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Call for Papers: Engaging with Screens: Art, Archive, Book


Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom, 31 May, 2017.

Deadline: 10 March, 2017



This interdisciplinary workshop invites participants to debate ways in which readers, publishers, archivists, and curators engage with the computer screen and its technologies for the purpose of accessing, preserving, and displaying textual material and paper artefacts. Is the persistence of books and book-like forms in the digital ecology an obstacle or necessity to our understanding of screen-based media? How far can innovative, digital forms stray from their recognizable counterparts in the analogue world before they become too alien for users? Can engagement with a screen effectively replace tactile engagement with a paper manuscript? The aim of the workshop is to explore mechanisms for the bibliographical ‘control’, display, and archiving of textual media in a digital environment; to develop a critical vocabulary for the purpose of examining the ontology and phenomenology of paper artefacts that migrate to screens; and to debate strategies for the preservation and display of digital and digitized texts. By looking for common ground in a collaborative, cross-disciplinary forum, we seek to provide a new account of textual ‘form’ and its accessibility in the digital environment. We welcome innovative cross-disciplinary approaches to these issues and also encourage proposals from specialists in the museum sector, publishing, and software industries.



Proposals for presentations (20 minutes) should be sent to Kathryn Brown ( and Wim van Mierlo ( by no later than 10 March, 2017. Proposals should contain an abstract (max 350 words) and a short biographical note (max 250 words).



Notification of the outcome of proposals will be sent by 24 March, 2017. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer financial support for travel or accommodation.

Call for Papers: The City as Modernist Ephemera



The School of Arts & Creative Industries at London South Bank University will host a one-day interdisciplinary colloquium on Friday 16th June 2016, 9am-6.30pm.


The modernist city emphatically encapsulates the dialectic of the ephemeral and the eternal. Its dynamic flows of goods, people, and commerce at once determine the city’s transitory nature while at the same time reinforce its status as an immutable seat of power and culture attested to by the very materiality built up within and around such dynamic flows.


Amid the fleeting and transient experience of the city, what is it that constitutes an abiding culture? Where is ‘culture’ and in what form does it appear or exist? What are the spaces, moments, events, and cultural artefacts that make up the ephemera that in turn (re)constitute the modernist city?


Prompted by such questions, this colloquium invites proposals that will explore the myriad city-borne arts, objects, practices, and movements that typify the ephemeral and eternal dialectic.


Focussing on the city, and understanding ‘modernist’ in its broadest sense, papers or panels might consider the following:


  • Works (art, architectural, literary, photographic, poetic, etc.) that explore the tensions between the ephemeral and the eternal.
  • Musical, literary, or theatrical performances or works that defined or established an abiding movement or moment.
  • Spontaneous events, meetings, and performances (or ‘planned spontaneity’ in the mode of Dada).
  • Abiding legacies of the chance encounter.
  • The ‘performance’ of societal acts such as conversations in cafes, restaurants, clubs, libraries, salons, theatres, etc.
  • Ephemeral architecture, or spaces and places (re)designed for such acts.
  • Politics of the street: protests, marches, pamphlets.
  • Politics as performance: manifestos, speeches.
  • The Archive.
  • Statutes and Acts.


Confirmed Speakers:


  • Prof. Catherine Moriarty, Curatorial Director, University of Brighton Design Archives
  • Prof. Andrew Thacker, Nottingham Trent University
  • Dr. Nathan Waddell, Asst. Professor in Literary Modernism, Nottingham University


Deadline for proposals: Friday February 24th 2017.


Please send 250-word proposals for individual papers or panels of up to 4 speakers, including a short (50-word) biography with contact information, to the event organiser, Dr Leon Betsworth (LSBU) (

The Humanities After Brexit and Trump


Notions of exclusion, the shrinking of spaces in which people are included and can flourish. Questions regarding the nature of liberty and the obliteration of the questioning mind. Visions of a ‘contact democracy’ which articulates new forms of public decision-making. Discussion on these and related topics took place at the first meeting of the reading group The Humanities After Brexit and Trump. Participants mirrored the pluralistic world endangered by the erection of exclusionary barriers. Greece, Malta, Iran, Canada, Columbia, Peru and Turkey and the US are the notional homes of those who came together to talk. Come join us on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 5 pm for a discussion of The Internet: Comprehending Changed Discourse in the Digital Age. #Humanitiesposttrump.



