationship.

Thus, a multitude of further issues arises:

  • What objective links might there be between the past and the present of
    ‘workers’ in Britain?
  • If they have not died out, can it be argued that their lifestyle has endured? But if so, in what form today? And haven’t certain of its features (dialects, consumption habits, pastimes, etc.) been more lasting than others?
  • Has this way of life been impacted by fragmentation not only on account of the destructuring of traditional economic activities, in particular from the 1970s, but also due to immigration? And if it has, how specific
    is this situation to our own time and age?
  • Wouldn’t the phrase ‘the working classes’, therefore, be more appropriate?
  • Last but not least, have the transformations briefly mentioned above changed the way this class, or these ‘classes’, has/have been perceived, whatever the forms of the perceptions: literary, artistic, politically engaged, or otherwise?

We welcome submissions by the 31st of May, 2022. They should be sent to

  • Didier Revest <Didier.REVEST@univ-cotedazur.fr> and
  • Ruxandra Pavelchievici <Ruxandra.PAVELCHIEVICI@univ-cotedazur.fr>

and contain the following elements:

  • title;
  • author(s), institutional affiliation, contact email(s);
  • abstract (300 words maximum);
  • a short biographical note

Confirmed guest speaker:

Professor Selina Todd (St Hilda’s College,
Oxford University).

Registration fees: 20€

(Posted 7 February 2022)