ASLE-Canada Newsletter
Issue 2: Spring 2006


2006 Summer Symposium ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and Environment)

Site: University of Maine at Farmington
Farmington, Maine

Inviting presentations on the ways in which Maine has figured in the Environmental Imagination of North America; how Maine has been a storehouse of transcendental virtue and authenticity for Massachusetts, southern New England, and the rest of the nation; and how Maine's "unspoiled" image was reconciled with the reality of clear-cutting and river pollution. Creative presentations are welcome.

Conference topics to include, but not limited to:
-Thoreau and Maine
-Maine and the Gothic
-Maine as Myth, Symbol, Idea
-Coast vs. Mountains: The Two Maines
-Maine Logging/Maine Wilderness
-Poverty and Wilderness

For more information, please view our listing on the ASLE website (, as well our official website at, to be up and running by March 1st, 2006. You may also contact the conference host directly.

Conference Host:

Michael D. Burke
Associate Professor of English
University of Maine at Farmington
Farmington, ME 04938
(207) 778-7205

World Knowledge Dialogue Symposium 2006

"Consilience", defined by EO Wilson as "the interlocking of causal explanation across disciplines", is the starting point for the World Knowledge Dialogue, a global initiative towards a modern humanism to bridge the gap between the natural and the human/social sciences. We are delighted to announce that a selected group of personalities holding major positions in the academic, scientific and economic fields will join this first international symposium taking place in the splendid Alpine resort of Crans Montana, Switzerland on September 14-16, 2006.

World class scientists from one scientific culture will put their discoveries into the perspective of the other and set the stage for transdisciplinary discussions around two main topics: the study of complex systems and the understanding of the migration of modern humans. Keynote speakers who will talk about the relation between molecular/cellular brain function and human consciousness include:

  • Gerald Edelman, Nobel laureate, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology at The Scripps Research Institute
  • Jean-Pierre Changeux, Balzan laureate, Professor & Chairman of the Physiology of Truth and the Human Diversity, Department of Neurosciences at the Pasteur Institute.

A full program and registration information can be found at: The participants will come from all corners of the world. A group of 50 young scientists, recruited by national/international research agencies, will also be invited and given travel grants and special financial conditions for their participation. Members of the scientific board of the symposium include Werner Arber (University of Basel, Nobel Prize Laureate), Dame Julia Higgins (Imperial College, London, Foreign Secretary and Vice President of the Royal Society), and Frank Wilczek (Professor of Physics, MIT, Nobel Prize Laureate).

A discussion with EO Wilson and Gerald Holton will jump-start the World Knowledge Dialogue in the USA on April 3, 2006, at the Swiss House for Advanced Research and Education SHARE in Cambridge MA.

If you are interested in participating in the World Knowledge Dialogue, please sign up for further updates on the web site or contact us at Please feel free to forward this information to other leading personalities interested in a transdisciplinary science discourse who want to spearhead the World Knowledge Dialogue initiative!

Kind regards,

Pascal Marmier & Remo Steinmetz
World Knowledge Dialogue USA

SHARE Boston
420 Broadway
Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Fon +1 617 876 3076
Fax +1 617 876 3079

Panel: Romantic Poets and the Language of Abolition

Abstracts welcome on any aspect of the writings of the British Romantic poets and their abolitionist writings. This is for the joint NASSR/BARS conference in England in 2007, celebrating the abolition of the slave trade in the UK.

Panelists must be members of NASSR/BARS in 2007.

Dr. Marcy L. Tanter
Associate Professor of English
Director of Sophomore Literature
Tarleton State University
Stephenville, TX 76402

MELUS-INDIA (The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, India Chapter) and MELOW (The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the World)
“Literature in Times of Violence”

Chandigarh, tentative date: March 2007

Theme for MELUS-INDIA: "Literature in Times of Violence: the American Response"
Theme for MELOW: "Contemporary World Literatures in Times of Violence"

This will be the Eighth International Conference of MELUS-INDIA and the Second International Conference of MELOW. The MELOW Conference will dove-tail into the MELUS-India Conference.

The major theme:

Out of the quarrels with ourselves, if we believe Yeats, literature is created. In fact it is not just the quarrel with ourselves but also the turbulence of the times that is responsible for the production of literature. These are times of upheaval and violence - when one is assaulted physically, emotionally and psychologically from all quarters. Despite the trauma, however, one survives and carries on the best way possible. Artists continue to produce works of art, musicians create music and writers compose their masterpieces. But, one may ask, how does literature respond to the legacy of mass violence and political conflict? Does the creative mind buckle under the pressures or does it rise above them all to create mournful music? And how does the reader respond to the various tensions that go into the making of great literature? What models are available for understanding these literary responses to the turbulence of the times? Do poetry, fiction, drama and film help us find words and images to understand national catastrophe? Can literature narrate mass violence? Does it try to escape violence? Can it be a substitute for violence? Is it a cure or a panacea?

The MELUS-India 2007 Conference will explore these and related issues, taking up diverse genres--literature, cinema, theatre, media, popular culture, etc. The focus will be American Literature, but panel proposals which cross borders and disciplines are encouraged. 350-word panel proposals related to the theme are invited.

The MELOW 2007 Conference will explore the same issues, focusing on literatures of the world. 350-word Panel Proposals are invited, related to the literature of the last fifty years.

Please note the procedure being followed:

Instead of individual papers we are inviting proposals for panels at this point. Once panels have been finalized, the call for papers will be circulated and abstracts of papers will be invited. Paper proposals will be sent directly to the panel proposer who will serve as the organizer and chair of the panels. He / She, in consultation with the Conference Committee (the Governing Body comprising office-bearers), will decide whether or not to accept the proposals submitted to the panels. Any proposals not accepted by panels will be forwarded to a general pool of proposals, from which additional panels may be formed. If there is a shortage of submissions to a panel, the organizer will be invited to consider proposals from the general pool. If there are still not enough papers, the panel may be canceled or combined with another, at the discretion of the conference committee.

We are seeking panels that deal with issues related--but not confined--to race, ethnicity, identity, and gender, in literary texts, films, popular culture, media. Comparatist and interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged.

More on panels:

All panels will have 5 members: a chair (the organizer / proposer), and three paper presentations, followed by a discussant. A panel may not have more than two participants from the same institution. Each panel will be allotted approximately 90 minutes. The suggested division of time is five minutes for introductions, fifteen minutes for each paper presentation, ten minutes for commentary from the discussant, and thirty minutes for questions and answers from the audience. Discussants will offer critical comments on each paper or on the papers as a group with an eye toward stimulating discussion. Accordingly, he/she should have read in advance all the papers to be presented in the panel.

Members and non-members of MELUS-India / MELOW may submit panel proposals.

Panel proposals may be submitted on any topic that relates to the themes of MELUS-India or MELOW (but not both). All Proposals should include the following information:

  • Name and contact information of the panel organizer
  • Whether the panel is being proposed for MELUS-India or MELOW
  • Title of the panel and an explanation of the relevant area
  • Five key questions that will be addressed by the panel
  • Two short paragraphs describing the panel subject matter and the rationale for it
  • The above information should not exceed 350 words

Abstracts of individual papers will be invited only when the panels have been finalized. Tentatively, the call for individual papers will go out by early June 2006.

NOTE: Membership of MELUS-India / MELOW is not required at the time when panel proposals or individual papers are submitted. Non-members may join the Association after the acceptance of their panels / papers.

Deadline for all panel proposals is Sunday, April 30, 2006. Follow the instructions and email your panel proposal to not as an attachment but as part of the text message. Send a copy to

Future deadlines:

Abstracts of Individual papers (send to panel organizers): Sept 30, 2006

Acceptance of Individual abstracts to be dispatched by: Oct 31, 2006.

Final list of Panels, paper presenters and their abstracts: November 30, 2006

Full papers and Delegate fee to come in by January 15, 2007

For any clarification contact:

Manju Jaidka (Secretary, MELUS-India, MELOW) Email: or Prof. Anil Raina (Treasurer) Email:

CASA meeting 2006
“Constructing Social Change: Desire and Utopia, Art, Knowledge and Direct Action”

Date: 22 June 2006 - 26 June 2006

Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


The Cultural Analysis Summer Academy (CASA) came into existence in 2003 as an international forum that seeks to discuss the shifting functions of academia and the scholar in a globalized society. Until now CASA organized two meetings to provide a platform for these discussions. Two years ago people from seventeen countries all over the world engaged in the discussions under the broad headline of “Acting - Spectating.” The meeting proved to be successful and created on-going debates that have resulted in an e-journal and a proposed book publication. In 2005 a second meeting was organized that focused on the intersection between academic research and activism by discussing three thematic threads: borders, markets and movement(s).

CASA continues to be an interrogatory process on the continuum of activism and academia. The CASA meeting 2006 will focus on debates around the construction of social change.


