Category Archives: Symposiums

In from the Cold: Northern Noir

Free, one-day event on Northern crime writing, crime fiction translation and criticism at Europe House, London Wednesday 18 October 2017.

Over the past decade there has been a boom in Northern European crime fiction – in books, film and on television. Characterised by dark, wintry settings and even darker themes, this ‘Northern Noir’ frequently addresses important questions about crime, social welfare, immigration, gender, family and marginalised, vulnerable citizens. This special symposium brings together some of Europe’s best crime writers, translators and critics to discuss the characteristics of northern crime fiction. How does crime fiction in Britain differ from Northern Europe? What are the cultural similarities and differences? Is it possible to define a recognisable ‘northern’ tradition of crime writing that crosses national borders? Our packed programme includes author interviews, readings and panels, academic talks, a translation slam and public workshops.

Entrance to this day of events is free but places are limited. You must reserve your place in advance and specify the ONE workshop you would like to attend. Stricter security measures are in place at Europe House so each ticket booked must indicate the actual name of the individual ticketholder.

You can reserve your ticket and view the full programme at the following website:

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.


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 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 or Tom Knowles by Monday 11 September 2017

OCCT: Oxford Translation Day, Trinity Events

Oxford Translation Day, St Anne’s College, Oxford, 3rd June 2017

OTD Poster

On June 3rd, St Anne’s College will be running Oxford Translation Day, a celebration of literary translation consisting of workshops and talks throughout the day at St Anne’s and around the city, culminating in the award of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Oxford Translation Day is a joint venture of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (the research programme housed in St Anne’s and the Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities), in partnership with the Oxford German Network and Modern Poetry in Translation. All events are free and open to anyone, but registration is required. To register go to Eventbrite or see here:

The programme can be found here.


Week 4 – Poetic Currency Symposium (Collaboration with Stanford University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev) Poetry Reading and Keynote Address. Wed. 18 May, 5:00 -7:30pm; Seminar Room 10 in the New Library, St Anne’s College. Speakers: Adriana X. Jacobs (Oxford); Kristin Grogan (Oxford). Poets: Claire Trévien (UK); Tahel Frosh (Israel); Roy ‘Chicky’ Arad (Israel)

Week 4 – Poetic Currency SymposiumThurs. 19 May, 10:30 -16:30pm; Seminar Room 5, St Anne’s College. Speakers: Eleni Philippou (Oxford); Kasia Szymanska (Oxford); Idan Gillo (Stanford); Anat Weisman (BGU); Shira Stav (BGU); Roy Greenwald (BGU)

Week 5 – Fiction and Other Minds: Enacting Fictional SpaceWed. 24 May 2017, 5:15 -7:15pm; Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building. Speaker: Merja Polvinen (Helsinki); Respondent: Terence Cave (Oxford)

The OCCT 2017 Trinity programme can be found here – a detailed description of each individual event, here.

OCCT is a Divisional research programme supported by TORCH and St Anne’s College. Our organising committee includes Prof Matthew Reynolds, Prof Adriana X. Jacobs, Prof Mohamed-Salah Omri, Dr Eleni Philippou, Dr Peter Hill, Ms Karolina Watroba, Ms Kate Costello, Ms Valeria Taddei, Dr Kasia Szymanska, Prof Ben Morgan, Prof Patrick McGuinness

CFP: BCLA and SELGYC Postgraduate Joint Session

10-12 November 2016, Santander, Spain; Spanish Society of General and Comparative Literature (SELGYC)

The Spanish Society of General and Comparative Literature (SELGYC) is pleased to announce the XXI SELGYC Symposium, which will take place at the Palacio de la Magdalena in Santander, 10-12 November 2016.

We hereby invite all the BCLA postgraduate members who are interested in participating in a panel to send an abstract of their paper proposal (maximum 300 words) and a short bio-note by 23 September 2016 to

The Symposium’s scientific committee will carry out the revision and selection of the proposals received, and the results will be communicated by 31st September 2016. During the selection process of the articles, factors such as originality, composition, bibliography, method and adjustment to the themes proposed by the XXI Symposium will be taken into account.

