Seminar presentations may be a maximum of 15 minutes. Each conference participant may only present ONE PAPER during the conference – one lecture or one round table paper or one seminar paper or one poster, whether in the round table / seminar session that he or she convenes or in a different one. Postgraduate students selected for the Special Doctoral Sessions may in addition present one other paper in a regular seminar.


“Pragmatic strategies in non-native Englishes”

Lieven Buysse, KU Leuven University of Leuven, Belgium,
Jesús Romero-Trillo, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain,

Research on non-native speech has long been dominated by an emphasis on lexical and grammatical patterns. At the same time the various types of non-native varieties of English have often been treated from these perspectives too. To broaden the scope this seminar wishes to explore the variety of discourse pragmatic strategies employed in non-native Englishes, encompassing second language (ESL), learner (EFL) and lingua franca varieties of English (ELF). Papers can focus on any pragmatic feature that helps to shape discourse and/or facilitates interaction (e.g. pragmatic markers, politeness phenomena, prosody). The presented research must be based on corpus-based data.


“Negation and negatives: a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective”

Irena Zovko Dinković, University of Zagreb, Croatia,
Gašper Ilc, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia,

The interest in negation as a universal feature of human language has always instigated much linguistic and linguistic-related research. The purpose of the present seminar is thus to present various viewpoints on negation and negatives in English from a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural perspective. Special focus will be laid on new theoretical perspectives and latest developments in the domain of negation, including the functional, lexical, and discursive nature of negation, formal approaches to negation, negation in view of the contrastive linguistic method, diachronic vs. synchronic analysis of negation, and pragmatic as well as sociolinguistic aspects of negation.


“Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Approaches to Phraseology”

Zoia Adamia, Ekvtime Takaishvili Teaching University, Rustavi, Georgia,  Tatiana Fedulenkova, Vladimir State University, Russia,

The seminar will focus on new theoretical perspectives and the latest developments in phraseology, including stylistic investigations, the issues of tradition vs creativity in the use of phraseological units in discourse, and cross-linguistic and cross-cultural research. The pedagogical implications of teaching the stylistic use of phraseologisms also present great interest, both to native and L2 students. Participants are encouraged to present their observations and theoretical conclusions on the basis of systematic studies of empirical material. Discussions of paradigmatic relations of English phraseologisms (synonymical, antonymical, hypero-hyponymical, etc.) in the system of the language, as well as a cross-linguistic approach, are welcome.


“New advances in the study of the information structure of discourse”

Libuše Dušková, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic,
Jana Chamonikolasová, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic,
Renáta Gregová, P. J. Šafárik University, Košice, Slovakia,

This seminar presents current advances in the different approaches to and applications of the theory of information structure. The focus is on the multifarious aspects of information structure arising from its close relationship to other linguistic disciplines. The papers address the informational aspect of discourse from the viewpoint of context, the theme-rheme / topic-focus structure of the sentence, the structure of larger textual units and the role of intonation, especially in spoken discourse. The analyses are based on the material of written and spoken texts and parallel bi-lingual or multilingual corpora.


“The influence of English on word-formation structures in the languages of Europe and beyond”

Alexandra Bagasheva, University of Sofia, Bulgaria,
Jesús Fernández-Domínguez, affiliation with "University of Granada, Spain,
Vincent Renner, University of Lyon, France,

Virtually all European languages have been affected by the ever-increasing global dominance of English over the last decades. Contact-induced borrowing has been amply described at the lexical level and, even if this has been less often noted, it also often extends to word-formation structures. We invite submissions on any topic related to incipient morphological borrowing and/or changes in productivity of specific processes (e.g. clipping, blending, conversion) or patterns (e.g. semantic right-headedness in compounding) in order to shed new light on both the singularities and commonalities of this wide-ranging phenomenon in the languages of Europe and beyond. Papers on contrastive or methodological issues will be especially welcome.


“Multimodal Perspectives on English Language Teaching”

Belinda Crawford, Camiciottoli, Università di Pisa, Italy,
Mari Carmen Campoy-Cubillo, Universitat Jaume I, Spain,

Multimodal literacy involves the ability to construct meanings from texts that integrate different semiotic resources. In language teaching, the multimodal approach is particularly important to help students learn to exploit modes beyond verbal language (e.g., visual, gestural, spatial) to both understand and produce texts in the target language more effectively. This seminar aims to provide a forum to discuss the role of multimodality in English language teaching. Possible topics for development include: communication processes between teachers and learners that are mediated through multimodal methods and materials, frameworks for teaching multimodal competence, assessment of learning based on multimodal input, assessment of student performance in multimodal tasks and attitudes towards teaching/learning non-verbal communication in the English language classroom.


“Multimodal metaphor and metonymy: creative and ideological socio-cultural practices in English discourse” CANCELLED

Laura Hidalgo Downing, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain,
Coral Calvo Maturana, Coventry University, UK,;

This seminar offers a space for debate on the role of multimodal metaphor and metonymy as creative and ideological socio-cultural practices. The main objective is to explore the processes which enable complex meaning creation in multimodal discourses and the implications this has for the practice of multimodality as a form of creativity and ideological manifestations. By multimodal metaphor and metonymy we understand metaphoric-metonymic constructs and processes in which either the target and/or the source domains are expressed in more than one mode (verbal, visual, acoustic, gestural, movement, perceptual)..


“Change from above in the history of English”

Nikolaos Lavidas, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece,
Jim Walker, Université Lumière Lyon 2, France,

This seminar explores cases of “change from above” in the history of English. Change from above refers to the consciousness dimension of linguistic change, to changes that come from above the level of a speaker’s conscious awareness. It concerns cases of borrowings from languages which the dominant classes consider prestigious, or conscious selection, such as the retention and the re-introduction of affirmative do in seventeenth century documents. The seminar will discuss, among other issues, the (re)introduction of elements by the dominant social class in various stages of the history of English, their correlation with changes in other features, their (non)integration into the vernacular system and the question of the coexistent systems. 


“Social identities in public texts”

Minna Nevala, University of Helsinki, Finland,
Matylda Włodarczyk, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland,

This seminar aims at discussing ways in which public texts, both historical and modern, encoded the social identities of people in their various interlocutive roles. Social identity is understood as an individual's self-concept derived from perceived membership in a social group. In language use, social identity construction can be traced through linguistic indicators, such as stance, person reference, modality, and others. Public texts, such as newspapers, instructional texts, prose and drama, can show people’s social selves on different levels of intergroup behaviour. The main interest lies on how writers of these texts place themselves and the people they are either writing about or for within different social categories.


“Comparative and Typological Studies of English Idioms”

Anahit Hovhannisyan, Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute, Gyumri, Armenia,,
Natalia Potselueva, Pavlodar State University, Republic of Kazakhstan,

The problem of common and specific features in idioms of different languages as compared to English idioms is going to be discussed: a) common and specific features in the structure of idioms compared: in the lexical and functional character of their components, in the grammatical composition of the idioms (e.g.: Verb + Adj + Noun), in the dependence of components within idioms, b) common and specific features in the meanings of the idioms compared, in mechanisms of semantic transformation of their prototype: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, c) common and specific features in the origin of idioms compared, in their functional and pragmatic value. Other adjacent themes are also welcome.


“English Phraseology and Business Terminology: the Points of Crossing”

Victoria Ivashchenko, The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine/The Institute of the Ukrainian Language, Kiev, Ukraine,
Tatiana Fedulenkova, Vladimir State University, Russia,

We often come across such phraseological units (PUs) as “fallen angels”, “blanket agreement”, “sleeping beauty”, “green shoe” which appear to function as units of business terminology. Papers on business terminology of idiomatic character are welcome to the Seminar. Items for discussion: a) structural, semantic and contextual approaches to business PU-terms; b) types, classifications, and LSP applications of terms of idiomatic character; c) metaphor and metonymy as basic mechanisms of meaning transformation of the PU prototypical word combination; d) characteristics of dictionary entries and definitions of PU-terms and their pragmatic value; e) traditions and innovations in teaching business phraseology at universities.


