Conviviality and Sociability in the Long Eighteenth Century: Restoration to Romanticism
Essen, Germany, 3-5 March 2023
Deadline for proposals: 10 June 2022
We are delighted to announce the Call for Papers for LAPASEC 2023. Christoph Heyl (Univ. Duisburg-Essen) and Rémy Duthille (Univ. Bordeaux-Montaigne) are continuing the long tradition of the Landau-Paris Symposia on the Eighteenth Century, welcoming both established scholars of the field and early career researchers. The symposium focuses on the literature and culture of the British Isles of the period, but it is also open to topics relating to the British colonies, France, Germany, and further afield. The conference will include a panel of emerging scholars who are working on their PhD projects or are planning to begin a PhD project in the near future. For those in the early stages of their academic careers, we are seeking to fund travel, accommodation and related conference costs. We invite 20-minute papers with a discussion time of 10 to 20 minutes; papers for the early-career panel are expected to last 10 minutes with a discussion time of 10 minutes.
As soon as I enter the door of a tavern, I experience an oblivion of care, and a freedom from solicitude: […] wine there exhilarates my spirits, and prompts me to free conversation and an interchange of discourse with those whom I most love: I dogmatise and am contradicted, and in this conflict of opinion and sentiments I find delight.
(Samuel Johnson, as quoted in Boswell’s Life of Johnson, 354)
Any attempt at revisiting Johnson’s time will immediately unlock models of sociability that dominated early modern and Enlightenment philosophies. Sociable spaces such as tea gardens, alehouses, inns, salons, pleasure gardens, operas, exhibitions, all furnished extraordinary opportunities for engagement, enjoyment and rational discussion. In stark contrast to the delights of conversing over drinks or supper in public, most of us will only have experienced purely virtual forms of sociability during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, we deem it quite apt to reassess normative notions of conviviality and sociability in the cordial setting of our conference.
Traditionally, our understanding of early modern sociability, and by extension, conviviality, has been underpinned by the Habermasian concept of the bourgeois public sphere. However, recent critical engagement with Habermas has justifiably postulated the existence of “non-bourgeois, plural, public spheres catering to people of varying social standing on very different occasions” (Duthille 2020, 2), built upon what Brian Cowan has termed the “practical public sphere” in explicit opposition to Habermas’s “ideal” one (Cowan 2001, 133). Interventions such as these challenge customary periodisations and frameworks, necessitating renewed critical analysis of all aspects of our understanding of sociability in general and conviviality in particular.
To broaden the scope of our discussions and to allow for diverse approaches, we bookend the eighteenth century beginning with the Restoration and ending with the Romantic period. During this time sociability was undergoing fundamental changes. From at least the 1650s onwards, conviviality was central to the expression of political allegiance: Herrick’s anti-Puritan poetry celebrates conviviality, love and drink, as do the song-books of the Interregnum period. In the early years of the Restoration, Margaret Cavendish provides her readership with a plethora of fictional letters containing gossip as well as social, political and philosophical commentary in the Sociable Letters (1664). The Royalist culture of toasting to the King was carried forward into the Age of Reason as a mostly homosocial practice in clubs such as the Whig Kit-Cat Club, the Tory October Club or the Beefsteak Club. Later, neoclassical ideals of refined sociability moulded civil societies in a way that was regarded as constraining by the Romantics.
The conference aims at bringing together a diverse range of approaches and methodologies addressing topics which may include, but are not restricted to:
Conviviality and/or sociability and
- Sociable spaces (e.g. coffeehouses, tea gardens, tea rooms, alehouses, clubs, salons, learned societies, pleasure gardens, exhibitions)
- Material cultures, fashion and taste
- Textual simulations and evocations of conviviality and sociability in periodicals and magazines such as The Spectator and The Gentleman’s Magazine
- Convivial practices (e.g. drinking and toasting)
- Identities (cultural, English / Scottish, Irish, sexual, queer, etc.)
- Sentiment and sociability
- Dissipation (criminal conversation, perversions)
- Gender and sexuality
- Music (e.g. choirs, amateur music-making, dance)
- The senses
- Myths of sociability
- Social and sociable networks
- Performativity (the social calendar, wit, sprezzatura)
- Cultures of conviviality in various age groups
- Politics (radicalism, Whigs/Tories, Jacobitism, extra-parliamentary politics, dissidents)
- The French Revolution
- Metropolitan and provincial centres
- Scholarly/scientific communities
- Charity / philanthropy
- Crime and violence
Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a volume of conference proceedings.
Conference languages: English, French
Deadline: Please e-mail your proposal* (c. 250 words), contact information and a brief biographical note (c. 100 words) to the conference organisers (email@example.com) by 10 June 2022. If you are an early career academic, please indicate whether you would like to present your paper in the ECR panel. For more information, please click here.
