Category Archives: Events of Interest

CFP: Endgame(s) – GLITS

Endgame(s), GLITS (Goldsmiths Literature Seminar) Annual Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference, June 9th 2017, Goldsmiths, University of London

Plenary Speaker: Professor Ivan Callus, University of Malta

Website: www.endgames2017.co.uk

We live in perilous times. Institutional decay, declining living standards, the collapse of social welfare, and potentially the end of liberal democracy all afflict our contemporary historical moment. Looming ecological and migratory issues transcend the limits of what we think and feel to be possible, threatening us in ways we are unable to imagine, let alone rationalise. Yet, there is a profound sense that every epoch has its own ‘endgame’; that every society recognises itself as itself in the vision of its own future demise. Endgames consequently populate the historical record, from the Millenarianism of the medieval world and the fin de siècle culture of Mitteleuropa, to the historical ends that the mythologies of Fascism and Stalinism sought to bring about, to anxieties of nuclear holocaust and the Y2K millennium bug and – more recently – Brexit. It seems that the apocalypse, by definition, must be repeatable. In 1925 T.S. Eliot captured appositely the sense of resultant disaffection and numbness – even frustration – this engenders: ‘This is the way the world ends, Not with a bang but a whimper.’

However, living in the end-times can also be exhilarating, even liberating. A German expression encapsulates this hedonism: ‘Tanz auf dem Vulkan [dancing on the volcano]’. The end-times – different from the mere knowledge of our individual mortality – can trigger an ecstatic sense of being, perhaps even a means to bridge the intersubjective gaps that lie between us and forge new collective possibilities. Thus, leading us to the imagining of termination for positive affect; bringing current socio-economic and political systems to their [il]logical conclusions; repurposing technology for socially beneficial and emancipatory ends.

This conference seeks to explore the way in which literature and narrative cultures order and represent visions of the end of the world and how this constitutes a pervasive influence on philosophy, political theory and popular culture. We invite papers that discuss ways of thinking and feeling in the end times, those of the past, present and, inevitably, those endgames still to be played out in the future.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Literature of resistance, dissidence, change, from the middle-ages to 21st Century.
  • The end of literature and the contemporary novel.
  • Borders and limits in relation to migration, displacement, and refuge.
  • Apocalypse, catastrophe and revelation.
  • Climate-change, environmental disaster, and eco-criticism.
  • Corruption, decadence, degradation, decay.
  • Endgames and end-times in popular culture.
  • Epochality, historicity, temporality.
  • Technology and media.
  • Post-truth and Post-fact discourses.

We warmly welcome abstracts for 20 minute papers, short creative pieces, and readings, from all postgraduate students by Friday 31st March to be sent to the conference organisers David Cross and Marc Farrant at endgames2017@gold.ac.uk – Abstracts should be no longer than 300 words. Please include details of your current level of study and home institution. For creative readings, please send a short example of your work.

CFP: Translation into Theatre and the Social Sciences

Translation into Theatre and the Social Sciences

16th-17th June 2017

University of Oxford, St Hilda’s College/ Faculty of Classics

Keynote speakers:

Carole-Anne Upton (Middlesex University London)

Margherita Laera (University of Kent)

Lorna Hardwick (The Open University)

Liliane Campos (Université Paris Sorbonne-Nouvelle)

The poetics of theatre translation and adaptation is often dependent on the intimate knowledge of the expectations of the target audience. Understanding the evolution of theatre translations, the success or failure of some productions or texts requires a full understanding of the social context, and should therefore not be limited to a textual study alone.

In our current world, where individual countries are becoming more and more multicultural within themselves, understanding the societal implications of cultural exchanges becomes ever more complex and fundamental. Although one tends to rely primarily on the social sciences to reflect on society thanks to their quantitative and empirical investigations, the aim of this conference is to show that the theory and practice of theatre translation can significantly benefit our understanding.

In turn, we hope to see how the field of theatre translation can benefit from the methodologies of social sciences. In recent decades, the concepts and methodologies of theatre translation have recurrently been questioned. For instance, the popular terms ‘performability’ and ‘speakability’, conveniently used to describe a poetics of reception and often criticised for their lack of theoretical framework, could be conceptualised further in light of these new tools.

Focus of scholarship on theatre translation has recently departed from the European-American sphere and developed a welcome extension into new geographical spaces. It is, therefore, all the more necessary to incorporate an input from the social sciences (anthropology, ethnography, sociology, history, politics, international relations etc.) into the discussion.

A particular focus will be given to stage performance, from the point of view of both the performers and the audience. Because performances tend to be historically and culturally-rooted, translations in performance bring practical insights into the target society. The recent thriving interest in performance of Latin and Greek plays, which obeyed radically different cultural codes to ours, could be of particular relevance to this conference.

Proposals from across humanities and social sciences are welcome. Papers should be 20 minutes long, and potential speakers are very welcome to propose a case study which may be open to new possible theorisations in the field of Translation Studies. They may want to consider the following themes, but need not treat the list as prescriptive or final:

Links between theatre translations/adaptations and shaping identities as a social group

          Relevance of quantitative research and theatre translation

          Lines of connections between theatre anthropology and theatre translation

          Translating ideology and political resonances

          Theatre translation as a political/social engagement

          Theatre translation and the history and theory of international relations

          Staging intercultural translations

          Rehearsal ethnography

          Theatre translation and sociolinguistics

          Multilingualism

          Theatre translation and comparative cultural studies

          Theatre translation and modern economics

          Theatre translation in history

          Cultural/social determinism in theatre translation

          Promotion of endangered cultures/social minorities through theatre translations

Please send a 300-word abstract and a brief biography to
oxfordtheatretranslation@gmail.com before the 9th April 2017.

