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MT 2017 Week 4 Updates

Book cover for Red Rosa

In Week 5, we’re in for a treat! Alejandra Crosta (Modern Languages) will discuss La Rosa Roja: la biografía gráfica de Rosa Luxemburg (2017, Pan y Rosas/ Izquierdadiario/IPS), her Spanish translation of Kate Evans’s graphic novel Red Rosa (2015, Verso) She will be in conversation with Dr. Dominic Davies (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, English) who convenes the TORCH Network, 'Comics and Graphic Novels: The Politics of Form'. Don’t miss this session on Translating Graphic Novels (Radcliffe Humanities Building; 5:15-7:15pm; 8 Nov.).
In Week 4 the OCCT Discussion Group had an amazing turnout – about forty people! We’re really pleased that we have such a vibrant and lively community of people interested in comparative literature! We’re looking forward to the next meeting in Week 6.
Registration is now open for the conference 'After Clarice: Lispector's Legacy', which will take place Nov. 17-18 at St. John's College. To book a place,  please click here

Events and CFPs

1. An evening of multilingual poetry with Yousif Qasmiyeh, hosted by the Oxford University World Literature Society, will take place this Friday.

Click here to see the poster for further details.

2. Balzac and England / Balzac et l’Angleterre

Maison Française d’Oxford

12th – 14th April 2018

Balzac’s is one of the world’s greatest authors. One of the main realms of his influence is Britain, in and through English, and the Anglophone world. This, the first ever conference on Balzac and ‘England’, organized at the Maison Française d’Oxford by the University of Oxford, the University of Birmingham and the Groupe d’Etudes balzaciennes, explores the nature of his engagement with Britain, but also of Britain, and of the world’s engagement with Balzac. Papers may cover, but are not limited to, a number of key themes: 1) The presence and influences of British thought and writers in and on Balzac: philosophy, politics, economics, law; Shakespeare, Milton, Sterne, Locke, Scott, Otway, Richardson, Byron, Adam Smith; 2) Britain and the British in and through La Comédie humaine and Balzac’s wider work: British characters, landscapes, politics, economy, mores; 3) British responses to Balzac in his own age: Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Wilde, James; Permissiveness and Censorship; Nationalism and Morality; nineteenth-century reception and criticism of Balzac; translation, press, publishing and pedagogy; school and university editions).  4) The responses of posterity: Balzac criticism and creation in Britain; novelistic  and non-novelistic and non-literary (artistic, musical, poetic, political) responses; theatre, film, TV, radio and Internet adaptation; Balzac criticism and theory; school and university syllabuses and teaching; press, publishing and translation; individual and series publications.  5) État présent and future perspectives: the Anglo-American critical tradition; English translation as a vector for world-wide appreciation, criticism and theory. In asking in relation to this greatest and most penetrating of novelists the trans-linguistic, trans-cultural question of what, precisely, yet diversely, Angleterre and ‘England’ might designate, the conference raises fundamental questions about identity, literary conception and nationality which led the nineteenth century, and may still yet shape the twenty-first.

Proposals for individual papers or panels (250 words maximum) should be sent as an e-mail attachment in Word, in English or French, to the conference organisers (Tim Farrant, University of Oxford; Owen Heathcote, University of Bradford; Michel Lichtlé, Université Paris IV Sorbonne; Nathalie Preiss, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne; and Andrew Watts, University of Birmingham) at The deadline for proposals is 10th November 2017.

Balzac et l’Angleterre

Maison Française d’Oxford

12 –14 avril 2018

La réputation de Balzac n’est bien sûr plus à faire. Si son influence mondiale est énorme, l’un de ses domaines majeurs est la Grande-Bretagne, par la présence des versions originales de ses œuvres, et par le biais de la traduction de ses œuvres en Anglais et leur dissémination à travers le monde anglophone. Le Groupe d’Etudes Balzaciennes propose maintenant en collaboration avec les Universités d’Oxford et de Birmingham le tout premier colloque sur « Balzac et l’Angleterre ». En réunissant des spécialistes français, britanniques, américains et mondiaux il se donne pour objet de considérer la nature de l’engagement de Balzac avec l’Angleterre, mais aussi de réfléchir sur l’identité de l’« Angleterre » et sur la nature des interférences entre l’Angleterre, la littérature anglophone et Balzac. Les communications pourront traiter, entre autres, les thèmes suivants : 1) Présence(s) et influence(s) sur Balzac de la pensée, de l’imaginaire (philosophique, politique, juridique, économique – voir A. Smith) et des écrivains britanniques (entre autres Shakespeare, Milton, Locke, Otway, Sterne, Richardson, Byron, Scott); 2) La Grande-Bretagne, l’Angleterre et les Anglais dans La Comédie humaine  et les autres œuvres de Balzac (personnages, paysages, mœurs, langages) ; 3) réception britannique ou quasi britannique contemporaine de Balzac (Dickens, Thackeray, Eliot, Wilde, James, Wharton…) ; permissivité et censure ; nationalisme et moralité ; réception et critique de Balzac au dix-neuvième siècle : traduction, presse, édition et pédagogie ; éditions scolaires et universitaires ; 4) Réponses et réception de la postérité : critique et création balzacienne en Angleterre ; réactions romanesques, littéraires et autres (artistiques, musicales, poétiques, politiques, Internet ; adaptations théâtrales, cinématographiques, télévisuelles, radiophoniques, nouveaux médias ; Balzac, critique et théorie ; cursus et programmes scolaires et universitaires ; presse, édition et traduction ; éditions individuelles et en série ; état présent  et perspectives futures : la tradition critique anglo-américaine ; traductions anglaises comme vecteur de réception et d’appréciation, de la critique et de la théorie mondiale. En posant, à propos de ce romancier entre tous le plus grand et le plus pénétrant, la question translinguistique et transculturelle de savoir à quoi précisément pouvaient, peuvent et pourront renvoyer les termes « Angleterre », « England » et « Grande-Bretagne », il soulèvera des questions fondamentales sur l’identité, la conception et la création littéraire et sur la nationalité, questions qui ont conduit le dix-neuvième siècle et pourraient encore façonner la nôtre.

Les propositions (250 mots maximum) pour des interventions individuelles ou des séances entières sont à adresser par courriel, en anglais ou en français, au comité d’organisation (Tim Farrant, University of Oxford; Owen Heathcote, University of Bradford; Michel Lichtlé, Université Paris IV Sorbonne; Nathalie Preiss, Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne; and Andrew Watts, University of Birmingham) avant le 10 novembre 2017 à l’adresse suivante :

3. The Wiener Library for the Study of the Holocaust and Genocide

Archive tour and archive skills training

Friday, 10 November (Wiener Library, 29 Russell Square)

10:00 Tour of the Wiener Library beginning with the current exhibition led by Barbara Warnock (Education and Outreach Manager, Wiener Library)

11:00 Coffee break

11:15 Archive skills training with the Wiener Library's archivist, Howard Falksohn 

This training session will help participants acquire the skills to locate and make use of archival material on subjects including the Holocaust, 20th‐century German history and European Jewish culture. 

13:00 End

Places for these sessions are limited and should be booked in advance (; tel. 020 7636 7247). * Enquiries: Barbara Warnock(Education and Outreach Manager, Wiener Library;

4. Zaharoff Lecture 2017 - Tiphaine Samoyault

‘Penser dans les mots’

Friday 3 November 2017, 5:00pm

Main Hall, Taylor Institution, St Giles

Followed by a Drinks Reception in Room 2, 6pm – 6:45 pm

Convener: Professor Catriona Seth, Marshal Foch Professor of French Literature

Click here to register to attend.

5. CFP: Thomas Bernhard and the Consequences (Essay Collection)

Olaf Berwald, Steve Dowden, and Gregor Thuswaldner, eds.

What are the consequences of Bernhard’s writing? This collection of essays (in English) will take up the question of Bernhard’s worldwide impact on fiction and theater since his death in 1989.
Like Kafka and Proust and few others, Bernhard created a unique style that captured the spirit of his time and place. Moreover, his themes were very narrowly focused on his time and place. Yet, strangely, he has had a worldwide impact, especially on the most ambitious and worldly writers. How transferable are his prose and dramas? To imitate Bernhard would be a futile and corrosive as imitating Proust or Kafka.  Yet his mark is evident in writers as different as Geoff Dyer and W. G. Sebald, William Gaddis and Imre Kertész, Javier Marías and Susan Sontag. The list is quite long. Has turning him into a classic defanged his sharp bite? What is Bernhard’s fate at the hands of his academic admirers? What are the reasons professors outside of German Departments teach Bernhard in their literature classes? Are there philosophical consequences to be drawn from fictional prose that constantly vaunts philosophy without actually philosophizing? These and many other question remain open. We seek to publish a book that moves the study of Thomas Bernhard in new directions.

Please send one-page abstracts (250 words) and a short bio to all three editors:

Dr. Olaf Berwald

Dr. Stephen Dowden

Dr. Gregor Thuswaldner

Deadline for Abstracts: January 1, 2018

7. Regional Conference Grant Scheme 2018

The Regional Conference Grant Scheme aims to support the study of modern languages in the UK outside London, to promote inter-institutional collaborations, and to bring together scholars from the wider region as participants or attendees.

Applications are now invited for events planned to be held between 1 September 2018 and 30 June 2019.

Applicants can apply for a maximum of £2,500 and it is expected that up to three grants will be awarded each year. All requests for support need to be fully justified.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2018.

Click here for further details and how to apply.