The leftist tendency of embracing change as intrinsically positive, as if all transformations were emancipatory, veils two important facts. First of all, it presents the world as manageable. While change is inevitable it is not always the result of rational choices within collective action processes. Secondly, when human agents attempt to give change a certain direction, they still need to take into consideration that the effects of their actions cannot always be predicted and anticipated, but are subject to contingent factors and can take surprising turns. The unpredictabilities inherent in a project of transformation make it necessary that change becomes a reflexive and ongoing process.


The project of changing social relations has been related to the transformation of material dimensions of class relations and given form by a politics of redistribution. Yet a long tradition of criticism has shown that class is not the only social organizing principle that constitutes our position in a complicated and wide web of power relations. When we speak about oppression or exclusion we equally have to mention gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, health, age, etc and social, economic and symbolic/discursive relations that construct and sustain the norm. Accordingly, knots of resistance and social transformation are generated from these different positions reflecting different forms of labor, different ways of living, different views of the world and differing desires. Departing from such fragmented subject positions we would like to open up a discussion about the possibilities and limitations of and strategies for creating more equal and inclusive social relations. Inclusion involves changing these social ordering principles by deconstructing the norms that nourish the production of social hierarchies without constructing new exclusive norms. Equality does not refer to sameness but to the acceptance and negotiation of differences that can be articulated in dialogic processes. To strive for equality in social relations involves the creation of the conditions that would allow everyone to take part in the process of social change, from her own particular social context.


Dialogic processes for change in a world that is not manageable cannot flourish when one departs from the concept and practice of “directing change.” “Vanguardism” is no valid option for a participatory collective process. Therefore, we would like to speak about constructing change, which refers to a collective participative process that involves the articulation of differences by creating permeability and mutual contamination between different struggles and ideas.

CASA 2006 will be centered on four interrelated strategies for social transformation, focusing on a different strategy each day. These are: desires and utopia, art, knowledge, and direct action. All these themes can -and hopefully will- be discussed from many different angles. Possible questions are (but should not be limited to):


How does desire relate to social change? How can reflections on our own desires for change and its implications be developed? Can desire be changed or directed? What is the role of desire in research? Can desires for alternatives help to shape an effective research strategy? What is the role of utopian writing for the stimulation of social change? What can be considered as utopian movements? What are the utopian aspects of social movements and knowledge construction?


How can art contribute to emancipatory change? Is art merely reflecting social change, or can it be transformative in itself? How are art, knowledge and desire interrelated? How should we imagine the agency and autonomy of art in the age of global culture industries? Can art be a form of direct action? In what way is art related to the social? What is the role of the artist, and what is the role of the public in both the production and experience of an artwork? How can we discuss social responsibility of the artists?


In what ways can knowledge be used for social change towards more inclusiveness and emancipation? Which agents or parameters determine different types, modes and sites of knowledge production and transmission, knowledge hierarchies, the organization of knowledge and of academia? What alternatives are available concerning the production, distribution/sharing and use of knowledge? What is the role of education in processes of transformation?


What kind of interruptions and interventions are useful for reaching emancipatory transformation? How and by whom are direct action interventions carried out and to what ends? What kind of knowledge is produced by direct action? Can direct action also be used for knowledge construction and the interruption of hegemonic academic practices? Can we talk about "aesthetics" of direct action as a way of politicizing and mobilizing aesthetic experience?


The format of the CASA meeting is as crucial as its content. We want to ask all of you to engage in a construction of interactive spaces that contribute to constructing emancipatory change that is inclusive. Interactivity, here, means acknowledging that knowledge construction and knowledge transmission are not one-directional but rather collective processes. Thus participants of all kinds (presenters, discussants, facilitators, technical assistants, and organizers) should actively engage in collaborative processes rather than in a mere conveying of knowledge. We are open to alternative formats - from workshops to performances - that would open spaces for participation and collective production. Inclusiveness, here, means open to variety. We want a large diversity of contributions to the CASA meeting by inviting academics, artists, artist projects and collectives, utopians, utopian writers, non- institutional intellectuals, activists engaged in direct actions, and other interested individuals to share and exchange thoughts and practices. We also anticipate a diversity of practices to open debate and reflection. CASA 2006 can be a continuum of debating, intervening, thinking, reflecting, inspiring, inventing and constructing inclusive emancipatory initiatives.

Proposals for contributions within the four outlined topics are very welcome and can be submitted until April 30, 2006.

For further questions, contributions or participation please mailto:


ASLE UK Biennial Conference 2006
“Discordant Harmonies: Ecocriticism in the 21st Century”

8th - 10th September 2006

University of Lincoln, England, U.K.

Call for papers: deadline May 1st 2006

The perception that we are living at a time of deepening ecological crisis is now urgent and pervasive. What do literature and culture have to say at this moment in the history of human relationships with our environment?

The Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE UK) invites proposals for its fourth biennial conference to be held at the University of Lincoln, 8th-10th September 2006. We are interested in papers exploring any aspect of literary and other cultural treatments of the environment. How are writers of all kinds, filmmakers, literary theorists and readers responding to and representing the threat of climate change and other environmental issues? What are the particular challenges of teaching the humanities with a consciousness of the environment?

The ideal relationship between humans and the natural world has been imagined in terms of “harmony” and “balance” for at least three centuries. Ecocriticism and environmentalism have been shaped by such metaphors. And yet, in the science of ecology itself, metaphors of flux and change are challenging the 'balance of nature'. What are the consequences for ecocriticism and environmentalism, and for the ways in which we all imagine nature?

Contributions are invited from writers and critics in humanities disciplines on any topic that engages with the relationship of humankind to its environment, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Green re-readings of literature and other media
  • Problems in ecocritical theory
  • Green pedagogies/teaching environmental humanities
  • Varieties of ecocriticism: nation, class, gender and race
  • Humans and animals
  • Ecocritical tropes: pastoral, wilderness & apocalypse
  • Ecocriticism and activism
  • Globalisation and contemporary politics
  • Creative writing and other creative work

ASLE-UK was founded in 1998 and is an affiliate of ASLE (US), the leading international organization of ecologically informed literature and criticism, which now boasts over 1000 members worldwide. An English Subject Centre miniproject on Education for Sustainable Development running at Bath Spa University will be sponsoring a roundtable on ESD pedagogy. Contributors to the roundtable will be eligible for some financial support.

We welcome interdisciplinary approaches and thematically related non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Papers may be based in any humanities discipline such as literature, film and TV studies, new media, visual culture, cultural studies, journalism, history, linguistics, theology, philosophy, and may take the form of papers (20 minutes presentation time), panels, round tables, workshops or oral performances. Plenary speakers include Dana Phillips, Ursula Heise and John Simons: other speakers to be confirmed.

Please email proposals (200 words max) for papers etc to or by post to:

ASLE conference
Faculty of Media & Humanities
University of Lincoln
Brayford Pool, Lincoln
LN6 7TS. England U.K.

Note: The British Higher Education Academy has sponsored the English Dept at Bath Spa to carry out a study of ecocritical pedagogies. As part of the project, we are able to offer an honorarium (GBP100) to support contributors to a special round-table panel at the Lincoln conference in September. We have also been invited to put a proposal on ecocritical pedagogies to Palgrave Macmillan for a 'Teaching Ecocriticism' title, so publication is also possible.

The format will be that each speaker will give a 10 minute summary of their paper, which will be available in full by electronic means. There will then be a discussion of the issues raised. If you're interested in participating, please copy your proposal to me as well as sending it to the conference organiser Rupert Hildyard. Please note that offering a pedagogical paper need not preclude you from offering an academic research or creative paper as well.

For further information please email or write to Dr Rupert Hildyard at the above address.

For booking enquiries, location, accommodation etc please visit our website ; email ; or tel (+44) 01522 886407.

“Blake and Conflict”

A Two-Day Conference at University College, Oxford

22-23 September, 2006

For the majority of William Blake’s life, Britain was a nation at war. Countries, individuals, and ideologies clashed in the ferment of the American, French, and Industrial Revolutions. Britain experienced unprecedented levels of mobilisation, chronic food shortages, mass demonstrations, and the repression of civil liberties.

Blake recoiled with horror from armed conflict, and the consequences of living in a militarised state. Yet he was also situated within religious milieux in which intellectual conflict was a valued mode of social interaction and the production of knowledge. For the combative Blake, “mental war,” the collision of contraries, was integral to the creative process.

This conference will seek to examine the diverse ways in which Blake engaged with “fightings and conflicts dire” as both productive and destructive forces. Our focus is sharpened by its relevance to the global, cultural, and ideological turmoil of the present day.

Each paper will last 20 minutes. Abstracts of 200 words and enquiries should be sent to

Details are available at the conference website.

