HT 2017 Week 3 Updates

On Monday of Week 4 the Discussion Group will convene at St Anne’s at 12:45pm-2pm, in Seminar Room 3 to explore the question “What is Good Literature?”. A sandwich lunch, fruit and coffee will be provided. On the 9th of February at the Radcliffe Humanities Building, we’re hosting an event called “Forgotten Europe”: Translating Marginalised Languages. Arranged in a “conversazione” format, four translators discuss what it means to assert and champion the forgotten voices of minor and marginalised European languages. Don’t miss it!

We’re keen to have DPhil students convene and host the Discussion Group in Trinity term. Look at our Call for Proposals here for further details. The deadline for proposals is 17 February 2017. Successful applicants will be informed in Week 7 of Hilary term. 

During Week 3 we were lucky to have three excellent events: “(Re)writing Fragments”: Reflections on Translating PoetryModalities of Reading, and the first session of the East Asian Working Group. More extensive details for all these events can be found here.


Events and CFPS

1. The 2016-17 Humanitas Weidenfeld Visiting Professorship will be held by Sean O'Brien. Sean O’Brien is a poet, novelist, playwright, critic, broadcaster, anthologist and editor. His lectures begin next week. See attached poster.


2. Mars. A Short History of Extra-Terrestrial Imagination

Philipp Theisohn (Zurich)


School of Advanced Study • University of London

Thursday, 9 February 2017, 5.30 for 6 pm

Venue: Room 243, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU



3. 61st National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies

Friday, 7 April 2017

Venue: Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London


The National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies is a biannual event organised in association with the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR - formerly Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies) at the University of London. Launched in 1987, it provides an informal and friendly forum for graduate students in all areas of German Studies to present and discuss their current research.

Offers of papers from graduate students working on any aspect of German Studies, including all periods of literature, the arts, social sciences, history, and linguistics are now invited for the 61st meeting, which will take place at the Institute of Modern Languages Research (School of Advanced Study, University of London).

A general knowledge of German culture and language can be assumed, though not a specialized knowledge of individual topics. Presentations, no longer than thirty minutes in length, should be targeted to the occasion and make use of appropriate media. Papers may be given in English or German. Each paper is followed by a ten-minute period for questions and discussion. If you would like to contribute a paper, please send an abstract of not more than 500 words to the organisers, c/o The abstract should include the following information as part of the same file (in either MS Word or pdf format):

·       Your name, postal address, telephone number, and email address
·       The name of the institution at which you are registered
·       The media required for your presentation (e.g. OHP, cd/cassette player; slide projector, data projector/ laptop [PowerPoint], VHS player)

Offers of papers can also be made using the form (pdf) which can be downloaded from the IMLR website at When completed, please return the form to Jane Lewin, Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London, Room 239, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. The form may also be emailed Offers of papers must be received by Friday, 17 February 2017.

Organising Committee: Ian Ellison (Leeds); Leila Essa (KCL); Stephanie Obermeier(Kent); Joanna Raisbeck (Oxford).


4. What is a modern author? Evolutions in authorship from the 19th century to the present

14 February 2017


IMLR, Senate House, London

This workshop will examine interactions between the book market, modern writers’ self-representation and their reception, moving from the 19th to the 21st century and across French, Italian and Spanish. It will analyse how developments in the publishing industry and in the author-function have had an impact on how writers have portrayed themselves in their texts, negotiated their role as public figures and been perceived by the reading public, taking in issues related to translation, the impact of new technologies on literature and celebrity culture.

14:15 Panel 1

Jennifer Rushworth (St John’s College, Oxford): ‘Nineteenth-Century French Petrarchism and the Visibility of the Translator’

Martina Piperno (Warwick): ‘“Aliens to Our Editions”: Romantics and the Printed World’

15:15 Tea

15:45 Panel 2

Stéphanie Panichelli-Batalla (Aston): ‘Autofiction as Self-Translation in Reinaldo Arenas’ pentagony’

Delphine Grass (Lancaster) ‘Michel Houellebecq and the Spectre of Authorship’

Kate Willman (IMLR, London): ‘Autofiction versus Anonymity: Rethinking the Author- Function in the 21st Century’

Attendance free, but places are limited. Advance registration essential


6. CfP for the PGR conference 'Migration and Transcultural Memory in the 21st Century', to be held at the University of Leeds, UK, on the 3rd May 2017.

