The Institute of English Studies

History of the book, manuscript and print studies and textual scholarship research

Call for Papers: Writing Wrongs – Contemporary Women’s Writing Association Conference

Writing Wrongs
Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
20-21 September 2018

Keynote speakers: Professor Clare Hemmings (London School of Economics, UK) & Ruvani Ranasinha (Kings College London, UK)

How do we right wrongs? And how do we write these wrongs?

The organisers of the 2018 CWWA international conference warmly invite submissions for 20-minute presentations that examine how women in the contemporary period have used writing to highlight injustices and interrogate inequalities. Welcoming papers that analyse women’s writing in any of its diverse forms – from poetry, prose, drama, and print journalism to spoken word, online periodicals, websites, blogs, and social media feeds – Writing Wrongs will explore the limits and possibilities of writing as a political act. In light of the environmental, political and economic disasters and crises of the past fifty years, to what extent can we right wrongs by writing wrongs? How, for example, are historical violations and/or triumphs mediated in contemporary women’s writing? How do women use fiction and/or non-fiction to expose inequalities in the public and private spheres? In what ways do social movements shape what and how women write? And what is the relationship between writing and activism? We especially welcome contributions exploring the relationship between feminism and critical race studies, disability studies, ecocriticism, lesbian and gay studies, postcolonial studies, queer theory and transgender studies.

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Call for Papers: Oxford Research in English, Issue 7: Craft

“In my craft or sullen art” – Dylan Thomas

Thomas is one in a long line who self-reflexively meditates on his own work. Indeed, a writer’s craft has been the topic of much discussion both by critics and by authors themselves, considering the interplay between a writer’s natural ability and her tendency to consciously create, between the ingenuity of her ideas and the discipline of putting them into practice. In doing so, Thomas, along with others, bring to the forefront an epistemological question: Is ‘crafting’ in opposition to art? The term ‘craft’ also brings about various material and textual interpretations, from ’crafters’ and their products to the ‘crafty Odysseus’ outwitting his foes. Between capability, contrivance, and chicanery, craft covers all concepts of creation, in its various artistic forms and the authorial attempts to achieve greatness. After all, and in the words of the immortal Snoop Dogg, “If it’s flipping hamburgers at McDonald’s, be the best hamburger flipper in the world. Whatever it is you do you have to master your craft.”

This issue seeks to explore these different interpretations of craft, and welcomes papers investigating, but not limited to, any of the following topics:

• Writerly ability: can binaries of nature/nurture, inspiration/practice, art/craft be resolved or held in tension? What does it mean to ‘be’ a writer? (Does the reader ‘craft’ as well?)
• Style and authenticity: how do we define style? Does it represent a stable core of self? What about when it changes?
• Craft as deviation: cunning, wile, aberrations; trickster figures and hypocrites; witchcraft
• Cultural sensitivity: what are the boundaries of appropriation, appreciation, adaptation, assimilation?
• Craft as metaphor for writing: weaving, sculpture, embroidery, house-building, painting
• Representations of craft/crafters in media and literature: who are the makers and why do they make? What are the ethics and limits of crafting a work, a creature, an idea?
• Gender and craft: women’s work (vs) craftsmanship; associations of women and craft, both in the sense of artisanal work and of cunning and scheming
• Rhetorical exercises: ekphrasis as craft about craft; the interplay between spontaneity and craft

Oxford Research in English (ORE) is an online journal for postgraduate and early career scholars in English, Film Studies, Creative Writing, and related disciplines. All submissions are peer-reviewed by current graduate students at the University of Oxford. The journal is currently seeking papers of 5-8,000 words for its seventh issue, to be released in Autumn 2018. Please submit papers for consideration to by the deadline of 1st March 2018.

