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MT 2017 Week 5 Updates

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In Week 6, we’re having the final OCCT Discussion Group of the term. In Week 8 of term, instead of the Discussion Group, we’re having the event Borders and Bordering Practices in Literature, Mind, Politics, and Memory, so if you haven’t managed to come to a Discussion Group meeting yet, this is your last chance for Michaelmas term!

Please note that the Comparative History of Literatures of the Islamic World: Round-Table Discussion, scheduled for Week 7, has been CANCELLED.

In Week 5, we had a fascinating session on Translating Graphic Novels.

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, click here


1.On 4 December Robert Chandler is speaking at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies on Vasily Grossman.  All welcome!

2. A final reminder that the BCLA postgraduate conference ‘Unforeseen Consequences: Literatures of Protest and Political Struggle’ is taking place this Saturday 11th November at the University of Warwick.

Registration closes at 9am on Wednesday 8th October. All are welcome and attendance is free. Click here for the programme and to register.


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 extended deadline for proposals is 17th 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 17 novembre 2017 à l’adresse suivante :

4. IMLR Graduate Forum 2017-2018

6:00pm – 7:30 pm 16th November

Room 234, Senate House, London

We are delighted to invite you to join the second session of the IMLR Graduate Forum in Senate House at 6.00 pm on Thursday 16 November. This session features two stimulating papers, following by a thought-provoking discussion in a friendly and welcoming environment. Nibbles and wine will be provided for the Q&A session and the reception afterwards. The theme and papers in this month’s meeting are as follows:

Perspectives on Medieval and Renaissance Literature and Culture

Chair: Erica Zou

Manuel Magán Abollo (Madrid/Warburg Institute): Some Ideas of Geography and Space in the Cantigas of Santa Maria

Vittoria Fallanca (Oxford): The Design of Montaigne's Essais

The forum is a monthly appointment that takes place in Senate House according to the following schedule:

12 Oct 2017, Room 234 – 6.00-7.30 pm
16 Nov 2017, Room 234 – 6.00-7.30 pm
7 Dec 2017, Room G34 – 6.00-7.30 pm
11 Jan 2018, Room 234 – 6.00-7.30 pm
8 Feb 2018, Room 234  – 6.00-7.30 pm
8 March 2018, Room 234 –  6.00-8.00 pm
12 April 2018, Room 246  – 6.00-8.00 pm
10 May 2018, Room 234  – 6.00-7.30 pm

If you’d like to get involved and have further details write to

5. The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway, University of London would like to draw your attention to the following opportunities for postgraduate funding in Comparative Literature and Culture, 2018-9:

AHRC TECHNE PhD Scholarships

Royal Holloway is part of the TECHNE consortium of Higher Education institutions which has been awarded funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support postgraduate studentships and training. The other member institutions are: Brighton, Kingston, Roehampton, University of the Arts London, Royal College of Art and Surrey. TECHNE’s vision is to produce highly motivated scholars prepared for careers inside and outside of academia. TECHNE has 13 organisational partners, including the Barbican, The National Archives, Natural History Museum, Museum of London, BFI and Science Museum. Information about TECHNE can be found here: and you can access the Royal Holloway TECHNE Studentship application form here:

College PhD Studentships

Royal Holloway also has a number of College Studentships available. Candidates who apply for a TECHNE award will be considered automatically for these. The deadline for TECHNE and College applications within the School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway is Wednesday 10thJanuary 2018 at 4pm (references must be received by 24th January).

Current research expertise in the School includes:

Comparative Literature and Culture, focusing comparatively on literature, film, critical theory and visual arts as well as across media, genres, geographies, periods and languages, from the early modern to the twenty-first century.

- Critical Theory including: animal studies, ethics, consumer culture, disability studies, ecocriticism and the Anthropocene, gender, globalization, post-colonialism, queer theory, memory and trauma, and transnationalism.

- History of art and visual culture

- French, German, Spanish and Italian literature, film, culture and visual arts.

We strongly encourage interdisciplinary projects.

Masters by Research Fee Waiver and Bursaries

The School of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures is pleased to invite applications for a Master of Arts by Research fee waiver (equivalent to a fee waiver at home/EU rate) and 4 bursaries of £1000 (2 of which are ring-fenced for internal candidates). These are available to students studying for a Master of Arts by Research in French, German, Hispanic Studies, Italian or Comparative Literature and Culture.

This is a flexible programme offering in-depth, directed research on a topic of your choice which will allow you to gain new insights in critical and literary theory, literature, continental philosophy, film, cultural studies or the visual arts in Comparative Literature and Culture, French, German, Hispanic Studies or Italian. You will receive one-to-one supervision, feedback and support but also benefit from a taught course to hone your skills in critical analysis. As a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway, you will join a lively research community with the opportunity for personal and research development training. Deadline for applications: 19th February 2018 at 4pm.

For more information about the School, visit our website: or contact the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Danielle Sands: or the postgraduate administrator Ann Hobbs:

6. The Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought (Goldsmiths, University of London) cordially invites you to a seminar and public lecture by Samuel Weber (Northwestern)

"The Singularity of Literary Cognition"

10am-1pm — Seminar

Richard Hoggart Building 2107

Friday, 17 November 2017

Professor Weber will be leading a seminar on the concept of singularity, addressing writings by Kafka, Freud, Derrida, Saussure, and Nietzsche. He has also made available a number of his as-yet-unpublished writings on the topic for seminar participants to read in preparation for the discussion.

Space is limited. Please register by sending an email to [at] to book a place and receive a copy of the readings.

"Singularity, Individuality, and the Delimitation of Life"

3pm-6pm — Public Lecture and Symposium

Professor Stuart Hall building LG01

With responses from:

Josh Cohen (Goldsmiths)

Martin Crowley (Cambridge)

Paul Davies (Sussex)

The lecture and symposium are free and open to all.

Samuel Weber is an American philosopher and one of the leading thinkers across the disciplines of literary theory, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. He is the Paul de Man Chair at The European Graduate School / EGS, as well as the Avalon Foundation Professor of Humanities and the co-director of the Paris Program in Critical Theory at Northwestern University. Weber studied with Paul de Man and Theodor W. Adorno, whose book, Prisms, he co-translated into English. The translation of, and introduction to Theodor Adorno's most important book of cultural criticism helped define the way in which the work of the Frankfurt School would be read and understood in the English-speaking world. Professor Weber has also published books on Balzac, Lacan, and Freud as well as on the relation of institutions and media to interpretation. In the 1980s he worked in Germany as a “dramaturge” in theater and opera productions. Out of the confrontation of that experience with his work in critical theory came the book, Theatricality as Medium, published in 2004 by Fordham University Press. In 2005 he published Targets of Opportunity: On the Militarization of Thinking, also at Fordham. His most recent book has been published in French under the title, Inquiétantes singularités (Disquieting Singularities). Translations of his writings into Chinese and Korean are currently in preparation. His current research projects include "Toward a Politics of Singularity" and "The Uncanny".

Josh Cohen is Professor of Modern Literary Theory in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Martin Crowley is Reader in Modern French Thought and Culture and Fellow of Queen's College at the University of Cambridge.

Paul Davies is Reader in Philosophy and Co-Director of the Centre for Literature and Philosophy at the University of Sussex.

For more information please visit