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GLITS Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference 2018: Sound and Silence Date: June 8th 2018 Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
Audre Lorde, Your Silence Will Not Protect You


“I came to think that silence may be the only ‘place’ in which the boundaries of the autonomous self can dissolve, can be penetrated without breaking.”
Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence


Sound and silence occupy an inherently complex and paradoxical relation to meaning, as both its antithesis and its very essence. Sound figures as both Pope’s “echo to the sense” and the irrefutable noise of the Real. Silence designates absence and the impossibility thereof, as Cage famously proclaimed, “I have nothing to say and I am saying it.”  How these sonic signals are interpreted and contested determines who can speak, who makes noise, who is silenced – which subjects are permitted and legitimised and which are discredited and repressed.


Anne Carson sees the dichotomy of sound as irrevocably gendered due to the patriarchal insistence toward logos, whereby male speech is valorised as the standard-bearer for rationality and female “noise” is perceived as dangerous and disruptive. For Friedrich Kittler, the advent of mechanical storage signals not just a shift in technics but the arrival of a new episteme. Since mechanical ears do not differentiate acoustic events like human ones are trained to, the meaningless and the accidental become as relevant as the deliberate and the symbolic. Psychoanalysis, then, finds its epistemology a matter of phonography, redoubling the policing of human sounds as either normative or pathological.


Harold Pinter once said, ‘I think that we communicate only too well, in our silence, in what is unsaid, and that what takes place is a continual evasion, desperate rearguard attempt to keep ourselves to ourselves.’ Culturally and politically, silence represents the interstices between thought and language, where that which is refused expression is captured in a state of iteration. Phonic expression, then, is threatening both for its capacities and its limitations.


Sound and Silence is an interdisciplinary postgraduate conference held on 8 June 2018, hosted by the Goldsmiths Literature Seminar (GLITS) at Goldsmiths, University of London, bringing together scholars across multiple fields to ask: how do we recognise, break and rebuild boundaries through phonic utterance and expression? What part does silence play in psycho- and socio-logical development and how do we attune ourselves to its cacophony of meanings?


We invite proposals from various disciplines and historical periods – papers, creative pieces, readings – covering such possible topics as:
  • Sound and silence in the humanities           
  • Architecture
  • Identity
  • Race
  • Soundscapes/silentscapes
  • Phono-semantics
  • Textual methodology
  • Spoken word
  • Speech: dialects/accents
  • Gender
  • Religious
  • Speaking out and speaking back
  • Acts of silencing
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words or examples of creative work along with a brief bio to by Friday 27th April.

Call for Participants Creative Critical Writing Workshop 27-28 June 2018 Newcastle University

Recent years have witnessed increasing interest in regarding research as a creative practice and developing innovative ways of presenting academic work, what we here term Creative Critical Writing. This is a research method that treats the form of academic writing as constitutive of its conceptual argument. It draws inspiration from a tradition of thought that includes Plato’s dialogues, Montaigne’s Essais, Nietzsche’s aphorisms, Walter Benjamin’s Denkbilder, Jacques Derrida’s deconstructive play with language, and Hélène Cixous’s écriture féminine as well as more recent experiments with digital media, disruptive translation and various types of performative or site-specific writing.

In response to the feedback from the Creative Critical Writing Workshop held at UCL in June 2017 we are aiming to establish an annual series of workshops that will provide a platform for graduate students and early career researchers interested in CCW. The goal is to showcase existing work, inspire future research, and offer a chance to network with researchers from different disciplines with similar interests. This year we will place more emphasis on participants presenting their own work. Together we will explore the creative aspects of our critical practices and develop imaginative responses to questions that we face in our work.

This call is aimed at graduate students and early career researchers of all disciplines with cultural and/or critical elements, including, but not limited to:




Digital Humanities

Environmental and/or Medical Humanities

History of Art

Modern Languages





If you are interested in taking part, please submit a brief outline of your current research that includes a few sentences on how your work relates to the workshop theme as well as a short bio (max. 750 words).

Please email to

Deadline for expressions of interest is 9th April 2018. Selected participants will be notified in early May.

The registration fee of £15 will include lunch and coffee breaks on both days.

We may be able to offer some contributions towards accommodation or travel expenses (tbc).

For more information, please visit:



Prof Timothy Mathews Dr Mathelinda Nabugodi
Emeritus Professor of French and Comparative Criticism PhD Creative Critical Writing


Mathelinda Nabugodi

Research Associate

School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Newcastle University

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS Comparative Literature: Principles, Practices, and Perspectives Summer school, 25-27 June 2018 University of Kent

Organized by the Centre for Modern European Literature at the University of Kent, this summer school offers intensive training in the underlying principles, the variant practices, and the latest perspectives of comparative literature. The theoretical assumptions and practical implications of the discipline are so diverse that a residential programme focusing on its common causes is long overdue in the UK. Designed to include both European and non-European perspectives on comparison, this summer school will bring together postgraduate students working in the many fields of comparative literature, introducing them to leading specialists in the discipline and offering them a valuable opportunity for both intellectual training and institutional networking.

The programme will be delivered through a mixture of seminars and lectures spread across three days. On the morning of the first day, students will be asked to give brief introductions to their current projects; on the afternoon of the third day, they will give full presentations on them, including reflections on how these projects can be enriched by lessons learned over the three days. In between, they will participate in seminars on the history, hermeneutics, and practicalities of comparative literature. These seminars will be supplemented by keynote lectures given by figures of international standing within the field, conceived as case studies in the theory and practice of comparative literature.