Possible topics might include:

  • · Blake and war, corporeal and mental
  • · Conflict as a mode of knowledge-production
  • · Concords and discords between genders and constructions of gender, or between races and constructions of race
  • · Blake’s collaborations, friendships, and animosities
  • · Blake’s engagement with religious, aesthetic, and scientific disputes
  • · Blake’s conversations with other writers and artists
  • · Rival discourses or conflicting aesthetics within Blake’s works
  • · Struggles with engraving, etching, and painting materials
  • · The collision of verbal and visual
  • · Formal dissonance
  • · Prophecy as an oppositional discourse
  • · Competing interpretations of Blake and his work

The deadline for proposals is 01 May 2006

Singapore/Malaysian Literature in English Panel, English Literature Conference

28-30 September 2006 NTU Singapore

The dominance of postmodern and poststructuralist nostrums in social and critical thought means that the postcolonial literature field is saturated by terms such as migrancy, hybridity, liminality, and marginality. These and other cognate and semi-cognate terms have an arguable purchase for minority and migrant writers in metropolitan social formations. But to the extent that they lead to what one critic describes as an "undifferentiating disavowal of all forms of nationalism" they are also problematic for many writers from non-metropolitan locales, because in the decades after independence the questions, "Who are we?" and "Where are we going as a nation/people/culture?" remain pressing and exigent.

The "national culture/literature" question is admittedly vulnerable to appropriation by local hegemonic and dominative arrangements, with the result that different kinds of social exclusion will potentially be fostered. In an age of resurgent imperialism, however, it returns with a renewed urgency.

What is the role of the Singapore and-or Malaysian writer given the concerns outlined here? Is this manner of framing the issue helpful? Is it responsible? Irresponsible? How else can issues be framed? What else emerges from the writing? These and other vexed questions will be explored by the proposed panel.

Proposals (250 words) are invited on any conjunction of Singapore/Malaysian Literature and irresponsibility, or resistance to fixed standards and paradigms, and should be forwarded to (Dr.) Wai-chew Sim at This panel has been agreed by the conference committee.

Other suggestions for panels or papers related to any aspect of Singapore/Malaysian Literature in the context of (ir)responsibility are most welcome.

Deadline: 01 May 2006

Please find further details about the conference below.

Inaugural English Literature Conference: IRRESPONSIBILITY

Division of English, NTU, Singapore, 28-30 September 2006

Opening address by Professor Shirley Chew; Plenary address by Professor J. Hillis Miller; keynote address by Professor Eugene O'Brien.

Literature tells us-before psychoanalysis, before deconstruction-that our crimes are overdetermined, our ethical concepts unstable. Yet the facile deployment of the rhetoric of responsibility and irresponsibility, in all manner of debate, indicates the widespread abuse of the concept of responsibility, if not its bankruptcy. With our title "Irresponsibility," we hope to provoke a conversation aimed at assessing both the contribution of literature to our understanding of the concept of responsibility and its vicissitudes, and the possible resistance within literature and literary studies to cheap distinctions between responsibility and irresponsibility. We hope also to provide a forum for those interested in determining the responsibility of literary studies today, both within its own domain, and in its relation to other disciplines. We welcome a wide variety of approaches to our theme, and encourage a broad understanding of its scope.

We invite papers and proposals for panels (of 3-4 papers). Suggested topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Representations of irresponsibility in the literature of any period or nationality
  • Irresponsible characters, narrators, authors, or literary critics
  • Responsibility after Freud (or Kierkegaard, or Sade, or Marx, or Nietzsche, or Derrida)
  • Interdisciplinary irresponsibility: Literature and Philosophy, Literature and Science, Literature and Law, Literature and Film Studies, Literature and Cultural studies
  • The pleasure of irresponsibility: Libertinism; Sadism; Pornography;
    Trash Cinema
    Irresponsibility and Postmodernism, Postcolonialism, Poststructuralism
  • Irish Literature and Irresponsibility, or Subversion in the Anti-Realist tradition
  • Moral didacticism, moral dilemmas, moral anxieties in Literature or Film
  • Primal guilt: Adam, Eve, Oedipus, Antigone
  • Victorianism and the rhetoric of responsibility
  • Irresponsibility and Insanity, Dilettantism, Hypocrisy, Scepticism, Faith, the Sacred, Violence, Polemics, Politics, War
  • Irresponsibility in responsible Singapore: Singapore literature, the arts, and culture
  • Responsibility in the age of terror
  • Culpatory and exculpatory rhetoric
  • Irresponsibility as resistance
  • The ethics of reading

Please send abstracts of 300 words either by email to or by mail to Conference Committee, English Division, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, NTU, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798. Further information will soon be available at our conference website:

Deadline: 10 April 2006

11th International Conference on Canadian Studies, Spanish Association for Canadian Studies
“Identities in the Make: Migration and Cultural Change in the Twenty-First Century”

17-18 November 2006; Madrid, Spain

In the last century, international migrations have become a social phenomenon of undeniable magnitude. The influence of migration on the dynamics of contemporary societies, on their internal policies, their cultural adjustments and their external relationships, cannot but continue and increase throughout the present century. Canada, as a traditional country of immigration, has been allotted a vanguard position in the management of this new kind of social complexity. But this has by no means been a one-way process. The self-perception of Canadian society, its identity, cultural habits and political institutions, have evolved and adapted to the changing circumstances in a process that has not always been easy and free of conflicts. The Spanish Association for Canadian Studies therefore puts forward the call for papers for its XI International Conference.

Literature, Linguistics and Cultural Studies

  1. The Migratory Phenomenon as a Shaper of the Canadian Historical Reality at Present
  2. Uprootings / Regroundings: Migrations in Canadian Literature
  3. Ecocriticism and the Interaction between the Global and the Local in Recent Canadian Literature and Art
  4. The Role of Literature in the Shaping of Canada's Multicultural Identity
  5. Writing B(l)ack from the Great White North: Reconfigurations of Canadian (Literary) Identity
  6. Out of Focus: Canadian Modernism, Cultural Identity and Social Change (1920-1955)
  7. Writing the Diaspora in Canadian Literature in English
  8. Translation and Canadian Culture
  9. Migrations and Exchanges, Identity and Alterity: Literary and Artistic Creation
  10. Storytelling and Native Canadian Mythologies
  11. Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Acquisition Systems in Multicultural Societies
  12. L'expertise du Quebec dans l'analyse et la gestion des identites en evolution et des dynamiques culturelles

    Legal, Political and Philosophical Studies
  13. Federalism and the Protection of Rights in a Multicultural Society
  14. Multiculturalism and Integration: from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Liberties to European Constitution
  15. Identity, Community and Culture: Reflections from the Canadian Philosophy
  16. Public Religions and the State: Comparative Approaches to the Political Management of Religion

    Social and Anthropological Studies
  17. International Migration as a Source of Social and Political Change: Immigration Policies, Citizenship and Rights
  18. Emergent Migratory Processes in North America
  19. Population Movements in the North-Western Territories as a Source of Social Development
  20. Les transformations des espaces ethniques dans la ville canadienne: le cas de Montreal
  21. New Challenges in the Twentieth-Century: Cities and Multiculturalism

Panel: “Uprootings / Regroundings: Migrations in Canadian Literature”

This panel is interested in studying the ways in which migrations challenge notions of home and belonging. We will focus on experiences of uprooting and regrounding caused by individuals and communities inhabiting and moving across familial, national and diasporic locations.

The panel aims at examining both how migration is experienced in relation to home and belonging, and how home and belonging are formed in relationship to individual and collective migration. We start from the premise that the forms and conditions of movement are not only highly divergent; they also exist in relation to similarly divergent configurations of placement, or being “at home.” Who moves, who stays and under what conditions? What is the relationship between those who stay and those who arrive and leave? What forces entrench migration, or propel staying “at home”? The concept of “uprootings” and “regroundings” provides a framework for rethinking home and migration in ways that open up the discussion beyond oppositions such as stasis versus transformation, or presence versus absence.

Highlighting the tremendous effort that goes into uprooting and regrounding homes, and the energy that is invested in enabling or prohibiting migrations, allows us to challenge the presumptions that movement involves freedom from grounds, or that grounded homes are not sites of change, relocation or uprooting. Rather than thinking of home and migration as constituted through processes that map onto “migrating” and “homing”, uprootings and regroundings make it possible to consider home and migration in terms of a plurality of experiences, histories and circumstances. The task is therefore not to categorize “home” as a condition distinct from “migration,” but to ask how uprootings and regroundings are enacted- affectively, materially and symbolically- in relation to one another. It is of immense contemporary importance, from this point of view, to make an attempt at defining or describing the nature of homing and migrating as either separate or combined processes through which homes are un/made or migrations are undertaken, forced or forbidden.

Please contact:

Carmen Arzua (Universidad complutense) or Cristina Sánchez Soto (Univ. de La


Panel: Ecocriticism and the Interaction between the Global and the Local in Recent Canadian Literature and Art.

This panel proposes to look at the Conference theme from the different perspective opened up by the relatively new interdisciplinary contexts of ecocriticism in Canada. It involves the investigation of a quintessentially national theme, the theme of Canadian nature, vis-à-vis the undeniable internationalization of contemporary Canadian society and culture. Canadian writers and artists of different cultural backgrounds have often felt drawn to issues of wilderness and the land, literally and/or symbolically, establishing different relationships with the surrounding environment and providing equally diverse responses to it. The panel intends to be interdisciplinary both in its theoretical and its practical aims, exploring the possibilities of a framework of analysis such as ecocriticism to deal with and address the textual, filmic and artistic production of the past 30 years in Anglophone Canada.

Ecocriticism will be defined in the most encompassing sense as a broad field of study that focuses on the relationship between the arts and the environment. It connects with a long history of ecological thinking in Canada as well as with a literary, cultural and artistic production rich in examples of the interaction between nature and the human being. By definition, ecocriticism would break the opposition between nature and culture, going beyond the poststructuralist view of nature as a textualized object, and rather building bridges between space and text. It starts from the local and works towards the global, tracing numerous lines of encounter between the two both in the environmental and the cultural arenas.

Papers in this panel may address any issue within that general framework, from the immigrants’ revisions of natured-based Canadian myths (such as the North, the Garrison Mentality, and so forth), to First Nations’ critiques of those same myths and their reworking of the connection between Canada and the wilderness. Additionally, in recent years, the relationship between ecocriticism and gender, as in geofeminism or ecofeminism, has produced a whole body of theory, literature, film and art still awaiting to be analysed. Finally, theoretical papers that look at the possibilities of ecocriticism to articulate the increasingly global national context are also welcome.
Please send paper proposals to Eva Darias-Beautell (U. de La Laguna):

Norms for the submission of papers:

  1. All paper proposals will be electronically submitted to the chair person(s) of the chosen Theme Panel with a copy to the Organizing Committee of the Conference:
  2. The deadline for submitting paper proposals is 15th May 2006.
  3. Each paper proposal should include the following items: a) name, academic institution and e-mail of the paper author; b) Title and abstract of the paper (500 words max.)


“Water and the Indian Worlds”

Jonzac (South-west France)

September 2nd and 3rd, 2006

SARI (Society of Activities and Research on the Indian worlds) invites 20-minute presentations on the theme of “Water and the Indian Worlds” for its annual conference.

Thematic outline :

The Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, sacred rivers like the Ganges and the Bhramaputra, all compose an aquatic geography involving exchanges, passages, irrigation and agriculture. Water also defines cultural, symbolic and ritual spaces. Natural phenomena involving water (seasonal weather, for example monsoons, disasters like the recent tsunami, or the frequent floods and droughts) are all part of the subcontinental reality. Moreover, water scarcity and excess often work as metaphors in literary texts and films, and the birth of ecocriticism in the 1990s in postcolonial criticism made us aware of its importance. Possible topics for consideration include:

  • Water as a literary trope and a cinematographic theme
  • Water in graphic arts and sculpture
  • Water and ecocriticism
    Water in the history of the Indian subcontinent
  • Maritime and fluvial economy
  • Water in the news : natural disasters and phenomena
  • Water and religious practices

SARI is an interdisciplinary research centre based in France and dedicated to the study of the Indian subcontinent (Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, as well as the diaspora).

Please submit 300-word abstracts (no full papers) and a short bio to Patricia Barbe-Girault ( Deadline for proposals: May 15th, 2006. Notification of acceptance: June 15th.

Organizing committee: Cécile Léonard, Dr Nelly Gillet, Dr Patricia Barbe-Girault (treasurer of SARI).

Information-SARI:, Michel Naumann (Univ Rabelais)

Colloque senghor
"Negritude: héritage et actualité"

26-27 Octobre 2006

University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

Dans le cadre de l'Année Senghor proclamée par la Francophonie, le Département de Langue, Linguistique et Littérature, de l'Université des West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (Barbade) organise un colloque Senghor du 26 au 27 octobre 2006 sur le théme "Négritude :Héritage et Actualité." Commémorant le centenaire de la naissance de Léopold Sédar Senghor, ce colloque se propose de présenter la négritude sous différents aspects, d'analyser l'ouvre, la pensée de Senghor et des écrivains de la Négritude, d'étudier l'histoire, la pensée, la culture et les littératures francophones actuelles au regard de leur connexion à la Négritude.

Le professeur Abiola Irele, éditeur des Selected Poems of Léopold Sédar Senghor (1977), célèbre auteur de The African Experience in Literature and Ideology (1981) et de The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora (2001), sera l'orateur invitee spécial du Colloque Senghor.

Les sujets porteront concrètement sur des thémes aussi variés que:

  • Léopold Sédar Senghor et Aimé Césaire
  • La Francophonie, Langues et Négritude
  • Les littératures post-coloniales et la Négritude
  • Identité(s) noire(s) dans le monde francophone
  • Les mouvements d’éritiers de la Négritude : Antillanité, Créolité
  • La contestation et le d’ébat sur la Négritude
  • L'état actuel des littératures africaine et antillaise
  • Ecritures indépendantes ou en marge de la Négritude
  • Histoire post-coloniale et Cultures
  • Dialogue des Cultures et Mondialisation
  • Philosophies d'Afrique et des Antilles
  • Réponses/Divergences filmiques et artistiques vis-à-vis de la Négritude

Est également prévue une table ronde qui réunira écrivains et spécialistes francophones, hispanophones, anglophones présents.

Les langues du colloque sont l'anglais et le français. La publication d'actes est envisageable. Frais d'inscription: 50 US$ Les résumés de 250-300 mots, accompagnés d'un CV, sont envoyer au plus tard le 15 mai 2006 par e-mail ou fax à:

Isabelle Constant: Fax: 1246-424-0634

Kahiudi C. Mabana: Fax: 1246-424-0634

Senghor Colloquium
"Negritude: Legacy and Present Relevance"

October 26-27, 2006

University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, Barbados

This year has been declared the Year of Senghor. The Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (Barbados) organizes a colloquium from October 26-27, 2006 entitled "Negritude: Legacy and Present Relevance". To commemorate the centennial of Léopold Sédar Senghor’s birth, this colloquium aims to present different aspects of Negritude, analyzing the work and thought of Senghor and the other members of the Negritude movement, focusing on the history, the thought, the culture and the = present francophone literatures with regard to their connection to Negritude.

Professor Abiola Irele of Harvard University, editor of Selected Poems of Leopold Sedar Senghor (1977), acclaimed author of The African Experience in Literature and Ideology (1981) and The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora (2001), will be the Guest Speaker at the Senghor Colloquium.

We invite proposals for papers on the following topics:

  • - Léopold Sédar Senghor and Aimé Césaire
  • Francophonie, Languages and Negritude
  • Post-colonial Literature and Negritude
  • Black Identities in the Francophone World
  • Movements heirs of Negritude: Antillanity, Créolness
  • Challenging and Debate on Negritude
  • Present day status of African and Caribbean Literatures
  • Creative Writings Independent from/outside Negritude
  • Post-colonial History and Cultures
  • Dialogue of Cultures and Globalization
  • Philosophies of Africa and the Caribbean
  • Filmic and Artistic Responses/Divergences towards Negritude

A Round Table of selected Francophone, Hispanic and Anglophone writers and scholars will form part of the Colloquium.

Papers may be presented either in English or in French. Registration Fee: 50 US$ Please send abstracts of 250-300 words, with CV, by email of fax by May 15, 2006 to:

Isabelle Constant: Fax: 1246-424-0634

Kahiudi C. Mabana: Fax: 1246-424-0634

Home and Abroad: Transnational England, 1750-1850
A One-Day, Summer Conference at Oxford University

Friday, 28 July 2006

Invited Speakers Include: Fiona Stafford (Somerville College, Oxford University) and Michael Eberle-Sinatra (Université de Montréal)

This interdisciplinary conference aims to examine discourses between England and other countries from 1750-1850 through the lens of the national and the global. ‘Home and Abroad: Transnational England’ invites discussions concerning the formation of English identity or ‘Englishness’ through its distinction from and dialogue with other nations. In addition, it asks us to consider the role, influence, and representation of foreign cultures in England. Further, it offers the opportunity to understand how distinctions between England and other nations collapsed, as multinational cultural, ideological, political, and commercial trends merged, were filtered, and dispersed.

Papers are not limited to literary investigations, but their relevance for the study of literature between 1750 and 1850 should be addressed.

We invite abstracts for 20-minute papers on any topic pertaining to “Home and Abroad: Transnational England.” Possible topics may include:

Art, Architecture, Landscape

Sculpture, Paintings, Cathedrals, Palaces, Factories, Gardening, Design,

History, Politics and Society
Reform Movements, Revolution, State Constitutions, Trade, Slavery, Colonialism, Gender, Fashion, Conduct, Education, Journalism, Media, Theaters, Museums, Migration, Travel,

Literature and Drama
Sensibility, Sentimentality, Nature, Self, Poetic Genius, Theatre, Performance, Performativity, Novels, Poetry, Literary Criticism,

Empiricism, Idealism, Aesthetics, Common Sense, Rationalism, Skepticism,

Religion & Theology
Religious Dissent, Anglicanism, Methodism, Pietism, Unitarianism, Calvinism, Catholicism …

Please submit proposals via email (no more than 300 words) by Friday, 26th May to _both_ of the conference organizers:

Monika Class (Balliol College, Oxford University) and Terry F. Robinson (University of Colorado at Boulder)

Conference Web Page:

Sponsored by the Oxford University English Faculty.

Terry F. Robinson
Department of English
Hellems 101 / UCB 226
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0226

Contemporary Writing Centre Conference
“Pressure to Experiment”

University of Southampton, UK

28th and 29th September 2006

This conference explores the role of literary experimentation in contemporary writing. After nearly a hundred years of modernism we ask what purpose and meaning we now attribute to experimentation in fiction, in poetry and in critical thought. Specific questions to be addressed include:

What are the contemporary aesthetic, political, and cultural pressures on experimentation?
How might innovative writing practices address the social issues facing us at the start of the twenty-first century?
Is experimentation still necessary? What politics can we attribute to it? Is it becoming harder to achieve?
How valid and how fragile are the existing histories and achievements of experimental writing?
Forms and genres to be addressed can include:

  • experimental poetry
  • innovative fiction
  • new media
  • hypertext
  • lyric essay
  • creative non-fiction
  • cross-genre and hybrid forms

We welcome proposals for both academic papers and more practice-based presentations. Please email abstracts of 150-300 words to or by 29th May 2006. If electronic delivery is not possible, abstracts can be sent by post to: Mandy Bloomfield, Department of English, School of Humanities, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK

“Global Beckett”

Odense, Denmark October 25-27, 2006.

Papers are invited for the upcoming Global Beckett conference at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, October 25-27, 2006, organized by the Universities of Southern Denmark, Oslo and Aarhus. Along with the conference there will be an audiovisual Beckett exhibition at Kunsthallen/Brandts Klaedefabrik in Odense.

Adopting “Global Beckett” as its overall theme, the conference will limit itself to four subsections that in differing ways function as venues for exploring the specifically global potential of Samuel Beckett’s oeuvre:

Global culture: Literature-functions-society. Keynote speaker: Steven Connor, Birkbeck College, London.

Firstly, in a pragmatic-sociological sense Beckett is global in that he is, quite simply, being played, staged, read and debated all around the

globe: From Asia to South America, from Australia to Europe, any number of people continue to engage in the work of Beckett. This raises the issue of a “global literature”: What are its specific features and functions, if any, and how can the work of Beckett be said to constitute a part of global culture?

Territorial Subtraction: Earth-cylinder-space. Keynote to be announced.

Secondly, a striking number of Beckettian fictional people are tied to the earth, wander and roam fields and tracks, restlessly perambulate the countryside. In most cases specifically national signs are carefully subtracted or withheld. The geological and ecological stratum emerges as earth, rather than a delimited set of national territories. Another large group of Beckett-texts deal with the construction of possible worlds. We are thinking of the so-called “cylinder-texts” from the sixties. An odd cleansing of commonplace references to specific ethnic, national, religious or other borderlines are carried out within the cylinders. The worlds created are presented as highly singular and bounded, yet “here” could be anywhere. What perspectives does this harbour in terms of our thinking of the global versus the national, of space versus place? How may the singular and earthbound, yet dislocated nature of Beckett’s terrestrial and possible worlds illuminate the notion of the “global”?

Withdrawal as resistance: Politics-subjectivity-globalization. Keynote to be announced.

Thirdly, a Beckettian aesthetic politics could be said to be “global” in that he consistently cuts across or goes beneath ethnic, religious and ideological thresholds. This non-specific or de-differentiated material, in combination with the credos of the nothing to express and Fallor, ergo sum, i.e. the Beckettian aesthetics and ethics of failure and abstainment or de-subjectification, cannot, however, avoid pointing towards a certain subjectivity. How does the Beckettian self-effacing subject concern the various subject-politics of globalization and its theories? Perhaps by not representing or referring to anything universal, any stable identity or human essence or voluntary will-to-create from whatever local or non-specific material one may come across. What is the potential of a Beckettian global subjectivity? Does it hint towards reflections on a humanity bereft of dividing differences? What kind of insight concerning the issue of a global ethics might focusing on Beckettian subjectivity yield? How might it relate to biopolitics and geoaesthetics? Does it offer a valid (global) form of resistance? Having witnessed the fading of deconstructionist and hermeneutical readings of Beckett, are there any lessons to be culled from Beckett concerning the status of the ticklish subject?

Worldly Laughter: Humour-affect-the unofficially global. Keynote speaker: Simon Critchley, New School University, New York.

Fourthly, Beckett combines a subtle and nuanced humour, produced by a highly specified usage of language, with what appears to be a global sense of release and deliverance, albeit not necessarily redemption. While the understanding of Beckett’s humour seems dependent upon a comprehension of subtle nuances within the literary contexts of the English or French languages, the inherently comic release of his otherwise serious characters and monologues, appear, on a certain level, to be accessible to audiences who do not possess this competence. Thus, does Beckett’s humour encompass an entanglement between the universal and the singular? If so, how is this possible? What is the nature of the relationship between laughter and the global in Beckett? How might reading Beckett illuminate the relationship between humour and literature? And how may such a type of reading contribute to our understanding of the bonds between affectivity, community and globalization?

Abstracts for 20 minute presentations should be no more than 250 words and submitted by June 1, 2006. Further details will be announced on the conference website at

Please send abstracts to:

Mikkel Astrup (Oslo):

Mikkel Bruun Zangenberg (Odense):

Jacob Lund Pedersen (Aarhus):

Inquires are welcome at any time. Please direct all questions concerning practical issues (hotel, conference fee, etc.) to Anders Knudsen,

“Hope - Probing the Boundaries”

2nd Global Conference

Mansfield College, Oxford

Monday 18th September - Wednesday 20th September 2006

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference aims to explore contemporary definitions, meanings and expressions of hope. In particular, it will seek to examine the individual, social, national and international contexts within which hope emerges as well as its counterpart, hopelessness.

The theme and the sense of uncertainty pervades the start of the twenty-first century. Although young, the past bears witness to the brutality of genocides, atrocities, terrorism which acts to counter-balance economic, political, technological and ecological aspirations. Medicine and bio-ethics are split between those who foresee the worst implications for persons and those who foresee the promise of genetic engineering. Cultural conflicts likewise offer scope for grave apprehension or the hopeful anticipation of a culturally enriched shared world. This project is committed to the view that now is the time look at the main spheres in which there seems to be a pendulum between fear and hopeful expectation, with a view to thinking out constructive strategies for exploration.

Papers, workshops and reports are invited on any of the following possible areas for discussion;

1. Human awareness of the passage of time; changing attitudes to what H.G. Wells called ‘the shape of things to come’. What are the possible bases for thinking about the future? 2. Expressions of these attitudes in contemporary culture – portrayals in art, cinema, literature, radio, science fiction, theatre, tv 3. The psychological basis of fear of the future. Why millennial hopes are matched by millennial fears 4. The concept of a new age. Utopian thinkers; Dystopian visions. The connection with political movements. What do new agers want? Hedonism and the simple life. The fear of longevity. The fear of loneliness 5. Hopelessness, despair, indifference and resignation. The meaning of life 6. The science of the future. Prediction, risk and disaster management 7. The phenomenology of hope. What is this phenomenon that we call hope? How does it live and seemingly thrive in difficult times? How is it sustained? How is it invoked? Is there any difference between those who seem to be more hopeful than others? 8. Does hope and the act of hoping/or the predisposition to hope differ from culture to culture? What are those variances and what accounts for them? How is hope differently instantiated among cultures? What are those instantiations? 9. The notion of open and closed futures 10. The role and place of religion and religious movements. 11. Risk, possibility and hope. 12. Envisaging possible futures. The question of choice. Cultivating hope. To boldly go.

These are indicative themes. Papers are welcome on these and related themes.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 2nd June 2006. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by Friday 1st September 2006.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to the Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, PDF or RTF formats.

Rob Fisher
Priory House, 149B Wroslyn Road
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR

Stephen Morris
Independent Scholar,
New York, USA Stephen Neff
University of Pennsylvania, USA

Stephen NeffUniversity of Pennsylvania, USA

The conference is part of the ‘Probing the Boundaries’ programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers will be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume.

For further details about the project please visit:

For further details about the conference please visit:

“Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil”

4th Global Conference

Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Monday 18th September - Thursday 21st September 2006

This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference seeks to investigate and explore the enduring influence and imagery of monsters and the monstrous on human culture throughout history. In particular, the project will have a dual focus with the intention of examining specific “monsters” as well as assessing the role, function and consequences of persons, actions or events identified as “monstrous.” The history and contemporary cultural influences of monsters and monstrous metaphors will also be examined.

Perspectives are sought from those engaged in the fields of literature, media studies, cultural studies, history, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, health and theology. Ideas are welcomed from those involved in academic study, fictional explorations, and applied areas (e.g. youth work, criminology and medicine).

Papers, reports, work-in-progress and workshops are invited on issues related to any of the following themes:

  • The "monster" through history
  • Civilization, monsters and the monstrous
  • Children, childhood, stories and monsters; monsters and parents
  • Comedy: funny monsters and/or making fun of monsters (e.g. Monsters Inc, the Addams Family)
  • Making monsters; monstrous births
  • Mutants and mutations
  • Technologies of the monstrous
  • Horror, fear and scare
  • Do monsters kill because they are monstrous or are they monstrous because they kill?
  • How critical to the definition of "monster" is death or the threat of death?
  • Human “monsters” and “monstrous” acts, e.g, perverts, paedophiles and serial killers
  • The monstrous and gender
  • Revolution and monsters; the monstrous and politics; enemies (political/social/military) and monsters
  • Iconography of the monstrous
  • The popularity of the modern monsters; the Mummy, Dracula, Frankenstein, Vampires
  • The monster in literature
  • The monstrous in popular culture: film, television, theatre, radio, print, internet.
  • The monstrous and journalism
  • Religious depictions of the monstrous; the monstrous and the supernatural
  • Metaphors and the monstrous
  • The monstrous and war, war reportage / propaganda

Papers will also be accepted which deal solely with specific monsters.

Papers will be considered on any related theme. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 2nd June 2006. If your paper is accepted for presentation at the conference, an 8 page draft paper should be submitted by Friday 1st September 2006.

300 word abstracts should be submitted to both the Organising Joint Chairs; abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, PDF or RTF formats.

Rob Fisher
Wickedness Net
Freeland, Oxfordshire
United Kingdom

Stephen Morris
Independent Scholar,
New York, USA Stephen Neff
University of Pennsylvania, USA

The conference is part of a larger series of ongoing conferences entitled “At the Interface,” and run as a project under the auspices of Wickedness.Net. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published as an ISBN eBook. Selected papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be published in a hard copy themed volume. Two ISBN eBooks and three themed volumes are available and/or in press from previous meetings of this project.

For further details about the project, please visit:

For further details about the conference, please visit:

The Annual H. G. Wells Society Conference
“H. G. Wells: New Directions”

23 September 2006

Proposals for twenty minute papers, or for panels of 2-3 papers, are invited for this year’s Annual H. G. Wells Society Conference, to be held at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Central London, on 23 September 2006. The conference aims to reflect the current diversity of interest in Wells across a range of disciplines, so proposals might focus on, but are not restricted to, the following areas: Wells and Science (including the History and Philosophy of Science); Wells and Utopianism; Wells and Political Theory; Wells and the 1890s; Wells and the World State; Wells and Science Fiction (and genre more generally); Wells and Women; Wells and the emergence of Sociology; Wells and Religion; Wells and the Short Story.

Proposals of 300 words should be submitted, via email attachment, no later than June 16 2006. Please include a brief biographical note, and send proposals with “New Directions” as the subject, to the Society’s secretary, Dr Steven McLean, at the following address:

Further information about the conference and the H. G. Wells Society can be obtained at:

“The Word, The Icon and The Ritual [iii] -Ireland - Renaissance, Revolution, Regeneration”
Fourth Annual Irish Studies Conference

The University of Sunderland

10-12 November 2005

Following the success of its last three international conferences: “Representing-Ireland: Past, Present and Future,” [2003] and “The Word, The Icon and The Ritual,” [2004], and “Lands of Saints of Scholars,” [2005] the University of Sunderland, in association with NEICN, is soliciting papers for an interdisciplinary conference, which will run from 10-12 November 2006.

The conference organisers hope to represent a wide range of approaches to Irish culture from academics and non--academics alike. Performances, roundtables, collaborative projects, and other non--traditional presentations are encouraged in addition to conference papers. We particularly welcome proposals for panels. As with previous year’s conference, we welcome submissions for panels and papers under the thematic headings of: “Ireland - Renaissance, Revolution, Regeneration” in the following areas: Literature, Performing Arts, History, Politics, Folklore and Mythology, Ireland in Theory, Gender and Ireland Anthropology, Sociology, Art and Art History, Music, Dance, Media and Film Studies, Cultural Studies, and Studies of the Diaspora. North American and other international scholars, practitioners in the arts, and postgraduate students are all encouraged to submit proposals to the conference organisers. We also welcome proposals for papers in absentia for delegates who wish to participate but may find it difficult to attend the event.

The last three conferences have resulted in the publication of a selection of essays, and we hope to continue this with essays from this year’s conference.

This year we will have over 100 speakers in an international event that will include a book launch, traditional music and dance, drama and a ceilidh.

Plenary Speakers Include: Ailbhe Smyth – University College, Dublin and Mervyn Busteed – University of Manchester

Proposals of not more than 500 words should be sent by 20th June 2006 at the latest to either of the editors: Dr Alison O’Malley-Younger – or Professor Stephen Regan – and copied to the conference administrator, Ms Susan Cottam –

An International Conference on British Narratives of Exploration
“Unstable Zones: Self and Other in British Narratives of First Encounters”

22 - 23 March 2007

Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines

Lyon, France

An international conference on British narratives of exploration, from Drake and Ralegh to Fleming and Chatwin, will be held at the ENS in March 2007. Participants will be expected to meet two major requirements. They should deal primarily with the pragmatic aspects of first encounters: how self and other are brought to recontextualize their linguistic, cognitive or hermeneutic practices in the specific field of action in which the central moments of interaction occur; particular attention should also be paid to the textual dimension of the account: how self and other are also produced through a specific rhetoric, narrative devices, metaphors, etc. The language of the conference will be English. We are in the process of negotiating publication of a volume of selected papers on “Unstable Zones.”

Please send a 300 word abstract through the post to Prof. F. Regard, c/o Ms Marie Limongi, Laboratoire LIRE-SEMA. Ecole Normale Superieure. 15, Parvis Rene Descartes. BP 7000. 69 342 Lyon cedex 07. France. Please also include a short biographical note, your e-mail address, and a regular mail address at which you can be reached. The deadline for proposals is 30 June 2006. Participants will be notified before the end of September 2006.

The Ecole Normale Superieure LSH, perhaps better known as the ENS Fontenay/St.Cloud, relocated to Lyon in 2000. A big city, with its old centre a World Heritage Site, Lyon is very conveniently situated halfway between Paris and Marseille; it has an international airport and it is only a 2-hour TGV ride from Paris.

Looking forward to reading your proposals,

Frederic Regard

“Nature and Human Nature: Land, Landscape and Cultural Constructions of the Environment”
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India

21st-23rd September 2006

The Conference intends to foreground and close-examine the intimate relations and biological ties existing between Literature and the Environment. Indeed “environment” as a concept, for obvious reasons, cannot be seen separate or segregated from the “cultural” and “natural” spheres. And “literature” by virtue of being what it is creative, imaginative, emotive and expressive could be seen as engaging with the human mind and the natural world. Of course the natural world cannot be disrespectfully dismissed as being part of the simulated reality! It is there, and we form an intimate and integral part of it. This would form the major concern of the Conference--the living connection between nature and the human being.

Ecological and environmental concerns appear to be self evident in the present. We hear a lot about eco- crisis, eco-logic, eco-tourism and so on. In view of the amazing amount of sophisticated theoretical debates that are going on in academic and scholarly circles these days one could safely venture to state that ecological thinking has come to stay with us. This is definitely the “Age of Ecology.” This might be certainly not very well equally applicable in all situations, climes and cultures. Nature is no more looked upon as a dauntless adversary to be over come and controlled. The human being's dominant role as conqueror and overlord of the land and other nonhuman life has been conveniently laid aside.

However, in spite of the “Earth Summits,” the innumerable conventions and gatherings, the “Kyoto protocol” and many such, there yet remains a certain amount of “cloud of unknowing” when it comes to a self realization of ecological wisdom and its implications in the living situation. Human beings are certainly an integral part of nature and yet they have evolved to a level of superiority that enables them to manipulate their environment, and that too drastically. The hole in the ozone layer and the unprecedented crisis in mineral, forest produce and oil management and climatic conditions are all indicative of this deterministic position. Science and its handmaiden technology have contributed to an oversimplified view of this hierarchical status of the human being. On the other hand cultural studies have unearthed the manifold and pluralistic universe within, which has complicated matters even further.