“Research Publication Practices: Challenges for Scholars in a Globalised World”

Pilar Mur-Dueñas, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain,
Jolanta Šinkūnienė, Vilnius University, Lithuania,

Research evaluation systems in many disciplinary and cultural communities increasingly compel scholars to publish in high impact English-medium journals. The aim of this seminar is to gain new insights into research publication practices of scholars who use English as an international lingua franca. We invite contributions on the impact of English as “the universal language of science” (Testa 2012) focusing on textual, discursive and rhetorical features of research publication genres, as well as the role of language professionals, mediators or “literacy brokers” (Lillis & Curry 2010) in research publication processes. Implications of research policies on (inter)national academic publishing practices are also welcome.


“ESP and specialist domains: exclusive, inclusive or complementary approaches?”

Shaeda Isani, Université Stendhal, Grenoble 3, France,
Michel Van der Yeught, Aix-Marseille University, France,
Miguel Angel Campos Pardillos, University of Alicante, Spain,
Marcin Laczek, University of Warsaw, Poland,

Relationships between English for Specific Purposes (ESP) and specialist domains seem to be taken for granted and yet remain complex to apprehend and difficult to implement. English for medical, legal or economic purposes naturally stems from the specialized domains of medicine, law and economics. Yet, when it comes to teaching and research, ESP practitioners face the conflicting requirements of language and domain-specific expertise. One line of thinking insists that ESP actors are primarily language teachers and that they should not step on specialist turf. Conversely, other views advocate varying degrees of competence in specialized knowledge for successful ESP teaching. The seminar invites insights into the different facets of this debate. Presentations will examine the issue of the relevance of specialized knowledge in ESP teaching and research by focusing on specific varieties of specialized English or by adopting more general views. All theoretical suggestions likely to clarify the links between English and specialist domains will also be welcome.


“Teaching Practices in ESP Today”

Cédric Sarré, ESPE Paris, France,
Shona Whyte, University of Nice, France,
Danica Milosevic, College of Applied Technical Sciences, Nis, Serbia,
Alessandra Molino, University of Turin, Italy,

For over thirty years, English for Specific Purposes (ESP) has been defined by various authors as a learning-centred approach to language teaching where the goal of the learners is to use English in a particular domain. Yet, ESP teaching practices remain extremely varied depending on practitioners, institutions and countries. This seminar focuses on today’s diversity of ESP teaching and learning in Europe and further afield. However, beyond the richness of pedagogical varieties, it also raises the question of the theoretical foundations of ESP practices and, as such, welcomes papers on all aspects and issues of ESP didactics.


“English as a Foreign Language for Students with Special Educational Needs – Chances and Challenges”

Ewa Domagała-Zyśk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland,
Nusha Moritz, University of Strasbourg, France,

This seminar is designed as a space for discussions and sharing for linguists interested in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to children, adolescents and adults with special educational needs (SEN). For many years in the past D/deaf, blind, intellectually challenged or dyslexic students were excluded from learning foreign languages in special schools. Today they participate in mainstream education on a par with their peers. This situation creates both significant chances and new scientific problems and methodological challenges. The purpose of the seminar is to share research results and ideas about the following issues:
1). Conceptual representations for words in English in individuals with sensory or cognitive challenges;
2. Teaching and learning strategies to enhance both motivation and language performance;
3. The role of oral communication and sign languages in EFL classes for the D/deaf.


“The Discursive Representation of Globalised Organised Crime: Crossing Borders of Languages and Cultures”

Giuditta Caliendo, University Lille 3, France,
Giuseppe Balirano, University of Naples L’Orientale, Italy,
Paul Sambre, University of Leuven, Belgium,

Criminal syndicates, by expanding activities across the borders of a globalised world, export their unlawful models abroad. Although raising awareness about world-wide criminal phenomena is a major issue in the fight against crime, little attention has been devoted to how crime syndicates are discursively construed in English. This seminar aims at investigating the discursive representation of organised crime in linguistics, multimodal (critical) discourse studies, and political discourse. The empirical goal is to provide insights on different multimodal productions and/or genres which seem to facilitate the relocation of ‘foreign’ criminal organisations (such as the mafias) in globalised contexts of English.


“Contact, Identity and Morphosyntactic Variation in Diasporic Communities of Practice”

Siria Guzzo, University of Salerno, Italy,                           
Chryso Hadjidemetriou, University of Stockholm, Sweden,

This seminar aims to look at issues of language maintenance and shift in heritage communities of practice. Specific attention will be paid to discussing their longstanding migration, cultural heritage and identity construction. Mobility, contact and exchanges are increasing, social and communicative networks are becoming more complex, and the sociolinguistics of diaspora is beginning to address new issues. Diasporic communities are constantly increasing in size and number in the urban centres, making them sites of diversity. What happens to single heritage languages as they are relocated into new settings, creating new dialect contact situations? Papers resulting from ethnographic fieldwork and observation with a focus on language use, morphosyntactic variation and heritage identity are of particular interest.


“Plagiarism in Academia vis-à-vis Ethical Aspects and Common Practices”

Klaus P. Schneider, University of Bonn, Germany,
Irena Vassileva, New Bulgarian University, Bulgaria,

This seminar will examine the relatively under-researched but ever more common practice of plagiarism by academics. From a theoretical perspective, it will focus on the evaluation of current definitions of plagiarism in terms of their variation, relevance in the digital age, ethical and legal aspects. Central to the discussion will be the delineation of the types of text plagiarism and the elicitation of plagiarism techniques such as direct plagiarism, mosaic plagiarism, paraphrase plagiarism, plagiarism of ideas, among others. Various methods for identifying text plagiarism will be examined, and ways of measuring semantic and structural similarity will be proposed. Special attention will be paid to the phenomenon of translated plagiarism, whose linguistic analysis can help to develop a methodology for recognition of cross-language plagiarism.


“The Fast and the Furious: The Amazing Textual Adventures of Miniscripts”

Francesca Saggini Boyle, University of Tuscia/University of Glasgow,
Anna Enrichetta Soccio, University of Chieti, Italy,

From the standpoint of complementary linguistic, literary and cultural studies, this panel will examine all forms of micro-textuality. The diversity of past and present-day microtextuality includes textual sermons, graffiti, flash fictions, media texts (hashtags, blogs, twitter size fictions), literary ephemera (greeting cards, postcards and trade cards), extreme bowdlerizations, essential compendia to be read in one sitting, one-act plays, aphorism, epigrams, funerary inscriptions, captions. This panel argues for a clearer and more comprehensive understanding of the concepts of ‘mini-text’, ‘mini-narratives’ and ‘textual snapshots’, the metaphorical ‘small print’ that has traditionally been relegated to peripheral or spectralised narratives.


“A Poetics of Exile in Poetry and Translation”

Penelope Galey-Sacks, Valenciennes University (
Sara Greaves, Aix-Marseille University (
Stephanos Stephanides, University of Cyprus (

Exile as a philosophical concept, exile as an experience within today’s mobile world of displacement and diaspora, exile as a singular mindscape or as the expression of a collective identity, exile as the relationship between poet or translator and language or within language: all of these themes of enquiry can contribute to a poetics of exile in poetry and translation. Hybridity, in-betweeness and estrangement are among its salient and creative modes, with poets and translators’ perceptions of disempowerment and its contrary registering public and private exilic historicities.

This seminar invites participants to explore and attempt to define a poetics of exile in contemporary English-language poetry and poetry in translation through an exilic perspective. Proposals should be sent to the following three convenors by 28th Feb 2016.


