Category Archives: Calls for Papers, Articles, Translations

CFP: After Clarice: Lispector’s Legacy (Oxford)

After Clarice: Lispector’s Legacy, November 17-18, 2017. University of Oxford

Organizers: Claire Williams (Modern Languages, Oxford) and Adriana X Jacobs (Oriental Studies, Oxford)

“After Clarice: Lispector’s Legacy” commemorates the fortieth anniversary of Clarice Lispector’s death, but also aims to analyse her legacy and influence as it has developed in the decades since. This international gathering will evaluate the fluctuations and swerves in Lispector’s critical fortunes, and focus, as well, on the way her works have evolved in translation into other languages and cultures and through other disciplines (film, music, sports and visual arts). Additionally, our conference will address Lispector’s status as a Jewish writer, issues of class and race in her work, translation and reception, as well as the politics of publishing and marketing Lispector for international readerships.

In addition to her stories and novels, this event will move beyond Lispector’s literature to look at her journalism, writing for children, interviews, interfaces with painting and music, and consider the ways these activities shaped her persona and garnered her new readers in a wide range of disciplines. Films inspired by her life and work, as well as the ways actors have portrayed her and her characters will also be discussed. The internationally recognized scholar of Lispector’s life and work, Prof Nádia Battella Gotlib (Universidade de São Paulo), will provide a keynote address.

This event will include a roundtable with contemporary translators and publishers, writers and artists influenced by Lispector’s work, film screenings and a dramatic performance of one of her texts.

We welcome proposals for 20-minute presentations in English or Portuguese. Please include a title, a 200-300-word abstract, and brief bio. Suggested topics include:

• Multidisciplinary Lispector (sports, fine arts, film, music)
• Translation and retranslation (We encourage in particular proposals that address translation into non-Western languages.)
• Lispector in the Museum
• Lispector and the global publishing industry (marketing, reception, translation into English)
• Teaching Lispector
• Class and Race in Lispector
• Jewish Lispector
• Domesticity in Lispector
• Lispector’s journalism, writing for children, interviews
• Re-writing Lispector

The deadline for proposals is July 1, 2017. Send queries and completed proposals via email to: afterclarice@gmail.com

CFP: Of Borders and Ecologies (Birmingham City)

Of Borders and Ecologies: Comparative Literature and the Environment, The NCLN 3 rd Annual Symposium, Hosted by the School of English, Birmingham City University, 28 October 2017

The Northern Comparative Literature Network (NCLN) is a platform for scholars in the midlands and the north of the UK who study literature across boundaries of language, culture and nationality.

CALL FOR PAPERS

The environment does not respect borders. The effects of ecosystems’ degradation cross all boundaries, including those of nations, cultures and languages. Among the questions raised by contemporary ecocriticism is that of borders, especially perhaps, the limitations of anthropocentrism and the boundaries between the human and the non-human. In terms of literature and the environment, Timothy Clark has articulated the question along the following lines: Can anthropomorphism, the tendency to attribute human qualities to nature, offer a way of understanding the non-human environment, or is it a form of solipsism wholly determined by human consciousness? To problems of epistemology come questions of ethics: Does the Anthropocene require, as Timothy Morton’s writings on ‘hyperobjects’ suggest, an extension of ‘personhood’ to aspects of the non-human world? Meanwhile, renegotiations of Marx’s ecological thought have sought to recognise the unacknowledged labour of the natural world in capitalist value creation, thereby breaching the apparently closed borders of economic systems (Foster: 2000), whilst McKenzie Wark’s Molecular Red (2015) has attempted to broach the perceived gap between high theory and individual ecological praxis.

This one-day symposium, organised by the Northern Comparative Literature Network, invites papers that explore contemporary engagement with the environment in postcolonial, world and planetary literatures. How might Comparative Literature make a distinctive contribution to the understanding of literature and the environment? For this symposium, we are particularly interested in literary scholars working on questions of the environment and ecocriticism in the 20th and 21st centuries. Although it is not a strict requirement, preference may be given to comparative approaches that move across the boundaries of nationality, culture and language.

We are currently in talks with literary journals as we plan to publish a selection of papers delivered at the symposium in a themed issue (scheduled for publication before REF 2021).

Topics may include:

 Planetary and World Literature

 Hybrid and creole literatures

 The unsettling of species boundaries and post-humanism

 Romanticism, ecofeminism, postcolonial eco-justice, animal welfare and deep

ecology.

