Category Archives: Seminars

CFP: ACLA, Multilingualism and Theory; Literary Studies on the Move

Multilingualism and Theory: Critical Intersections and Literary Studies on the Move, American Comparative Literature Association, Utrecht University, the Netherlands July 6-9, 2017

Multilingualism and Theory: Critical Intersections

Multilingualism has emerged in the past few years as a site of critical attention within comparative literature and world literature. The myth of monolingualism and the presumed equivalency between nation and national language have given way to a new mode of scholarship that privileges the plurality and heterogeneity of languages and cultures. Despite this proliferation of critical attention, the methodological framework for discussing multilingualism remains undefined. To this effect, this seminar invites papers that address wider theoretical issues that surround multilingualism, especially with regard to the revisiting of the key terminology of the debate. Papers may examine this phenomenon on the level of text, the literary production of a single author, several authors or society as a whole.

How are multilingual competencies manifested in a text? What are the playful, covert or transgressive ways that are languages creatively deployed in a seemingly monolingual text? How can we read these texts ‘multilingually’, in the words of Gustavo Pérez Firmat? What is the relationship between language and form, and how does multilingualism impress itself on the very structure of the text? How do interlingual and translingual practices work to create a poetics of the liminal? Can we begin to speak about a uniquely multilingual aesthetic?

In the wake of Reine Meylaert’s view that ‘at the heart of multilingualism, we find translation’, we seek to explore the complexity of translating multilingual literature and the practice of self-translation. Why is multilingualism often associated with untranslatability? Turning to fictional representations of multilingualism, how do writers create the illusion of other languages in a monolingual text? How is translation without the original constructed in these instances? Can multilingualism challenge our understanding of binary concepts of target and source text/language/culture in translation studies?

How do multilingual writers utilize their linguistic competencies to push back against hierarchies of power and hegemonic practice? What are the intersections between multilingualism and post-colonial studies? How can we address the multiple linguistic competencies of an author in critical scholarship and why is this often overlooked?  How does translation of a multilingual text impact processes of canonization? In what ways can multilingual criticism challenge and dislodge the concept of the ‘native speaker’? What is the interplay between gender, class and linguistic competencies? What role should languages of mobility, prestige languages and accent play in critical theory? Are identity politics still relevant in studies of critical multilingualism?

We welcome papers that take these questions as a point of departure as well as other theoretically innovative approaches to multilingualism and linguistic complexity in literary analysis. Potential participants are encouraged to contact the organizers before submitting abstracts through the ACLA portal.

Seminar Organisers: Visnja Krstic, University of Belgrade and Kate Costello, University of Oxford

Deadline for abstracts is 11:59 PM Pacific Time on 23rd September.

Literary Studies on the Move

The purpose of this seminar is to explore case studies of how literary scholarship and scholars move across contrasting languages and cultures. What happens when the practices and methods honed in one location of the discipline get tried out in a distant institutional and cultural setting? What are the political and social contexts that have shaped such instances of importation, exile, or translation? How are once canonical assumptions re-applied to texts or students in a different cultural domain? The scholarly trajectories of Auerbach or Spitzer have been central to debate about transnational literary studies. Yet the broader history of scholarly and intellectual migration has been rarely brought into comparative perspective. This seminar invites analyses of relocation between any of the disparate past or present sites that test our sense of the positioning of literary scholarship.

Seminar Organisers: Na’ama Rokem and Stefan Uhlig.

More information about the seminar can be found here. As above, the ACLA’s online portal will accept paper submissions from 1 September through 23 September.

NB: the wide range of seminars at the 2017 ACLA Annual Meeting can be found here.


CFP: ACLA, Refiguring Romanticisms

Refiguring Romanticisms: Cross-Temporal Translations and Gothic Transgressions, American Comparative Literature Association, Utrecht University, the Netherlands, 6-9 July 2017.

Cross-temporal translation and Gothic transgression are present in Romanticism from its beginnings. In the 1800 Preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth maintained the superiority of English Romanticism, presenting German Gothic as a corruption of literary tradition. In turn, Poe’s poems and tales exemplify a ‘dark’ Romanticism partly inspired by the German E.T.A. Hoffmann. Beyond the Romantic era, Kandinsky called his art ‘today’s romanticism’, while Angela Carter’s reinvention of French and German fairy tales is a ‘bloody revision of the Romantic aesthetic’ (Kramer Linkin, 1994). More recently, the Spanish-Argentine Andrès Neuman advertised his 2009 novel Traveller of the Century as ‘a post-modern interpretation of Romanticism’. Despite their great diversity, these examples are linked by ‘the persistence of Romanticism’ (Eldridge 2001), a phenomenon that seemingly ignores geographical and temporal boundaries. This seminar will examine refigurations of Romanticism across chronological and national boundaries, and in its transgressive sister genre of the Gothic.

Our primary aim is to interrogate how and why aesthetic, formal, and philosophical aspects of Romanticism have been re-appropriated and transformed to fit differing agendas, from the early revisions of the Gothic to postmodern and contemporary manifestations of the Romantic. Which aspects of Romanticism express modern concerns under a new guise, and how far do translations or transgressions of Romanticism depart from their models to promote a new aesthetic? Finally, what do such translations and transgressions tell us about what we as critics conceptualise as Romantic? We hope to discuss Post-Romanticisms as a range of cross-temporal, cross-cultural, and Gothic reworkings that project Romantic ideas, forms, and styles differently for new audiences.

Questions / topics may include:

Romantic cosmopolitanism and world literature: how does Romanticism project within/beyond Europe? How can we understand Romanticism’s transnational origins?