“Shakespearean Romantic Comedies: Translations, Adaptations, Tradaptations”

Márta Minier, University of South Wales, UK,
Maddalena Pennacchia, Roma Tre University, Italy,
Iolanda Plescia ‘Sapienza’ University of Rome, Italy,

Written in a mature phase of Shakespeare’s career, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and Twelfth Night represent the quintessence of “romantic comedy”, a successful genre that since Shakespeare’s time has unfailingly met the tastes of audiences all around the world. The seminar aims to explore the language of Shakespearean comedy in this specific sub-corpus and the particular challenges it poses not only in translation from language to language (interlingual translations), but also in transfer to modern audiences within the same language (intralingual translations) and from one medium to another (intersemiotic translations) in the English-speaking world and beyond. Specific takes on textual hybrids - tradaptations - are among the topics of the seminar.


“Anachronism and the Medieval”

Lindsay Reid, NUI Galway, Ireland,
Yuri Cowan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway,

This seminar focuses on anachronism, broadly defined, and its relation to the medieval period. Often understood negatively as a computational fault or disruptive error, anachronism is closely related to archaism, presentism, and para-/pro-chronism, as well as to the notion of the preposterous (in its literal Latin sense of “before-behind”). Contributors to this seminar might reflect on broad issues of temporality or on particular instances of anachronism—intentional or unintentional—in relation to medieval literary exemplars, but equally welcomed are contributions that explore anachronicity in conjunction with later (Renaissance to contemporary) engagements with the medieval past and its textual traditions.


“The (in)human self across early modern genres: Textual strategies 1550-1700”

Jean-Jacques Chardin, Université de Strasbourg, France,
Anna Maria Cimitile, Università degli studi di Napoli "L'Orientale", Italy,
Laurent Curelly, Université de Haute-Alsace, France,

Recent studies on early modern constructions and representations of the self, the body and the human suggest a reappraisal of the notion of selfhood in terms of an unbounded – for example with respect to animals, or the in-human space of technology – and vulnerable form. This seminar will examine how we are to reconsider the early modern envisionings of the human in its imbrications with the inhuman (the elemental, the animal, technology), how we are to read the textual assertions and dissolutions of the early modern self, and how we shape our critical appraisal and reinventions.


“Renegade Women in Drama, Fiction and Travel Writing: 16th Century - 19th Century”

Ludmilla Kostova, University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria,
Efterpi Mitsi, University of Athens, Greece,

Taking our cue from Eric R. Dursteler (2011), we define renegade women not only as religious converts but as transgressors of boundaries of any sort. Significant representations of such women are to be found in a variety of dramatic and fictional genres as well as in travel writing. The seminar invites papers exploring this exceptional variety in texts produced over a lengthy period of time, stretching from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. Topics include, but are not limited to: border crossing(s), female autonomy, gender and transgression, gendered conversions, “passing”, forms of antagonism and complicity, “connectedness” vs religious/political divides, cultural/literary histories of renegade women.


“Picturing on the Page and the Stage in Renaissance England”

Camilla Caporicci, University of Perugia, Italy/LMU, Germany,
Armelle Sabatier, University of Paris II, France,

This seminar aims to explore new perspectives on the complex nexus between visual arts and literature in Tudor and Stuart England, with particular reference to the art of portraiture. The act of “creating portraits” in 16th and 17th century literature ranges from the representations of a diversity of images, such as miniatures, large-scale portraits, or even statues, to the eloquence of verbal picturing in emphasis. Beyond the religious controversy surrounding icons at that time, and the influence of aesthetic and literary paradigms (for example Petrarchism or Mannerism), pictures could also be interpreted as mental images created by the “mind’s eye”..


“Icons Dynamised: Motion and Motionlessness in Early Modern English Drama and Culture”

Géza Kállay, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary,
Attila Kiss, University of Szeged, Hungary,
Zenón Luis Martínez, University of Huelva, Spain,

An example of English Renaissance contrariety is the simultaneous presence of motion and motionlessness in cultural representations. The heritage of icons of contemplation and their dynamised theatrical versions, the dramatic adaptations of the tradition of the tableaux vivant, the frozen figures of early modern drama on the stage of the emblematic theatre, the systematically prolonged moments of horrible deaths, the tensions and antagonisms of body and soul, fixation and ascension, passage and stagnation are all examples of an early modern obsession with motion and motionlessness. Contributions are welcome to this seminar from all interpretive angles including early modern cultural studies, Biblical hermeneutics, cultural semiotics, and image-text studies.


“English Printed Books, Manuscripts and Material Studies”

Carlo Bajetta, Università della Valle d’Aosta, Italy,
Guillaume Coatalen, Université de Cergy-Pontoise, France,

This seminar’s focus is on the physicality of English printed books and manuscripts, whether they be strictly literary or not. We are particularly interested in how particular editions and manuscripts shape the text’s interpretation and reading practices. Research topics include, and are not restricted to, finding rare editions and manuscripts, archival work, book and manuscript collections, printing practices and scribal work, paleography, manuscripts as books, the coexistence of manuscripts and printed books, editing printed books and manuscripts, electronic versus printed editions, editing and digital humanities. Bibliographical and manuscript studies have been on the cutting edge of literary theory and papers on authorship, the constitution of the text or hermeneutics are welcome.


“Romanticism and the Cultures of Infancy”

Cian Duffy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark,
Martina Domines Veliki, University of Zagreb, Croatia,

Wordsworth's assertion that “the child is father of the man” is one of the most familiar statements of the Romantic interest in the relationship between childhood experience and adult identity. Indeed it has become something of a commonplace now to assert that the Romantics invented childhood as we understand it. This seminar will investigate the extent to which the wider concept of infancy became a key trope of European thought across a range of different areas of enquiry during the long eighteenth century (1700-1830), from speculation about the age of the cosmos to discussions of the history of civil society.


“The Politics of Sensibility: Private and Public Emotions in 18th Century England”

Jorge Bastos da Silva, University of Porto, Portugal,
Dragoş Ivana, University of Bucharest, Romania,

Aiming to explore the importance of emotions in 18th Century England, this seminar addresses a wide array of questions related to the relationship between feelings and politics, the bourgeois novel of sentiment, the new cult of sensibility epitomised by the Man of Feeling, moral philosophy, economics, gender relations and aesthetic experience. Special attention will be paid to the process of negotiating public and private emotions with a view to highlighting forms of feeling that have been deemed responsible for the emergence of a politics of sensibility upheld not only by various groups and class identities but also by rhetorical and stylistic strategies meant to represent sensibility as both forma mentis and modus operandi.  


“And when the tale is told’: Loss in Narrative British and Irish Fiction from 1760 to 1960”

Ludmilla Kostova, University of Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria,
Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz, Ruhr-Universitaet Bochum, Germany,

This seminar deals with representations of various forms of loss in late 18th to mid-20th century narrative fiction. Loss – not only through death – of individuals, loss of beliefs, of memory, places, values, objects and moments in time often turn out to be a shaking or releasing experience for narrators and characters, causing them to re-shape identity, concept of life and community, or the past. From different theoretical positions such as narratology, psychology or philosophy the topic of loss and its fictional portrayals can be approached to reveal how the absent is represented, re-called by memory and imaginatively re-invented. Discussion topics include, but are not limited to: absence/presence, cultural and religious collective memory, transformation by narrativisation, imagination, identity, self-image.  


“Regional and World Literatures: National Roots and Transnational Routes in Scottish Literature and Culture from the 18th Century to Our Age”

Gioia Angeletti, University of Parma, Italy,
Bashabi Fraser, Edinburgh Napier University, UK,

The panel intends to explore the multifaceted ways in which Scottish literature and culture from the eighteenth century onwards have become vehicles and interpreters of an increasingly plural, transcultural, diasporic and liquid world. While preserving regional specificities, through the centuries Scottish literature and culture have looked beyond national boundaries, both impacting on and absorbing elements of English, European or world literatures through migration processes and mutual exchanges. We welcome papers on a broad range of topics.