(Posted 13 May 2023)
Annual conference of SOFEIR (French Society for Irish Studies): The Presence of the Past: Problematising Temporalities in Irish Studies
Université de Lille, 9-10 March 2023
Deadline for proposals: 1 December 2022
From Gretta Conroy’s recollection of the song “The Lass of Aughrim” in James Joyce’s short story “The Dead” (1914) to the dialogue of corpses in Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Cré na Cille (1949) and the evocation of Eibhlin Dubh Ui Chonnail’s 18th century caoineadh in Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s A Ghost in the Throat (2020), from the 1916 Easter Rising to the preceding risings it evokes and draws on (such as those of 1798 or 1848, for example), Ireland’s pre-independence and postcolonial history is marked by an impression of past performances that haunt the present (whenever that present may be situated), mock socio-political convention, and demand a reaction.
What then should be our scholarly and critical response to such practices and the disruptively recalcitrant positions that they establish in relation to a failed contemporary modernity? What, if any, is the radical political potential of such hauntings? What new spaces within Irish studies (incorporating literary studies, history, politics, sociology, race, gender and sexuality studies) as well as contemporary Irish artistic practice does the presence of the uncanny and the uncanny presence of the past open up for critical reflection? How do we remember the past without consigning it to realm of the pluperfect and something gone forever? How do such ideas of the past figure in the work of contemporary activists and artists? And in what ways are all historical, social and discursive practices, from the Early Modern period right through to our contemporary moment, informed, shaped, questioned or undermined by the past?
Papers are particularly welcome from the following areas:
- Irish language literary, folk and music culture
- Contemporary practices of performance: theatre, performance, installation, etc.
- Writing the unspeakable; the uncanny and Irish literature
- Broken citizenship; thinking about new ideas of citizenship
- Literature and forgetting
- The State and its forgettings
- New (or not so new) epistemological prisms
- Historical / political interventions
- Intersectional perspectives (race, class, gender, (dis)ability, etc.)
- Colonial, anti-colonial, postcolonial, decolonial Ireland
- Digital humanities
Proposals comprising a 300-word abstract and a short bio should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 December 2022.
(Posted 16 July 2023)
Iconomorphosis: Adaptation, ethics and sharing – international conference
University of Burgundy (Dijon, France). 16 & 17 March 2023
Deadline for proposals: 1 September 2023
Iconomorphosis: Appropriation, Ethics and Sharing
- Natalie Bookchin (artist, USA),
- Sinéad Morrissey (poet, Northern Ireland) and
- Juan Martín Prada (University of Cádiz, Spain)
The TIL research centre (EA 4182) of the Université de Bourgogne (France) is organizing a trilingual (French-English-Spanish) international conference on our new relationships with images as defined by contemporary technical and material practices within the framework of Digital Humanities. The conference follows the sessions of the seminar “Metamorphosis of images” held by the Image & critique team of TIL. We invite academics and PhD students, practitioners, research engineers and artists to contribute papers on the poetics, techniques and methods of reappropriation and humanization that have taken root in literary studies, visual studies, art and intermediality. The papers may explore the following themes in this non- exhaustive list:
Appropriation and adaptation: datafication, artificial intelligence and editorial enrichment are revolutionizing our research protocols, our methods for treating archives and corpuses, and the transmission of knowledge. Scholars in the Humanities are being encouraged or compelled to adapt their teaching, research and mentoring practices. This conference seeks to address the nature and scope of such adaptation and its consequences on higher education (up to mixed-research PhD programmes), the relations between the Humanities and “hard” sciences, as well as the hermeneutic shifts induced by new ways of visualizing our corpus of materials. Beyond the world of academia, the papers should also discuss how such issues are reflected in hybrid artistic practices.
Ethics, physicality and ecocriticism: against a vision of total dematerialization, this conference aims to tackle new haptic and relational modalities, and new ways of engaging with materiality that make it possible to humanize the digital and foster remedial practices in such areas as augmented reality, immersion and disability studies. From an environmental and ecocritical perspective, papers may examine how we can dwell in our hyperconnected world instead of being confined to digital addiction. In this sense, the conference does not seek to advocate the relation between images and the digital as a panacea but to discuss practices that should be questioned, enriched and monitored in a variety of areas, from art to museology and teaching.
Sharing and reappropriating: the conference also welcomes papers that deal with new poetics of reappropriation and reprise in order to see how they tie in with an ethics of sharing and exchange (as participatory practices and forms of cooperation and free culture). Contributions may focus on the reappropriation of shared or algorithm-processed images, or the advances of open science; or on how hyperconnectivity and overexposure translate in the world of art as poetics of sharing or poaching insofar as parts of our lives are picked from social networks and reshaped. This will be an opportunity to assess the current benefits and limits of research and creative practices, as well as their impact on the communities of academics, artists and digital specialists.
Please send a 300-word abstract and a biobibliography (in English, French or Spanish) before 1st September 2022 to the following addresses: email@example.com and myriam.segura@u- bourgogne.fr
Notification: 31st October 2022. The programme will be finalized in December 2022. Deadline for the submission of papers for publication: 1st September 2023.