Call for Papers: The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal







The Coarseness of the Brontës: A Reappraisal

St Chad’s College, Durham University

10th – 11th August 2017


A collaborative event between Durham University, Brunel University, and the Brontë Society


Keynote Speakers:

Professor Marianne Thormählen, Lund University

Dr Sarah Wootton, Durham University

Robert Edric, author of Sanctuary (2014)


Self-caricature by Branwell Brontë, 1847



  1. Rough or harsh in texture
  2. (of a person or their speech) rude or vulgar

Synonyms: oafish, loutish, boorish, churlish, uncouth, rude, discourteous, impolite, ungentlemanly, unladylike, ill-mannered, uncivil, ill-bred, vulgar, common, rough, uncultured, uncivilised, crass, foul-mouthed


In early critical appraisals of the Brontës’ writings, accusations of ‘coarseness’ appear frequently. Although Jane Eyre (1847) was an instant bestseller, Elizabeth Rigby famously attacked the book as ‘coarse’ and accused Charlotte of ‘moral Jacobinism’. Likewise, Anne’s second novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848), was also criticised as ‘coarse’ and ‘brutal’ in both subject matter and moral outlook, and perceived as an ‘entire mistake’ by Charlotte. An anonymous review of Wuthering Heights (1847) chastised Emily’s characters as ‘coarse’ and violent ‘savages’ who were ‘ruder than those who lived before the days of Homer’. And, according to Daphne du Maurier, Branwell Brontë was ‘fascinated’ by and befriended many men who were ‘a law unto themselves, rowdy, rough, coarse’.

More recently, Lucasta Miller has addressed the ubiquity of this word within Brontë studies, writing that the “coarseness’ to which so many critics objected was a catch-all moralistic term which encompassed a range of elements considered unfeminine and indecorous’ (The Brontë Myth, 2001). While the definition of ‘coarse’ outlined above indicates that its meaning is associated with a wide range of seemingly obtuse and offensive values that extend across numerous social markers (including gender, sexuality, race, and class), the accusation of coarseness levelled at the Brontës may have differed to our current understanding of the term.

In the bicentenary of Branwell Brontë’s birth, this two-day conference seeks to re-appraise notions of coarseness in its widest sense in relation to the entire Brontë family. How and in what ways does ‘coarseness’ manifest in and across the lives and works of the Brontë family? What did it mean to be labelled ‘coarse’ in the early to mid-nineteenth century? And how have shifting meanings of what constitute ‘coarse’ expanded and/or changed our understanding and reading of the family’s lives and works?

We welcome the submission of 500-word abstracts for 20-minute papers from postgraduate researchers, early career researchers, and academics, as well as Brontë enthusiasts beyond the academy, which explore a wide interpretation of this theme. Topics may include, but are by no means limited to, the following:


  • The aesthetics, politics, and ethics of coarseness in the nineteenth century
  • Coarse ideas and identities
  • Self-inflicted ‘coarse’ behaviours, e.g. alcohol abuse, addiction
  • The socio-cultural effects and legacies of ‘coarse’ behaviour
  • Vulgar, offensive and rough behaviours
  • The coarse nature of violence
  • Linguistic and dialectic coarseness
  • Brontë defences of ‘coarseness’
  • The shifting politics of ‘coarse’
  • Coarseness and subculture(s)
  • Under-analysed coarse images and themes
  • Coarse geographies and locations, e.g. perceptions of ‘the North’
  • Coarseness in/and the Brontës’ afterlives


We particularly encourage applicants to consider perspectives on less ubiquitous Brontë family members, especially Branwell. We also welcome proposals for fully-formed panels or roundtables. Please submit a short biographical note (max. 100 words) with all abstracts. Selected conference papers will feature in a special edition of Brontë Studies in January 2019. All proposals should be emailed to the conference organisers, Sophie Franklin and Claire O’Callaghan, no later than Friday 31st March 2017 at Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us via the conference email if you have any questions. We look forward to receiving your proposals.



Contact details


Conference website:

Twitter: @coarseBrontes

Call for Papers: Reading & Its Objects


A woman reading a newspaper in the general reading room in High Holborn Library,Photograph

A woman reading a newspaper in the general reading room in High Holborn Library,Photograph

‘What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more. […] The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means.’

— Susan Sontag, ‘Against Interpretation’ [1964]

‘What would a less strong theory look like – one that leaves room for the aleatory and the unexpected, the chancy and the contingent?’

— Rita Felski, The Limits of Critique [2015]

Keynote speakers:

Professor Steven Connor (Cambridge). ‘Public Reading and Reading in Public’

Dr Clare Birchall (King’s College London). TBC

The way that we read has been a source of much contention in contemporary evaluations of theory in the arts and humanities. A number of theorists – Bruno Latour, Steven Connor, Rita Felski and Franco Moretti among them — have placed critical reading under intense scrutiny. Critique has become, in Rita Felski’s words, our ‘shield’, enabling us to resist alternative modes of reading. Is it the case that locating our point of critique has come at the cost of our critical ingenuity? If so, what comes after critique? Moreover, does renewed consideration of the materiality, or ‘thingness’, of the objects we study compel us to read differently? Responses to these post-critical conditions have emerged across institutional disciplines, and have included the development of approaches such as Surface Reading, Distant Reading, Big Data, Postcritical Reading, and reading ‘against the grain’. These new approaches have often proved contentious, sparking rebukes which have centred on allegations of their dangerously apolitical positions. In the wake of recent political upheavals, are these new modes of reading capable of meeting the interpretive challenges of our contemporary moment?