“The Sublime Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of the Sublime in British Literature since the 18th Century”

Éva Antal, Eszterhazy Karoly University, Eger, Hungary,
Kamila Vránková, University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic,

In the words of J.B. Twitchell, the sublime has always been a complicated and ambiguous category. Nevertheless, a tension between the knowable, familiar world and the constant pressure of the unknown, the incomprehensible and uncontrollable, analysed in Edmund Burke´s influential study, remains a significant attribute of the sublime. The view of the sublime as a loss of a meaningful relation between words and the intensity of individual experience of reality (reflected in particular rhetorical devices) permeates aesthetics from Romanticism to postmodern art. The seminar is concerned especially with the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries (the Gothic, Romantic and Victorian traditions) but also with their influence on modern literature. Aesthetical discussions (Burkean and Wordsworthean, Kantian, poststructuralist) are welcome as well.


“Peripatetic Gothic”

David Punter, University of Bristol, UK,
Maria Parrino, Independent Scholar, Italy,

This seminar analyses Gothic itinerant trajectories by going beyond the literature of the English-speaking countries and mapping works written in (or translated from) other European languages. Such an approach aims at problematizing the modern conception of “Europe” in order to acknowledge mutual influences across geographical and historical borders and boundaries. Papers may address topics as diverse as early Gothic cross-currents within Europe; Europe-wide genres such as melodrama and the horror film; specifically modern terrors and fears of the Other. We will specifically invite addresses to national Gothic traditions outside the canon as conventionally conceived.


“The Fiction of Victorian Masculinities and Femininities”

Dr. Elisabetta Marino, University of Rome Tor Vergata (Italy),
Dr. Adrian Radu, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania),

This seminar aims at exploring Victorian literature from the perspective of gender, gender roles and representation and to provide an opportunity to discuss the literary output of Victorian male and female writers, the specific depiction of genders, the way writers, works, specific characters include conventional or non-conventional representations of both sexes, but also the way the Victorian public received and accepted them.


“Reading Dickens Differently”

Leon Litvack, Queen’s University Belfast, UK,
Nathalie Vanfasse, Aix-Marseille Université, France,

Many challenges have arisen recently to traditional ways of reading texts. Scholars like Todorov, Compagnon, Jouve, Macherey and Picard have posed poignant questions: What is literature for? Why do we study it? What are the gaps to be filled? How is it a form of game-playing? This seminar seeks to explore how Dickens’s texts may be radically reconceived. Strategies may include digital projects; innovative editions; an exploration of anomalies, and incoherencies, and absences; and the provision of more ‘complete’ texts. Such investigations may offer exciting new possibilities for engagement, redefinition, and liberation, to aid in the rescue mission of a seemingly imperilled form.


“Desire and "the expressive eye" in Thomas Hardy”

Phillip Mallett, University of St Andrews, UK,                     
Jane Thomas, University of Hull, UK, 
Isabelle Gadoin, Université de Poitiers, France, 
Annie Ramel, Université Lumière-Lyon 2, France,

Thomas Hardy has inspired critics with an interest in the visual arts: many of his texts can be read as “iconotexts” with a powerful “painting effect”, even in the absence of any direct reference to painting (Louvel). Desire is another theme which has found its way into major criticism of Hardy's work - the first item in the series being J. Hillis Miller's Distance and Desire (1970). This seminar will explore the relation between desire and the gaze in Hardy's work. Is the eye an "expressive eye" (Bullen), which makes manifest the "positive, dynamic and productive dimension of desire" (Thomas), or is it "the evil eye", "full of voracity" (Lacan)? We will welcome proposals opening new directions in Hardy criticism, linking the desiring subject / the power of the gaze / the writing process.


“The finer threads: lace-making, knitting and embroidering in literature and the visual arts from the Victorian age to the present day”

Laurence Roussillon-Constanty, Université Toulouse 3, France,
Rachel Dickinson, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK,

English studies have recently been expanding in order to accommodate increased awareness of the cultural importance of the “lesser arts” in fashioning narrative discourse but still relatively little interest has been paid to the unique role played by the so-called “feminine” crafts in the construction of literature, knowledge and identity. This session invite papers on the production and the representation of lace-making, knitting and embroidering in literature and the visual arts from scholars of literary studies and material culture as well as art history, text and image studies, or aesthetics.


“Work and its Discontents in Victorian Literature and Culture”

Federico Bellini, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy,
Jan Wilm, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Germany,

Queen Victoria’s reign is a fruitful testing ground for the interdisciplinary study of literature and work, a research field which has recently come to prominence. The period is characterized by a growing polarization between apparently contradictory stances: some sanctify work as the central value of modernity, while others question the work ethic in favour of the right to leisure. This polarization regards the discourse of politics as well as those of medicine, economy, law, and aesthetics and is reflected in the literary production of the time. For this seminar, we invite scholars to investigate this polarization from an interdisciplinary perspective in order to dig into the relationship between work, labour, and literature in the Victorian era.


“Impressions 1860-1920”

Bénédicte Coste, University of Burgundy, France,
Elisa Bizzotto, University of Venice, Italy,
Sophie Aymès-Stokes, University of Burgundy, France,

The seminar will discuss intermedial practices, the mutual influence of artistic practice and textual production, as well as the dual meaning of impression as a mode of reception and of expression. Papers will examine impression both as theme and trope in literary texts and art criticism in connection with the material characteristics of media in which writers/artists chose to express themselves. They can also address how the shift from late Victorian aesthetics to modernist experimentation was negotiated in this field. The time period considered here saw the advent of photomechanical process and the revival of printmaking as an “original” mode of expression based on the premium granted to individual impression as autographic response and to the trope of the print as imprint on a medium and/or on the mind.


“The Neo-Victorian antipodes”

Mariadele Boccardi, University of the West of England, UK,
Therese-M. Meyer, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany,

From Patrick White’s Voss (1957), arguably the earliest example of Neo-Victorian fiction, to recent Man-Booker winner The Luminaries (2013), the antipodes are a favoured setting for Neo-Victorian novels. This seminar explores how Neo-Victorian fiction constructs Australia, New Zealand and the Southern Pacific as, variously, the site of uncanny domesticity, an Other to Britain, a landscape to be colonised or scientifically appropriated, a frontier for the testing of masculinity, an occasion for re-writing of canonical texts. We aim to investigate the intersection of Neo-Victorian preoccupations with nineteenth-century discourses with post-colonial theorising of settler colonialism.


“Tracing the Victorians: Material Uses of the Past in Neo-Victorianism”

Rosario Arias, University of Málaga, Spain,
Patricia Pulham, University of Portsmouth, UK,
Elodie Rousselot, University of Portsmouth, UK,

This seminar addresses the notion of the “trace”, delineated by Jacques Derrida and Paul Ricoeur, to engage with the tangibility of the Victorian past in contemporary culture. The “trace” has attracted renewed critical interest in the last few years, particularly in connection with the interplay of past and present in today’s cultural production. However, the potential of the material object (the trace) to reanimate the past has received scant attention in neo-Victorianism. Papers dealing with the presence and (in)visibility of the Victorian past in contemporary literature and culture, materiality and “the sensory turn”, as well as museum studies and thing theory in relation to the Victorian “trace”, are particularly encouraged.


“Reinterpreting Victorian Serial Murderers in Literature, Film, TV Series and Graphic Novels”

Mariaconcetta Costantini, G. d’Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy,
Gilles Menegaldo, Université de Poitiers, France,

Serial murderers came to the fore in the Victorian era both contextually and artistically. The spread of violence and crime in large cities raised the problem of law and order, consequently attracting the attention of journalists and fiction writers. Yet, serial murder constituted a specific phenomenon within this growing attraction for deviance. If crime tended to be associated with the marginalized and with socially problematic areas of the metropolis, the idea of serial killing posed thorny new problems. In the light of today’s craze for neo-Victorianism, this seminar intends to explore various ways in which contemporary culture re-imagines Victorian serial killers and their deeds in relation to our postmodern fascination with deviance and perverse behaviour.