Papers should be formatted according to the journal’s house style, details of which can be found on our website:

Call for Papers: Corresponding with Beckett Conference

A London Beckett Seminar conference
Friday 1 – Saturday 2 June 2017, Senate House


Keynote: Lois More Overbeck, Emory University, Director, Letters of Samuel Beckett Project

What does it mean to correspond with Beckett? How does Beckett’s correspondence give us insight into the work? In what ways are critical reading and writing a form of correspondence with an author? What would it mean to perform the epistolary? The publication of the fourth and final volume of The Letters of Samuel Beckett marks an appropriate moment to take stock of the role of autobiography in research, and the importance of the epistolary in literary studies. A recent review by Cal Revely-Calder cautions that letters “are not propositions, manifestos, or statements of intent”, but rather “rough forays, conducted in private”. Corresponding with Beckett raises issues around the development of the “grey canon” (S.E. Gontarski), the use of digital resources, translation, visual metadata, and the role of corollary correspondence. Given Beckett’s hesitation to render the personal public, the conference will address how we negotiate issues of privacy, permissions, and copyright. The conference will generate new thinking on the letter as artefact, the textual and stylistic aspects of the epistolary, and will explore the legacy of a correspondence project and how the research that underpins it can be deployed for further research. Using literary correspondence and related materials raises older literary questions on authorial intention and reading methodologies that continue to inform literary analysis. In the age of Snapchat and WhatsApp, correspondence is primarily digital: the conference will question the longevity of contemporary digital correspondence, and explore strategies for future engagement with the epistolary in literary research.

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Call for Papers: Brits Abroad, Brits at Home: Travel Narratives from the Grand Tour to the End of Empire

A one-day symposium on texts by British tourists and travellers
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Senate House, University of London

Travel narratives have long been the focus of critical, historical, and sociological analysis. The legacy of the Grand Tour, the growth of mass tourism in the nineteenth century, and the opportunities afforded by a vast empire to travel in ‘exotic’ regions have meant that British travellers, in particular, have been the object of a great deal of research. However, much of this research has focused on those travellers with the cultural capital to have their work formally published, and this in turn has perhaps skewed the picture towards narratives from upper-middle and upper class tourists.

This symposium will focus on British travellers, but with the intention of broadening the definition of travel writing to include unpublished texts written, for example, by ordinary tourists, rather than by the relatively small elite who were able to publish their accounts. Conversely it will also examine ‘unreliable’ narratives – for example, by elite colonial travellers, subaltern travellers, and others whose accounts are potentially compromised by censorship and political agendas.

The aim is to deepen our understanding not only of lower-middle class and working-class tourists and travellers, but also to interrogate the reliability of travel narratives in general, by exploring textual and travel practices that are often overlooked. These practices reveal how tourists experienced and responded to travel both within the British Isles and abroad, but also how those in the service of Empire mingled tourism with duty, and how their accounts were structured accordingly.

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An insight into the Women in Punch Symposium

Mariam Zarif is a doctoral candidate in English, nineteenth-century Literature, and Journalism at King’s College London. Her work focuses on New Woman fiction by male writers and the intersections between gender, sexuality and authorial disguise in the fin-di-siècle. She is also the Chief Editor of The Still Point Journal, which is a literary journal for Arts and Humanities researchers in London.

“The stimulating one-day conference, hosted at the Senate House Library marked the end of Punch’s 175th anniversary year. Centering on the theme of gender, sexuality, and journalism in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, this conference explored the representations of women in Punch and its female contributors. Incorporating two panels, two keynotes and a roundtable discussion, provided a wide experience of scholarship and reflected diversity in disciplines. The program began with an archive session at the Durning-Lawrence Library room, in which various copies of the magazines were set out for the conference attendees. This handling session was an opportunity to closely examine Punch and its cartoons on 19th and 20th century political and social history. The interdisciplinary nature of Victorian studies and journalism brought together scholars and researchers from different fields.