What is nature? Is it what is out there or what is within? What is “land,” and where does “region” begin and end? What is landscape? How is it constituted? What are its philosophical, ethical and aesthetic implications? These are some among the critical questions which this Conference intends to “problematise.” Some of the broad areas under which these could be discussed are:

  • Nature and the natural interface between the hard sciences and the humanities
  • landscape studies
  • environmental issues and positions
  • social and ethical issues related to land and land use/abuse
  • art and literature; the aesthetics of nature and the natural
  • eco feminist studies; women and nature
  • culture and nature
  • ecology, biodiversity, bio ethics
  • pollution and contamination; over-exploitation of nature
  • philosophical positions

This Conference hopes to bring together a diverse group of concerned intellectuals from different disciplines, scholars, academics, environmental activists equally committed to these issues and equally open to each other's individual, methodological and disciplinary differences and points of view.

Papers are invited from interested participants. For all enquiries kindly contact the coordinator.

Conference Coordinator:

Dr S Murali
Reader, Dept. of English
Pondicherry University
phones: 0413-2655991-351(office) 0413-2656101(home)

Abstracts to reach the coordinator by JULY 10th 2006. Kindly send a hard copy + CD version to E-16, Professor's Quarters, Pondicherry University, Pondicherry 605 014 India. Suggestions for panels are also welcome.

College English Association - Caribbean Chapter
"Watery World: Humans and the Sea"

Fall 2005 Conference: 10-11 November 2006

University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez

Panel: "Ecocriticism and the Endangered Sea"

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "Ecocriticism and the Endangered Sea". Please send 200-250 word proposal to Vartan Messier at

Panel: "The Life Aquatic: Amphibian and Aquatic Animals”

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "The Life Aquatic: Amphibian and Aquatic Animals". Please send 200-250 word proposal for a 20-minute paper to Nandita Batra at

Papers may include but are not limited to the following:

  • The representation of amphibian/aquatic animals in Religion, Myth, Superstition, Literature, Theory, Beast Fables, Folk Tales, etc.
  • Aquatic/Amphibian Animals and Ethics (Animal Welfare, Animal Rights, Speciesism)
  • Anthropocentrism vs. Biocentrism

Panel: "The Sea in Representation: Representation and the Sea"

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "The Sea in Representation: Representation and the Sea." Papers may focus on representation of the sea in literature, art, film, myth, etc. Please send 200-250 word proposal to Vartan Messier at

Panel: "The Sea as Frontier"

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "The Sea as Frontier." Please send 200-250 word proposal to Nandita Batra at

Panel: "Monsters and Monstrosities of the Seas"

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "Monsters and Monstrosities of the Seas." Please send 200-250 word proposal to Vartan Messier at

Panel: "Empire and the Sea"

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "Empire and the Sea." Please send 200-250 word proposal to Nandita Batra at

Panel: “The Sea and History”

The CEA-CC invites proposals for a panel titled "The Sea and History." Please send 200-250 word proposal for a 20-minute paper to Nandita Batra at

Deadline for all proposals: 31 July 2006

Proposals may be sent by email as part of a text message but not as attachments. Presenters must be registered members of the CEA-CC at the time of the conference.

College English Association-Caribbean Chapter

The 3rd Literature & Ecology Colloquium
”Toxic Belonging?: Ecology and identity in southern Africa”

6-8 October 2006
Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa

“My fate binds me indissolubly to this place” (James Stevenson-Hamilton, first warden of Kruger National Park)

“By every conceivable measure, humanity is ecologically abnormal” (E O Wilson)

What is the nature of our belonging on the earth and within natural ecosystems? How do we forge and represent our notions of identity within the oikos - the hearth - of the natural world? Is our presence inevitably toxic? Do our symbolic representations of belonging (or alienation) necessarily partake in the damage we do to our environment, or can they help heal our sense of homelessness? Is our self-realisation, as Freya Mathews argues in The Ecological Self, only or inevitably ”function of ecological interconnectedness”? What is the role of our literatures in expressing such self-realisation, especially in the southern African context?

Papers addressing these and related questions - preferably, but not necessarily exclusively, focussed on southern Africanmaterial - are hereby invited. Closing date for submission of abstracts: 31 July 2006.

The following are some possible lines of approach:

Landscape aesthetics and belonging
Literary treatments of the politics of land ownership
Nature as trope for Africanness/indigeneity
Notions of wilderness as expressive of identity
Urban vs rural representations of belonging
Precolonial societies as exemplars of ecological belonging
Influences of scientific ecology on conceptions of belonging

Inquiries to Dr Dan Wylie, Dept of English, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa.
Email: Phone +27 46 603 8409.
Visit the colloquium website on

Second International Doris Lessing Conference


Leeds Metropolitan University, United Kingdom

Doris Lessing is a writer who, in her early career, concentrated on Africa and African politics then subsequently turned toward England, feminism, and speculative fiction. This panel will explore Lessing's continued engagement with African politics from "The Grass Is Singing" and "Going Home" to "Under My Skin" and "African Laughter," as well as her more recent journalism/reviews.

Submit one-page abstracts by August 31, 2006 to: and


Julie Cairnie
Assistant Professor
School of English and Theatre Studies
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario
N1G 2W1

Forum on Contemporary Theory: The Ninth International Conference
"Knowledge-Systems in a Climate of Creativity: Indian Perspectives"

17-20 December 2006
Venue: Hotel Lakend, Udaipur, Rajasthan

Forum on Contemporary Theory
Centre for Contemporary Theory
301-302 Shiv Shakti Complex
84 Sampatrao Colony
R.C. Dutt Road, Vadodara 390007 INDIA
Tel: 265.552.2512, email:;

Thematic Outline

The ninth international conference of the Forum on Contemporary Theory will be held in Udaipur, Rajasthan during 17-20 December 2006 in collaboration with Vidya Bhawan Rural Institute, Udaipur. The theme of the conference, "Knowledge-Systems in a Climate of Creativity: Indian Perspectives," continues the ongoing interventions of the Forum in the epistemic battle of ideas, with a focus here on fruitful filiations between conceptual thinking and creative expressions. Cultural history of India is marked by numerous formulations and contestations of systems of knowledge. Well-argued and rigorous, the debates on these knowledge-systems provided a space for a variety of creative expressions. Endeavors in the fields of literature and the other arts, physical and social sciences, cosmology and psychology, health sciences and technologies are embedded into these knowledge systems and derive their dynamics from their mutual discourses and debates. Broadly speaking, the ancient Indian worldview was dominated by three schools of thought continually interacting with one another: the Vedic; the Buddhist; and the Jain. An exponent of Indian materialism, the Lokayata Charvakas provided yet another conceptual position, which seems to cut across these three modes of knowledge. But the debates and contestations were not confined between the systems; even within each system there were internal debates and contradictions, ranging from Samkhya and Nyaya to Pratyabhijna and (kevala and shuddha) Advaita, to mention a few. The strength of the Indian knowledge-systems lies in such external and internal debates.

Such debates were incredibly productive in directing the Indian mind toward fresh explorations of attitudes leading to a possible synthesis of various modes of knowledge exemplified later in the expressions of the Bhakti and Sufi poets in the medieval period. The contact with the Persian and Arabic world and later with the West further intensified the debates and added new dimensions to the Indians' creative thinking and expression. The struggle for independence, nurtured by the strength of the ideological debates among the freedom fighters, could be considered as a logical extension of India's long tradition of contestations and accommodations. The impact of Gandhi's ideas of freedom on the Indian psyche has to be understood in the light of such a tradition. It was Gandhi, who in his inimitable style of creative vacillation about some of the sensitive issues of the time, tried to capture the need for such a healthy debate of ideas without a longing to either relapse into a so-called pre-lapsarian world of the golden past or to exchange the legacies of the past for the seductive promises of Western modernity. It is possible to trace in Gandhi's dialectical modes of perception of the world the logical offshoot of India's long tradition of debates with itself.

Papers mostly of conceptual nature, supported by textual examples are welcome. Mere textual analysis without any broad framework will not be entertained.

Special Sessions

(a) In conformity with our earlier convention, a special panel on a regional text will be one of the highlights of the conference. This year's choice for the panel is M. K. Gandhi's Hind Swaraj (1908). Hind Swaraj, written originally in Gujarati in the form of a dialogue during a voyage in the sea, captures the mood of the times when India was debating several options for realizing its goals for independence. While he contests some seemingly bold and extreme positions taken by several of his contemporary freedom-fighters, Gandhi offers a critique of Western modernism before presenting what he thought to be an appropriately viable model for what the country could look for in the context of its struggle for self-government and socio-economic independence. His ideas are still valid today at a time when Indian politics is vitiated by sectarianism and narrowness; (b) another special session will be devoted to the examination of "The State of the Disciplines of the Humanities and Social Sciences," throwing light on the changes that have come to each discipline and what such changes mean for the future of the disciplines.

Submission Deadline

A 500-Word abstract or proposal is due by August 1, 2006. Complete papers should be limited to 12 pages (approximately 15 minutes of reading time). A longer version may be submitted for possible publication in the Journal of Contemporary Thought, brought out by the Forum, or in the conference volume. The completed paper should reach the Convener of the Forum by October 30, 2006.

Conference Volume

Select papers from the conference and from those submitted in response to the "Call for Papers" will be included in the conference volume, which will be ready for its formal release at the next conference of the Forum. Completed papers should reach us as email attachments by the end of June 2007. For enquiries about the stylistic prescription, please get in touch with the editors of the volume. The names of the editors will be announced at the Open Session of the conference.

For further information, any of the following may be contacted:

Prafulla C. Kar
Convener, Forum on Contemporary Theory
Tel: (0265) 5522512 (office); 233 8067 (residence)

Sitanshu Yashaschandra
Convener of the Conference
Tel: 9228187436; email:

G. M. Mehta
Director, Vidya Bhawan Rural Institute
Local Coordinator
Badgaon Road, Udaipur 313 001
Tel: (0294) 2450403 and 2453088 (office); 24111 118 (residence);

“Representations of 9/11”

University of Westminster
London, England.

The UK Network for Modern Fiction Studies in partnership with the University of Hull invites proposals for papers and panels for our Interdisciplinary "Representations of 9/11" Conference.

Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Prof. Peter Brooker, University of Nottingham

In an article in the New York Times, Michiko Katutani wrote that of the emergent artistic responses to 9/11, “Thus far, words alone have proved curiously inadequate as a means of testimony.”

In the aftermath of 9/11, many artists were called upon to express their views of the most appalling events that had just taken place. It was as if, more than most people, they might frame some response adequate to the moment: as artists with language, their linguistic responses might somehow achieve an expressive intensity capable of embodying or representing the events themselves and the feelings they generated. This raises the question of artistic responsibility and the role of the artist in relation to the pressure of momentous contemporary events.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • The problems of representation
  • The politics of representation
  • The role of the artist in relation to the momentous contemporary events (Iain Banks Paul Auster Don
  • eLillo Glyn Maxwell Frederic Beigbeder Jonathan Safran-Foer Art Spiegelman Ken Loach J.G. Ballard)
  • 11'09'01 Film anthology
  • Will Self
  • David Hare
  • Martin Amis
  • Ian McEwan
  • Claire Tristram

We will be actively pursuing various publishing outputs related to the conference.

Send abstracts (no more than 250 words) for proposed 20 minute papers by 30th September 2006 to Please mark the subject of your email "Representations of 9/11 abstract". Alternatively, you can post your abstracts to Martyn Colebrook, Department of English, University of Hull, Cottingham Road, Hull, East Yorkshire, England HU6 7RX. Proposals for comprised panels of three speakers are also welcome.

“E/Im/Migration and Culture”

15-17 September 2007
Isýk University, Sile (Istanbul, Turkey)

Fourth Cultural Studies Conference co-organized by the Cultural Studies Association (Turkey) and the Department of International Relations of Isýk University

The Cultural Studies Association of Turkey and Isýk University invite proposals for an international cultural studies conference entitled “E/Im/Migration and Culture”; they are co-organizing on 15-17 September 2007 in Sile (Istanbul, Turkey). Seeking to explore the topic from a wide range of scholarly viewpoints by focusing on issues of migration in its multiple relationships with various facets of culture, the inter/multidisciplinary conference aims to interrogate established notions of migration both in Turkey and outside of Turkey. We welcome proposals for papers that break new ground in generating theory, or constitute innovative critical or comparative work that would lead to theoretical formulations and methodology, as well as for papers on specific cases. The conference intends to examine issues of migration in Turkey, among the peoples in the lands of the former Ottoman empire, among the Euro-Turks (and Turkish-Americans, Australasian Turks, etc.), among the Turcophone peoples in countries and regions in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Russian Federation) and those Turcophone minorities in such countries as Iran and China.

The story of migration is as old as the history of humankind. Factors such as geographic conditions, economic necessities, socio-political developments and wars have led to population movements for centuries. Whether for refuge or as exile, whether voluntary or forced, migration has always affected both society and the individual; and altered both the land that was left behind and the land that was reached. A phenomenon of modern times, the nation-state as hegemonic entity contributed to these migration flows through bordering and re-bordering processes that put visible and invisible boundaries on people’s movements. Additional factors leading to current population flows are observed to be primarily the challenge(s) of globalization and transnationalism.

Migration within and out of countries continue in great numbers as more and more people in our global village look to either temporary or permanent migration as a path to freedom, the right to live, security, employment, health and education, while sometimes also encountering drama and tragedy along the way. E/im/migration has generated its own art, fiction and cinema. Thus, it has continued to be a force in culture, demography, economy and politics in the contemporary era, and constitutes, in its various aspects, a matter of paramount importance for the cultures of Turks and Turkey. This reflection has led us to select the topic of migration as the theme of the fourth cultural studies conference to take place in Turkey.

We welcome submissions related to e/im/migration including, but not limited to, the following:

  • E/im/migration and culture: Theoretical approaches
  • Art /Literature /Cinema generated by e/im/migration
  • E/im/migration and urban space
  • E/im/migration during the Republican era
  • E/im/migration during the Ottoman era
  • E/im/migration and the (former) Soviet Union territories
  • Cultural representation of e/im/migration resulting from political developments: The cases of Western Thrace and the Balkans
  • Cultural representation of e/im/migration resulting from political developments: The case of Cyprus
  • Cultural representation of e/im/migration resulting from political developments: The case of Irak
  • Cultural representation of e/im/migration resulting from political developments: The case of Jews and Palestinians

As the conference takes place in Turkey and takes up the cultures of Turks and Turkey, the working language of the conference is first of all Turkish. However, since experience has shown that non-Turkish speaking colleagues doing studies related to the cultures of Turks and Turkey also wish to contribute, there will be English-language sessions as well. Abstracts of 100-200 words, containing five key words, should be sent along a brief curriculum vita. Panel proposals with three to five papers should include, besides the panel proposal and five key words, abstracts of the papers in the panel, and brief curriculum vitae of the chair, presenters, and discussant(s) if any. Poster presentation proposals containing noteworthy visual material are also welcome.

Send no later than 1 October 2006, by e-mail to, by fax to +90 212 292 2229 (Attn.: IV. Cultural Studies Conference). For more information, write to the same addresses or look at

The results will be announced on 1 February 2007.

The registration fee will be 60 Euro for Cultural Studies Association (Turkey) members and students, and 100 Euro for all other participants until 1 May 2007; and, after that date, 100 Euro for Cultural Studies Association (Turkey) members and students, and 160 Euro for all other participants.

The conference organizing committee regrets that it cannot assist in travel or accomodation fares in any way, but will provides low-cost accomodation for all participants on the Isýk University campus (in Sile, a popular sea resort on the Black Sea coast). Further details will be sent later. For information on Isýk University, please look at

On behalf of the organizers

Sule Toktaþ Gönül Pultar
( (

Cerpac (Research Centre for Commonwealth Studies)
“Postcolonial Ghosts”

Novembre 8-9-10, 2007, Université Paul Valéry (Montpellier III)

From Shakespeare to the Gothic novel to Salman Rushdie, the ghost has always been a recurrent figure in literature. This conference aims at examining haunting phenomena in the postcolonial world: is there a specifically postcolonial kind of haunting? Who/What are the postcolonial ghosts? How do they show themselves? Can they be conjured or exorcised? How? To answer these questions, and many others, the presence of ghosts in the new literatures in English (Africa, India, Caribbean) can be examined; issues tackled may include magic realism, neo-gothic writings, folklore, ghosts (guilty or innocent), and the various ways in which they manifest themselves. Ghosts may also be more abstract: haunted texts, literary or cultural ghosts from the past

Writers as diverse as André Brink, Edwige Danticat, Fred D’Aguiar, Denise Harris, Wilson Harris, Nalo Hopkinson, Margaret Laurence, Arundhati Roy or Wole Soyinka, to quote only a few, can be looked at. Another possible aspect is the presence of colonial “ghosts” in institutions, politics, historiography, education, museums. The various “truth and reconciliation commissions” established to deal with – exorcise? – the ghosts of the past may also be looked at. Many other examples can of course be dealt with. Finally, linguistic ghosts also haunt the postcolonial world: accents, creolization, “englishes” where the colonisers’ language is haunted by the colonised’s (and vice versa), etc. It will therefore be interesting to try and understand how, and to what extent, postcolonial language(s) is/are haunted. This conference should then be open to those who deal in literature, as well as to those interested in cultures, history, techniques or linguistics, in the British Empire and the Commonwealth, delivering their paper in English or French.

Please send your proposals (title + abstract of 250 to 300 words) as well as a short bio to Mélanie Joseph-Vilain ( and to Judith Misrahi-Barak (judith.misrahi- by December 31, 2006.