Calls for papers for conferences taking place in March 2023

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

  • Literature
  • 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)
  • Intoxication 
  • 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 
  • Travel
  • Religion
  • Charity / philanthropy
  • Crime and violence

Selected contributions will be considered for inclusion in a volume of conference proceedings.

Conference languages: English, French

Convenors: Prof. Dr. Christoph Heyl; Dr. Rémy Duthille, MCF; Prof. Dr. Tristan Coignard; Anjali Rampersad, M.A.; Christian Feser, M.A.

Deadline: Please e-mail your proposal* (c. 250 words), contact information and a brief biographical note (c. 100 words) to the conference organisers ( 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)

The Presence of the Past: Problematising Temporalities in Irish Studies – Annual conference of SOFEIR (French Society for 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 by 1 December 2022.

Organising committee : Hélène Lecossois and Fiona McCann, with Emilie Berthillot, Claire Dubois and Helen Penet

(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

Keynote speakers:

  • 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: and myriam.segura@u-

Notification: 31st October 2022. The programme will be finalized in December 2022. Deadline for the submission of papers for publication: 1st September 2023.

Scientific committee: Emmanuel Alloa, Laurent Baridon, Olivier Bonfait, Martine Clouzot, Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel, Marie-Laure Massot, Federico Nurra, Julien Schuh
Organizing committee: Sophie Aymes, Laureano Montero, Judite Rodrigues-Balbuena, Christelle Serée- Chaussinand, Bénédicte Coste


(Posted 25 March 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.  


  • Bocquet C., 2008, La traduction juridique, fondement et méthode, Bruxelles, De Boeck.  Bourdieu P., 1980, Le sens pratique, Paris, Minuit.  
  • Bronckart J.-P., 2004, « Pourquoi et comment analyser l’agir verbal et non verbal en situation  de travail ? », in Fillietaz L., Bronckart J.-P. (dir.), Agir et discours en situation de travail,  Genève, Université de Genève, Faculté de psychologie et des sciences de l’éducation, 11-144.  Chapon S., 2011, « FASP juridique télévisuelle : gros plan sur les étudiants en droit et zoom  arrière sur une approche pédagogique », Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de  spécialité. Cahiers de l’Apliut, Vol. XXX N° 2, 112-128. 
  • Courtine J.-J., 1981, « Quelques problèmes théoriques et méthodologiques en analyse du  discours. À propos du discours communiste adressé aux chrétiens », Langages, 62, 9-128.  Cuche D., 2004, La notion de culture dans les sciences sociales, Paris, La Découverte.  Guillemin-Flescher J., 1994, « Langage, culture et traduction », Équivalences, 24, 1, 37-54.  Halbwachs M., 1994 [First published in 1925], Les cadres sociaux de la mémoire, Paris, Albin  Michel.  
  • Moirand S., 1999, « Les indices dialogiques de contextualisation dans la presse ordinaire »,  Cahiers de praxématique, 33, 145-184.  
  • Moirand S., 2007, Les discours de la presse quotidienne. Observer, analyser, comprendre,  Paris, PUF.  
  • Narcy-Combes J.-P., 2006, « Deux modes de fonctionnement mémoriel en production  langagière et tâches d’apprentissage des langues », Recherche et pratiques pédagogiques en  langues de spécialité. Cahiers de l’Apliut, Vol. XXV N° 2, 77-87.  
  • Paveau M.-A., 2006, Les prédiscours : sens, mémoire, cognition, Paris, Presses de la  Sorbonne Nouvelle.  
  • Paveau M.-A., 2008, « Paroles antérieures. Les prédiscours entre mémoire et cognition »,  Revue de Philologie et linguistique portugaise, Numéro spécial sur l’analyse du discours,  311-331.  
  • Sarré C., Whyte S., 2016, « Research in ESP teaching and learning in French higher  education: Developing the construct of ESP didactics », ASp, la revue du GERAS, 69,  139-164.  
  • Schermerhorn R.A., 1970, Comparative Ethnic Relations: A Framework for Theory and  Research, First Edition, New York, Random House.  
  • Swales J., 1990, Genre Analysis: English in Academic and Research Settings, Cambridge,  New York, Cambridge University Press.  
  • Taillefer G., 2007, « Le défi culturel de la mise en œuvre du Cadre européen commun de  référence pour les langues : implications pour l’enseignement supérieur français », Recherche  et pratiques pédagogiques en langues de spécialité. Cahiers de l’Apliut, Vol. XXVI N° 2,  33-49.  
  • Wozniak S., 2019, Approches ethnographiques des langues spécialisées professionnelles,  Bern, Peter Lang.