(Posted 25 March 2022)
Irish Writers of the 1930s: The International Dimension – International Conference to be held at the
University of Almería (Spain), March 16-17, 2023
Deadline for submissions: December 18, 2022
The conservative measures implemented by successive governments of the Irish Free State between 1922 and 1940, including the banning of divorce and widespread censorship of printed materials, have projected an image of Ireland in the 1930s as opposed to the contemporaneous (artistic and) literary effervescence characteristic of continental Europe and North America. Historical analyses of the period are, at times, polarized between a deep provincialism supposedly located in Ireland and creative possibilities of exile for national writers. However, as recent studies on the ‘London Irish’ and on the work of almost forgotten writers have revealed, there existed in the 1930s a vibrant appreciation and response to international politics and artistic and literary innovations. Many Irish writers (Kate O’Brien, Elizabeth Bowen, Sean O’Faolain, Liam O’Flaherty, to name but a few) felt at ease in this climate. Writers who were engaged in anti-fascist activities, for example, were at the center of a myriad of activities that eluded frontiers. Reconsidering Irish literature in the 1930s in light of recent critical work will further enhance an understanding of a decade of writing which, until recently, was subjected to narrow interpretations. At a time when a fledgling democracy was being created in Ireland, the influence of these and other connections in the realm of culture cannot be underestimated. This conference will draw together the existing scholarship on this period and will strengthen it with the critical literature that the conference will generate.
The organizers welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English on topics including, but not limited to:
- Irish cosmopolitanism in the 1930s.
- Irish writers’ connections, correspondence and/or collaborations with international artists and/or authors in the interwar period.
- Irish writers’ response to the Spanish Civil War.
- Irish women writers of the 1930s: Mairin Mitchell, Teresa Deevy, etc.
- The repercussions of international culture and politics on Irish writing of the 1930s.
- The writing of the ‘London Irish’.
Proposals (250 words), together with a short bionote, should be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org no later than December 18, 2022. An academic volume containing a selection of the contributions will be published with a Q1-Q2 (SPI) publisher after the conference.
(Posted 21 October 2022)
Theatre in Times of Crisis
Heidelberg University, Germany online via HeiCONF, 24 March 2023
Deadline for proposals: 10 February 2023
Event organised by Dr. Nevin Gürbüz-Blaich
People have always been 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 Vicky Angelaki, (Mid Sweden University)
- Dr Ellen Redling, (University of Birmingham)
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: email@example.com
Please mention your full name, study level, and university and faculty name. The deadline for submitting your proposals is 10 February. We will respond to them by 25 February.
(Posted 13 December 2022)
44th GERAS International conference: Cultures, shared legacies and collective memories in English for specific purposes
École normale supérieure Paris-Saclay, France, March 23-24-25, 2023
Deadline for proposals and abstracts: 16 December 2022
Specialised phenomena in the English language can be associated with cultures, shared legacies and collective memories among certain discourse communities: when we use specialised varieties of English, we indeed show some degree of adherence to specific cultural patterns, to vivid traditions among professional or disciplinary circles, we tend to adopt inherited schemata that frame and govern our linguistic choices. By acquiring the codes and conventions of these specialised varieties of English, either through formal instruction or informal exposure, we venture into cultures that are specific to specialised communities, we embrace common remembrances and traditions, we adopt and extend existing linguistic and behavioural legacies. Through the notion of habitus, French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu (1980: 91) indeed taught us that we are constantly subjected to the influence of a “collective memory, reproducing in successors patterns already established by predecessors.” Thus, the observable traces of cultures, legacies and collective memories in the English language reflect the fact that specialisation is above all a collective phenomenon, which brings together certain human communities assembled to perform specific social tasks, and unites them around converging linguistic choices.
The 44th GERAS international conference will be held at École normale supérieure Paris Saclay, France, on March 23-24-25, 2023. It will focus on cultures, shared legacies and collective memories in English for specific purposes.
Colleagues are invited to submit abstracts (300-600 words) related to the following topics:
1. Specialised domains in the Anglophone world
How can we characterise the cultures – viewed as complex systems of values, norms and representations (Cuche 2004) – of Anglophone specialised domains? Do these specialised cultures induce specific social or language styles? What are the most appropriate conceptual frameworks for describing these cultural phenomena in English for specific purposes? What are the inner workings of the interplay between language, culture and shared memories in English for specific purposes?
Are English-speaking domains and milieus endowed with “collective memories,” as defined by the great sociologist Maurice Halbwachs in his book The Social Frameworks of Memory (1925)? What would be the linguistic manifestations of these memories in specialised texts and discourses? How can we construe these rather insubstantial phenomena as objects for scientific study in English for specific purposes?
Can ethnographic approaches in English for specific purposes (Wozniak 2019) grasp the key tenets and symbolic systems of groups assembled around a common social function, namely their “common ancestry, real or supposed, [their] memories of a shared historical past, [their] cultural focus on one or more symbolic elements defined as the cornerstone of their collective bonds” (Schermerhorn 1970: 12)?
2. Discourse analysis, specialised genres, specialised fictional narratives
What are the key features of cultural patterns and collective memories in specialised discourses and genres? How do they become manifest in the language, style and rhetorical organisation of specialised texts? How do these texts make use, with various degrees of constraint, of inherited models or stylistic legacies?
Are the concepts of “discursive memory” (Courtine 1981), “interdiscursive memory” (Moirand 1999, 2007) or “prediscursive schemata” (Paveau 2006, 2008) relevant to characterise specialised discourses and genres?