Student profile
Applications are invited from postgraduate students – either currently undertaking a PhD or about to start a PhD – working in the field of comparative literature broadly defined. The school is fully funded by CHASE (Consortium for the Humanities in South-East England); accommodation costs and tuition fees of successful applicants will be covered. Students will stay on campus for the duration of the school (3 nights), and will be expected to participate fully in all aspects of the programme.

Application process
Suitably qualified students should submit a letter of motivation, a brief CV, and a one-page outline of their project to:

Deadline for submissions is 15 April; admission decisions will be communicated by early May. Around 12 students will be admitted; CHASE members may be given priority. Informal enquiries should be directed to:

Programme Directors

  • Ben Hutchinson: Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent, Member of the Executive Committee of the BCLA, and author of Comparative Literature: A Very Short Introduction (2018)
  • Duncan Large: Professor of European Literature and Translation at the University of East Anglia, Member of the Executive Committee of the BCLA, and Director of the British Centre for Literary Translation
  • Francesca Orsini: Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, Member of the Executive Committee of the BCLA, Editor of Comparative Critical Studies, and PI of ERC project ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies’

Keynote Lecturers

  • Marcel Lepper: Director of Research, German Literature Archive Marbach
  • Wen-chin Ouyang: Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature, SOAS


CHASE summer school CfA

Romantic Legacies: Transnational and Transdisciplinary Contexts, to be published in the Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature series in 2019

We’d like to invite an art historian, comparatist, or interdisciplinary literary scholar in the field of the environmental humanities to contribute to our edited volume Romantic Legacies: Transnational and Transdisciplinary Contexts, to be published in the Routledge Studies in Comparative Literature series in 2019.

The volume comprises two major national groupings: first, the major Romantic traditions that developed in Germany, Britain, France, and the US; and second, the influence and cross-pollination of these traditions in Russia, China, India, and Japan. The volume is divided into 5 paradigms—Realist, Fin de siècle, (Post)Modern, Oriental, and Environmental Romanticism—to show how these legacies reflect and engage the values, tensions, and contradictions of ensuing historical periods.


We’re looking for an article of 5,000-7,000 words that involves visual arts to address the legacy of Romanticism in the environmental humanities from transnational and/or transdisciplinary perspectives. We will also consider other avenues of comparison if they engage this legacy in terms of the environmental humanities. The article could be a case study or deal with multiple artists/writers. If you’re interested, please send an abstract of 200-250 words and a brief CV to Drs John Michael Corrigan at and Shun-liang Chao at by 30 March 2018. If accepted, the deadline for the article is 15 July 2018.

Balzac and England / Balzac et l’Angleterre: International Conference /Colloque International, Maison Française d’Oxford, 12-14 April 2018 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN/ INSCRIPTION DÉSORMAIS OUVERTE

Balzac never visited England; yet England was close to his heart. Taking this apparently paradoxical subject, this conference explores the nature of Balzac’s engagement with Britain, but also of Britain’s and the Anglophone world’s engagement with Balzac. Gathering many of the world’s most prominent specialists, topics covered include cross-channel interactions, literary and linguistic appropriations, studies of manners, politics, myths, languages, satire, and creative and critical reflections from Balzac’s day to the present. In asking of this greatest and most perceptive of novelists what Angleterre and ‘England’ could mean, the conference raises fundamental questions about identity, literary conception and nationality that led the nineteenth century, and may yet shape our own.

Balzac n’a jamais visité l’Angleterre ; mais l’Angleterre lui tenait à cœur. En choisissant ce sujet volontiers paradoxal, ce colloque réunira des spécialistes français, britanniques, américains et mondiaux pour se pencher sur les interférences outre-manche, les appropriations littéraires et linguistiques, les mœurs, la politique, les mythes, langues, satires et les échos balzaciens et britanniques depuis son époque jusqu’à la nôtre. Il se posera à propos de ce romancier des plus grands et des plus puissants la question de savoir à quoi précisément pouvaient, peuvent et pourront renvoyer les termes « Angleterre »,
« England » et « Grande-Bretagne », soulevant ainsi des questions fondamentales sur l’identité, la conception et la création littéraire et sur la nationalité, questions qui ont conduit le dix-neuvième siècle et pourraient encore façonner le nôtre.

The conference will take place at the Maison Française d’Oxford, the CNRS Oxford Research Hub, with wine receptions in the Taylor Institution, home of one of the world’s leading libraries for European Languages and Literatures, and Pembroke College, where the conference Gala Dinner will be held.

Le colloque aura lieu à La Maison Française d’Oxford, pôle oxonien de recherche du CNRS, et proposera des vins d’honneur à la Taylor Institution qui abrite l’une des plus grandes bibliothèques mondiales des langues et des lettres européennes ainsi qu’un Dîner-gala à Pembroke College.
Full Programme (Provisional) /Pré-programme détaillé à et ci-dessous ; Registration (obligatory) : ; Deadline 16 March. Information / Renseignements : languages /Langues du colloque : Français / Anglais – English and French

Colloque international
Groupe d’Études balzaciennes
University of Oxford, University of Birmingham,
University of Bradford
Balzac et l’Angleterre / Balzac and England

Maison Française d’Oxford
12th-14th April / 12-14 avril 2018