Graduate Symposium: World Literatures And the Culture of Texts, Stockholm University, 7 – 8 May 2020

World Literatures and the Culture of Texts

7-8 May 2020

Graduate Symposium at Stockholm University

Download the call for papers in pdf here

Call for papers

“[…] a text in its being a text is a being in the world” (1)

World Literature continues to raise “considerable perplexities” (2) and remains “notoriously difficult to define.” (3) While consensus has it that it is a slippery, unstable term, its basic component is unquestionably textual. The debate about World Literature is a debate about the shape of its textuality. As Michael Holquist has pointed out, “World Literature is not a canon of particular texts, but rather a mode of reading, so is philology.” (4) Working through the how of World Literature, scholars are constantly re-visiting their methods and theoretical perspectives in order to explore the movements texts make in the world.

With its dual focus on textuality and cross-cultural comparison, this symposium on world literatures aims at providing interdisciplinary, critical and exploratory responses to questions such as: What is a text? What happens when texts are remediated, edited, relocated or translated? What methods are available for textual study? How can textual theory, translation studies, and theories of world literature illuminate one another?

The symposium, which will take place at Stockholm University on 7-8 May 2020, will conclude the two-year theme World Literatures and the Culture of Texts, held by the Doctoral School in the Humanities at Stockholm University (see The idea is to bring together doctoral students from across the disciplines in order to examine world literary texts in transition.

Keynote speakers at the Symposium will be Efraín Kristal (UCLA) and Luise von Flotow (University of Ottawa). Efraín Kristal specializes in Latin American literature, especially the authorships of Mario Vargas Llosa and Jorge Luis Borges, and works with comparative contexts, translation studies, and aesthetics. Luise von Flotow, professor and director of the School of Translation and Interpretation, is currently studying transnational aspects of feminism and gender in translation.

The organising committee welcomes the submission of abstracts (approximately 300 words including a short bio) addressing the topic ‘World Literatures and the Culture of Texts’ under the following subthemes.

•    Textual Cultures (early print/materiality/archives/paratext/remediation/orality)
•    World Literature and the Global South
•    Translation and Cultural Transfers

Please submit your abstract to by 01 February 2020.

Organizing committee:

Louise Faymonville
Anna Finozzi
Jonathan Foster
Jana Rüegg
Joanna Woods


(1) Edward Said, “The Text, The World, The Critic” The Bulletin of the Midwest Modern Language Association, 8 (2), 1975, pp. 1-23.
(2) David Damrosch et al (eds), The Routledge Companion to World Literatures, (Routledge, 2012).
(3) Mads Rosendahl Thomsen, Mapping World Literature. International Canonization and Transnational Literatures, (Bloomsbury, 2008). 2.
(4)  “The place of philology in an age of world literature”, Neohelicon, 38 (2), 2011, pp 267–287. 284.

Call for papers: “Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjection Across Disciplines, University of Warwick, 18 – 20 June 2020

“Blood on the Leaves / And Blood at the Roots”:
Reconsidering Forms of Enslavement and Subjection across Disciplines

Download the call for papers here.

18th June 2020:

Pre-conference panel on getting published & networking event for postgraduate students and early career researchers and practitioners

Supported by the Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) and the British Comparative Literature Association

19th-20th June 2020

Conference at the University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Funded by the University of Warwick Centre for Philosophy, Literature and the Arts (CRPLA), The Humanities Research Centre (HRC), the Environmental Humanities Network (EHN), the Yesu Persaud Centre for Caribbean Studies (YPCCS), the Department of English and Comparative Studies, the Department of Philosophy, the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) and The Royal Historical Society (RHS).

