In Week 8, we enjoyed the talk “Multilingualism and Post-Anglophone Fiction” by Professor Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers). In our last Discussion Group session of term, 8, Dr James Partridge (Oxford) introduced us to K. H. Mácha’s long poem “Máj” (“May”).
EVENTS, PRIZES, and CFPs
1.CFP: Holocaust Surrealisms, Special Panel at the MLA Annual Convention, 2020, Seattle, 9-12 January.
This panel will explore how surrealist aesthetics and practices have influenced Holocaust representations, memory, and testimony. How do surrealist forms provide a counterpoint to the postmodern paradigm of minimalism and fragmentation that still dominates scholarship on the event? What is the relationship between surrealism and the recent shift towards hyperrealist or historical representations?
250-word abstracts and short bio by March 20.
2. The British Association of Decadence Studies (BADS) invites you to two Thursday evening talks hosted at Goldsmiths, University of London, signalling two new directions in contemporary Decadence studies: Decadence and cinema, and Decadence and performance.
Thursday 21 March 2019, 7-9pm
Oscar Wilde goes to Hollywood: Dorian Gray against the Censors, 1915-1945
Dr Kate Hext (University of Exeter)
Had he lived, Oscar Wilde would have gone to Hollywood. He always loved the glitz of America, and lucrative contracts for scenario writers in the Hollywood boom from 1915 would quite possibly have offered an irresistible income. In reality, of course, Oscar never made it to the Dream Factories of LA. However, his stories did. This paper traces how and why his 1891 novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, became a popular and subversive text for film adaptations in Hollywood between 1915 and 1945. It explores the cultural capital and cache of Wilde in the US in this period and argues that the films use this as a mask, behind which they dare to gesture beyond the strict confines of censorship to the unshowable and unsayable.
*This paper uses clips from the films in question and prior knowledge of them is not necessary.
3.Thursday 28 March 2019, 7-9pm
Decadence and Ruination in Contemporary Performance
Dr Adam Alston (University of Surrey)
Decadence studies is a capacious field, but performance remains at its peripheries. Where it does make an entrance, it tends to be the written word – the play text – that draws attention, which raises an intriguing question: As a live art form, what might performance ‘do’ to how we think about and engage with decadence?
In this paper I’ll be promoting a shift in how decadence is theorised by focusing on how it is produced in and through a maelstrom of competing ideologies. While inspired by the queering of ‘decadence’ as fin de siècle writers responded to the normative horizons of a society’s beliefs, institutions and values, I will be framing contemporary performance as a fitting crucible in which to explore the dialectics of decadence, turning not to the long nineteenth century, but to the deployment of decadence in Marxist critical theory from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to inform the modelling of a critical theory of decadence in performance. By exploring trash, mess and excess in live artworks, this paper will position performance as an art of precarious action – an art well-suited to imagining the ruination of ruinous practices, habits and traditions.
Tickets are free for BADS members, or for non-members they cost £5 for a single evening or £8 for both. Includes post-lecture drinks! Further information can be found at: https://bads.gold.ac.uk/bads-jeudis
4. *Call for papers- Deadline Extension!*
Pre-1750 Graduate Conference 2019: 'In Bad Taste'
Deadline for submissions extended until *Thursday 7th March 2019*
Conference date: 12th April 2019
Owing to the fact that we still have spaces for speakers available, the deadline for submitting an abstract has been extended until *Thursday 7th March 2019.
We are also excited to announce that our keynote speaker for the event will be Dr Raphael Lyne!
We strongly encourage anyone whose dissertation or coursework research has touched on an element of what might be considered ‘bad taste’ to make a submission (maximum 500 words) even if your ideas are still
developing. Presenting research at a conference provides valuable experience, especially for those considering embarking upon a PhD, and this is an excellent opportunity to present in a familiar setting as well as gaining an insight into the structuring of conference processes in general.