This conference proposes that we cannot understand the challenges and opportunities currently facing the arts and humanities without rethinking reading and its objects. In this period of critical uncertainty, in which theories of reading have been reinvigorated, ‘Reading and Its Objects’ endeavours to bring together scholars working across the arts and humanities who wish to engage with, and are at work on, emerging alternatives to critique. To that end, we invite papers which reflect on any number of media and focus on a range of time periods, but which bring their attention to bear on the act of critical reading, or engage with the uses of emergent reading practices in the context of the contemporary humanities.

This two-day conference is generously supported by the University of Sussex’s Researcher-Led Initiative (RLI) Fund, and the University of Sussex’s Centre for Creative and Critical Thought.

Paper topics might include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Close reading and indeed any iteration of reading – slow, surface, reparative and paranoid, distant, postcritical, too-close, close but not deep, close reading at a distance and reading with the grain, for example.
  • Suspicion and mastery
  • Limits (the limits of reading; the limits of critique)
  • Posthumanism and new materialisms
  • Defences of critique
  • The relationship between institutional modes of reading, and the reading public (including the relationship between HE policy, the ‘legitimation crisis’ and the critical narratives of the humanities)
  • Transparency and its discontents
  • Resistance and difficulty (i.e. disruptive potential of materiality)
  • Critical heroism and critical martyrdom
  • Mapping as a way of reading; cartography
  • Reading and surprise
  • Sociology of literature

Those interested in participating should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words, with a bio of 100 words. Please send to by 15th February.

Please feel free to contact the organisers with any questions at the above email address.

In due course more information, along with registration, will be made available on

Organisers: Charlotte Terrell, Byron James Heffer and Katherine Kruger

Literature, Writing and the Creative Economy: New Directions?


A Research Symposium & Workshop

Friday 24 February 2017, 2.00-5.00pm

Venue: The Council Room, Fielding Johnson Building, University of Leicester

Organised by CAMEo Research Institute for Cultural and Media and Economies & Centre for New Writing, University of Leicester

Key Speakers:

Claire Squires (Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication, University of Stirling)

‘‘’There’s only so much shelf space to go around”: Publishing’s diversity deficit’

Rick Rylance (Institute of English Studies, University of London)

‘What’s in the Literary Economy’?

This symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of researchers, writers and practitioners to explore the changing role of literature, writing and writers in the dynamic context of the creative industries and creative economy.  The event starts from the premise that while ‘Publishing’ has formal recognition as an important sub-sector of the UK creative industries, there remains significant variety in the ways in which the book and publishing industries are organised  – including how literature and other forms of writing are actually produced, distributed and consumed, in different social and spatial contexts.  The question of how the book and publishing industry is changing, who it employs (and where and how), and how markets for taste, prestige and recognition are being developed is a fertile field that invites further collaborative and interdisciplinary research.

Our two key speakers will set the scene by introducing their own research and observations on the ‘literary economy’ – followed by Q&A and discussion, before we then invite participants to take part in a workshop session led by the organisers where we will co-identify promising themes and problematics for new inquiry, and explore the potential for forming a new collaborative writing and research network on literary economies.

We invite interested participants from any academic discipline, writers, publishers, and members of industry to attend this free event, to help discuss the key issues and explore new collaborative opportunities. All are welcome.

To register your place at this event visit

Other enquiries to

Map and Directions:

Speaker biographies:

Professor Claire Squires is the Director of the Stirling Centre for International Publishing and Communication at the University of Stirling, Scotland. Her research interests include late 20th and 21st century publishing, literary prizes, and book festivals, with her publications including Marketing Literature: The Making of Contemporary Writing in Britain (2007) and, with Padmini Ray Murray, The Digital Publishing Communications Circuit (2013). She is one of the volume editors for the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Book in Britain: Volume 7 The Twentieth Century and Beyond. She has worked as a judge for the Saltire Society Literary Awards and Publisher of the Year Award, and in 2015 was the recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. She tweets from @stirpublishing and @clairesquires.

Professor Rick Rylance is Director of the Institute of English Studies, and Pro-Dean of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London. He was until last year CEO of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Executive Chair of Research Councils UK. Previous roles have included Dean of Arts at Exeter and Anglia Ruskin Universities. He has served on the governing boards of numerous organisations including the Global Research Council. He has published several books on Victorian, twentieth-century and other topics, most recently Literature and the Public Good (Oxford University Press 2016).