Papers should address one of the general themes of the symposium:
1.- Las artes de la vanguardia literaria / The arts in avant-garde literature
2.- Shakespeare y Cervantes: 400 años después / Shakespeare and Cervantes: 400 years after.
3.- El sujeto migrante / Migrants

Papers will be presented in different sessions, as will be announced in the final program. Each author will have 15 minutes for presentation followed by 10 minutes Q&A.

PLACE: Palacio de la Magdalena (Santander – Cantabria).
DATE: Thursday 10th, Friday 11th and Saturday 12th of November, 2016.
LANGUAGE: English or Spanish

Deadline for proposals (BCLA postgraduate members): September 23rd, 2016.

Further information can be found here.

CFP: Violets in a Crucible – Translating the Orient

“Violets in a Crucible” – Translating the Orient

Grenoble, 22-24 June 2016

Violets in a Crucible is an international colloquium, organized jointly by the Université Grenoble Alpes and the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, focused on cultural exchanges through translation and rewriting of texts from oriental languages into European languages and vice-versa. Does the medium shape the message? Or does the message impact on the medium? Grenoble University, in partnership with the JNU would like to explore the dynamics of shifting mediums as men and women attempt to come to terms with the curse of Babel.

 The title, as well as the central thesis, was inspired by the following beautiful lines by P.B. Shelley:  “Hence the vanity of translation; it were as wise to cast a violet into a crucible that you might discover the formal principle of its colour and odour, as seek to transfuse from one language into another the creations of a poet. The plant must spring again from its seed, or it will bear no flower – and this is the burthen of the curse of Babel.”  (Shelley, A Defence of Poetry)

The questions explored during the colloquium will be the following: to what extent can translation/rewriting be considered a key, unlocking doors to unknown cultures? Does the translating/rewriting of texts lead to a cultural transfer, or does it lead to cultural distortion/cum/transformation?

In this colloquium, we will be looking at the translations of Oriental texts into European languages and translations of European texts into Oriental languages from the 18th century to the present day. How successful are these translations, who were these men and women who chose to translate the East for the West and the West for the East, and most importantly, what was the impact of these cultural mediators on Europe/the Orient? Did the plant spring again from its seed and bear flowers – or was the curse of Babel insurmountable?

To 16th century Europe the Orient was an unknown space. Few Europeans had made the long and hazardous journey by sea or land, and fewer still made the effort to learn Oriental languages. Nonetheless, Oriental languages attracted Europeans – partly for trade – and partly as a way to unlock the cultural treasures of the East. As these translated texts made their way back to Europe, they were retranslated into other European languages, thus undeniably influencing European thought and culture.

From Antoine Galland, who turned the collection of stories generally known as the  Alf laila wa laila into Les Mille et Une Nuits to Sir William Jones’ English translation of Kalidasa’s play Abhijnanasakuntala, the antiquarians and linguists who translated or rewrote Oriental folklore and literature charmed 18th century Europe, creating a fascination for the East which lasted well into the 19th century, profoundly affecting the great Romantic Movements in Europe. These texts were immediately translated into several European languages, setting the European imagination on fire, galvanizing European literati.

In this colloquium, we would like to research this intellectual ferment which has changed the face of European culture, and continues to do so in the 21st century. We aim to look at translations not only as genuine literary products with their own intrinsic literary merit, but also their impact on European cultures and civilizations and vice-versa.

Please see the CFP for more details. Abstracts can be submitted in French or English.

 Deadline for submitting abstracts: (400 words) +short biodata: 23 November 2015

Notification of acceptance: 14.12.2015

There will be a publication of selected papers from this conference.

 Contacts :

Pr Madhu Benoit  (L’Université Grenoble Alpes)

Pr GJV Prasad (Jawaharlal Nehru University)

Dr. Ganapathy-Doré MC HDR (SARI)

Pr Isabelle Gadoin  (Université Poitiers)

Dr. Véronique Aubergé CR CNRS INSHS (LIG)