The annual Cambridge Graduate Conference on pre-1750 literature is seeking papers on the topic ‘In Bad Taste’. The conference aims to invite reflection on moral and artistic constructions of the unacceptable and the revolting in medieval and early modern literature.
We are keen to receive papers on all possible readings of the theme, including (but not limited to):
· Experiences of taste and smell;
· Receptions of the body and medical texts;
· Questions of canon, quality and judgement;
· Intersections with the revolting in visual culture;
· Obscenity and social transgression.
Paper submissions should take the form of a maximum 500 word abstract.
During the conference each speaker will have 15 minutes to deliver their
paper. They will then participate in a themed panel discussion with
several other relevant speakers, including questions from the floor.
Details of panel chairs will be forthcoming.
We aim to run three of these panels throughout the day, followed by the
Please send your submissions to *firstname.lastname@example.org*
5. INSTITUTE OF MODERN LANGUAGES RESEARCH
School of Advanced Study • University of London
>>>Registration now open: https://modernlanguages.sas.ac.uk/events/event/17676 (closing date: 31 March 2019)
Thursday, 4 and Friday, 5 April 2019
65th National Postgraduate Colloquium in German Studies
Venue: IMLR, University of London, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU
Thursday, 4 April 2019
10.00-10.30 Registration / Welcome / Coffee
10.30-12.00 Panel 1: Individuals, Societies and Systems: Navigating Boundaries
Caitlin Jones (University of Oxford): The Anxious Infection of Normative Boundaries in Adalbert Stifter’s Granit
Georgina Edwards (University of Oxford): Building on Bildung – Reconciling the Individual and the Institution through the Work of Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Hesse
Michael Watzka (Columbia University in the City of New York): Reporting from a Global ‘No-Man's-Bay’ – Daily Rhythms, Local Time Zones, and Self-Imposed Seclusion in 1980s’ Journal Writing
12.00-14.00 Lunch (own arrangements)
14.00-15.00 Panel 2: Questioning Narrators
Jeremy Points (University of Swansea): ‘Soviel Wirklichkeit ermüdet’: the Male Narrator’s Defensive Narratives in Günter Grass’ Die Rättin (1986)
Eike Andre Wermes (Freie Universität Berlin): The Aesthetics of Narcissism in the Early Works of Thomas Mann
Hanna E. Schumacher (University of Warwick): Nach der Langeweile. Boredom, Critical Posthumanism and Kulturkritik
16.00-17.00 Panel 3: Radicalism and the Male Gaze
Joseph Russo (University of Glasgow): Queer Eye for the (secretly not) Straight Guy: Homoeroticism and Queer Male Gaze in John Henry Mackay’s Der Schwimmer
Marlyn Steffens (University College Cork): Female Terrorists on Screen: the Reverse Scopophilia of Terror
18.00-19.00 2019 Sylvia Naish Lecture
Doriane Zerka (King’s College London): Depictions of Iberia in Medieval German Literature
Friday, 5 April 2019
09.30-10.00 Welcome / Coffee
10.00-11.00 Panel 4: Politics and Womanhood
Clarisa Novello (University of Aberdeen): Climate Change and Misogyny in 21st-Century German Women’s Writing
Elizabeth Kajs (University of Bristol): Motherhood as Creative Site: Linking Artistry and Reproduction in the Work of Käthe Kollwitz
11.30-13.00 Panel 5: Interpreting and Utilizing Literature
Richelle Whitehead (Queen Mary University of London): On the Self: Nietzsche's Use of Literature
Robert Britten (University of Cambridge): Writing Reality beyond Realism: Brecht’s ‘Hands-on’ Approach to Political Art
Maria Khan (University of Cambridge): Performing Goethe’s Faust with Turkish-German Secondary School Students in Berlin
13.00-14.30 Lunch (own arrangements)
14.30-16.00 Keynote Lecture
Richard McClelland (University of Bristol): title to be confirmed
16.00-16.30 Closing Remarks / Colloquium Ends
Advance online registration required by 31 March 2019.
Registration fee: £15.00 (flat rate for both days); £10 (one day only).
The registration fee covers refreshments, and is payable by all participants and speakers.
6. Paragraph 2020 Essay Prize
Submissions are now invited for the Paragraph 2020 Essay Prize
competition, in which the prize will be awarded for the best article on
the topic ‘Why Critical Theory Matters Today’. In line with the
journal’s leading role in investigating critical theory across a wide
range of disciplines, submissions may address the topic from any
perspective as long as the argument has a primarily theoretical focus.
The competition is open to both early-career researchers and established
scholars. All submissions are evaluated by the members of the Editorial
Committee. The winning article will be published in the July 2020 issue
of the journal, and its author will receive a sum of £500. Other essays
submitted for the prize may also be published in the same or subsequent
numbers of Paragraph. Entries should therefore be no longer than 6,000
words and should be formatted according to the journal's conventions.
These can be found on the journal's website:
Submissions should be sent to Emma Wilson (email@example.com) by 1
7. Registration is now open for the day symposium in medias res: Convention, Conclusion and the Performance of the Text, c. 1050-1500. We invite anyone who would like to attend to register using the following link: https://www.oxforduniversitystores.co.uk/product-catalogue/humanities-di.... Here you will find a £10 registration fee, which will cover lunch and refreshments provided throughout the day.
8. Saturday, 16 March 2019 (Room 243, Senate House)
History, Ethnography and Memory
11.00 Historical methods and archives (Carlos Lopez Galviz, Lancaster)
The session will discuss four concepts central to the practice of history, namely, context and interpretation, diachrony and synchrony, the where and the how of doing history (archives), and causes and path dependencies. It will conclude with a brief reflection on the relationship between history and the future’
12.00 Ethnography and fieldwork (Chandra Morrison, LSE)
Drawing on ethnographic methods such as participant observation, this session will address working with people in the field and will provide an opportunity to think about how interpersonal interactions and approaches can be applied to Modern Languages research
13.00 Lunch break
14.30 Introduction to oral history, fieldwork and collections (Michael Kandiah, KCL)
15.30 Tea break
16.00 The politics of memory, secondary witnessing and postmemory (Diane Silverthorne, Central Saint Martins)
9. The Global Arab and Arab American MLA Forum invites proposals for the following two panels at the MLA convention in Seattle, Washington (Jan 9-12, 2020):
1/ Poetics and Politics of Defeat: Reconfiguring the Human after the Arab Spring
Reconsiders representations of the human / inhuman / posthuman in relation to the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Papers welcome on Arab literary and cultural responses to defeat. Please send a 200 word abstract and CV to Ala A. Alryyes (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rasha Chatta (email@example.com) by March 29, 2019.
2/ Orientalism, Philology, World Literature
Explores the origins of “World Literature” in colonial history, and develops new, decolonizing critical methodologies for a worlded literary studies. Papers welcome on any author, genre, period, field, region, tradition, etc. Please send a 200 word abstract and CV to Karim Mattar (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ahmed Idrissi Alami (email@example.com) by March 29, 2019.
10. Association for Literary Urban Studies / Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies
(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts
University of Limerick, 12-13 December 2019
(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts seeks to explore relations between the urban and the utopian, as manifested and explored in literary and cultural practice understood broadly, along another strand of the utopian problematic: that of the complex relations of the utopian and the ideological. These can be understood as antagonistic, with utopian departures challenging and undermining dominant ideological structures, of which the city is both producer and product. But they may also be analysed as dialectically conjoined, whereby utopian projections or disruptions form the basis upon which ideological reformulations are subsequently imagined and put in place.
Key, in this respect, is the problem of representation along both spatial and temporal axes. Writing the city in the light of utopia can thus result in a focus on nonconformist or disruptive spaces within the urban fabric, an attention to spatial discontinuities and their textual correlates, their accompanying discourses and poetics. But it can equally lead to a focus on singular experience; on the event and its after-life; on memory and anticipation of that which itself evades satisfactory representation. These are challenges which speak to the specific concerns of generic and experimental textual practices in an inclusive way – and this conference seeks to explore the full variety of responses elicited, across and between languages and traditions of practice, and in deep historical perspective.