With regard to specialised genres, should we posit with Jean Paul Bronckart (2004: 82) the “pre-existence of textual genres developed by previous generations, organised into a repertoire of generic templates,” echoing the generic schemata mentioned by John Swales in Genre Analysis (1990)? In what way do specialised discursive genres reproduce earlier or pre formulated generic conventions? Do genres ultimately copy pre-established cultural and memory patterns, or can mechanisms of innovation and differentiation be found among them? How can the diachronic study of discourse genres shed light on the discursive reminiscences at work among them?
How do specialised fictional narratives provide access to the cultures, memories and legacies of specialised English-speaking communities? What narrative and symbolic mechanisms do they resort to in order to represent them? In addition to reflecting the linguistic and professional practices of specialised Anglophone circles, do specialised fictional narratives also attempt to stage specialised cultural or inherited patterns?
3. ESP teaching and learning
Beyond speaking, writing or comprehension skills, language teaching is also known to involve key cultural aspects, which underlines the strong links between a given language system and the culture to which it is associated. Is it possible or relevant to assume that cultural dimensions are, or should be, essential aspects in all ESP programmes? What strategies should we adopt for teaching or introducing the cultures of professional or disciplinary circles? Sandrine Chapon (2011) suggested that specialised fictional narratives dealing with legal matters have become part of the cultural landscape of French-speaking students, and that their use as teaching tools can facilitate access to the target culture of English-speaking legal circles. Would it be possible to extend this type of approach, and use it in a more systematic way? Are there specialised professional cultures that could be considered as essential curricular elements in ESP programmes?
Are there, within the LANSOD (LANguage for Specialists of Other Disciplines) sector in France, as pointed out by Gail Taillefer (2007), particular cultural patterns and specificities associated with inherited practices and established conceptual frameworks? In what way can they be seen as forces for progress, or do they stand in the way of some necessary advances? Are they challenges or opportunities?
What is the place of memory and memorisation in the teaching and learning of specialised varieties of English? Is it possible to investigate their key mechanisms and to characterise them, as Jean-Paul Narcy-Combes (2006) tried to do by describing two modes of memory at work, both in language production and learning tasks?
The didactics of languages and cultures has been influenced, since the beginning of the 20th century, by multiple conceptual and methodological paradigms (direct or audio-oral methods, then, more recently, communicative and co-actional approaches, for example). If we were to delineate specific approaches of teaching and learning in English for specific purposes, a perspective outlined by Cédric Sarré and Shona Whyte (2016), should we continue to adhere to, or perhaps free ourselves from, these dominant paradigms inherited from the past? What can we learn from the legacy of these schools of thought in language teaching? Should we adopt a more critical approach when implementing them in higher education, whether in France or abroad?
4. Specialised corpora and corpus linguistics
How can corpus linguistics help to detect and characterise the cultural aspects of specialised corpora? Does the often ineffable and intangible nature of cultures, shared legacies and collective memories in English-speaking specialised communities prevent researchers from using statistical approaches that would allow us to map their presence and their influence? Within corpora, is it possible to delineate the hallmarks of specialised cultures and memories?
5. Translation studies and specialised translation
In what way does the translation of texts, especially of specialised documents, involve a cultural transfer? Jacqueline Guillemin-Flescher (1994) indicated that translators often have to transfer the “spirit” of a language—a form of “collective style” built around common cultural behaviours—from one national culture to another. Claude Bocquet (2008) also emphasised the importance of cultural parameters in legal translation. Should we take into account cultural aspects and the input of shared collective memories when translating specialised texts?
As tools for the Taylorisation of pragmatic and specialised translation, “translation memories” symbolise the fact that translating often means activating statements that pre-exist in certain human communities in order to describe certain themes, or label specific phenomena. Do the advent of artificial intelligence in translation, and the consequent shift in the professional role of translators (who are increasingly revising machine translations) significantly alter the place of discursive, terminological and phraseological memory in translation? Does the history of pragmatic and specialised translation reveal particular cultures and traditions among translators? In what way are today’s translators the custodians of older methodological and epistemological legacies? Are these legacies an unsurpassable horizon, a stumbling block or valuable assets?
6. History and epistemology of research in English for specific purposes As the GERAS community moves towards its 50th anniversary, would it be appropriate to take stock of the memory and legacy of the work of the “French School” of English for specific purposes? Looking back, how do we view the scientific culture that we have accrued together over the years? In what way are we the custodians and heirs of the great voices and figures who have marked our history and built the epistemological frameworks that guide our thinking today?
Please send proposals & abstracts to
before 16 December 2022
Notification of acceptance will be sent to authors by 27 January 2023.
(Posted 22 September 2022)
Multilingualism in Translation (the English-speaking world, 16th century – present)
Université Paris Nanterre, 30-31 March 2023 & Université de Lille, February/March 2024
Deadline for submissions: 1 June 2022
Over the past 500 years, English has gone from a marginal language hardly spoken by anyone outside of England to a global lingua franca with speakers, native and non-native, all over the world. This has created situations of multilingualism both within countries where English is the main language and elsewhere, as many people who speak English on a regular basis are not native speakers, and the language itself has come into contact with other languages in the course of processes of colonisation, immigration, and globalisation. Beginning in the sixteenth century, these processes have broadened the contact zone of English, redefined its relations with the classical languages of humanist communication as well as with modern European languages (some of which have developed varieties outside Europe), and ultimately led to a questioning of the majority/minority-language binary. Literature and the verbal arts, be it to give a realistic description of the world or to experiment with language and form, have reflected, registered and contributed to such plurilingual practices.
