Category Archives: Events of Interest

BCLA: Unforeseen Consequences (Warwick)

Unforeseen Consequences: Literatures of Protest and Progress

University of Warwick, 11th November

Keynote speaker: Dr. Oliver Davis (Warwick)

The British Comparative Literature Association’s annual postgraduate conference ‘Unforeseen Consequences: Literatures of Protest and Political Struggle’ takes place at the University of Warwick on 11 November with a keynote by Dr Oliver Davis (Warwick). All are welcome and attendance is free. Registration closes at 9am on Wednesday 8th November. Please use our Eventbrite page to register ( Anyone who wishes to register after this time should contact

The programme for the day is as follows:
9.30 – 10.00: Registration
10.00 – 10.15: Welcome
10.15 – 11.45: Panel One: Legacies of Power
Giulia Champion (Warwick): The Emergence of Britain as a Nation-State and the Uncanny Colony in Literature
Amanda Stewart (Oxford): Narrative Ambiguity as a Response to Governmental Censorship: a close analysis of narrative voice in Christa Wolf’s The Quest for Christa T
Michael James (Royal Holloway): Losing a Sense of Space: dysfunctional spaces and Grimethorpe in the poetry of Helen Mort and Steve Ely
11.45 – 12.00: Coffee
12.00 – 13.30: Panel Two: Territory and Displacement
Sophie Kelly (Edgehill): Right-to-Remain (Silent): making space for ‘unofficial’ voices within a hostile landscape
Sam La Védrine (Nottingham): The Ecology of the In-Between and Writing ‘the entangled letters/of a new genetic code’: Pierre Joris’ stochasticism of nomadic poetics
Andrew Stones (Warwick): From ‘World-Ecological’ Literature to Exo-Planetary Fictions
13.30 – 14.15: Lunch
14.15 – 15.30: Keynote
Dr Oliver Davis (Warwick): For a Theory of Unforeseen Consequences: side-effects, unwieldy knowledge and literature
15.30 – 15.45: Coffee
15.45 – 17.15: Panel Three: Contemporary Struggles
Farah Aridi (Goldsmiths): Negotiating the Right to the City in Saleem Haddad’s Guapa
Asma Jahamah (Essex): Post 9/11 Terror in Nadeem Aslam’s The Blind Man’s Garden
Caterina Scarabicchi (Royal Holloway): ‘Borrowing’ the Migrant’s Story: De Luca’s Solo Andata between social commitment and literary appropriation
17.15 – 18.15: Wine Reception

The conference will be held in the Wolfson Research Exchange on Floor 3 (Extension) of University of Warwick Library. A university card is required to enter the library; please speak to the staff member at the library Welcome Point who will direct you to the Wolfson Research Exchange. An interactive campus map and a floorplan of the library are available here.

Complimentary teas, coffees, and lunch willl be provided, with a wine reception following the conference. If you have any dietary requirements, please let us know by emailing See our website for more information about the BCLA and our Facebook and Twitter pages for more about BCLA Postgraduates.
We look forward to seeing you on 11th November.

Creative Critical Writing Lab (UCL)

Creative Critical Writing Lab

Monday 6 November 2017 | 18:00-20:00 | room 6.02 UCL Bartlett School of Architecture

Following on from the successful Creative Critical Writing and Creative Resistance Workshops held at UCL in June and July 2017, and in response to the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received on them, we are setting up a series of writing labs. These writing labs – a forum for creative critical work in progress – are open to researchers of all disciplines and all stages of their careers. Our primary aims are, firstly, to offer a space for constructive criticism on current creative critical research projects and, secondly, to inspire future work and resistance through a collaborative reading of creative critical texts.

The first two writing labs – 6 November 2017 and 5 March 2018 – are focused on the theme of love. On 6 November 2017, Tim Mathews and Mathelinda Nabugodi will look at Percy Bysshe Shelley’s short essay On Love (1819) and Roland Barthes’s Fragments d’un discours amoureux(1977) [A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments trans. by Richard Howard] focusing on the introductory section on how the book is constructed and the fragments s’abîmerabsenceatoposdéclarationidentification, and lettre. We will explore the ways in which these two authors use creative techniques to drive their critical argumentation about the overpowering, and yet elusive, subject of love. Our reading will provide a foundation for the second part of the seminar which is devoted to discussion of work-in-progress by its participants.

For information on future events, join our mailing list

To contact the organisers

Please register through Eventbrite

The next Love Lab will take place on 5 March 2016. More on that soon.

The Writing Labs are conceived and organised by:
Emma Cheatle – Tim Mathews – Mathelinda Nabugodi – Emily Orley – Jane Rendell – PA Skantze

CFP: Translating for the Stage: Translating on the Stage (Oxford)

Translating for the Stage: Translating on the Stage, Symposium: 13th January, Workshop: 11-13th January, University of Oxford, Maison Française

Special Guest: Catherine Hargreaves, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre, Lyon

The symposium will take place after a three-day practical workshop run by director, actor and translator Catherine Hargreaves, professor at ENSATT, France. Speakers are invited to register for the workshop in addition to the symposium if they wish (see description below).