Globalization, migration, the impact of mass media, as well as the increasing number of transnational organizations have led to the reconceptualization of cultural memory – not as stable and confined to a specific nation –  but as fluid and subject to constant change. National perceptions of the past are now recognized as being both influenced by transnational definitions of specific past events that have a supposed ‘global’ resonance, and marked by heterogeneous (minority) sub-memories. As important aspect of the concept of “traveling of memories”, migration has become a central topic of inquiry in Memory Studies. Belonging to several national, religious or cultural frameworks of memory, the figure of the “migrant” exemplifies the evolving global network of recollection. “Migrants” may carry with them specifically traumatic memories that cross local recollections as well as institutionalized memory constructions on the national and the transnational level.

The overall aim of this one-day PGR conference is to define the specificity of transcultural migrant memory against other forms of traumatic memory prevailing within specific national contexts, or on the transnational stage. What is the crucial force of artefacts representing (migrant) traumatic memories as they interact with pre-existing narratives of traumatic memory? How can the personal nature of these migrant memories be seen to challenge memories of the past as defined by local, national or supranational narratives?

How do minority memories of trauma encounter conceptions of supposedly ‘global’ traumatic memories such as the legacy of the Holocaust, which seem to prescribe a specific way of relating to this past? The conference will consider whether the concept of transcultural memory as a “lens of investigation” allows new insights into migrant memory, and, conversely, if the investigation of migrant memory can contribute to a definition of transcultural memory as tool of analysis.

Topics to be addressed may include, but are not limited to:

Migrant memories as they appear in literature, visual arts, as well as in digital and audiovisual media;
(Traumatic) migrant memory as counter-memory of the past;
Frictions of interrelation between migrant memories and official national or supranational perceptions of the past;
Transcultural migrant memory in comparison with global memories;
The use of powerful global narratives (such as the Holocaust) in artistic expression of migrant memory;
Methodological observations about the transcultural as means of investigating migrant memory;
The change of migrant memories as they interact with existing memory narratives in their host countries;
The reception of migrant memories in 'host' societies;
Artistic expressions of migrant memories as demonstration of the global networks of remembrance and/or the “traveling of memories”;
‘Migrant’ character in cultural artifacts expressing the general rootlessness in the present ‘age of globalization’;
The role of 'place' in the (re)creation of migrant memory? Do specific 'places' impact on these memories, or are they resistant to change?

Please send a 300-word abstract for your proposed paper, including the title of your paper, your name and affiliation for a 20 minute presentation, to

The deadline is Friday 3rd February 2017.

For information regarding the small travel contributions we can offer to participants, please contact us on the above email.

Conference points of contact: Jade Douglas (University of Leeds), Hanna Abakunova (University of Sheffield), Harriet Beadnell (University of York), Jessica Ortner (University of Copenhagen).

This conference is being generously funded by the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities.




Abstract: 300 words

Abstract Deadline: 24 February 2017

Conference Dates: 29 – 30 April 2017

Venue: Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford

A postgraduate student committee from the University of Oxford’s Modern Languages Faculty (Sub-faculty of Byzantine and Modern Greek) and the Oriental Institute (Modern Middle East Studies) invites abstract submissions from postgraduate students to participate in a two-day conference in order to consider the question of how borders and other forms of boundaries were created, negotiated or challenged in the Eastern Mediterranean throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

Participants are particularly encouraged to think of borders and boundaries not only in geographical terms, but also as a more general category denoting limits – be it the limits of genre, identity or culture.

For more information about the conference, please visit our website:


Dr Eleni Philippou

Comparative Criticism and Translation

forgotten europe