Evolutions in the status of English as a communication language in everyday lives and in artistic productions go hand in hand with evolutions in translation techniques and strategies, with the development of translation into English as a necessary means of worldwide communication as well as the acknowledgment of varied linguistic and cultural skills in target audiences. More generally, traditional social constructs applied to analyse language use and cultural productions in translating, such as the “foreign/native” or the “source/target” opposition, are in need of redefinition. Likewise, the concept of lexical borrowing needs to be reexamined if English is considered a multilingual language from the start, with its elaboration relying on words and structures taken from Saxon, but also Latin and Romance languages – as the lexicographers (and the translators) from the Renaissance already knew.
This two-part conference welcomes both synchronic and diachronic approaches to the interplay between multilingualism and translation involving English as source or target language and at least one other language in works of literature, the performing arts and audio-visual productions, from the sixteenth century to the present. Multilingualism will be taken in the broad meaning of the co-presence of several languages within the same work, thus including neighbouring concepts such as heterolingualism, and such phenomena as code-switching and multi-ethnolects. Papers that combine methodologies from linguistics, literary/film studies and translation studies will be particularly appreciated.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the study of:
- Strategies of translation that deal with multilingual sources, or that turn monolingual sources into multilingual translated works
- Editions of texts with their translation(s)
- Cases in which the target language also features in the source
- Comparisons of translation strategies in various target languages for English sources
- The rendering of phonetic specificities in both text and performance
- The translation of metadiscursive comments/elements in multilingual contexts
- The specific issues raised by dubbing and subtitling/surtitling
- Multilingualism and forms of expanded / contrapuntal / prismatic translation
- The technologies developed/adapted to facilitate the translation of multilingual texts
The first part will take place at Université Paris Nanterre, France (30-31 March 2023), and will focus more specifically on literary works in print (and the issues related to translating and publishing multilingual texts) from the sixteenth century to the present. Keynote speaker: Dirk Delabastita (Université de Namur).
The second part will take place at Université de Lille, France (February/March 2024), and will focus more specifically on the performing arts, films and TV series (and the challenges set to translators by aural effects dependent on multilingualism). Keynote speaker: Charlotte Bosseaux (The University of Edinburgh).
Please send abstracts (300 words) and a short bio-bibliography in English or in French for either conference to Laetitia Sansonetti (firstname.lastname@example.org), Julie Loison-Charles (email@example.com) and Claire Hélie (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 1, 2022.
A fuller version of the rationale, information regarding other related events, the advisory board and a select bibliography can be found on our website: https://xlingtransl.hypotheses.org/. You can also follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/multilingtrans
(Posted 23 April 2021)
Literature and Science : 1922-2022
“Sapienza” – Università di Roma, 30-31 March 2023
Deadline for abstracts: 31 July 2022
The conference is intended to foster a productive dialogue between the literary and scientific communities. The conversation between the two communities has been ongoing over time, across different geographical areas, and has been shaped by continuities and discontinuities (Hagen). For a good part of the twentieth century, it has certainly presupposed a difference between the humanities and the sciences, especially with regard to the question of method (Gadamer), but the resurgence of the debate on method in literary studies in the first two decades of the twenty-first century suggests that, in spite of the diverging paths of specialization and differentiation, the dialogue between the literary and scientific communities unfolds along a dialectics of encounters in a unified cultural system of knowledge which intensifies the search for a common ground while countering and demystifying radical oppositions.
This conference targets issues of contiguity between the human and the external world (animals, plants, objects, the biosphere as a whole), from a decentered, non-anthropomorphic perspective. From this vantage point, it intends to re-examine Modernism: 2022 is also the centenary of both Ulysses and The Waste Land — works that place center stage figures of knowledge (Ulysses; Tiresias) — foregrounding the human creature’s uncanny capacity for distancing and domination of cosmic reality through logos and technique. These modernist classics engage with science; they show the indebtedness of literature to — and alignment with — scientific attitudes and methods (Pound, Huxley, Woolf, M. Moore, Beckett, among many more). Their generative quality as literary texts simultaneously invites reflection on attempts at innerving literary criticism and critical discourse with scientific objectivity, encouraging a reassessment of the concept of technique in the philosophical-critical tradition and its role in the rise and fortune of literary-critical schools, from Russian Formalism, through poststructuralism, and present currents such as new realism, ecocriticism, etc. Within this horizon, the conference also welcomes studies related to posthumanism, to ecology and climate change, to holism and to the idea of Anthropocene, and encourages contributions that explore how the conversation between literature and science might entail looking into the scientists’ frequent employment of allegorical and metaphorical language, climaxing in texts stylistically close to narratives.