Call for Papers

While the domestication of cultural references is often seen as crucial in theatre translation, pursuing efficacy in speeches is just as important: the translator needs to have an ear for the potential performance of the text and its ‘speakability’. The demands of the stage tend to cut short the ethical debates on the positioning of translation between source and target text, and justify the choice for adaptation rather than translation. Over the past decades, translators and critics have defended the need to test translations on the stage, and the cooperation between the different agents of the theatrical project – in other words, the interdependence between translation, adaptation and interpretation. Collaborative translation benefits the actor by alleviating their verbal obstacles (Johnston 2004), and the director by assisting them in the interpretation of the text, as well as its reception, favouring the clarity and credibility of the text (Peghinelli 2012).

Sometimes collaborative translation also benefits the translators themselves, as it elevates their subaltern status and gives them visibility (Fernandes 2010); or benefits the source text, as it helps to retain the effects produced by the original (Zatlin 2005). This practice also benefits theatre translation as a discipline, as it can open up several avenues of research. For example, because the idiom generally aspires to embrace the target culture’s sociolect in a given time and to be as efficient as possible, studying the history of all available translations prepared for performance of a particular play could bring some insights into the evolution of language usage and the norms of theatrical efficacy. Just as the practice and the study of stage-oriented translations have entailed the emergence of theatre anthropology as an almost autonomous area of research, such historical study has the potential to open up to theatre sociolinguistics as a new subfield of the discipline.

This study day may also focus on the flaws of collaborative translation, and aims to foster debate on the practice. First, collaborative translation relies heavily on the notions of ‘speakability’ and ‘performability’, which are still under-conceptualised and sometimes controversial. Second, the necessity and the legitimacy of collaborative translation and naturalistic-driven theatrical writings can legitimately be criticised.

While case studies are welcome, we will favour proposals that particularly contribute to the theoretical reflection on collaborative translation. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes and suggested themes are as follows (although this list is not prescriptive):

–  Mechanisms and purpose of collective translation

–      Politics of rehearsals: power struggle and visibility of the translator

–    Collective translation and commercial theatre

–    Ethical considerations

–    Social sciences: sociolinguistics, historiography, anthropology, rehearsal ethnography

–    Defining, pursuing or rejecting ‘speakability’

Please send your abstract or any questions to by 1st November 2017. The committee will review the abstracts in the following week.

The symposium will end with an open workshop in which speakers will be given the opportunity to join for free or to attend (knowledge of French not essential for this workshop), followed by a round table.


The workshop will explore the relationship between language and acting. How can the use of different languages influence an actor’s presence, develop his practical skills and sensitivities and modify meaning? What happens on stage when a same scene is played in different languages? Or in several languages at the same time?

After a series of exercises, designed to reveal how the rhythm and sound of a given language carry the history and cultural background of a society, the participants (theatre practitioners and literature students) will work on performing English and French versions of the same scenes and on improvisations linked to multilingual devised theatre. Time will be spent on analyzing the different performances and figuring out together if the stage can and/or should influence the translation of a play. The authors and translators of the plays will be invited to join the workshop.

The scenes will be taken from English and French contemporary plays. Knowledge of French is required to participate, but no theatre experience is required.

Lunches will be provided.

Registration for the workshop (11th-13th January, 10am – 4pm): £15

Registration for the symposium: (13th January): Free


Fernandes, Balduino Alinne Pires, ‘Between Words and Silences: Translating for the Stage and the Enlargement of Paradigms’, Scientia Traductionis, n° 7, 2010, 119-133.

Johnston, David, ‘Securing the Performability of the Play in Translation’, in Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Holger Klein (eds),Drama Translation and Theatre Practice, Frankfurt, Peter Lang, 2004, 25-38.

Peghinelli, Andrea, ‘Theatre Translation as Collaboration: A Case in Point in British Contemporary Drama’, Journal for Communication and Culture 2, n° 1, 2012, 20-30.

Zatlin, Phyllis, Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View, Clevedon, Multilingual Matters, 2005.

The BCLA At Home (SOAS)

Saturday, 18th November 2017
SOAS, University of London
Brunei Gallery – B 102


From Thesis to Publication (12.00)Training session and discussion aimed especially at postgraduate students and early career academics, led by:

Dr Graham Nelson (Oxford ), Managing Editor of the Legenda (home to the BCLA’s own Studies in Comparative Literature, as well as Transcript and other interesting series).
Dr Richard Hibbitt (Leeds), Editor of the BCLA’s journal Comparative Critical Studies.
Prof Sanja Bahun (Essex), Associate Editor for Feminist Modernist Studies.
Prof Ben Hutchinson (Kent), Editor of Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature.

Members of the BCLA Editorial Committee responsible for selecting publications for Studies in Comparative Literature will also be present and happy to answer questions.

Sandwich Lunch (1.30), featuring the Award of this year’s Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize

AGM & Open Meeting of the Executive Committee (2.15)

Wine Reception (5.00), featuring President Prof Susan Bassnett (Warwick) in conversation with Prof Matthew Reynolds (Oxford) and members of the BCLA

Please come and join us for this interesting and convivial day!

‘Play, Recreation, and Experimentation’ (Kent)

Interdisciplinary Conference

‘Play, Recreation, and Experimentation

Literature and the Arts since the Early Modern Times’

8-9 Dec 2017

Hosted by the
Centre for Modern European Literature (CMEL) at the University of Kent, Canterbury, with the generous support of CMEL, the MHRA conference award, and the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA).

Venue: Kentish Barn seminar room, Canterbury Cathedral Lodge (enter via the main Cathedral gate and follow the signage)

(*spaces limited, early registration strongly encouraged)

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 the present day. 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.

We are pleased to present an exciting conference programme with a diverse range of topics. Please see our blog page for details about the papers and to register: