Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Calls for papers: a weekly round-up

Literature, Community and its Limits
Institute of English Studies, University of London, 15-16 July 2013
On the 30th anniversary of both Jean-Luc Nancy's La communauté désoeuvrée and Benedict Anderson's Imagined Communities, this conference seeks to explore ways that "community" and literature (in its widest acceptation) are and have been conceived over the last 250 years. Through exploration of the past, the conference hopes to begin formulating new ways of thinking about how we do and can live together in an environment mediated by words on a page.
Besides continuing the questions asked by Anderson and Nancy, conference speakers might wish to address the following:
  • How has literature been used to promote communities alternative to the hegemonic?
  • What are the possibilities and limits of thinking community as a friendship group or coterie that generates literary output available beyond the limits of that group?
  • What are the implications for community of human and non-human overlap?
  • Is the idea of class as both socially active community and analytic concept really dead? If so - or if not - how far might economics rather than (literary) myth underpin concepts of community?
  • To what extent are readers of a printed (or print-simulating) text really members of a community? How have such communities been imagined - and recorded?
  • What alternative ways of conceiving community beyond Nancy and Anderson might be mobilised to help us understand literature (e.g. Wenger and Lave's "communities of practice")?
  • How might the marginal be and have been conceived? What advantages, if any, accrue from this position vis-à-vis the community, to whom and in what circumstances?
The deadline for abstracts (250 words) is 1 February 2013. Please send copies of the abstract and 1-page CVs to both and
More detail can be found here.
"Shaw at Home": a George Bernard Shaw conference 
 17-22 June 2013, Ayot St. Lawrence, United Kingdom

“Shaw at Home,” a conference of international scholars, which will take place mostly in the village of Ayot St. Lawrence north of London, reminds us that“Shaw’s Corner” in Ayot was the Shaws' home longer, 44 years, than any other residence. “Shaw’s Corner” is now maintained partly as a museum and as the stage for annual productions of Shaw's plays on the back lawn. The Shaws also had several residences in London, of course, and the conference will spend a day in London touring Shavian sites there, starting at the London School of Economics. The keynote address will be by Sir Michael Holroyd. Paper topics are open, but of course papers that relate Shaw’s work and life to his residences would be especially welcome, as would papers on the two Shaw plays that will be provided by Michael Friend Productions: Buoyant Billions and Geneva. The deadline for submission of paper abstracts and travel grant applications is 15 February  2013 (please send by attachment to an email to Professor Michael O’Hara. Details on registration, accommodations, transportation, the schedule and travel grants and scholarships for emerging scholars can be found on the conference website and the National Trust Shaw's Corner page.

Byron: the poetry of politics and the politics of poetry
The 39th International Byron Conference, 1-6 July 2013, King’s College London, Strand Campus

This conference will examine Byron’s engagement with politics in the widest sense: as a poet, as a member of the House of Lords, as a commentator on his time, and latterly as a would-be revolutionary.

Academic sessions might include:
  • Byron and the politics of culture
  • Political style in Byron’s writing
  • Byron and the politics of the ‘Other’
  • Byron and the politics of emergent nations (Italy, Greece, the Americas)
  • Byron and the House of Lords
  • Byron and Napoleon
  • Byron as social satirist
  • Byron and revolution
  • Byron as liberal and/or libertine
  • Byron and religion
  • Byron and social class
  • Byron and gender/sexual politics
  • Byron and British political parties
  • Byron and imperialism
  • Byron and celebrity
  • Byron’s posthumous political influence
  • The ‘Byron legend’ (construction and/or appropriation)
  • ‘Words and things’ (literature versus action in Byron’s life and work)
Proposals for papers on these and other aspects of Byron and politics, or the politics of Byron’s poetry, are welcome. Please send 250-word proposals by 28 February 2013 to
More information can be found here.
“We Speak a Different Tongue” Maverick Voices and Modernity, 1890–1939
International Conference, St. John’s College, Durham University, 5-6 July 2013

Plenary speakers: Professor Chris Baldick (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and Professor Michael O'Neill (Durham University)

With a focus on the fiction, poetry, and drama of the period 1890-1939, “Maverick Voices” registers the diversity of innovation beyond the traditionally defined boundaries of literary Modernism. Famously in “Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown” (1924), Virginia Woolf distinguishes between two literary camps: the Edwardians and the Georgians. By praising the Georgians and vilifying the Edwardians, Woolf privileges an aesthetic of what later became identified as Modernism against a continuing tradition of realism. This is indicative of both continuities and discontinuities – between Modernism and, in Yeats’s phrase, those different tongues of nineteenth-century sensibilities – which have prevailed as a persistent presence in much recent literary criticism.

“Maverick Voices” contributes to current debates about where the boundaries of literary Modernism should be drawn. In so doing, our conference explores the alternative visions of those individuals who hover at the fringes of cosmopolitan artistic milieus. Relevant questions that could be explored in relation to these marginal voices are: Does a privileging of Modernism undervalue texts that are perceived to operate outside either the parameters of its understood aesthetic and/or periodization? Are there marginalised or obscure texts whose avant-garde experiments renew a sense of the plurality of types of modernisms? Can the ascription of a proto-Modernist tag expand understandings of how texts respond in distinct ways to the pressures of modernity? Indeed, do some literary texts in their own inventive ways produce an alternative poetics to the widely recognized canon of such authors as Woolf and Pound? To what extent do these texts disrupt or engage in dialogue with critical narratives of Modernism?

By addressing these questions in relation to those responses and counter-responses to literary Modernism our conference aims at highlighting those alternative visions of contemporaneous maverick individuals. It further hopes to challenge strict periodization and suggest new points of inception. Authors of relevance to these vital questions might include, but are not limited to: Ford Madox Ford, D. H. Lawrence, George Egerton, W. B. Yeats, Katharine Burdekin, Arthur Machen, Rebecca West, Evelyn Waugh, Noël Coward, Charlotte Mew, George Bernard Shaw, John Galsworthy, Ella Hepworth Dixon, George Moore, Aldous Huxley, Walter de la Mare, James Elroy Flecker, A. E. Housman, G. K. Chesterton, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, and Arnold Bennett.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

-Responses to labels and manifestoes
-Individual counter-subjectivities
-Canonicity and marginality
-Individuals, groups, and cosmopolitanism
-Late Victorianism and modernity
-Poetics of the fin-de-siècle and beyond
-Continental interludes in Anglo-American modernity
-Avant-garde and Decadence
-Science fiction
-Gothic revivals
-Innovations in popular fiction
-New Woman discourse
-Experimentalism in Fantasy/Romance
-Experimental Realisms
-Mysticism/esoteric forms of modernity
-Georgian poetry
-Writers on the periphery of Modernism
-Utopian/Dystopian narratives

Proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of maverick voices and modernity should be submitted as email attachments by Friday, 1st March 2013 to Abstracts should be between 200-250 words. Please attach a one-page CV and state name, affiliation, and contact details in the body of the email. For queries please contact co-organisers by email.


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