We invite submissions focused on, but not limited to, the following topics:
- Literature and sciences (medicine, psychology, psychoanalysis, anthropology, history, hard and soft sciences)
- Modernism and science
- Postmodernism and science
- Literary criticism as/and science
- The literary in science
- Trans-species languages and discourses
- The human in context: plants
- The human in context: animals
- The human in context: the world of objects
- Philosophy and reality as independent from human thought
- Mythological figures of the Search for Knowledge (Prometheus, Oedipus, Ulysses)
- Prosthetic bodies
- Artificial intelligence
- Ageing/youth preservation
- Faith, Science, Literature
Please send anonymized 300-500-word abstracts in English and a short bio of no more than 150 words by 31 July 2022 to:
Proposals in Italian will be accepted on condition that an English version of the paper is circulated one week prior to the Conference.
Notification of acceptance: 30 September 2022
For any enquiries, please write to:
(Posted 8 May 2022)
DIVERSITY in the Digital Foreign Language Classroom (DDFLC): Challenges of digitalisation and diversity faced in foreign language classrooms.
University of Education Ludwigsburg (Germany), 30-31 March 2023
Abstract submission deadline (extended): September 30, 2022
This conference forms part of the joint project “Lehrerbildung PLUS: Heterogenität und Digitalisierung” (Heterogeneity and Digitalisation) between the Ludwigsburg University of Education and Stuttgart University and is convened by Prof. Dr. Jörg-U. Keßler, Richard Powers, Prof. Dr. Marc Priewe, Dr. Saskia Schabio, and Prof. Dr. Götz Schwab.
Our conference venue is located at the University of Education Ludwigsburg, Reuteallee 46, 71634 Ludwigsburg, close to the baroque Ludwigsburg Residential Palace, the Museum of Modern Literature Marbach, and the vibrant city of Stuttgart. We look forward to extending a warm welcome to our participants at the Literaturcafé, Building 1. (University of Education Ludwigsburg)
March 30-31, 2023
- Abstract submission deadline (extended): September 30, 2022
- Acceptance confirmation: Tuesday, November 15, 2022
- Registration: Wednesday, November 30, 2022 – March 1, 2023
- Paper submission: Monday, May 1, 2023
In response to the challenges of digitalisation and diversity, we place a dual focus on exploring the benefits of digital teaching in delineating and advancing diversity both as a concept and a method in the foreign language classroom.
- What are the theoretical foundations on which digital teaching and e-learning are
built? How do these affect foreign language classroom contexts?
- How does digitalisation affect or enhance research on and conceptualisations of
diversity across the fields of linguistics, literary and cultural studies? What are
didactic implications within the foreign language classroom context?
- How do e-learning concepts support foreign language teachers in handling
heterogeneous learner groups in classrooms or responding to the particular abilities
and needs of learners?
We invite applications from scholars of all disciplines related to Foreign Language Teaching, with an emphasis on English and American Studies. For more information, please see our CFP.
We are committed to making our conference a forum for vibrant, onsite exchange about new avenues of research in theory and practice.
In addition to keynote lectures, regular research paper panels, and a slot reserved for poster sessions, we want to encourage interaction by providing researchers, expert teachers, and students with opportunities to take part in our roundtable discussions.
Our schedule will also include a selected number of remote online presentations for far away contributors who are unable to attend in person. For further information, please contact us (DiverseDigital@pse-stuttgart-ludwigsburg.de).
- Prof. Robert O’Dowd (University of León): “Virtual Exchange: Attending to diversity in online collaborative contexts”
- Prof. Dr. Christiane Lütge (LMU Munich): “Embracing Diversity in Digital Spaces – Perspectives for Foreign Language Education”.
- Prof. Dr. Laura Lomas (Rutgers University, Newark) tba
For updates and further information please visit our homepage.
Contact conveners: Dr. Saskia Schabio / DiverseDigital@pse-stuttgart-ludwigsburg.de
(Updated 22 August 2022)
Crises of the Universal in Anglophone Literatures and Criticism (19th-21st centuries)
Sorbonne Nouvelle University, March 30 and 31, 2023
Submission deadline: September 30, 2022
Event organised by
Sorbonne Nouvelle University
EA Prismes 4398
Sorbonne Nouvelle University
Maison de la recherche, 4 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris
Dates: March 30 and 31, 2023
Submission deadline: September 30, 2022
Notification from the scientific committee: early November 2022
Crises of the Universal in Anglophone Literatures and Criticism (19th-21st centuries)
Plenary Speaker: Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Columbia)
In the 20th century, the universalist paradigm was put in crisis by thinkers of the black radical tradition such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Frantz Fanon, then by African-American feminists who were marginalized both from the women’s movement because of their skin color, and from the civil rights movement because of their gender. The epistemological crisis wrought by postcolonial studies beginning in the 1970s, and currently by decolonial studies, testifies to a deep disenchantment with the category of universality, sometimes understood as an unkept promise of equality that is actually quick to break into violence. According to Antoine Lilti, the critique of the “tension between universalism and Eurocentrism” concerns three points: the complicity of certain works of the Enlightenment with colonial ideology, the confiscation of universalism by Western thinkers who reduce other voices to silence, and finally, the pretentions to universality of a discourse that is in fact geographically and historically circumscribed. In their reassessment of the blind spots of universalism inherited from the Enlightenment, critics such as Edward Said, Dipesh Chakrabarty or Gayatri Spivak have brought to light the Eurocentrism of universalist thought, revealing murky connections between the Enlightenment’s claim to universality, the colonial enterprise and the racialized discourse that underlies it.