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Kaiama L. Glover (Columbia University)

Professor Robert Bernasconi (Penn State University)

Dr. Monique Allewaert (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Dr. Meleisa Ono-George (University of Warwick)

Call for papers

Deadline: 20th April 2020

This event aims to open a multicultural space beyond institutional and geographical boundaries to foster discussions and to listen to a variety of voices, addressing the problems of enslavement and subjection. In this space, this conference seeks to explore the various figurations and conceptions of enslavement and subjection across disciplines—from philosophy to literature, from the arts to the social sciences, to mention only a few— and beyond territories. Enslavement and subjugation are not only concerns of our past but urgent problems of our present and future. The title of the conference directly refers to Billie Holiday’s 1939 performance of Strange Fruit so as to emphasise both the human and environmental impact of forms of enslavement and subjection which have—literally and metaphorically—left “Blood on the leaves / And blood at the Roots.”

This exploration, as we intend it, takes the form of a reconsideration because we believe that enslavement and subjection need to be continuously ‘considered again’ and ‘rethought’ to extend and problematise understandings and approaches to these key themes. Each time we return to these issues, we fix in our mind something that we ought not to forget and we learn something new that we ought not to neglect. In this conference, we would like to reconsider and return on the multiple facets of the problems of enslavement and its evolution in modern forms of subjections, taking with us and keeping in mind the following words:

“[E]ven as we experienced, recognized, and lived subjection, we did not simply or only live in subjection and as the subjected.” (2016:4)

In this quote, describing her family’s struggle as Black Americans in the 1950s US, Christina Sharpe’s words and italics highlight an insidious pitfall in methodological approaches to the study of slavery and its legacies in a number of academic disciplines. These approaches are often conducive to a consideration of subjected individuals and communities “simply or only” as ‘enslaved’ people. These subjected agents become objects of study only as ‘slaves’ rather than subjects endowed with their own agency, thinking and feelings, and this tendency continues in post-slavery and race studies. Hence, the very attempt to study and understand (post-)slavery and subjection poses the risk of falling back into another type of objectification and dehumanisation of ‘subjected subjects.’ As for example, Saidiya Hartman notes in relation to archival studies that “[t]he archive dictates what can be said about the past and the kinds of stories that can be told about the persons cataloged, embalmed, and sealed away in box files and folios. To read the archive is to enter a mortuary; it permits one final viewing and allows for a last glimpse of persons about to disappear into the slave hold.” (2007:17)

In light of these words and cognizant of this danger, the conference would like to propose a reconsideration of enslavement and subjection that aims to de-objectify and do justice to the humanity of what we have called the ‘subjected subjects,’ of the subjects of uneven (hi)stories of a brutally imposed condition, that is not just part of our past, but also continues to have disastrous impacts on our society and environment. Thus, we also aim to further consider the ecological dimension of enslavement and subjugation as tightly knit with the human one, promoting a de-reification of ‘nature’ and the ‘natural.’ Thereby our purpose is to illuminate systematic and structural issues of our current climates. The best way to carry out this reconsideration, in our view, is to create a space to listen and to discuss, bringing together diverse contributions across disciplines and institutions, within and without academia. We are convinced that only an inter-and-trans-disciplinary enterprise, which encourages human and intellectual diversity, enables a reconsideration of the problems of enslavement and subjection, as well as of the ways in which we approach these topics. For this reason, we welcome papers both from different fields of study and that tackle the issue of enslavement and subjection at the intersection of different disciplines. This space is not only open to scholars from all over the world, but also to activists and artists who wish to discuss their political engagement with and artistic approaches to the themes. We welcome other presentation formats such as roundtables, discussion, jam sessions.