Rewritings of Romantic works and genres in new contexts (e.g. postcolonial) and new media: which aspects of Romanticism are privileged / suppressed? How and why have Romantic forms (e.g. the fragment, the fairy tale, the Kunstmärchen) been revived?

Gothic texts as transgressions of the boundaries of Romanticism: how do Gothic tropes and figures subvert, reaffirm or revise the ‘romantic ideology’ (McGann 1983; cf. Hoeveler 2014)?

Critical interrelations of Romanticism and Gothicism: is their long ‘relationship of mutual antagonism and suspicion’ (Townshend and Wright 2016) being refigured now? How relevant is the opposition of ‘high’ Romanticism / ‘low’ Gothic (Gamer 2002)?

Romantic philosophy and theory then and now: how are Romantic ideas of perfectibility, revolution, nature, or the author translated across time and space?

If you are interested in participating in this seminar, please get in touch with the organisers over the summer with your ideas/ abstract before formally submitting an abstract via the ACLA website. Contact Joanna Neilly and Gero Guttzeit.  Submissions for abstracts open from 1st September, with a deadline of 23rd September.

More information about the seminar can be found here.


IES – SAS Comparative Modernisms Seminar

IES Comparative Modernisms Seminar

Monday 27th June 2016, 18.00-20.00, School of Advanced Study, University of London

(Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU)

Rebecca Beasley (University of Oxford): “The Russian revolution in British fiction, 1919-1928: Walpole, Gerhardie, Tyrkova and Williams, and Maugham”

David Ayers (University of Kent): “”Spirits of Modernist Europe: Eliot, Valéry, Patočka and Derrida”

Rebecca Beasley is University Lecturer in English at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow of The Queen’s College. She is the author of Ezra Pound and the Visual Culture of Modernism (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and Theorists of Modernist Poetry (Routledge, 2007), and, with Philip Ross Bullock, editor of Russia in Britain: From Melodrama to Modernism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). She is currently working on a book-length study of the impact of Russian culture on British literary modernism, Russomania.  She co-convenes the Anglo-Russian Research Network at Pushkin House with Matthew Taunton (UEA). From 2014-15, she was Chair of the British Association for Modernist Studies.

David Ayers is Professor of Modernism and Critical Theory in the School of English at the University of Kent. He is the author of monographs on Wyndham Lewis, English Literature of the 1920s, Modernism, and Literary Theory. He is the founding director of the Centre for Modern Poetry at Kent, and has been director of the European Network of Avant-garde and Modernism studies (EAM), and executive member of the Modernist Studies Association (MSA) and the British Association of Modernist Studies (BAMS). He edits the book series of the EAM and is an organiser of the London Modernism Seminar. His current work concerns the cultural impact in Britain of the Russian Revolution and the formation of the League of Nations.

Attendance: free

The IES-Comparative Modernisms Seminar Series is convened by Dr Angeliki Spiropoulou, a Visiting Research Fellow at IEL/SAS and Assist. Professor of European Literature and Theory at Peloponnese University. It is advised that you register your participation in advance.


Modernist legacies in contemporary women’s writing

IES Comparative Modernisms Seminar

Monday 11 Αpril  2016, 18:00-20:00, Room 243, Senate House, London

Lauren Elkin  (American University of Paris, writer/reviewer)

Dr. Lauren Elkin is a writer and a lecturer in the department of English and Comparative Literature at the American University of Paris. She earned her PhD in English literature at the Université Paris Diderot and the City University of New York, and specializes in women’s fiction, life-writing, studies of place, and visual culture. Her essays on books and culture have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement, the FT, the London Review of Books online, Granta, BookforumThe Daily Beast, The White Review, The New Inquiry, The Wall Street Journal, Five Dials, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and she is a contributing editor at The White Review. She is the author of the novel Floating Cities (translated as Une Année à VeniseEditions Héloïse d’Ormesson), which was awarded the Prix des Lecteurs at the Rue des Livres literary festival. With Scott Esposito, she is the co-author of The End of Oulipo? An Attempt to Exhaust a Movement, published by Zer0 Books. She is at work on her second novel, Scaffolding, set in Paris in 1972 and the present day, composed in both English and French. Her next book, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, will be out in the UK from Chatto & Windus and in the US from Farrar, Straus & Giroux. She also works as a translator from French to English, notably for the literary magazine Boulevard Magenta, Princeton University Press, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and several art galleries. With Charlotte Mandell, she recently co-translated Claude Arnaud’s biography of Jean Cocteau, to be published by Yale UP in 2016. She curates and hosts the Art of Criticism series at Shakespeare & Company.

Palestinians Refugees from Syria

Palestinians Refugees from Syria – The Forgotten People

21/03/2016, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
House of Commons, Parliament, London

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) & SNP Friends of Palestine invite you to Palestinians Refugees from Syria – The Forgotten People:

This seminar in the House of Commons will explore the issues faced by the Palestinian refugees in Syria, in light of the 5th year anniversary of the Syrian crisis. The discussion will explore how Palestine refugees remain particularly vulnerable and have been disproportionately affected by the conflict.

Monday 21st March
18:30 – 20:00

House of Commons
Committee Room 9

Hosted & Chaired by
Tommy Sheppard MP

Speakers Include

Ahmed Hussein
Director of Action Group for Palestinian Refugees of Syria

Anne Irfan
Former Medical Aid for Palestinians
PhD Student examining UNRWA Camps

Sameh Habeeb
Head of Media/PR
Palestinian Return Centre

Further Speakers to be Announced

To book your seat please email us. For more information, please check the website.