 Ecology vs ‘nature’

 Planetary/world ecological history or memory, and its literary representation

 ‘Eco-cosmopolitanism’ (Heise, 2009) and its representation in literature

 Aesthetics, forms and themes of ‘world-ecological literature’ (Deckard, 2017)

 The Anthropocene vs. ‘the Capitalocene’ (Moore, 2014)

We welcome abstracts and expressions of interest in NCLN from established scholars, postgraduates and researchers. Abstracts of 250 words for papers lasting around 20 minutes should be forwarded to Peter Jackson peter.jackson@bcu.ac.uk or Tom Knowles thomas.knowles@bcu.ac.uk by Monday 11 September 2017

CFP: Play, Recreation, and Experimentation (Kent)

‘Play, Recreation, and Experimentation: Literature and the Arts since the Early Modern Times’, 8-9 Dec 2017, University of Kent, Canterbury.

Invited speakers: Professor Peter Dayan (Edinburgh), Professor Ulrike Zitzlsperger (Exeter), Dr Thomas Karshan (UEA)

This interdisciplinary conference aims to explore relations between play, recreation, and experimentation by examining their articulations in literature and the arts (broadly understood as the visual arts, architecture, music/sound art, film) from the early modern period to now. There are many instances of engagement with the ludic and experimentation, e.g. early modern literature on the theme of playing with appearances (being and seeming); Duchamp’s Fontaine; Dada and Surrealist practices including cadavre exquis, collage, bricolage; Oulipo and pataphysics; postmodern pastiches and hybridity in architecture, and re-inventions of myth and history in contemporary fiction. Nevertheless, we intend to shed new light on these works and probe their implications for a theory of the ludic through considering the interactions and dialogues between play, recreation, and experimentation. The broad chronological and disciplinary scope is meant to accommodate to the comparative and intermedial perspective that this topic involves.

In recent years there has been increasing attention paid to the question of play and recreative practices and emphasis on their importance, as evidenced by studies in literature, critical theory, classics, philosophy, cultural studies, anthropology, cognitive and life sciences, education, and digital humanities. Nevertheless, play and recreation have not been sufficiently examined in the fields of literature and the creative arts, nor in specific connection to the important notions of experimentation and novelty. On the other hand, since Huizinga’s groundbreaking study Homo Ludens (1938) and Spariosu’s The Wreath of Wild Olive (1997), it has also become a truism to say that all literature and art are play. But to say everything is play is not to say much about play and the creative arts at all. There is the need for more specific and deeper examination that refines the characteristics and problematics of play and recreation within literature and art. This is what this conference purports to do by considering the following research questions, with the aims of revealing new and diverse ways of understanding the ludic and experimentation, and revise our conceptual frameworks about play, literature and the arts.

  • How to understand the playful in literature and the arts? Does it involve certain ludic modes of writing and of designing artworks, or does it lie rather in the audience’s reception and context of an artwork?
  • Is play a type of behaviour or intentionality, and how is it articulated in literature and artworks?
  • How may the perspective of ‘recreation’ shed new light on literary and artistic practices? – firstly, in the sense of how recreative and leisure activities may relate to the production of literature, art, and architectural space; secondly, in the sense of how literature and artworks re-create an existing canon, past experience, an original context and/or language through re-invention, appropriation, or re-performance?
  • Although experimental writing and art typically connote modernism and the avant-garde, is experimentation something that is also very present in other periods and styles? Does the raison d’être of experimental play lie in the pleasure and shock of the new?
  • Does being experimental necessarily involve a playful mode of engaging with literature and the arts, – a mode in which one is prepared for risk and failure (i.e. losing the game)? What happens when playing with or at something relates to the attempt to try something new without complete commitment? Should this affect how ludic works are critically judged, i.e. the artwork not as end-product but as attempts at and processes of creation?
  • Do experimental works tend to involve an interplay of different media? Is intermediality a ludic principle by nature? What about the evocation of another medium by use of only one medium (e.g. imagic poetry)?

Proposals are invited for papers addressing (but not limited to) the following themes:

  • ludic language, writing and its techniques and characteristics;
  • theoretical discussions on the notion of play, the ludic, laughter, ludic aesthetics, the pleasure and shock that results from experimentation;
  • recreative activities, leisure, and experimentation in literary writing, artistic practices, and spatial organisation;
  • re-creation in the sense of re-invention, revitalisation, adaptation, appropriation, translation and trans-lingual practices, performance, hybrid genres in play;
  • relations between play and experimentation, pleasure and novelty, risk and failure in experimentation;
  • appearance, superficiality, and play: playing with appearances, masquerade, imitation; different literary forms such as satire, parody, pastiche; experimenting with the new and dilettantism;
  • intermediality and play: play between the senses, language, and abstract thought; different modes of play in different media and mixed media; games in literature and visual arts.

We encourage submissions that engage with creative output in European modern languages and culture, and comparative discussions between European and non-European literatures and arts.