(Posted 22 September 2022)

Multilingualism in Translation.
Université Paris Nanterre, 30-31 March 2023 & Université de Lille, February/March 2024
Deadline for submissions: 1 June 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 (, Julie Loison-Charles ( and Claire Hélie (claire.helie@univ-lille.frby 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: You can also follow us on Twitter:

(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
  • Posthumanism
  • 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:

Conference committee:

  • Yuri Chung, “Sapienza” Università di Roma
  • Davide Crosara, “Sapienza” Università di Roma
  • Mario Martino, “Sapienza” Università di Roma
  • Mena Mitrano, Università Cà Foscari Venezia

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

Contact persons. For any enquiries, please write to:

(Posted 8 May 2022)

DIVERSITY in the Digital Foreign Language Classroom (DDFLC)
University of Education Ludwigsburg (Germany), 30-31 March 2023
Abstract submission deadline (extended): September 30, 2022


DIVERSITY in the Digital Foreign Language Classroom (DDFLC)

Topic of the current edition

Challenges of digitalisation and diversity faced in foreign language classrooms.


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

(Include keynote speakers, sections / subsections, panels, round tables, etc., if necessary)

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.

Main Questions

  • 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 (

Confirmed speakers 

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 details

Contact conveners: Dr. Saskia Schabio /


(Reposted 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

Crises of the Universal in Anglophone Literatures and Criticism (19th-21st centuries)


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?

Selected bibliography

  • Balibar, Étienne. Les singularisations de l’universel. Hermann, 2019.
  • Boni, Livio et Sophie Mendelsohn. La vie psychique du racisme. La Découverte, 2021.
  • Cassin, Barbara. Éloge de la traduction : compliquer l’universel. Fayard, 2016.
  • David-Ménard, Monique. Les constructions de l’universel : psychanalyse, philosophie. PUF, 2009.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Passions. Galilée, 1993.
  • During Elie et Anoush Ganjipour éds. Retours sur l’universel : Balibar, Milner, Salanskis. Critique, n° 833, octobre 2016.
  • Easterlin, Nancy. A Biocultural Approach to Literary Theory and Interpretation. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012.
  • Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. Pluto Press, 1986.
  • Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. University of Michigan Press, 1997.
  • Héran, François. Lettre aux professeurs sur la liberté d’expression. La Découverte, 2021.
  • Hogan, Patrick Colm. “Literary Universals”, Poetics Today, vol. 18, n° 2, summer 1997.
  • Jameson, Fredric. The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act. Methuen, 1981.
  • Lacoue-Labarthe, Philippe. Poetry as Experience. Stanford University Press, 1999.
  • Lilti, Antoine. L’héritage des lumières : ambivalences de la modernité. Seuil, 2019.
  • Lloyd, David. Under Representation: The Racial Regime of Æsthetics. Fordham University Press, 2018.
  • Majumdar, Nivedita. The World in a Grain of Sand: Postcolonial Literature and Radical Universalism. Verso, 2021.
  • Milner, Jean-Claude. L’universel en éclats : court traité politique 3. Verdier, 2014.
  • Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, & Colonization. University of Michigan Press, 1999.
  • Moten, Fred. In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition. University of Minnesota Press, 2003.
  • Pelluchon, Corine. Les lumières à l’âge du vivant. Seuil, 2021.
  • Suaudeau, Julien et Mame-Fatou Niang. Universalisme. Anamosa, 2022.

Please send your proposals (200-300 words), in French or in English, as well as a short bio-bibliography to the following address:

Publication: this conference will be followed by a peer-reviewed publication.

Organizing committee: John DeWitt, Catherine Lanone, Ronan Ludot-Vlasak, Caroline Pollentier, Alexandra Poulain, Antonia Rigaud, Apolline Weibel.

Scientific Committee: Isabelle Alfandary (Sorbonne Nouvelle), Sandra Laugier (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne), David Lloyd (University of California, Riverside), Fiona McCann (University of Lille), Samuel Weber (Northwestern University).

Contact details

(Posted 17 September 2022)