Category Archives: Calls for Papers, Articles, Translations

CFP: BCLA – Unforeseen Consequences (Warwick)

The British Comparative Literature Association Postgraduate Conference, 11 November 2017,  University of Warwick

Unforeseen Consequences: Literatures of Protest and Political Struggle

 Keynote speaker: Dr Oliver Davis (University of Warwick)


The British Comparative Literature Association invites papers for its annual postgraduate conference to be held at the University of Warwick on 11 November 2017. This conference intends to bring together postgraduate students from across the humanities to discuss questions relating to the impact of literature and the arts, viewed comparatively, on the formation of political discourses and actions of resistance to dominant institutional practices of oppression and control.

The conference takes its que from author Will Self, who has asserted that the United Kingdom currently exists in a state of perpetual ‘unforeseen consequences’ in which the government ‘muddles and meddles,’ creating a sense of ambiguity that disguises serious neglect of human rights and broader social issues.  The conference intends to apply a global focus to this concept and explore literature’s response to times of political struggle, dangerous social policy, and oppressive institutional standards across the historical spectrum. As such we invite papers considering literature’s relation and responses to the following themes:

  • Struggles for political independence
  • Sovereignty and state power
  • Censorship and the surveillance state
  • Institutional control, mass incarceration and indefinite detention
  • Queer politics
  • Migration
  • Colonialism/decolonialism
  • Neoliberalism and its discontents
  • Feminism and intersectionality
  • Brexit, democracy and devolution
  • Literature, digital texts and social media.

Submissions need not be limited to these parameters and we welcome broad and creative interpretations of our theme.

Please send proposals of 250 words with 50 word bio by 23 September 2017 to



Writing, the State, and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism (Boston Uni., London)

Writing, the State, and the Rise of Neo-Nationalism: Historical Contexts and Contemporary Concerns, 30th June 2018, Boston University’s London Campus

In January 1868, John William De Forest took to the pages of The Nation with a call that would resound over the next century and a half: the writing of the “Great American Novel.” In so doing, he asserted both the shaping force of the nation on the arts, and the importance of the arts for the national imaginary. On the sesquicentennial of De Forest’s essay, the College of General Studies at Boston University will host a conference to explore the broader intersection of writing and the nation. This conference will meet on Boston University’s campus in London, England, on June 30, 2018. The conference will feature a keynote address by Daniel Karlin, Winterstoke Professor of English at the University of Bristol.

The exigency of ongoing scholarly consideration of the relation between the nation and writing could not be more apparent. The rise of populist and pro-national politicians and events such as Brexit place new strains on the architecture of globalization. A disruptive force, neo-nationalism has provoked anxiety about sustaining existing international institutions and prompted introspection within nations about the abiding ties of community and place.

This conference seeks a diverse range of panels and papers from scholars in literary studies, rhetoric, the social sciences, and other disciplines. Interdisciplinary papers and panels, and papers and panels addressing transatlantic subjects, are especially encouraged. Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

• The portrayal of the nation-state in works of literature.
• Representations of the relationships among the local, regional, and (or) global.
• Challenges to, problems with, and affirmations of national belonging.
• Reflections on De Forest’s original essay in light of the past 150 years.
• The impact of socioeconomic changes on the project of a national literature.
• The ways in which technological development can re-inscribe narratives of the political unit.
• International exchanges on the idea of a “great” national literature.
• Consideration of forces that help construct or challenge nation-oriented narratives of literature.
• Characteristics and implications of neo-national oratory.
• Rhetorical analyses of neo-national propaganda.
• The role of national iconography for literary and artistic expression.
• The ways that marginalized populations can preserve or introduce their voices in the context of changes in the global landscape during the neo-national era.
• Reactions to and presentations of neo-nationalism in the arts.

Paper proposals should be 250-300 words in length and should include a brief CV.

Panel proposals should be 300–500 words in length; indicate whether the panel will be traditional, seminar, or roundtable style; and include the names and CVs of participants and working titles of their papers.

Submit all proposals to Christopher K. Coffman ( and Thomas Finan ( no later than November 30, 2017.