This conference seeks to both acknowledge this major theoretical decentering while also exploring a plurality of other critiques of the universal, including those that may be situated prior to or even in the margins of postcolonial critique. The crisis of the universal involves and incites other crises: that of the modern subject, of humanism, of progress. It shakes up an entire host of traditions that Western cultures have largely taken for granted until the end of the 20th century, revealing the forms of domination and exclusion that a universal truth is liable to impose on minority identities. Although once the banner of modernity’s champions, the universal is no longer the prerogative of the moderns. Do these critical crises render the very concept of universalism inoperative, or do they invite us to reconsider it according to new methods? While the notion of a universalist ideal now appears suspect, are there other forms or possibilities for its reconfiguration on the horizon?
This conference proposes to suspend binary schema, particularly by bringing universalism into dialogue with a variety of concepts, such as singularity, plurality, heterogeneity, individuality, and the local. The question is how anglophone literatures and criticism in particular “single out” (Etienne Balibar), “complicate” (Barbara Cassin), “pluralize” (Mireille Delmas-Marty), or “decolonize” (Julien Suaudeau and Mame-Fatou Niang) the universal. We will therefore consider the crisis of the universal not as an unequivocal rejection of it, but as the possibility of “questioning it” (Jean-Claude Milner) and of evaluating its power in more ways than as a homogenizing and silencing force. We can anticipate the following lines of thought, without of course excluding others not presented here:
- Literary writing and universalism. What are the forms and tropes through which literature imagines the universal, even if only to resist it by the same token? We will be interested, by way of example, in the problematic articulation of the particular and the universal in allegorical writing, in the universality of myth and its criticism in contemporary rewritings, in the motif of the universal library, or the possibility for utopian literature to offer a universalist horizon. What role does translation play in intercultural transfers, literary hybridity or the development of a literature that is conceived in dialogue with the universal? Can the notion of “literary universals” (P. C. Hogan) help us apprehend literature through the prism of the universal? What critique of universalism is offered to us by poetry, as a form of writing that, for thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe or Fred Moten, radicalizes singularity, notably by putting sound and sense in an inextricable relation, such that the latter can neither be extracted from its particular language to constitute a general meaning, nor be translated without loss?
- The history of criticism and universalism. This axis of reflection will consist in questioning the history of different currents of literary critical theory in the 20th century and their ambivalent relationship to universalism. Does formalism, as it emerges in New Criticism and reappears in neo-formalist aesthetics, make it possible to develop an anti-universalist posture? Does structuralism necessarily aspire to a discourse with universal scope? How have gender studies, postcolonial studies, or deconstruction in the English-speaking world made it possible to critique the principle of universality? What place does Marxist historicism, in Frederic Jameson’s vein, for example, grant to the singularity of the literary text?
- The universal’s interrogation by contemporary theoretical perspectives. How does postcolonial and decolonial criticism make it possible to put the concept of universalism in crisis and to open up a field of study that does not aim for the universal, but brings out a “pluriversal” approach (Arturo Escobar) to cultures and literatures? How might these perspectives be put in a fruitful debate with what Julien Suaudeau and Mame-Fatou Niang call a “postcolonial universalism”? To what extent do global studies and ecocriticism offer a renewed approach to the universal and to a universal subject, by disturbing the contours and specific temporalities of the national? How do they bring to light the particular positions from which Eurocentric universalism is expressed? To what extent does the cognitive and “biocultural” (Nancy Easterlin) approach to literature bring to the fore the existence of cognitive invariants or of a global cognitive evolution? What place might Kantian idealism have in the contemporary critical landscape? Do environmental studies and New Materialism offer the possibility of rethinking the universal according to an approach freed from anthropocentric frameworks?
- (Re)evaluating the universal. In their essay Universalisme, Julien Suaudeau and Mame-Fatou Niang conceive of a “universalism that is commensurate with the world”. While contemporary Anglophone literature (and postcolonial literature in particular) resists the homogenizing power of universalism, doesn’t the Anglophone literary imagination of the 19th century already reveal the paradoxes and gray areas of a discourse inherited from the Enlightenment that celebrates the universal principles of progress or reason? How do English-language literatures think of the universal in terms of the local and the particular, and thus make it foreign to itself? Isn’t the universal, as literature envisages or imagines it, paradoxically marked by an unfinished quality or a form of incompleteness?
Please send your proposals (200-300 words), in French or in English, as well as a short bio-bibliography to the following address: email@example.com
Publication: this conference will be followed by a peer-reviewed publication.