“Victorian and Neo-Victorian Screen Adaptations”

Shannon Wells-Lassagne, Université de Bretagne Sud, France,
Eckart Voigts, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany,

The proximity of the Victorians to us has manifested itself in the popularity of the period and its storylines in contemporary literature, which tends to emphasize previously hidden aspects of their original narratives or of their society, questioning the gaps present in the conventional understanding of the period. This has also translated to Victorian screen narratives, either as adaptations of canonical Victorian literature or neo-Victorian fictions. By exploring issues including globalization, ‘sexsation’, or visual and material culture in relation to Victorian and neo-Victorian adaptation, we hope to shed light on how adaptation reveals the nature of this fascination with the Victorian period.


“Modernist Non-fictional Narratives of Modernism”

Adrian Paterson, NUI Galway, Galway,
Christine Reynier, University Montpellier3-EMMA, France,

The aim of the seminar will be to focus on the non-fictional writings – essays, diaries, letters, etc. - of the modernist period by canonical writers or less famous ones and to explore the way in which they construct Modernism. Are the paradigms they shape the same as those now regarded as modernist paradigms - the ordinary, the unspectacular; the event, etc. What version do they give of them? What other paradigms do they put forward? What narratives do these Modernist non-fictional writings provide of Modernism and how do they compare with the narratives of Modernism provided by critical theory?


“Technology and Modernist Fiction”

Armela Panajoti, University of Vlora, Albania,
Eoghan Smith, Carlow College, Ireland,

Technology (advanced knowledge applied in the creation and use of tools, equipment, facilities and accessories) has historically not only made life easier but has also reconfigured human and social relationships, fed man’s imaginations, scientists and artists alike, and created the more recent realities of technoculture. In literature, the early possibilities of technology inspired masterpieces such as Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Technology in its commodifiable forms was a major preoccupation of literary artists at the beginning of twentieth century. This seminar will focus on modernist fiction with the intention to seek productive perspectives on the intersections of literature and technology, with special emphasis on the contribution of the latter to the modernist quality of the first.


“Reportage and Civil Wars through the Ages”

John S. Bak, Université de Lorraine, France,
Alberto Lázaro, Universidad de Alcalá, Madrid, Spain,

In the case of civil wars, public concern and academic interest have grown considerably in recent decades, owing to social media’s ability to disseminate news that the traditional press ignores and the digital humanities’ commitment to scan and upload reportages once buried in the archives. Papers are thus invited to explore a wide range of issues in reportage scholarship, including literary genre, narrative strategies, censorship, propaganda, gender roles and perspectives, from medieval warfare to more modern civil conflicts in the Americas, South Africa, Ireland, England, Finland, Austria, Spain, Greece, etc.


“The paradoxical quest of the wounded hero in contemporary narrative fiction”

Jean-Michel Ganteau, University of Montpellier 3, France, Susana Onega, University of Zaragoza, Spain,

Our traumatised post-WWII age has witnessed the emergence of a new type of wounded hero immersed in a paradoxical life quest that involves the embracing of suffering, alienation and marginalisation as a form of self-definition. Is this radical shift the result of a move from a (neo-) humanist ethics based on the centrality of the subject to a (post-) Levinasian ethics of alterity that draws the emphasis on attentiveness to the other’s suffering, vulnerability and trauma? Or is this evidence of the resurgence of a Romantic conception of the self?  The seminar seeks contributions based on the analysis of narrative fictions in English from the 1980s onwards aimed at casting light on the wounded hero and related issues.


“Spaces of erasure, spaces of silence: Re-voicing the silenced stories of Indian Partition”

Elisabetta Marino, University of Rome, Italy,
Daniela Rogobete, University of Craiova, Romania,

The present seminar tries to focus on the voices and narratives generally overlooked by historical mainstream discourses, in the attempt to nuance and deepen the traumatic experience of Indian Partition as depicted in the Indian English novel. Starting from the idea of spatial disruption and its devastating consequences on national and individual identity triggered by Partition, the seminar welcomes proposals on the reconfigurations of domestic spaces, on women’s and children’s untold stories and their alternative narrative spaces,  on  spaces of gendered violence, on various strategies of  recuperation, re-voicing and re-membering the Partition. 


“The Postcolonial Slum: India in the Global Literary Imaginary”

Om Prakash Dwivedi, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee College, University of Allahabad, India
Daniela Rogobete, University of Craiova, Romania,

Daniela Rogobete, University of Craiova, Romania,

In the global literary imaginary, the slum life in India is most often stereotypically pictured as a source of fear, abjection, poverty, hunger, overpopulation, dirt and disorder. These fictional representations of marginal spaces maintain, proliferate, and legitimize cultural polarizations, projecting a discrediting light upon the entire Indian space and the South Asian city in general. Starting from diverse depictions of the slum in Indian English novels this seminar seeks to analyze the recent reconfigurations in the biopolitics of slums in the context of capitalist based globalization, and the way they encapsulate Indian reality in the global literary imaginary, questioning its postcoloniality.


“Globalisation and Violence”

Pilar Cuder-Domínguez, University of Huelva, Spain,
Cinta Ramblado-Minero, University of Limerick, Ireland,


One of the characteristics of postmodernity is the global flow of people, goods, capital, and information within a single system of production and exchange legitimised by the logic of late capitalism. Global connections have enhanced citizens’ feelings of increasing violence in our midst, whether state-enforced or counter-hegemonic. In addition, violence often operates at many levels (political, economic, social) in what has been considered a gendered continuum that positions men and women differently as perpetrators or victims. This panel invites discussion of public discourses about violence and its social significance, representation, and circulation in literary and other cultural texts within the context of English Studies.


“Perpetrator Trauma in Contemporary Anglophone Literatures and Cultures”

Michaela Weiss, Silesian University in Opava, Czech Republic,
Zuzana Buráková, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia,


Although much has been written about the victim trauma, there are still significant gaps in our treatment of perpetrator trauma. Dirk Moses postulates that “perpetrator´s trauma, the delayed consciousness of the crimes one´s forebears have committed, continues to haunt the perpetrator-collective until it changes sufficiently to narrate it into a new legitimating story as a constitutive part of its self-understanding.” Due to this current shift of focus from trauma suffered by victims to that of the perpetrator, we hope to address the issues of contrast between the testimonies of the survivors and the executioners, focusing both on individual and collective memory that significantly affects the history and identity of the perpetrating nation. We encourage proposals that address our topic from the perspective of collective guilt, national identity, gender, ethnicity, memory, trauma and Holocaust and postcolonial studies.


“Leadership politics in the United Kingdom’s local government”

Stéphanie Bory, Université de Lyon III, France,
Nicholas Parsons, University of Cardiff, UK,
Timothy Whitton, Université de Clermont-Ferrand II, France,


This seminar will focus particularly on the importance of leaders and their particular brand of politics in these elections. To what extent have leaders’ attitudes changed recently in the realm of local and devolved politics to enable them to keep abreast with the challenges of modern leadership? How has “mediated leadership” trickled down from national to local and devolved politics? Have Facebook and Twitter played an important role? We seek papers that deal specifically with the personalisation of politics within local and devolved government in the UK. Contributions on leadership issues that highlight the complex relationship between local/devolved and national politics will also be welcomed.


“The Politics of Language in Contemporary Scottish and Irish Drama”

Ian Brown, University of Kingston, UK,
Daniele Berton-Charrière, Université Blaise Pascal, France,


Daniele Berton-Charrière, Université Blaise Pascal, France,

In 1980, Brian Friel's Translations had its first production, its themes highlighting the importance of language politics in an imperialist setting. In both Scottish and Irish contemporary drama since then, language forms and usage have been a prime issue, either in forms of theatrical dialogue as in Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs (1996) or in the varieties of language used in recent Scottish theatre. Papers are invited which explore aspects of the politics of language in contemporary Irish or Scottish drama.


