Category Archives: Postgraduate Events

BCLA Spring Postgraduate Reception 2014 to be Held at the University of Leeds

Call for papers now closed. See the BCLA Spring Postgraduate Reception event page for details.

We are pleased to announce that the BCLA will be hosting a Postgraduate Reception in the afternoon of 5 March 2014, Wednesday at the University of Leeds. This is the first time a BCLA Postgraduate Reception is held outside of London! We do hope to make this a regular event so that every year the autumn receptions are held at an institution based in London and the spring receptions are held elsewhere in the UK.

This spring, the BCLA Postgraduate Reception is organised in conjunction with the lecture David Damrosch will be delivering at the University of Leeds. Ernest Bernbaum Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University and past President of the American Comparative Literature Association, David Damrosch kindly agreed to be present throughout the Postgraduate Reception and respond to the papers. Following the BCLA Postgraduate Reception, he will be delivering a lecture entitled ‘Tupi or Not Tupi: The World in the Nation’.

We have two or three slots available for postgraduates to give a 10-15 minute paper on any aspect of the relationship between Comparative Literature and Postcolonialism. Papers addressing David Damrosch’s contribution to the field of Comparative Literature or issues raised by his book entitled What is World Literature? (Princeton University Press, 2003) are particularly welcome.

Our Postgraduate Receptions are friendly seminars that offer postgraduates working in Comparative Literature and related fields the opportunity to present their work to peers and academics and are followed by a wine reception.

Abstracts (up to 250 words) should be sent using the form below, or alternatively emailed to by 20 February 2014, Thursday. We may be able to be flexible if you indicate your interest but are not able to write an abstract before then. The call is open to all postgraduate students whose research falls within Comparative Literature; however, preference may be given in making a decision to those who are members of the BCLA. We are able to reimburse travel expenses of speakers who are based outside Leeds; if you would like to be considered, please indicate this at the end when sending your abstract.

‘Modernist Criticisms’ Graduate Conference at the University of Sussex

Centre for Modernist Studies at the University of Sussex will be organising a conference entitled ‘Modernist Criticisms’ on 7 June 2014. The conference aims to develop debates on the intersections between criticism and literature in modernist culture as well as to integrate recent research on the literary culture of modernism with the study of both canonical and non-canonical critical texts. Deadline for abstracts is 7 March 2014.

Visit the website for details.

Winners of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize 2013

The winners of the Arthur Terry Postgraduate Essay Prize for 2013 have been announced. The jury, which was comprised of members of the BCLA Executive Committee, has evaluated twenty-seven entries from a range of institutions across the UK and awarded the following:

First prize: Daria Wallace (University College London), ‘Desired Endings: Questions of Mortality and Meaning in Apocalypse Fiction’.

Third prize: Sarah Riddick (University College London), ‘The Task of Telling: A Defence of Third Generation Holocaust Texts through Nathan Englander’s The TumblersMaus and See Under Love’.

In addition to prizes of £100, £50, and £30 respectively, the winners are also awarded with one-year free BCLA membership. We congratulate them all for their success.

* All essays are published under a Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 on the BCLA website unless otherwise stated.

BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Alternatives

BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Alternatives: Translation and the (Anti-) Canon
24-25 April 2014, University of Glasgow and University of St Andrews

In collaboration with Scottish PEN

Including Workshops in Translation and Creative Writing


Dr Robin MacKenzie, BCLA Executive Committee Member and Treasurer, University of St Andrews

Speaker invited by Scottish PEN, TBA 

Workshop Leaders:

Dr Elizabeth Reeder, Novelist and Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glasgow

Peter Manson, Glasgow-based Poet and Translator

Dr Samuel Tongue, Poet and Winner of Scottish New Writers Award

Dr Georgina Collins, Course Convener of Translation Studies at the University of Glasgow

* Extended deadline: 10 March 2014.

Call for Papers

In literary studies, the term ‘canon’ has become not only a point of reference but also of separation. The canon, the body of text creating a culture, is afflicted by conflicting tendencies: one calling for a unified, limited body of text, enabling the scholar to gain in-depth knowledge; the other striving to open up the corpus, including for example literature by women writers and marginal texts. Conflicting canonicity is mirrored in academic reading lists: one reading list might be limited to works originally published in English whilst another might include translated texts. The curriculum for Comparative or World Literature courses is even more diverse. The contentious idea of the canon has been put under scrutiny, yet alternative classifications and assessments are not readily available. The contribution of literature in translation, both as part of Comparative and World Literature courses, puts canon-formation to a test and reflects its multifaceted process.

Leading on from Michel Foucault’s theory of genealogical historical processes, translation can be understood as offering an alternative model of literary theory and history, with the history of translation theory and practice at the centre of literary production. Translations of canonical texts foster a culture in the target language; translations of marginal texts become canonical in the target culture. Translated texts can form an anti-canon as well as undermine an established canon. Translation opens up new possibilities and different ways to read and study literature.

We welcome papers from any discipline that engage with canon-formation, alternative readings of the canon and anti-canonical approaches to literature through and in translation. We also invite contributions from fields including visual arts, theatre studies, music and creative writing. We intend to publish papers from this conference.

Subjects may include, but are not limited to:

  • canon and canons
  • the history of translation
  • minor languages and translation
  • publishing and censorship
  • philosophy of canon formation
  • power struggles
  • translation as an alternative to the original
  • the politics of translation
  • untranslated canons
  • translation from lost languages
  • pedagogy of literature

Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. In addition to paper presentations, the conference will offer workshops in translation and creative writing, both poetry and prose, run by novelist Elizabeth Reeder, published poets Peter Manson and Samuel Tongue and translation lecturer Georgina Collins.

Submissions should include title, an abstract of no more than 250 words, three to five keywords indicating the subject area, name, email address, institutional affiliation, year of study and technical requirements for the presentation. Submissions should be sent to:

Deadline for submission of proposals for individual papers or panels: 1 March 2014.

Download the call for papers for the BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Alternatives: Translation and the (Anti-)Canon, or for more detail and updates, see the Facebook event pages for 24 April and 25 April.

BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Revolution & Evolution

BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Revolution & Evolution
10-11 July 2014, University of Essex

* Call for papers now closed. Further details will be published in the News and Announcements.

Call for Papers

The British Comparative Literature Association invite postgraduates to submit abstracts for an interdisciplinary conference.  Proposals from students in the Humanities, including Literature, Film, Theatre Studies and Creative Writing are welcome for papers exploring revolution and evolution in disciplines ranging from gender studies and cultural geography to myth, folklore studies and nature writing.

Possible topics may include:

  • Development, progression, transformation and expansion of cultural tropes and motifs
  • Evolution of theory and critical thinking
  • Revolutions and challenges of theory
  • Transfiguration of anarchy, rebellion and insurgency
  • Metamorphosis of place, space, and time
  • Transgression and vice
  • Psychogeography

Special Strand: The Student Movement: 1968: The conference includes a special strand celebrating the 50th anniversary of the University of Essex. Jean-Luc Godard’s British Sounds (1969), which was filmed at the University in 1968, will be screened. In addition, there will be a poetry reading inspired by the theme.

Keynote Speakers: Peter Hulme (University of Essex) and John Haynes (University of Essex)

Proposals on all aspects of revolution and evolution, understood as the evolution of texts, genres, theories, languages and beings across space and time, preceded or followed by revolutionary or reactionary agents and actions are welcome.

Extended deadline for submission of proposals for individual papers or panels: 1 March 2014.

Proposals, no longer than 250 words, and a brief biographical statement (50 words) should be sent to:

Download the call for papers poster for the BCLA Postgraduate Conference: Revolution & Evolution or for more detail and updates, visit the website or see the Facebook event page.