We invite abstracts on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Forms of enslavement across time from Antiquity to today.
  • Figuration and representation of enslaved people and/or slavery and more broadly subjugation in the arts (music, visual and performing arts, film, tv and media studies, theatre and drama, literature and graphic novels, etc.)
  • (Hi)Stories of slavery and oppression as well as resistance, emancipation and liberation and memory studies.
  • Philosophers’ views on slavery as well as the philosophical significance of the concept of enslavement and subjugation in the history and practice of philosophy.
  • Philosophical accounts of servitude as a condition.
  • (Political) Ethics of enslavement and/or subjection.
  • Traces of slavery and enslavement in our time, structural racism, #BlackLivesMatter, minority activism movements and social (in)justice.
  • Gendered and reproductive enslavement and labour, housewifization and women’s emancipation movements and activism, #NiUnaMenos & #Metoo.
  • The role of colonisation and slavery in building Europe and the United States and its economy as well as debates surrounding restitution and reparation.
  • Decolonising the University and the syllabus, and decolonial methodologies more broadly.
  • The evolution of slavery, indentured labour and forced migration.
  • Modern slavery and human and animal trafficking.
  • Contemporary economies of tourism and/or neo-liberal practices of extractivism as forms of enslavement and subjugation.
  • Commodification of bodies and lands and their intertwined relations.
  • Traces of slavery on the environment, plantationocene, climate change, uneven developments and environmental justice.
  • Human-Animal relations, animal ethics and their exploitation and rights.
  • Extinction as a result of exploitation and subjugation.

We invite individual proposals for 20-minute papers, as well as proposals for panels (three 20-minute papers), for roundtables, jam sessions, or any other format to present artistic production or to address activism, etc. Please send an abstract (200-300 words) and a brief biography to  by 20th April 2020. 

For more details please see

We strongly encourage submissions going beyond Western scholarship and from scholars at any stage of their careers.

REMINDER: The closing date for the annual John Dryden Translation Competition is 10 February 2020

A reminder that the closing date for the annual John Dryden Translation Competition is February 10 2020.  The competition awards three prizes and commendations if merited,  for unpublished literary translations from any language. The translations may also draw on any source text comprising poetry, prose or drama from any period. The method of electronic payment for the prize-winners will be confirmed in January.

Prize-winners are announced in the summer on the BCLA website and prizes are presented thereafter every year at the BCLA ‘AGM and Colloquy’.  Winning entries are eligible to be published in full on the website, and extracts from winning entries are also eligible for publication in the journal Comparative Critical Studies.

Members of the BCLA are entitled to one entry free of charge; all three prize-winners are also entitled to BCLA membership.

For conditions of entry and further details download the 2019-2020 John Dryden Competition Entry Form.

Contact Richard Hibbitt for more information.

Conference: Life-Writing in Translation, King’s College London, 27 May 2020

AHRI Centre for Life-Writing Research presents:
Life-Writing in Translation Conference – King’s College London, 27 May 2020

Deadline for proposals: 23 December 2019

As a one-day conference, Life-Writing in Translation proposes to address such topics as:

  • Stylistic approaches to translating life writing: using style to translate mind, foregrounding, ambiguous translation, belle infidèle, the implied translator
  • Translating as re-writing: reconstructing the author’s image and lived experience, the translator’s impact, re-translation
  • Cross-cultural translation of life writing: translator as the producer of relations – is the I international?
  • Becoming one: the translator’s melding with the author and its curious consequences
  • The translator-reader contract: the tole of the ‘active’ reader
  • Publishing perspectives: how publishers and booksellers tackle life writing in translation – the ‘three percent problem’

We welcome academics, translators, poets, writers, booksellers and publishers and invite proposals for individual papers, dialogues/interviews, panels, round tables and creative or reflective submissions.

Conference language: English

Suggested formats:

  • Individual paper (15 minutes slot, abstract max. 300 words)
  • Dialogue/Interview (30 minutes slot, 2 participants, abstract max. 300 words)
  • Panel (60 minutes slot, 3 participants including chair, abstract max. 600 words)
  • Round Table (45 minutes slot, 3/4 participants, abstract max. 600words)
  • Creative/Reflective Submission (15 minutes slot, fiction and non- fiction, proposal max. 300 words)

The full call for papers may be viewed here: Life Writing In Translation Conference, KCL 27 May 2020.

Please send your proposals via email to

Deadline for proposals: 23 December 2019

The Centre for Life-Writing Research is a pioneering group producing some of the most innovative work in the field. Established in 2007, and now part of the KCL Arts & Humanities Research Institute, it enables experts and students to share, research and exchange ideas with a wider audience.