“The Inner Seas connecting and dividing Scotland and Ireland”

Jean Berton, Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France,
Donna Heddle, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK,


Jean Berton, Université de Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France,
Donna Heddle, University of the Highlands and Islands, UK,

From the Minch to the North Channel the marine area has been a most active zone for adventurers, traders, marine scientists, pilgrims and hermits, fishermen, painters, migrants, pirates, missionaries, sailors, bird watchers, spies, etc. whether Irish, Roman, Scottish, Viking, English, American, Russian, German, French and Spanish. This seminar invites papers on fiction in all its aspects from historical to crime fiction dealing with all sorts of activities in this area from fighting to romance and extending to hinterlands on both sides.


“I hear it in the deep heart’s core’:  political emotions in Irish and Scottish poetry”

Stephen Regan, Durham University, UK,
Carla Sassi, Università di Verona, Italy,


Nations can be the object of intense emotions, and while some are notoriously blinding and destructive, others van be for the common good. Poetry can play a powerful and positive role in articulating the thoughts and feelings of a nation. It can direct hearts and minds towards principles of equality, justice and democracy, so that the nation becomes the catalyst for global change. We invite contributions that consider poetry as vehicle and shaper of political emotions.


“Twenty-first century Scottish literature”

Marie-Odile Pittin-Hédon, Aix-Marseille Université, France,
Scott Hames, University of Stirling, UK,


Camille Manfredi, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, France,

This seminar aims to examine cultural diversity in twenty-first century Scotland. We welcome papers that focus on the interrogation of borders and of the national sentiment in twenty-first-century Scottish literature, and on the various ways that writers “reconfigure the possible” in a key period of their political and cultural history. Questions might be raised as to the dynamic of contemporary Scottish cultural politics and the way literary nationalism is being overtaken by the mass-movement politics of independence; both taking it over in the sense of determining the political/social frames in which literary criticism operated, thus rendering key paradigms redundant, and overtaking in the sense of surpassing and leaving behind, thus marking the end of the age of nationalist politics and the beginning of what Tom Nairn terms the age of “nationality-politics”.


“Celtic Fictions - Scottish and Irish Speculative Fiction”

Jessica Aliaga Lavrijsen, Centro Universitario de la Defensa Zaragoza, Spain,
Colin Clark, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic,


The thesis of much modern Speculative Fiction in Ireland and Scotland is the generation of a creative space in which, imaginatively, solutions are sought and simulated for real political, social and metaphysical problems. Often the result of impasses and failed channels for expression in society, speculative writing may be ludic, genre-hopping and heteroglossic offering refreshing and innovative discursive space. This panel seeks to expose and explore deliberately transgressive texts and engage with authors concerned with negotiating topoi neglected by conventional, institutionalized institutions and to bring together practitioners from various literatures and genres to discuss the potentialities of the speculative mode.


“The Symbolic Power of Humour: Gender Issues and Derision”

Florence Binard, Université Paris Diderot, France, 
Renate Haas, University of Kiel, Germany, 
Michel Prum, Université Paris Diderot, France,


The aim of this seminar will be to study the complex normative relationships between the authors of humour and the butts of their jokes regarding gender issues. On the one hand it will examine how women and men have used humour to ridicule or laugh at the stereotypical normative and/or anti-normative gender attitudes. On the other hand, it will attempt to analyse the normative purpose of humour, including its role in the construction of new gender norms. The papers may use approaches from various fields of study: history of ideas, literature, philosophy, journalism, cinema, painting, sciences, arts, etc. No historical period will be excluded.


“Religion and Literatures in English”

Pilar Somacarrera, Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain,
Alison Jack, University of Edinburgh, UK,


Religion has been an endless source of motifs and inspiration for literatures in the English language. The Bible has always had a central place in English literature, although its influence was heightened after the publication of the King James Bible of 1611. Since then, it has provided subjects for literature to writers like D.H. Lawrence and James Joyce. This seminar welcomes contributions dealing with any aspect of the relationship between religion and the literatures in English: papers about the relation between religion, Bible intertextuality and gender are particularly welcome.


“Memory, Autobiography, History: Exploring the Boundaries”

Irena Grubica, University of Rijeka, Croatia,
Aoife Leahy, Independent Scholar, Ireland,


This seminar will focus on various modes of memory that shape autobiographical and historical discourse in literature. It will explore the ways these discourses are interrelated and sometimes mutually exclusive. What implications does memory have in “autobiographical poetry”, “autobiographical theatre”, “historical autobiography”, “autobiographical histories”, life writing, memoires, etc.? Suggested topics may include: collective, cultural and individual memory, autobiographical memory, historical memory, counter-memory, mimesis of memory, figures of memory, fictions of memory, false memories, amnesia, narrative memory, hypermnesia, memory and genre, memory and “possible worlds”, gendered memories, memory and visualization, echoic memory.


“Contemporary Irish female writing at the intersection of history and memory”

Anne Fogarty, University College Dublin, Ireland,
Marisol Morales-Ladrón, University of Alcalá, Spain,


History has been taught as a continuous narration of events that evaded gaps and inconsistences for the sake of offering a linear sense of the past. However, memory, both as an individual psychological construct and as a collective recollection, has challenged the process involved not only in what we remember, but in how and why we recall the past in a given way. The purpose of this seminar is to look at how Irish writers in the last decade have engaged in the exploration of a type of historical fiction that attempts to place women back in a history from which they were often written out. Female authors, such as Emma Donoghue, Mary Morrissey, Evelyn Conlon, Anne Enright, Anne Haverty or Lia Mills, among others, would be cases in point.


“Irish Auto/Bio/Fiction”

Liam Harte, University of Manchester, UK,
Roberta Gefter Wondrich, University of Trieste, Italy,


Recent years have witnessed a growing recognition of the importance of autobiography as a discursive strategy in postcolonial literatures, yet much work remains to be done at the national level. This seminar takes the case of Ireland as a testing ground for the evaluation of the strengths and limitations of autobiographical writing, broadly conceived, as a tool for intervening in authorised accounts of history and reconfiguring the relations between citizen, community and nation. We are particularly interested in critical discussions of autobiographical modes and practices – including biofictional ones – that creatively distort established conventions and productively exploit the unstable generic divisions between autobiography, biography and fiction.



Joanny Moulin, Aix-Marseille University, France,
Hans Renders, University of Groningen, the Netherlands,


This seminar invites contributions to the study of biography as a genre, considering that it raises specific issues that distinguish it from autobiography. It would equally be interested in approaches to the practice of biography as a method of academic research, from microhistory to literature and cultural studies. For instance, individual papers may address theoretical questions, case studies of particular biographers’ works, the history and the poetics of biography, the impact of the biographical turn, the evolution of biographical dictionaries, or the innovative influences of the biopic and digital humanities.


“Life-Writing and Celebrity: Exploring Intersections”


Sandra Mayer, University of Vienna, Austria,
Julia Lajta-Novak, KIng's College London, UK,


In recent years, life-writing and celebrity studies have separately evolved into vibrant and innovative areas of Humanities research, but the connections between these fields have, so far, been insufficiently addressed. This seminar invites papers that focus on the intersections of life-writing and celebrity in an historical as well as a contemporary English-language literary and cultural context, exploring, among others, ideas of image, persona, self-fashioning, myth, mediatisation and commodification. We will address the influence of these concepts on the writing and reading of lives. Highlighting possibilities of theoretical and methodological cross-fertilisation, the seminar will promote new interdisciplinary research.


“Contemporary Writers on Writing: Performative Practices and Intermediality”


Amaya Fernandez Menicucci, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha, Spain,
Alessandra Ruggiero, Università di Teramo, Italy,


In the contemporary “convergence culture”, marked by an explosion of “performance discourse”, writers are growingly exploring other media to tackle issues concerning their own writing and literature at large. They do so through performative and intermedial practices that make the writer-text-reader relationship more dynamic and interactive, and that sometimes turn authors into celebrities. The seminar will focus on these manifold practices by which writers perform themselves, their idea of literature, or their authorial role, not limiting themselves to the written page but making also use of audiovisual and digital resources, such as documentaries, films, video interviews, booktrailers, blogs, forums, links to social networks.