Proposals for 20-min papers (maximum 300-word abstract) and a short biography of the author with his/her affiliation and contact details should be sent to the conference organisers Dr Xiaofan Amy Li (Kent) and Dr Helena Taylor (Exeter) at playconference2017@gmail.com by midnight (UK time) 31 July 2017.

Organised collaboratively between the University of Kent and the University of Exeter, with the support of the MHRA conference award.

CFP: Samuel Beckett: Literature and Translation (Cáceres, Spain)

International Conference, Samuel Beckett: Literature and TranslationUniversity of Extremadura — Cáceres (Spain). Faculty of Letters — Department of English, 12-13 April 2018

Samuel Beckett’s importance for both Irish and Universal literature is unquestionable. He has actually reached the level of cultural icon in recent years. Beckett’s international recognition was established with Waiting for Godot (1953), a work originally written in French which he immediately rendered into English, a model he would repeatedly use all through the rest of his life. In fact, he translated into French most of the works he wrote in English, becoming the most important C20th bilingual writer. Bilingualism in Beckett could be said to have reached aesthetic status: when Beckett seemed to “fail again” without being able to advance any more, bilingualism offered him the possibility to progress. As a matter of fact, writing in another language seemed the only possible way to further develop for a type of literature that was self locked up. As a result of this process, by the end of his life, as Sinead Mooney points out, Beckett had created an unstable and complex canon in which, from the end of World War II onwards, a consistent difference between original and translation becomes more difficult. Beckett was conscious of the enormous importance bilingualism and self-translation had in his literary production and he is known to have helped many translators of his works, showing a keen interest in the way in which his novels and plays were translated into other languages.

However, despite the international recognition provided by the 1969 Nobel Prize in Literature, unfortunately his works still remain somewhat unknown in Spain. The aim of this conference is to analyse Beckett’s presence in the Spanish cultural life during the last sixty years with special attention to the Spanish renditions of his works. Although almost all his novels, dramatic works and prose and poetic texts have been translated into Spanish, the quality of those versions greatly varies. Apart from that, many of Beckett’s emblematic texts are now out of print and others are found in very limited editions. This conference intends to provide a forum for debate about the translations of Beckett’s works into Spanish, so that the conclusions of the studies presented here may contribute to future research and reception of his works.

For the International Conference “Samuel Beckett: Literature and Translation”, interdisciplinary proposals, either in Spanish, French or English, on the following topics (but not exclusively) are welcome:

• Samuel Beckett and bilingualism in his works

• Translations of Samuel Beckett’s works into Spanish and other peninsular languages: An analysis of particular cases and the state of the arts

• Samuel Beckett’s reception in Spain

• Censorship of Samuel Beckett’s works in Spain

• Beckett and self-translation into English and French

• Critical trends in the interpretation of Samuel Beckett’s works

• Samuel Beckett’s philosophical thought

• Beckett’s exploration of other artistic forms

• An analysis of Samuel Beckett’s works

Proposals should be sent by e-mail to the following address: samuel_beckett@unex.es, before 30th September 2017, and should include:

Title

Participant’s name, institutional affiliation and e-mail address

200-300-word abstract

Ghost in the Tamarind reading; Censorship and Freedom of Speech (Shankar), SOAS

​​Ghost in the Ta​marind book ​reading by S. Shankar, ​​Wednesday 24th May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​​

Who can you love? What do you owe to love and what to the world at large? In his forthcoming novel Ghost in the Tamarind, S. Shankar explores these and other questions against the background of anti-caste movements in India. His reading from the novel highlights the challenges of writing in English about communities that do not primarily function in English. The reading will be followed by a Q&A.

​​Censorship and Freedom of Speech in a Comparative Context: The Case of Contemporary Tamil Literature​Wednesday 31st May, 15.15 – 17.00, B111, Brunei Gallery, SOAS​

S. Shankar takes up the text and controversial context of Perumal Murugan’s novel Mathorubagan (English title One Part Woman). Late in 2014, Tamil writer Murugan was attacked for describing caste practices of ritual sex within a temple in his novel, driving him eventually to renounce writing. Shankar’s purpose is to uncover the vernacular conditions within which censorship becomes possible. Shankar sketches the challenges of contesting literary censorship using aesthetic terms fashioned within national and/or cosmopolitan contexts and considers ways in which such contestation might nevertheless be pursued within vernacular contexts. He ends by drawing conclusions relevant beyond the specific Tamil situation.

About S. Shankar

S. Shankar is a critic, novelist, and translator. His scholarly areas of interest are postcolonial literature (especially of Africa and South Asia), literature of immigration, film, and translation studies. He is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program. His most recent book is Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular (2012; U. of California P.; Orient Blackswan India).

S. Shankar has been invited to SOAS as a Visiting Fellow for ‘Multilingual Locals and Significant Geographies‘ project. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 670876).

All events are free and open to all. No registration required.