The ESSE Doctoral Symposium


The Symposium

The ESSE Board has decided that as of 2017 an ESSE Doctoral Symposium will be organized every year. The first ESSE Doctoral Symposium will take place in Thessaloníki, Greece on 28-29 August 2017. (The second will form part of the ESSE Conference to be held in Brno, Czech Republic in 2018; the third will be organized in Wrocław, Poland in 2019; the fourth will form part of the ESSE Conference to be held in Lyon, France in 2020.)

The Symposium gives more concrete and recognizable form to the biennial ESSE Doctoral Sessions that were organized as part of the ESSE Conferences in Istanbul (2012), Košice (2014) and Galway (2016).

The Symposium is designed to provide a platform for young scholars to present their work, specifically for PhD students who are writing their theses in English Studies and are at least in the second year of their doctoral studies at the time of the Symposium in question. They are invited to make a brief presentation of their work in progress in one of three areas, known as strands: English Language & Linguistics, Literatures in English, and Cultural & Area Studies. These presentations should deal with the issues addressed or hypotheses tested in the doctoral research, the results so far obtained, and above all the methodology applied, with the purpose of gaining feedback from peers and established scholars in the field. Each presentation will last no longer than 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes’ discussion. Participants are expected to attend all the presentations in their own strand and to take part in the discussions. There will also be extensive opportunities for informal contact with other participants and with the academics present.

Applying to participate

Note that each PhD student can submit an application to only one strand of the ESSE Symposium and should specify in the application which strand they wish to be placed in. Applications must include a letter from the student’s PhD supervisor giving the (working) title of the dissertation and confirming that the student is working under his/her supervision and has completed at least his/her first year of PhD studies.

The application should also include a summary of the project (of no more than 300 words), indicating:

  1. The main topic and issues, including the thesis proposed/hypothesis defended;
  2. The methodology (theoretical tools and standpoints);
  3. Where relevant, the corpus under consideration;
  4. The results obtained so far.

Each strand of the Symposium will be coordinated by two experts (to be known as Convenors). One will be chosen from the ESSE Board, while the other will come from the host university (in 2017, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki). They will make a selection from the applications received, respond to the presentations and chair the discussions.

Applications (also including the letter from the applicant’s supervisor) should be sent, no later than 28 February 2017, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands) at The selection of submissions by the Convenors will be completed and announced by 15 March 2017.

Applying for financial support

Those applicants who have been selected for participation can apply to ESSE between 15 and 31 March 2017 for financial support, to a maximum of €500 per applicant. Eligible expenses are airfares, ground transportation costs and accommodation. Applicants for financial support are required to be members of their national associations affiliated to ESSE, except for those whose associations do not consider PhD students eligible as members; in this case, their supervisors or the department to which they are affiliated must be ESSE members. Applications for financial support will be considered during April by a Committee consisting of the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium and the three Convenors from the ESSE Board; the Committee’s definitive decision will be communicated to all applicants by 30 April 2017.

Applications for financial support should be sent, no later than 31 March 2017, to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands) at Each application for financial support should include three documents (in attachment to the e-mail of application):

  • the applicant’s CV;
  • a letter detailing the applicant’s eligibility clearly and fully explaining the need for financial support, including a provisional budget for travel costs and/or accommodation expenses;
  • a signed statement from the applicant’s supervisor, including a declaration that it is impossible for the applicant to draw on private means or any other sources of funding, including funding earmarked for the ongoing doctoral project, for the purpose of participating in the ESSE Doctoral Symposium.

    Please note that ESSE’s decisions about selection for participation and about financial support are final and not subject to appeal.

Other activities

Further details of the programme of the Symposium will be made known as and when these are determined. Among the possibilities being considered are a welcome from the President of ESSE, Prof. Liliane Louvel, a reception for all participants, a plenary lecture on a relevant subject and an excursion to the city of Thessaloniki.
The possibility is being examined of including a selection of papers arising from the ESSE Doctoral Symposium in future issues of the ESSE Messenger.

Travel and accommodation

Thessaloniki is served by Makedonia International Airport (code: SKG). Buses and trains are available from Athens. Long-distance buses are available from starting points in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Turkey.
Information about accommodation in Thessaloniki will be forthcoming in later versions of this announcement.

General enquiries

General enquiries should be addressed to the Coordinator of the ESSE Doctoral Symposium, Professor J. Lachlan Mackenzie (VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands) at