Category Archives: Workshops

CFP: New Approaches to Counterculture (Edinburgh)

New Approaches to Counterculture: Art, Politics, and Technology in Rebellion and Reaction

Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities

University of Edinburgh
12-13 April 2018

In 1969, Theodore Roszak’s The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and its Youthful Opposition coined the modern usage of the term used to define a generation of misfits and revolutionaries, hippies and drug-users, and other cultural and political insurgents and rebels. With nearly 50 years of hindsight, it’s easy to identify short-comings in Roszak’s commentary on the trends and thinkers guiding so much youth culture of the 60s; but his warnings of a ‘technocratic totalitarianism … wholly estranged from everything that has ever made the life of man an interesting adventure’ may still ring a note of dissent with the art, music, literature, philosophy and politics formed in era of the rationale of the market.

Surprisingly, however, the language of the countercultural is now often as likely to be used to describe the so-called ‘Alt-Right’ as it is the radical youth culture of the 60s. On 17 February 2017, for example, the Independent online, in response to claims in the media, published an op-ed entitled, ‘There’s a very simple reason why the alt-right is not the new counterculture’ – the reason being that there is simply no dominant culture to counter. On the other hand, some, such as film-maker Adam Curtis, has argued that, in spite of itself, the counterculture has contributed to the development it originally sought to break with.

With these issues in mind, for this workshop we invite speakers to propose 20-minute papers on the international counterculture in contemporary discourse, or reconsiderations on the artistic or historic counterculture of the 1960s and 70s. Papers are encouraged to address any of the following questions:

  • How is counterculture identified in the 21st century?
  • What artistic and literary practices are identifiable as counter-cultural, and what new theories can be brought to the study of countercultural arts?
  • Does counterculture still retain the possibility of resistance, or have the processes of commodification and capitalisation definitively circumvented any resistant potential?
  • How are countercultural movements bounded by national cultures, or influenced by changes within the national culture?
  • How has counterculture changed with the internet and social media? Can counterculture exist as an exclusively online phenomenon or must it establish a presence in physical space or command of material resources?

Keynote speakers will include Professor Jeremy Gilbert (University of East London) and Dr Katharina Karcher (University of Bristol).

Speakers will also be invited to discuss their themes or expertise on a podcast hosted on the IASH website. Podcast conversations, intended for non-academic audiences, will be about speakers’ interests as researchers on counterculture or simply as enthusiasts of countercultural arts, literature, politics and history.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words, as well as a short bio (50 words) by 15 January 2018 to Please note that the will be a £5 registration fee for the conference.

The West-Eastern Lyric Modernist Poetry between Asia and Europe (SOAS)

The West-Eastern Lyric Modernist Poetry between Asia and Europe
 17 November 2017 9:30 – 6.30, SOAS, 21/22 Russell Square, Room T101

Organised by MULOSIGE ERC project (SOAS) and the Centre for Modern European Literature (University of Kent)

All Welcome! Please Register via Eventbrite.

In Enlightenment Orientalism (2012), the late S. Aravamudan argued that the popularity in 18th-century Europe of the “Oriental tale”, a genre practiced by several celebrated early English and French novelists, calls for a revision of the standard view of the novel as an originally European product that was then disseminated throughout the world. In another essay (2014), Aravamudan noted that ‘narratives of influence from “East” to “West” are often subject to special pleading, contingency, and “accidental sagacity,” whereas influences from the “West” to the “East” involve formulations deriving from scientific necessity, historical causality, and colonial power’. Categories of genre, in other words, seem to have been conflated with categories of power.

This workshop will consider the implications of this insight for lyric poetry. Exploring the many lives of “Eastern Poetry” and the ways in which its circulation across several languages challenges any understanding of modernism along a “single Greenwich meridian of world literature” (Casanova), it will examine the way that poetic styles, themes, and strategies developed in a multi-way process of cultural transfer between Asia and Europe, across Europe and across Asia. Translations, pseudo-translations, re-translations and free versions of “Oriental” poems, often under the umbrella term of “Eastern poetry”, proved enduringly popular among a whole range of European readers and poets from the late-19th century to the early 20th century, from Pound to Rilke to Michaux. Translations by the likes of Edward Fitzgerald, Edwin Arnold, and E. Powys Mathers circulated and were re-translated by “Eastern” poets, who in turn gave these poems new lives. Lyric poetry, in short, became an intercontinental genre.

The programme is available at:

Fatima Burney (Mulosige, SOAS)

Ben Hutchinson (University of Kent)

Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

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!