We work on all sorts of topics and periods covering a wide range of genres – biography, autobiography, autofiction, diaries and letters, memoirs, digital life writing including social media, blogs, audio and video, the visual arts (especially portraiture), poetry, and medical narratives. What connects us is an interest in the theory, history and practice of life writing.

Call for Papers: Cultural Literacy Symposium, 14-15 May 2020: Research in the Arts, the Arts in Research

Below is the Call for Papers for a Symposium, under the auspices of Cultural Literacy in Europe, to be held at the University of Łódź, Poland on 14-15 May 2020. The title is Research in the Arts, the Arts in Research. The Symposium is particularly designed for Early-Career researchers and the focus is on discussion and debate.

The closing date for proposals is Friday 29 November 2019. For all information about CLE and this Symposium, see

Please pass this CFP on to all relevant colleagues, students & artists.

Research in the Arts, the Arts in Research


Thursday 14 – Friday 15 May 2020 at the University of Łódź, Poland

Artists study the reality they are surrounded by, people they live among, themselves, their instruments of work and how these areas are interconnected. Their work addresses complex issues, establishing dynamic relationships to a whole variety of other disciplines, from philosophy to new technologies. Their creative activity generates knowledge that could not be gained otherwise. Artistic knowledge is acquired through sensory and emotional perception and is practice-based, practice-driven, ‘felt’, ‘embodied’. It crosses the borders of different countries, languages, cultures, disciplines. Many artistic research projects are genuinely multicultural and interdisciplinary. Yet artists still often have to justify the idea that their practice is research.

Academic research too has become increasingly inter- and multidisciplinary. Cultural Literacy [CL] is the ability to think in literary ways about any topic or question, using the key concepts of textuality, fictionality, rhetoricity and historicity (see How can the creative arts and CL come together to think about the contemporary world?

This Symposium is designed to generate active discussion, focusing on thinking and talking rather than formal presentations. If your proposal is accepted, it will be included in a ‘book of presentations’ that all participants will be asked to read in advance of the Symposium. The contributions will be grouped together into parallel break-out sessions of 90 minutes during which each presenter will briefly summarise their points and the subsequent discussion will aim to explore the key theme of the panel.


  • Creative work as a source of cultural, social, psychological and political information;
  • Interpreting art works as cultural, political or pedagogical products;
  • Rethinking the role of art and the artist in society;
  • Art in multicultural and multilingual contexts (the questions of translation, cross-cultural understanding, multicultural conviviality, etc.);
  • The subjectivity and reliability of claims in artistic research;The relevance of artistic research for developing skills for cultural literacy and the potential of cultural literacy to inform artistic research;
  • The relationship between the artistic work, the critical text and the viewer/ reader/experiencer;
  • Objects of high culture and popular culture (for example, novels, poetry books, graphic novels, performances, events, films, memes, tweets, blogs, comic strips, tabloids, computer games, advertisements among others) as learning material about reality in which we live.

Researchers & artists who are either more senior or in early-career are welcome to submit a proposal, though preference may be given to the latter. ’Early-career’ includes postgraduates and academics up to 10 years after completion of the PhD, and artists in the first 10 years of their creative activity.

You are invited to submit a proposal in English for a 5-minute presentation. It should consist of your name, affiliation, email address, title, a 300-word statement on any area of the symposium topic and a mini-biography (max. 300 words). Please send this to Naomi Segal ( and Joanna Kosmalska ( by the deadline of Friday 29 November 2019. Proposals that arrive after this date will not be considered.

A number of bursaries for Early-career researchers & postgraduates will be available to support attendance at the 2020 symposium. The competition for these bursaries will be announced in mid-December 2019.

Prior membership of CLE is required; see


Standard                             €150 / PLN 650
Students (+ ID)/ Unwaged  €75 / PLN 330

The registration fee includes coffee breaks, lunch, and all conference documentation.

Booking will open on 16 December 2019 & close on 27 March 202o

For all information: see