Call For Papers: Women, Money And Markets (1750-1850)


King’s College London, Thursday May 11th 2017

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Hannah Barker (University of Manchester)

Caroline Criado-Perez, OBE
One of the leading voices in the campaign for female representation on the banknote and an active promoter and supporter of women in the media

In 2017, Jane Austen will feature on the £10 note as the sole female representative on British currency.  To mark this occasion, and explore its problematic significance, the English department at King’s is running a one-day conference with the aim to consider debates about women in relation to ideas of value, market, marketability, as well as debates about different forms of currency and exchange amongst women, and the place of the female writer in the literary marketplace past and present.  The conference will address themes including consumerism, shopping, global trade, domestic trade, markets (literary and otherwise), currency, and varying practices of exchange. The conference is interdisciplinary in nature, bridging literature, material culture, gender studies and economic history, and aims to relate the debates of the period to modern day issues about the presence and position of women in the economy and media.
We welcome submissions in the form of individual papers, panels and roundtable discussions on the following themes:

  • The varying practices of women associated with currency, global and/or domestic markets and marketability
  • Material practices associated with value, exchange and/or female creativity
  • Women as producers and/or consumers in the literary or other marketplaces (including, but not limited to, food, clothing, agriculture and raw materials)
  • Representations of women at work or women’s involvement in:
    • Trade and industry
    •  Professional services (such as law, finance, hospitality and the media)
    • Domestic service
    • The rural economy
  • The place of women in the literary marketplace (past and present)

We particularly welcome cross-cultural considerations of the above issues.

Please send 300 word abstracts to the conference email address ( with an indication of your proposed format (individual paper, panel, roundtable, etc.).  If you are submitting a proposal for a panel, please include an abstract for each paper (up to 300 words each). Please indicate if you would like your paper to be considered for the edited volume that will be published after the conference.

Deadline for submissions: January 31st 2017
Conference Organisers: Dr Emma Newport (University of Sussex) and Amy Murat (King’s College London)
For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact:
For all general enquiries, please contact:
The conference is generously supported by CESK (Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s) and AHRI (Arts and Humanities Research Institute).

Call for Papers: Paper Trails


Workshop, 19th-21st June 2017, University College London

Often there is more than research inside the books we read. Bookmarks, train tickets, receipts, and menus tucked into pages offer clues about the life of the book itself. Yet the lives of our research material often go unmarked, lost between the gaps in disciplinary boundaries and narrow definitions.

The biographies of books and documents can illuminate their contexts, as printed matter that is sold, passed down or abandoned. What happens when we consider the three moments of production, transmission, and reception together with our own research stories? Documents, like people, have births, lives, and even deaths, so what does it mean to investigate the biographies of texts, objects, and archival records? Beyond the formal roles of cataloguing and archiving, what part do researchers play in shaping the emergent archive?

This is not strictly an intellectual history, nor even a material book history, but something more like a social history of ideas, inspired by work such as Antoinette Burton’s discussions of Archive Stories (Duke University Press, 2005), Arlette Farge’s reflection on the Allure of the Archives (Yale University Press, 2013), Lisa Jardine’s discussion of Temptation in the Archives (UCL Press, 2015), and Ann Laura Stoler’s call to read Along the Archival Grain (Princeton University Press, 2009). Indeed, the stories of our research material evolve significantly over their life cycles, as Arjun Appadurai outlined in The Social Life of Things (Cambridge University Press, 1986). Beyond commodities and value, however, this workshop seeks to consider our affective relationship with research material, juxtaposing critical histories with reflections on practice.

The organisers invite contributors to submit abstracts for papers for the first day of this workshop. We are interested in a broad geographical and chronological scope, and would strongly welcome a diverse range of topics, papers and speakers. Papers should consider question such as:

  • Has the life cycle of a book, document or object helped develop its context for you?
  • Have you found “stuff” tucked in the pages of a book and wondered who read it before you and what they did afterwards?
  • Has the course of your research been shaped by encountering ‘serendipity in the archive’?


Please send in proposals of 250-400 words for papers of 15-20 minutes, Pecha-Kucha presentations, or shorter presentations of a document/research finding. Please also attach a short CV (including details of any previous outreach work, as there is a widening participation component of the workshop). Abstracts should be received by 5pm on Monday 27th February 2017. Please direct any questions to or

*Please note: this CFP is for a one day workshop on 19th June, followed by 2 days of planned outreach work (which is entirely optional for potential participants) on 20th and 21st June. If you’re only interested in the workshop, then no problem, we’d still be delighted to hear from you!*

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