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Call for Papers: With Muldoon

‘With Muldoon’
A Reading and Symposium
Friday May 18 – Saturday May 19, 2018
The Storey Institute, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster

Friday May 18
…by Paul Muldoon
-followed by drinks reception-
Register for your free ticket on Eventbrite – search ‘Paul Muldoon’  


Saturday May 19
10 am-5.30pm
…on and with Paul Muldoon
Keynotes: Professor Steph Burt (Harvard) and Professor Clair Wills (Princeton)
Register for your free ticket on Eventbrite – search ‘Paul Muldoon’  


Proposals (300 word max) for 20-minute papers on and around the work of

Paul Muldoon should be sent to Professor John Schad ( by January 31st 2018. All proposals will be considered for an edited collection that, it is hoped, will emerge out of the symposium.


Paul Muldoon is
Visiting Professor at Lancaster University, Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor at Princeton University,
and, according to the TLS, ‘the most significant English-language poet born since World War Two.’

Call for Papers: Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts


Local : National : Transnational

 An international, multi-disciplinary public conference
University of Surrey, UK, 29–30 June 2018

Keynote Speakers:

  • Irene Cockroft, author of Women in the Arts & Crafts and Suffrage Movements at the Dawn of the 20th Century
  • Elizabeth Crawford, author of The Women’s Suffrage Movement in Britain and Ireland

Conference website:

The 2018 centenary of the Representation of the People Act (6 February 1918), which granted the vote to many women in the UK, yields an ideal opportunity for sustained critical reflection on women’s suffrage. This conference seeks to explore the artistic activities nurtured within the movement, their range and legacy, as well as the relationships between politics and art. In striving for an inclusive, transnational reach, it will at the same time seek to move beyond traditional emphases on white middle-class feminism and explore the intersections between the regional, national, and global contexts for women’s suffrage with specific respect to the arts.

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An Interview with Dr Christopher Ohge


1. To start off light (or perhaps not!) what is your favourite book?

This is a difficult question… If you don’t mind I’ll offer a few across genres. My favourite novel is Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; poetry book: John Milton’s Complete Poetical Works; and non-fiction: Christopher Ricks’s Essays in Appreciation.


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Call for Papers: Women Writing Decadence – European Perspectives, 1880-1920

Women Writing Decadence, European Perspectives 1880-1920
University of Oxford
7-8 July 2018

Organisers: Katharina Herold (Oxford), Leire Barrera-Medrano (Birkbeck, London)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

– Dr Petra Dierkes-Thrun (Stanford University)
– Professor Melanie Hawthorne (Texas A&M University)
– Dr Ana Parejo Vadillo (Birkbeck, University of London)

Decadence as an international literary and artistic movement has to date been dominated by male authors, while women traditionally feature as objectified femme fatales, sphinxes, dancers and demi-mondes. However, literary and feminist scholarship over the last three decades has retrieved many important women writers of the period. Over twenty years ago, Elaine Showalter’s volume Daughters of Decadence (1993) brought together twenty of the most original and important stories penned by women, re-introducing then little-known writers such as Victoria Cross, George Egerton, Vernon Lee, Constance Fenimore Wollson and Charlotte Mew.

Yet the international and interdisciplinary nature of female networks in Decadence has been so far overlooked. Figures like Alma Mahler, wife of Gustav Mahler but a composer in her own right, were connected to leading figures of the Viennese secession such as Oskar Kokoschka, Klimt and Freud. Lou Andreas-Salomé, a Russian-born author, and one of the first female psychoanalysts, was another member of this network. She wrote more than a dozen novels, and non-fiction studies such as a study of Ibsen’s women characters and a book on her friend Nietzsche. Similar to their male counterparts, these female Decadents were keen networkers, publishers and editors, travellers and translators.

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Call for Submissions: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies



Volupté is an online journal of Decadence from antiquity to the present. It appears each year in Spring and Autumn, and brings together in themed issues creative and critical approaches to the fast-growing field of Decadence studies.

The aim of Volupté is to enhance and broaden the scope of Decadence studies and stimulate discussion in relation to literary Decadence and other forms of discourse, including Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, and Science. Peer-reviewed essays and book reviews will be published alongside new translations, poetry, short fiction, and visual art. Based at Goldsmiths, University of London, Volupté is dedicated to promoting cutting-edge work by creative writers and artists and publishing the best research on Decadence by early career and established scholars.

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