(Posted 17 September 2022)
Fifth Biennial Women’s Network Symposium
University of Debrecen, Hungary. March 31-April 1, 2023
Deadline for proposals: November 15, 2022
The Women’s Network of the European Association for American Studies invites contributions to the interdisciplinary symposium
Access to Equality: Reproductive Justice in the United States
The origins of the American democratic project are rooted in a theory that juxtaposes freed men and enslaved people. The Enlightenment theorized the rights of free men and their access to what was conceived of as natural rights, and the Declaration of Independence refers to these as inalienable rights. We know that these rights were not intended to include Indigenous people, women, people of color, and the working classes as one had to be propertied in order to vote; most men of color were denied citizenship, not to mention most claims to manhood, and white, upper- and middle-class women were held up as “Republican Mothers” at the same time that their legal rights placed them more on equal footing with chattel than it did with their masculine counterparts. Slowly, these barriers have been challenged in every arena of American life. Since the latter half of the twentieth century, greater access to equality and representation has meant that marginalized groups have greater claims to “natural rights” than they had in the past, but current legal, political, social, and economic trends seem to indicate that these very inalienable, unassailable rights were never truly meant to be extended to these groups. This conference intends to take up the idea of American democracy and the ways in which reproductive work and roles that women, trans individuals, and non-binary people perform have ultimately served to undermine their claims to liberty and autonomy.
Within the historical context of women’s rights movements, the recent Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs makes this questioning all the more glaring and relevant as it is an example of the highest judicial institution in the land revoking rights that had once been extended to women. The irony in the majority opinion is that each state’s representatives would better reflect the will of the electorate, giving the state powers that had previously been granted to the individual. The question of whether those identified as women have access to inalienable rights has been evoked since the inception of the women’s rights movement when the Seneca Falls convention issued The Declaration of Sentiments in 1848. Unfortunately, the question of reproductive work and women’s, trans individuals’, and non-binary people’s reproductive capacities has not been given sufficient attention in discussions over their liberties and autonomy and thus how they fit into the national narrative on inalienable rights.
Yet, the division over and within the pregnant body, pitting the rights of others over women’s, non-binary people’s, and trans individuals’ bodies and the rights of the fetus over that of the pregnant person’s, can be extended all the way back to enslaved women. Historian Dorothy Roberts puts forward that “the first example of maternal fetal conflict in American history” can be found in the way that slaveholders in the South forced enslaved pregnant women to lie down with their bellies in a hole so as to protect the fetus all the while exposing their bodies for corporal punishment.1 When the history of the birth control movement is taken into account, the very fact that it is understood as liberatory for white, affluent women, while as a means of population control, and potentially racial genocide, for women, trans, and non-binary individuals, people of color, and women of low socio-economic status, as a way for the state to address social problems like poverty,2 we can better see how integral reproductive autonomy is to the question of women’s, non-binary individuals, and trans people’s rights and their full liberty in the American context. Even during the Roe years, women and pregnant people were arrested for endangering a fetus’s life when they used drugs while pregnant or were reported for miscarrying because hospital staff suspected the birthers of doing something to harm the fetus while they were pregnant.3 The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has since the Dobbs decision already decried the possibility of the over criminalization of pregnancy loss as the rights of women, trans folks, and non-binary people are pitted against those of the fetus in a post-Roe world.
Reproductive justice, “the human right not to have a child, but also the right to have children and raise them with dignity in safe, healthy, and supportive environments,”4seems the only means to reconcile reproductive work and roles performed by women, trans individuals, and non-binary people with their liberty and autonomy. Without such a framework, the undoing of reproductive rights questions women’s, non-binary people’s, and trans individuals’ equality and begs the question as to whether they are seen as inheritors of the nation’s promise to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
We encourage paper proposals that examine reproductive justice and democracy as it pertains to American women, trans individuals, and non-binary people throughout all periods of American history represented in a wide range of academic fields such as, for example, social studies, visual culture and media studies, literature, linguistics, law, and medical humanities. Possible lines of inquiry could include:
- Reproductive justice as reproductive freedom, health equity, and racial justice – The American imaginary: “strong men and domesticated women”
- Illiberalism and its consequence on reproductive rights
- The undoing of rights as a questioning of women’s, trans people’s, and non-binary individuals’ rights and autonomy writ large
- Reproductive justice as access to reproductive rights, access to LGBTQI+ and racialized identities
- Cultural silencing of trans individuals’ and non-binarypeople’s pregnant bodies and birthing experiences
- The Equal Rights Amendment and reproductive justice
- Roe v. Wade: before, during, and after
- The repercussions of US reproductive rights legislation in Europe
- The birth control movement
- Sterilization: choice and coercion
- Reproductive technologies: medically assisted pregnancy, surrogacy – Divisions between maternal/pregnant person-fetal rights
- Reproductive restrictions’ consequences on im/migration
- Delimiting radical spaces so intellectual labor on reproductive justice spans across socio-political positions of women and LGBTQI+ activists and theorists
Please submit proposals of up to 250 words, together with a bio of approximately 100 words, by November 15, 2022 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out at the beginning of December. The symposium is planned as a hybrid event, with both in-person and online attendance possible.
EAAS Women’s Network:
- Christen Bryson
- Marie Dücker
- Izabella Kimak
- Elisabetta Marino
- Johanna Pitteti-Heil
(Posted 18 September 2022)