English: Shared Futures, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne

English: Shared Futures, 5-7 July 2017, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Registration is now open: http://www.englishsharedfutures.uk

What is English: Shared Futures?

  • ‘English: Shared Futures’ (E:SF) is a the first time that all the branches of English – literature, language and creative writing – have come together to talk about and celebrate their subject, and to explore its futures in the nations of the UK and across the world.
  • Writers, critics, academics, teachers, and linguists will unite in a festival event, part celebration, part conversation, part cultural fringe.
  • E:SF is being held in Newcastle and will show-case the excellent literary culture of the region, its writers, and publishers (e.g. Bloodaxe). We’ll also be joining in with the 50th anniversary commemorations of Newcastle University’s awarding Dr Martin Luther King an honorary degree in 1967.

 Content

  • Alongside over 150 panels, readings, and workshops, we have:
    • Talks on literary biography from Hermione Lee, Kathryn Hughes, Andrew Hadfield;
    • Deborah Cameron on ‘Language and the problem of female authority’;
    • Lemn Sissay reading and answering questions.
  • We are pioneering a series of ‘literary salons’ with Marina Warner, Elleke Boehmer, Bernadine Evaristo, John Mullan, and Dinah Birch, who will talk about their lives in literature and the literature in their lives (in R4 terms, not ‘the life scientific’ but ‘the literary life’).
  • The conversations at the event will discuss the most up-to –date ideas on great writers of the past and present, how we use language, and how we teach people to write – and think – creatively. (We’d be delighted to help the media access the best of these speakers).
  • Our cultural fringe will feature readings around the city from local, national, and international writers and groups, and include a leading writer in conversation with Jackie Kay (details tbc).

Purpose

  • English, the liveliest and largest school and university arts subject, is participating in some of the most pressing issues of the day, such as migration, identity, the uses we make of the past, and the place of higher education in our society.
  • We are also, along with the colleagues in the rest of arts and humanities community, addressing the urgent need to maintain access to the arts and culture for everyone.
  • We think it’s important that the humane voice of English, and what literature teaches, is heard, especially at the moment, to help build our shared future.

 

Bob Eaglestone R.Eaglestone@rhul.ac.uk  Gail Marshall   gm181@le.ac.uk

CFP: ‘Pre-human, Human, Post-human,’ GASC

‘Pre-human, Human, Post-human: Generative Anthropology and Mimetic Theory in Conversation with Cognitive Studies,’ Generative Anthropology Society Conference (GASC). University of Stockholm, Sweden, June 8-10

The GASC for 2017, “Pre-human, Human, Post-human: Generative Anthropology and Mimetic Theory in Conversation with Cognitive Studies”, will be held at the University of Stockholm, Sweden June 8-10, featuring plenary speakers William Flesch, Eric Gans and Peter Gärdenfors.

The conference will initiate a dialogue between Generative Anthropology, mimetic theory, and cognitive science. Some philosophers of cognitive science agree with Generative Anthropology that the development of language marked the appearance of symbolic thinking. While cognitive scientists argue that this capacity has enabled advanced forms of cooperation, Generative Anthropology and mimetic theory emphasize the emergence of ethics as a response to mimetic violence. The cognitive and anthropological perspectives, however, converge in their recognition of a specifically human cultural consciousness on a scene of representation, making dialogue urgent and valuable, with the potential to generate new ways of thinking about human interactions, violence and conflict resolution, as well as diverse cultural expressions and aesthetic forms.

What might be seen as the anthropocentrism uniting cognitive science, on the one hand, and Generative Anthropology and mimetic theory, on the other, need not exclude dialogue with those theories of the post-human that have critiqued the effort to distinguish and therefore privilege the human as an anthropocentric denial of other forms of subjectivity. Such views point to our anthropocentric blindness as a cause of political and environmental crises, but the anthropocentrism addressed by such critiques may simply represent insufficiently “scenic” understandings of the human. Both sides in this debate might benefit from testing their views against one another. Seeking an ever broader and more productive conversation, we invite papers that engage with GA on both sides of the debate. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The anthropology of symbolic thinking
  • The evolution or history of cultural and aesthetic forms
  • Evolutionary game theory
  • Mimetic theory (René Girard)
  • Narratology, including cognitive narratology and affective narratology
  • Literature on the scene of representation
  • Animal Studies, Ecocriticism, Posthumanism, Affect theory, Neo-vitalism
  • Object-oriented ontology
  • Sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics, Sociology of language

Please submit short proposals for 20-minute papers in either Word or PDF format to marina.ludwigs@english.su.se by April 1, 2017. More information can be found here.

BCLA Conference Support

If you are a member of the BCLA, you can apply for financial support (up to £300 per event) for conferences and workshops on comparative topics. To apply, please fill in the form and send it to the BCLA Conference Officer, Prof. Ben Hutchinson.

Recent events supported by the BCLA include:

– BCLA panel on Satire at the ICLA, Vienna, July 2016

– BCLA Graduate Reception: ‘Afterlives’, UCL,  November 2016

– BCLA and SELGyC joint session, Santander, November 2016