CFP: Inverbis – Translating the Margin

Inverbis Special Issue (2018) Translating the margin: Lost voices in the aesthetic discourse

Guest Editors: Alessandra Rizzo (University of Palermo) and Karen Seago (City, University of London)
Copy-editor: Maila Enea (University of Roehampton)

This special issue aims at investigating and presenting concrete examples of translation as a linguistic and cultural expedient that reveals migrant and refugee experiences as counternarratives. The objective is to demonstrate, on the one hand, how translation is involved in the production and dissemination of counter-narratives aiming at the re-telling of experiences of displacement as a result of conflict, persecution, and famine. And, on the other hand, how the migrant presence in the receiving country acts as a stimulus to the creation of an international network of filmmakers, musicians, artists and activists who are capturing and responding to individual stories of struggle and success in the migrant and refugee communities.


More information is available here.

BCLA Arthur Terry Prize 2017

The British Comparative Literature Association offers an annual prize for an essay written in English on any aspect of comparative literature, in memory of Arthur Terry (1927–2004), who served as President of the BCLA for many years. The aim of the Prize is to recognise work of outstanding merit at Master’s level. There are three prizes of £100, £50,and £30 and the winning entrants are also given one-year free BCLA membership.

The deadline for application is 12 noon on Friday 1 September 2017. The judges are members of the Association’s Executive Committee. The prizes will be awarded at the BCLA Postgraduate General Meeting in November 2017. Winning entries are also eligible for publication in full on the website.

More information, including conditions for entry, can be found here.

CFP: ‘Bad Kind’: The Dark Energy of the Literary System (Amiens)

Interdisciplinary Conference, « Mauvais genre » : l’énergie noire du système littéraire, ‘Bad Kind’: The Dark Energy of the Literary System, Amiens (France), Logis du Roy, 15-17 March 2018


The Centre d’Études et de Recherches sur les Contacts Littéraires et Linguistiques (CERCLL, EA 4283), Université de Picardie Jules Verne.

Coordinators: Kevin Perromat (Assoc. Pr.  Latin American Literature)

Georges Bê Duc (Assoc. Pr. Modern Chinese Literature)


Bad literature is damned to oblivion. Focused mostly on valuable texts, our academic knowledge of the literary world is restricted to an extremely exclusive selection among its potential objects of research. Invariably, good taste filters literary materials in spite of its proven versatility in the course of history, and in spite of the instability not only of the canon of ‘great texts’, but also of the institutions in charge of its transmission. Consequently, texts of different sorts are discarded into darkness: failed and amateur works, venal writing, as well as literary forgeries and transgressions such as plagiarism. Bad literature includes most often pulp and popular literature (paraliterature) as well. Nevertheless, what if the rejected ‘bad taste’ was in fact similar to dark energy, which is invisible but probably predominant in the Universe?

The literary space allows a plurality of possibilities of existence, circulation and creation of value which are fundamental to the aims and scope of this conference. In sharp contrast to the well-established monumental landmarks of the High Literature, amorphous masses of neglected, despised or forgotten texts fall into darkness. However, ‘good’ literature seems to depend on the ‘bad kind’, at least as the necessary background –a dark, anonymous and heteroclite one– to exist and be valued. Besides this obvious role in the creation of value, what are the functions of bad literature in the whole economy of the literary system? Concerning our aesthetic criteria, which rely chiefly upon the available literary tradition, to what extent they are not the result of our predecessors’ judgements?

 Suggested Topics

Bad literature

–          ‘Bad genres’: pornography, pulp, teenager literature, best-sellers, chick lit, etc.

–          Historical evolution of offenses and literary transgressions: plagiarism, forgeries, ghost-writers, testament betrayals, etc.

–          Individual case studies: rejected manuscripts, auteurs maudits, epigones, literary folly (fous littéraires), failed texts, minor works…

Bad literature uses

–          Bad literature uses within the strategies developed in the literary field: polemical, critical, rhetorical, ideological, etc.

–          Bad literature uses in literary taste formation and writing learning.

–          Bad literature as caution and boundary of literary norms and standards.

Bad literature values

–          Historiographical gaps and forgotten territories: discourses/ literatures/ authors/ periods vanished, banned, ignored by literary history.

–          (Re)valorisation of bad literature: revision of literary values, (re)discovery and (re)valorisation of ‘literary detritus’, procedures of recovery in literary historiography.

–          Relationships between bad literature, the Canon and the literary institutions.

Abstracts in English or French (up to 500 words) are to be sent to  by September 30th2017.