“Narrated Science / Scientific Storytelling”


Jürgen Meyer, Paderborn University/Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany,
Manuela Rossini, University of Basel, Switzerland,


English-speaking media are particularly productive in developing a rich diversity of hybrid, experimental publication formats designed for the transmission of current scientific theories and knowledge to a lay audience. This seminar brings together the fields of scientific popularization and culture/media analysis delineating intersections of science and society. Our aim is to create a greater scholarly awareness for the many didactic and aesthetic strategies in (re-)presenting 'popular' scientific knowledge in texts and media. This under-researched area may trigger innovative disciplinary approaches as well as inter-/transdisciplinary output, because it inverts and transcends the conventional critical approach to "science (in) fiction".


“Word and Image in Children’s Literature”


Laurence Petit, Université Paul Valéry-Montpellier 3, France,
Camille Fort, Université de Picardie Jules Vernes, France,
Karen Brown, University of Saint-Andrews, UK,


This seminar will consider the interaction between words and pictures which lies at the heart of children’s literature. Meant to entertain and instruct, children’s literature stages the complicity between two semiotic codes engaged in a relation which is alternately, or simultaneously, didactic, hermeneutic, emblematic, aesthetic or ludic, as words and pictures serve or subvert each other, complete or compete with one another. In our discussion of the ways in which the hybrid combination of text and image is what produces meaning as well as provides verbal and visual pleasure, we will also examine the status of the reader/viewer of such texts, thus broadening the emphasis on formal issues to cultural and historical issues of power and gender.


“Representing Diversity in Black British and British Asian Children’s Literature”


Petra Tournay-Theodotou, European University Cyprus, Cyprus,
Sofía Muñoz Valdivieso, University of Málaga, Spain,


Despite the fact that the study of children’s literature is an ever-increasing, vibrant field, within the lively scene of Black British and British Asian writing literature for children still occupies a marginal space. Even though some authors have managed to gain wider visibility such as John Agard, Grace Nichols, Malorie Blackman, and Benjamin Zephaniah, children’s literature written by authors from an ethnic and racially diverse background is especially underrepresented when it comes to critical attention in academic circles. This seminar invites papers that will look at how literature for children and young adults written by Black British and British Asian writers address the complexities of the cultural situation of contemporary British society in the early 21st century and thus make an important contribution to the call for greater diversity in children’s books.


“Young Adult Fiction and Theory of Mind”


Lydia Kokkola, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden,
Alison Waller, University of Roehampton, UK,


Many recent young adult novels probe the workings of the mind, yet inviting a sceptical and questioning reading stance. These texts draw attention to complex functions of memory, emotion and consciousness that are central to being and growing, often seeking to engage their adolescent readers through narrative games or formal experiment. We invite papers exploring connections between contemporary YA and theory of mind, through thematic, narratological, or response-based enquiries. Topics might include: modes of empathy; nonhuman protagonists; remembering and forgetting; cognitive development; narrative and neurolinguistics; reading and feeling. Papers examining works from different English-speaking cultures, or offering comparative analysis with children’s or adult fiction are welcomed.


“Performing Indigeneity in Contemporary Theatre and Drama”


Ewa Kębłowska-Ławniczak, University of Wrocław, Poland,
Eva C. Karpinski, York University, Canada,


The aim of this seminar is to explore presentations and representations of indigeneity in the work of contemporary playwrights and performance artists from Europe, the Americas, Australia and Africa. We are interested in new aesthetic and epistemological possibilities created by combining heterogeneous influences, hybridized forms, and multiple heritages. In particular, we want to find out how these writers, artists, and performers draw on and adopt indigenous sources and "ways of knowing" (embodied and spiritual) and how they situate themselves in relation to postcolonial, postmodern, and decolonial thought. The seminar also invites considerations of the question of how these cultural productions address their local, national, and diasporic audiences.


“Thinking about Theatre and Neoliberalism”


Hélène Lecossois, Université du Maine, Le Mans, France,
Lionel Pilkington, NUI Galway, Ireland,


For today’s dominant economic frame--neoliberal capitalism--the theatre occupies a place of surprising importance.  Theatre’s dynamic and immediate relationship to a creative economy discourse appears to confirm the idea of the creative individual as flourishing best outside social affiliations and responsibilities, while the figure of the actor/performer herself appears as a paradigmatic figure for work that is flexible, precarious and often poorly paid. This seminar welcomes papers that discuss the relationship between neoliberal capitalism and the practice of European theatre and performance, or any aspect of its theorisation and history.


“Dilemmas of Identity in Postmulticultural American Fiction and Drama”


Enikő Maior, Partium Christian University, Oradea, Romania,
Lenke Németh, University of Debrecen, Hungary,


Questions of race and ethnicity have been a permanent source of conflict in American society. Postmulticultural discourse, however, revises earlier essentialist definitions of these concepts and offers newly-arising configurations of cultural and ethnic hybridity like “race-neutral,” “cultural mulatto,” and “post-ethnic/racial/soul.” Interrogations of racial meanings affect the personhood of minorities and the construction of the cultural and ethnic dimensions of Jewish identity. The seminar invites contributions discussing various aspects of this paradigm shift in the re-conceptualization of American cultural identity. We welcome papers that examine innovative ways of “staging” the formation of new American identities.


“Literary Prizes and Cultural Context”

Wolfgang Görtschacher, University of Salzburg, Austria,
David Malcolm, University of Gdańsk, Poland,


Literary prizes form a fascinating interface between literature and society. Particularly noteworthy works are awarded prizes, increasing sales and benefitting the authors, their publishers, and their sponsors; further, the members of juries tend, in one way or another - often as writers themselves - to be intimately connected with the world of books and their dissemination. Prizes range from those such as the Man Booker, which bring with them substantial money, prestige and sales, to others which offer little more than encouragement. Whilst it is anticipated that the Man Booker Prize will be a major focus of our seminar, we will also address prize culture in all its manifestations, both in the UK and elsewhere.


“21st Century Female Crime Fiction”

Wolfgang Görtschacher, University of Salzburg, Austria,
Agnieszka Sienkiewicz-Charlish, University of Gdańsk, Poland,


Crime fiction has been one of the most prolific literary genres for over a century. One subgenre that has really taken off since the early 1980s is female crime fiction. The proliferation of female writing in this area, complete with female sleuths, ranges across styles such as “cosy”, “hard-boiled”, “forensic”, and “humanist”. As early as 1987 Sisters in Crime, an organization that has 3,600 members in 48 chapters worldwide, was founded with the mission "to combat discrimination against women in the mystery field." Today the situation seems to have only slightly changed. This seminar aims to survey the crime scene and question protagonists, victims, and suspects, but also to suggest future developments and lines of investigation.


“Media, culture and food - meaning of new narratives”

Slávka Tomaščíková, Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, Slovakia,
María José Coperías-Aguilar, Universitat de València, Spain,


The immense growth of new media in the 21st century has caused substantial changes in the old media, both in their forms and their contents. In the last two decades food as a cultural phenomenon has become one of the most visible narrative categories in discourses of old and new media. The space provided to various elements related to food has been enormous and is still growing.
Contributions to this seminar could focus on the analysis of food elements which constitute new narratives in any kind of media, traditional or digital. They could also examine the relations between culture, food and media consumption addressing questions connected to the role food plays in the creation of meaning in contemporary media narratives.


“Gendered Bodies in Transit: from Alienation to Regeneration?”

Maria Isabel Romero Ruiz, University of Málaga, Spain,
Manuela Coppola, University of Naples ‘L’Orientale’, Italy,


This seminar will investigate the centrality of mechanisms of discipline and both physical and psychological punishment in the treatment and representation of “deviant” bodies in past and contemporary societies. It will address the complexity of the processes of regeneration and healing, opening the debate on issues of subversion and resilience of marginalized gender identities. We encourage papers that, through the analysis of cultural and literary forms, bring to the fore the ways in which the traumatic experiences of bodies subject to various kinds of violence, exploitation and discrimination can lead to the construction of new forms of subjectivity and community.