Our title gestures towards a further ambivalence that is arguably key to the writing of the city and the urban experience – the ‘fair’ is what links the equitable and the beautiful, and the indissociably ethical and aesthetic challenge of imagining and writing the city – both inside and beyond ‘literature’ – thus makes such writing an especially fraught ideological space. This being so, the conference will seek in particular to re-visit the perceived ‘end of utopia’ in urban planning and contemporary literary fiction (see e.g. Baeten), and to think about new examples of both ‘spaces of hope’ (see Harvey), ‘utopic degeneration’ (see Marin), and ‘utopia, limited’ (Nersessian) in the textual worlds of urban planning, futures studies, literary fiction, and utopian studies.
We invite individual papers and sessions on subjects engaging with, but not limited to, the following themes:
- Representations of equity, equality and inequality in city writing
- Radical urban futures
- Geographies of hope in the context of 20th and 21st-century dystopia
- Afrofuturism and the city
- Urban segregation and future cities
- Representations of freedom in urban texts
- Novel forms of interaction and encounter in urban writing
- Representation of urban mobilities and large-scale infrastructure – from the industrial revolution to hyperloops
- Rule, Utopia! Class struggles in urban political fiction
- Techno-utopia and the representation of ‘smart cities’
- Governing Ecotopia in climate fiction
- Self-organization in 20th and 21st century dystopia
- Urban commons in near-future fiction
- Urban fables and cautionary tales
- Methodological approaches to interdisciplinary research bridging utopian studies, future studies and literary urban studies
The deadline for submission of proposals is 15 June 2019. Please send proposals (c. 300 words (per paper) / c. 500 words (session rationale)) together with short bionote(s) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The language of the conference will be English, but papers focusing on material in any language from any part of the world are very welcome. The organizers plan to publish a selection of the work issuing from the conference.
(Un)Fair Cities. Equity, Ideology and Utopia in Urban Texts is the second international conference of the Association for Literary Urban Studies and is organized in association with the Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies at the University of Limerick. Conference Organizers: Lieven Ameel (ALUS), Michael G. Kelly and Mariano Paz (Ralahine). Confirmed keynote speakers: Prof Antonis Balasopoulos (Associate Professor in Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, University of Cyprus); Dr Caroline Edwards (Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature, Birkbeck, University of London).
The Association for Literary Urban Studies (ALUS), founded in 2015 (formerly HLCN), is an international and interdisciplinary platform for scholars studying the city in literature, which aims to foster interdisciplinary research on city literature, including literature written in all languages and encompassing all historical periods. ALUS organizes regular symposiums and conferences, with recent events in Essen (2019), Stockholm (2018), London (2018), Tallinn (2017), and Tampere (2017), amongst others. More information at https://blogs.helsinki.fi/hlc-n/
The Ralahine Centre for Utopian Studies was established at the University of Limerick in 2003 to pursue innovative research across disciplines on utopian thought and practice. The Centre’s research and service agenda is based on the premise that social values, policies, and practices are shaped by hopeful, utopian visions, and that this dimension is critical to the betterment of life for all members of society. The Ralahine Centre has been instrumental to the development of the (inter-)discipline of utopian studies in Irish, European and international contexts of the past fifteen years. More information at https://ulsites.ul.ie/ralahinecentre/about-ralahine-centre-utopian-studies
Baeten, Guy (2002). ‘Western Utopianism/Dystopianism and the Political Mediocrity of Critical Urban Research.’ In Geografiska Annaler B, 3-4: 143-152.
Harvey, David (2002). Spaces of Hope. Edinburgh University Press.
Marin, Louis (tr. Robert A. Vollrath) ( 1984). Utopics. The Semiological Play of Textual Spaces. Humanity Books.
Nersessian, Anahid (2015). Utopia, limited. Romanticism and Adjustment. Harvard University Press.