“Women on the Move: Diasporic Bodies, Diasporic Memories. Constructing Femininity in the Transitional and Transnational Era in Contemporary Narratives in English”

Julia Tofantšuk, Tallinn University, Estonia,
Silvia Pellicer Ortín, University of Zaragoza, Spain,


As societies go through the age of migration, boundaries between countries and individuals gradually blur. This seminar invites contributions drawing on the representations of femininity in contemporary narratives in English – from the 1980s to the present – exploring whether current fictional and liminal genres act as transitional sites where multidirectional gendered memories, gendered spaces, travelling bodies, plus innovative feminist perspectives and hybrid and ecofeminist notions of the female self are (re)defined. The seminar aims at unveiling the oppressive forces relegating women to a diasporic condition and the liberating synergies providing new spaces to voice their silenced experiences.


“Travel and Disease across Literatures and Cultures”

Ryszard W. Wolny, Opole University, Poland,
Sanja Runtić, University of Osijek, Croatia,


In this seminar we propose to investigate the ways in which literature, film and art have dealt with the various aspects of disease and dying. We will be particularly interested in the representations and images that combine traveling with disease. Henry James's The Wings of the Dove, Thomas Mann's Death in Venice or Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man are just a handful of examples of outstanding works combining traveling with death. We will be interested in a more in-depth investigation of these phenomena in culture. We would like to analyse and juxtapose various works of art that highlight diseased bodies traveling for cure or dignified death. We want to establish how literature and film deal with the problem of old age as well as mental health and balance. We would like investigate how health (including mental health and balance) are imagined and represented symbolically.


“20th and 21st century British Literature and medical discourse”

Nicolas Pierre Boileau, Université d’Aix-Marseille, France,
Clare Hanson, University of Southampton, UK,


A number of scholars have recently explored the symbolic value of illness in literature but how far can or should literature go beyond metaphor in representing the experience of illness? How far does Rita Charon’s concept of “narrative medicine” capture the distinctiveness of literature as an alternative to medical discourse? We invite papers on the interconnections between literature and medical discourse in 20th and 21st century British literature.


“Writing Old Age in twenty-first-century British Fiction”

Sarah Falcus, University of Huddersfield, UK, 
Maricel Oró-Piqueras, University of Lleida, Spain,


The publication of Barbara F. Waxman’s (1990) and Margaret M. Gullette’s (1989) seminal works on representations of characters in their late middle and old age marked the beginning of a new interest in literary and cultural studies. With the exponential ageing of the worldwide population, cultural conceptions have become valuable sources of analysis in order to challenge restricted stereotypical images of this last stage of a human life. In this seminar, we are interested in exploring how contemporary British fiction has risen to the challenge of representing old age and ageing for a new century.


“Ekphrasis Today”

Renate Brosch, Universität Stuttgart, Germany, 
Danuta Fjellestad, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden,
Gabriele Rippl, University of Berne, Switzerland,


Why is ekphrasis still a popular device for literary works in spite of the ubiquity of visual images in our media society? Even though today most images are accessible at a mouse click, ekphrasis – in referencing cultural knowledge – offers the satisfaction of identifying with elite literacy and education. It is Liliane Louvel’s helpful proposal to situate instances of ekphrasis along a spectrum of different degrees of importance accorded to the pictorial reference. This seminar aims to discuss the function of ekphrasis today, asking questions about the cultural work performed by this ancient expressive mode in the digital age.


“The Secular Icon”

Susanne Peters, Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg, Germany, Shoba Ghosh, University of Mumbai, India,


Our encounters with sacred and secularized images and objects are multifarious. In popular visual culture such as film, photography, art, as well as literary fiction, visual and textual representations of sacred and secularized issues, images and objects, can be discussed in a number of historical as well as contemporary contexts, such as the rise of nationalism, religious fanaticism, or the hype of the individual, which may be connected to specific cultural practices of representation. The seminar aims to establish a comparative perspective and invites papers that trace and analyse the secular icon in both post-colonial and western traditions.


“Literary and cinematographic prequels, sequels, and coquels”

Ivan Callus, University of Malta, Malta,  
Armelle Parey, Université de Caen, France,
Isabelle Roblin, Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale, France,
Georges Letissier, Université de Nantes, France,


Prequels, sequels and coquels (a coquel takes place simultaneously with another story) have always been part and parcel of the literary and, more recently, filmic landscapes. These three elements can of course also be combined to produce a more complex structure. The aim of this seminar would be to analyse the narrative strategies implemented by their authors and the reasons why, apart from the obvious marketing ploy, they are so popular. For practical reasons, we would ask potential contributors to deal with late twentieth to twenty-first century works.


“Cultural politics in Harry Potter: death, life and transition”

Rubén Jarazo-Álvarez, University of the Balearic Islands, Spain,
Pilar Alderete, NUI Galway, Ireland,


Concerning Harry Potter's saga, this panel proposes to investigate death, necropower and its relationship to Capitalism, with special emphasis on cultural representation of rites of passage, from life to death, and sometimes, the other way back. Taking into account Posthumanism and the different postulations on bodies transiting from one realm to another in HP world, we invite participants to analyse any aspect with regard to the novels and/or films.


“Fantasy Literature & Place”

Jane Suzanne Carroll, University of Roehampton, UK,
Anja Müller, University of Siegen, Germany,


The imagined landscapes of fantasy literature may reflect real locations and engage with the histories, cultures and literary representations of those places. Alternatively, narratives may unfold in entirely unfamiliar worlds and make use of metatextual devices, such as maps, to form and frame the landscape. This seminar reflects the growing critical awareness of the importance of place in fantasy literature and the potential relationships between Europe and the other worlds of fantasy fiction.
We invite papers exploring the role of place in fantasy literature. Possible topics may include: world-building; fantasy and national identity; maps and mapping; wilderness; utopia and dystopia; urban fantasy. 


“Calculables and Incalculables in Teaching English Today”

Roy Sellars, University of St Gallen/University of Southern Denmark, Denmark,
Graham Allen, University College Cork, Ireland,


The process of calculation has become ever more prominent in departments of English across Europe. Accreditations, benchmarking, internationalisation, transparency, audits, assessments, learning outcomes, key competences, deliverables: the list goes on. At the same time, teaching practice remains, we propose, fundamentally and necessarily incalculable. In this seminar we want to bring together teachers from different European contexts in order to reflect on recent developments and to ask: how can resistance to pedagogical calculation be conceptualised and organised without falling back into passive critique or another discourse of calculables? If the history of theory and before it philosophy entails, as we would assert, a history of pedagogics (teaching practices which reflect not only on their practice but also on their very possibility), does theory/philosophy have anything to say, today, in defence of the incalculable?



“Richard Hakluyt’s The Principal Navigations…of the English Nation (1598‒1600): Historical and Geo-Political Contexts.”

Daniel Carey, Moore Institute for the Humanities, National University of Ireland, Galway,
Claire Jowitt, University of Southampton, United Kingdom,

Richard Hakluyt (1552?–1616) assembled the most important and influential English collection of travel texts ever published in The Principal Navigations, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation (second edition 1598‒1600). The proposed seminar will investigate a series of neglected dimensions of Hakluyt’s landmark work. Previous discussion has focused largely on Hakluyt’s concern with American expansion and rivalry with Spain. Instead this seminar will emphasize: the way he incorporated medieval voyages into the compass of the collection; his attention to voyages through Muscovy and Persia by sixteenth-century travellers; the ways his use of both historically remote and largely unfamiliar materials contributed to the project’s aims and ambitions. Hakluyt died in November 1616, and it would be especially appropriate to convene this seminar in the year after the 400th anniversary of his death.


For queries on Proposals for Seminars, please contact: