CFPs: Conferences

‘Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis, 1890–1950’

11–13 April 2019 | University of Sheffield

Keynote speakers: Ravit Reichman (Brown University) | Lizzie Seal (Sussex) | Victoria Stewart (Leicester)

The twentieth-century was a period of worldwide literary experiment, of scientific developments and of worldwide conflict. These changes demanded a rethinking not merely of psychological subjectivity, but also of what it meant to be subject to the law and to punishment. This two-day conference aims to explore relationships between literature, law and psychoanalysis during the period 1890-1950, allowing productive mixing of canonical and popular literature and also encouraging interdisciplinary conversations between different fields of study.

The period examined by the conference included: developments in Freudian psychoanalysis and its branching in other directions; the founding of criminology; continuing campaigns and reforms around the death penalty; landmark modernist publications; the ‘Golden Age’ of detective fiction; and multiple sensational trials (Wilde, Crippen, Casement, Leopold and Loeb, to name but a few). Freud’s followers, like Theodor Reik and Hans Sachs, would publish work on criminal law and the death penalty; psychoanalysts were sought after as expert witnesses; novelists like Elizabeth Bowen would serve on a Royal Commission investigating capital punishment; while Gladys Mitchell invented the character of Beatrice Adela Lestrange Bradley as a literary detective-psychoanalyst.

We therefore hope to consider areas including literature’s connection with historical debates around crime and punishment; literature and authors on trial and/or on the ‘psychiatrist’s couch’; and literature’s effect on debates about human rights. The event is linked to and partly supported by an AHRC project on literature, psychoanalysis and the death penalty, but the aim of this conference is much wider. Interdisciplinary approaches, especially from fields such as psychoanalysis, philosophy, law or the visual arts, are particularly encouraged. We also welcome papers on international legal systems and texts. All responses are welcome and the scope of our interdisciplinary interests is flexible, with room in the planned programme for strands of work that might be more or less literary.

For more info see:

Please send 250 word paper proposals or 300 word proposals for fully formed panels to organiser, Katherine Ebury by 28 November 2018.


Modernism in the Home

1–2 July 2019 | University of Birmingham

Keynote speakers: Professor Morag Shiach (Queen Mary University) | Professor Barbara Penner (The Bartlett School of Architecture)

Studies of modernism and the home are wide-ranging; this international conference will reflect the broad scope of research, fostering interdisciplinary dialogue between literary, arts and cultural sectors. The conference invites scholars to interrogate the historical, theoretical and thematic intersections occurring in the domestic sphere in the early twentieth century. Panellists are invited to reconsider and discuss the aesthetic, social, political, technological, artistic, scientific, cultural and textual relationship between modernism and the home, in a global context.

Classic anti-domestic rhetorics of modernity have often aligned the domestic with the private, designating it a lesser to the democratic, masculine and thoroughly ‘modern’ public sphere. With its cries of ‘Make it New!’, modernism staged a bold protest against the constraints of Victorian domesticity. Yet as contemporary re-evaluations by scholars such as Chiara Briganti, Barbara Penner, Morag Shiach, Kathy Mezei, Clair Wills and Victoria Rosner suggest, the home remains a crucial space for the interrogation of our cultural relationships with technology, class, race, sexuality, and gender. The early years of the twentieth century saw this ubiquitous space evolve. No longer an emblem of Victorian patriarchy, the house became a more boundless entity whose shifting boundaries and notions of propriety were tied up with the rapidly changing cultures of consumerism and technology.

Modernism in the Home invites discussion that critiques, questions, and offers new readings of the home, challenging stereotypes surrounding the historical binary that posits the domestic realm as private, feminine, and anti-modern. We want to explore the symbiosis between architecture and literature, public and private, the house and the novel. By engaging with artists, architects and authors whose work intersects with the domestic, we hope to examine the evolving nature of the home and its inhabitants in the early twentieth century.

Papers should be fifteen minutes in length. We also encourage scholars who wish to present in other creative ways to apply. To apply, please send an abstract of no more than 300 words, as well as a brief biography of 200 words, to by 14 December 2018

Full details:


Queer Modernism(s) III: Queer Networks

25–26 April 2019 | University of Oxford

Keynote: Anjalie Dalal-Clayton (University of the Arts London)

The early Twentieth Century saw sweeping changes in legislature, politics and lifestyle for queer people. More than ever, LGBTQ+ citizens faced penal repercussions for their behaviour, as well as public scrutiny. In 1895, art collided with the judicial system as the trial of Oscar Wilde scandalised the press, succeeded by censorship against the likes of Radclyffe Hall and Federico García Lorca. At the same time, queerness became a political issue. Throughout the 1900s, governments legislated queer relationships and women’s reproductive rights, while eugenicist thinking codified racialized bodies and disabled subjects.

In the same period however, LGBTQ+ citizens established networks that allowed them to flourish. Magnus Hirschfeld set up the Institut für Sexualwissenschaft as a means of studying sexual behaviour and gender identity, while providing a welcoming home to many who had been previously outcast. Around the corner notoriously outrageous boy-bars flourished in Berlin, cherished by silver screen stars like Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo, who sharpened their talents in the underbelly of the metropolis. In Paris, Gertrude Stein and Natalie Clifford Barney set up influential salons, whilst Sam Wooding toured Europe with his big band company. Across the pond, the ball scene began to lay its roots in Harlem as influential critics W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke fostered the voices of growing talents Wallace Thurman, Nella Larsen, Claude McKay and Angelina Weld Grimké. So too did philanthropy and activism play an important role for many modernists, with Josephine Baker working with the NAACP to protest segregation and Peggy Guggenheim sponsorsing a multitude of important artists.

Such queer networks were not wholly positive, however, but open to nepotism, favouritism, bias and fetishism. As Langston Hughes ironically noted, for a while ‘the Negro Was in Vogue’, yet black citizens were still often barred from clubs unless they were performing for white audiences. In a similar vein, patronage was often the preserve of an elitist upper crust, stifling the voices of many emerging artists. And this is not a historical issue. Activism and pedagogy have just as scintillating a relationship as ever before. Today, in the forms of campaigns such as Rhodes Must Fall and Why Is My Curriculum White? we see vital pushes for sweeping changes to an educational system that still priorities the literature, histories, creativity and voices of a certain groups, whilst pushing others to the margins. Just as networks can uplift those within them, so too can they provide an old boys club that maintains a status quo.

The conference invites discussion of the ways in which modernists negotiate the concept of queerness within their work, with particular attention to the place of networks.

Individual papers should be fifteen minutes in length. To apply, please send an abstract of no more than 500 words to as well as a brief biography of no more than 200 words.

Panel presentations should be forty-five minutes in length. To apply, please send an abstract of no more than 800 words to as well as a brief biography of no more than 200 words per person.

Submissions are open to all: activists, creatives, artists, curators, students, PhDs, ECRs and academics. We especially welcome submissions from those not traditionally included in the academy. For more information, visit Queer Modernism(s) website.

MSIA2: ‘Modernism and Multiple Temporalities’

The Second Annual International Conference of the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA)

12-14 September 2019 | Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Laura Marcus (Oxford) | Prof. Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins) | Prof. Aaron Gerow (Yale)

Following its highly successful inaugural conference held in June 2018, the Modernist Studies in Asia Network (MSIA) calls for abstracts for its second annual international conference on the subject of ‘Modernism and Multiple Temporalities’.

The concept of psychological time has long been a central theme of modernist studies, particularly with reference to textual features such as the stream of consciousness and narrative fragmentation. In recent years, however, increasing attention has been paid to the ways in which the ‘politics of time’ (Peter Osborne’s term) has defined the very experience of modernity and generated a variety of modernist innovations such as the avant-garde rhetoric of rupture or attention to the communal rhythm of the everyday. Starting with Karl Marx’s observation on capitalism’s ‘annihilation of space by time,’ many critics have examined how the dominant versions of time (such as Walter Benjamin’s ‘homogenous, empty time’, or what E. P. Thompson called ‘time discipline’) colluded with capitalism, colonialism, and imperialism; meanwhile, they have also observed the ways in which the dominant ideologies were often contested through the multiplicity of temporality in various locations.

Building on these observations, we might revise the agenda of ‘New Modernist Studies’ formulated by Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz ten years ago—the agenda to expand modernism temporally, spatially, and vertically. While we continue to pursue the vertical expansion of modernism to include a variety of popular genres, we might now consider the temporal and the spatial in conjunction and note how the spatial expansion of modernism urges us to confront the multiplicity of experiential time across the world. We might also explore how the expanded field of global modernism is itself constituted by competing or conflicting temporalities that were lived or generated in the specific locations of modernity.

In this spirit, we invite papers that engage with multiple temporalities in the texts of modernism (literature, art, cinema, music, and other cultural products). How do they represent, reproduce, or reconfigure the experiences of time in modernity? How does the modernist obsession with innovation contain the utopian desire for the future while also being charged by a nostalgic longing for the past? How do the multiple temporalities of modernism challenge, contest, or sometimes conform to the dominant versions of time? Or how do the texts of modernism themselves travel across time and space, through the specific temporalities of transmission, reception, and translation? We welcome papers that tackle these questions with reference to modernism in its global as well as local—European, American, African, Oceanian, Asian, or elsewhere—manifestations.

Please send 200-word abstracts for 20-minutes papers along with a short bio to by 25 December 2018.

Full details:


Short Fiction as Humble Fiction

17–19 October 2019 | Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France

An international conference organised by EMMA (Etudes Montpelliéraines du Monde Anglophone) with ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research)

Keynote speakers: Elke D’hoker (K.U. Leuven) | Ann-Marie Einhaus (Northumbria)

The title of this conference may sound like a provocative statement. It may suggest a definition of the genre as a minor one, as has too often been the case in the history of the short story. Yet the conference has another purpose altogether. We would like to shift the perspective and claim short fiction not exactly as a minor genre, but as a humble one. As such, what can short fiction do that the novel cannot? What can it better convey?

We suggest to use the concept of the ‘humble’ as a critical tool that may help reframe and redefine short fiction, a notoriously elusive genre. How do short story writers deal with humble subjects – humble beings (the poor, the marginal, the outcasts, the disabled, etc.) and the non-human (animals, plants, objects), the ordinary, the everyday, the domestic, the mundane, the prosaic? How do they draw attention to what tends to be disregarded, neglected or socially invisible (Le Blanc) and how do they play with attention and inattention (Gardiner)? How do they contribute to an ethics and a politics of consideration (Pelluchon)? What rhetorical and stylistic devices do they use? What happens when they broach humble topics with humble tools, a bare, minimal style, for instance? How does the humble form of the short story – its brevity – fit humble topics? Does it paradoxically enhance them? Does the conjunction of the two give the short story a minor status or can it be empowering? In other words, should the humble be regarded as a synonym of ‘minor’ or as a quality and a capability (Nussbaum)?

Asking such questions will open a rich debate. How does the humble nature of short fiction connect with the epiphany, the moment of being, the event? If along with Camille Dumoulié we consider that the ethical dimension of short fiction stems from its being ‘a genre of the event’, could a humble genre also be considered an ethical genre? If there is an ethics of short fiction as a humble genre, where can it be located? Since the term ‘humble’, from the Latin humilis, ‘low, lowly,’ itself from humus ‘ground’’ – is often used as a euphemism for ‘the poor’, we can consider its representation of humble characters (as in Joyce’s Dubliners or Eudora Welty’s short stories) as well as the way this genre handles the theme of poverty, of extreme hardship and constructed deprivation (as in Dalit short fiction) or its representations of and reflections on the earth and all that relates to the environment. The theme of the humble is also manifest in its very inclusiveness and openness to the reader, or in the very precarious nature of the genre, in its openness to other genres. Dealing with short fiction as a humble genre will thus lead contributors to take into account its interactions with humble arts and media: the art of engraving, sketching or photography used in the illustrations of the volumes or magazines in which many modernist short stories were initially published; the radio that broadcast so many short stories, sometimes read by the short story writers themselves, as occurred on BBC4 with, for instance, Frank O’Connor; the web today, with flash fiction online, micro fiction or video performances of short fiction. How do these various art forms and media shape each other and how do these interactions construct short fiction as a humble genre? In other words, how does the motif of the humble morph into an ‘experiential category’ (Locatelli) or a poetics of the humble?

Reframing the humble as an aesthetic category will help reread short fiction and better capture its elusive contours, focusing either on well-known short fiction by famous writers that will be approached from a different angle or retrieving some unfairly neglected texts from oblivion, as, for example, Ann-Marie Einhaus, has started doing in her work on The Short Story and the First World War. Or again, Elke D’hoker’s current work on short fiction and popular magazines.

This conference means to cross national borders and disciplinary boundaries, especially those separating literature and the visual arts or literature and philosophy. The questions asked can be broached through short fiction in English by writers of various nationalities over the 19th and 20th centuries until nowadays. The suggested acceptations of the term ‘humble’ are not limitative but indicative.

Proposals of about 300 words together with a short biographical note (50 words) should be sent to Christine Reynier ( and Jean-Michel Ganteau ( by 15 January 2019.

A selection of peer-reviewed articles will be published in The Journal of the Short Story in English and Short Fiction in Theory & Practice.

Beastly Modernisms

12-13 September 2019 | University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland

Keynote Speakers: Kari Weil (Wesleyan University, US) | Derek Ryan (Kent, UK)

‘I still do not think La Somnambule the perfect title – Night Beast would be better except for that debased meaning now put on that nice word beast.’ – Djuna Barnes to Emily Holmes Coleman

‘Once again we are in a knot of species coshaping one another in layers of reciprocating complexity all the way down’ – Donna Haraway

If modernism heralded a moment of socio-political, cultural and aesthetic transformation, it also instigated a refashioning of how we think about, encounter, and live with animals. Beasts abound in modernism. Virginia Woolf’s spaniel, T.S. Eliot’s cats, James Joyce’s earwig, D.H. Lawrence’s snake, Samuel Beckett’s lobster, and Djuna Barnes’s lioness all present prominent examples of where animals and animality are at the forefront of modernist innovation. At stake in such beastly figurations are not just matters of species relations, but questions of human animality and broader ideas of social relations, culture, sex, gender, capitalism, and religion. Modernism’s interest in the figure of the animal speaks to the immense changes in animal life in the early twentieth century, a period where the reverberations of Darwinian theory were being felt in the new life sciences, as well as emergent social theories that employed discourses of species, and developing technologies and markets that radically alerted everyday human-animal relations. It was also a period in which new theories of human responsibilities towards animals were also being articulated with Donald Watson coining the idea of veganism in 1944.

The recent “animal turn” in the humanities invites new ways of thinking about the beasts that we find in modernist culture. Moreover, animal studies arrives at a point at which modernist studies is already in the process of redefining what modernism means. Turning to modernism’s beasts not only promises fresh ways of understanding its multispecies foundations, but also points towards how modernist studies might intervene in contemporary debates around animal life. Building on the foundational work on animals and modernism by Carrie Rohman, Margot Norris, Kari Weil, Derek Ryan and others, Beastly Modernisms invites papers on animals and all aspects of modernist culture.

Individual papers should be no more than twenty minutes in length. Please send an abstract of 300 words and a brief biography to by 31 January 2019.

We welcome proposals for panels or roundtables of 3 to 4 speakers. Please send an abstract of 500 words and speaker biographies to by 31 January 2019.

Submissions are open to all researchers at every level of study. We particularly encourage submissions from postgraduate researchers.

For more information, visit the Beastly Modernisms website.


BAMS Conference 2019: Troublesome Modernisms

20–22 June 2019 | Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London

Confirmed keynote speaker: Douglas Mao (Johns Hopkins) (Second keynote speaker to be confirmed)

‘What effects of synergy or friction result when the many, sometimes contradictory, criteria of high modernism are tested against less evidently experimental texts by principal figures; against principal works by less well known or non-European artists; against texts that seem neither to be art or about art?’
– Douglas Mao and Rebecca Walkowitz

In troubled times, the BAMS International Conference 2019 proposes the theme of ‘Troublesome Modernisms’. The conference aims to take a fresh look at modernism’s capacity to, and for, trouble, to examine anew the multiple modes of modernist argumentation, contestation and dissent. What can we draw for the present from modernism’s troubled relationship with its own pasts, presents and futures, and how might we address our troubles with those aspects of the modernist project that sit uncomfortably with us today?

Proposals are invited for individual 20-minute papers, panels (3–4 speakers), roundtables, dialogues or other discussions on the broad theme of ‘Troublesome Modernisms’. These will be drawn from a range of disciplinary fields.

Abstracts for individual papers should be no more than 250 words. Abstracts for other proposed formats should be no more than 500 words, and should include abstracts of proposed contributions and brief details of their organisers and contributors. We aim to showcase the work not only of individuals but of groups, societies, institutions and research projects, so strongly encourage proposals from, for example, author societies, research projects and departmental research centres. All proposals should be sent to by:

Deadline for individual paper proposals: 31 January 2019

Deadline for other format proposals: 28 February 2019

Decisions on proposals will be communicated within 4 weeks of the later deadline (28 February).

Full details:


Katherine Mansfield: Inspirations and Influences

5-7 July 2019 | Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland

An international conference organised by the Katherine Mansfield Society

Keynote: Professor Kirsty Gunn (Dundee, UK). Further keynote speakers to be announced.

This international conference celebrates the diversity of influences which inspired acclaimed New Zealand modernist short story writer, Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923).

From her upbringing in Wellington, New Zealand, her schooling in London, and her return to Europe at the age of nineteen to begin her career as a writer, Mansfield’s short life was inevitably influenced by the people she met, the many places she visited or lived in, paintings she saw, music she played or listened to, trends in literature and the books she read, and the burgeoning film industry which she experienced both as an actor and an eager spectator. For example, the French Decadent and Symbolist movements would both have a lasting influence on Mansfield’s fiction. Indeed, echoes of, for example, the French symbolists, Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde and the Decadents, are to be found in much of her prose writing.

In the years following her death, Mansfield herself would become an inspiration for – and influence on – other writers, including Elizabeth Bowen, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, as well as the Patron of the Katherine Mansfield Society, author Professor Kirsty Gunn. Indeed, one of Mansfield’s early biographers, Ian Gordon, writes, ‘She had the same kind of direct influence on the art of the short story as Joyce had on the novel. After Joyce and Katherine Mansfield neither the novel nor the short story can ever be quite the same again’.

Abstracts of 200 words, together with a bio-sketch, should be sent to the conference organisers:

Dr Janka Kascakova, Catholic University in Ružomberok, Slovakia, Dr Gerri Kimber, University of Northampton, UK and Dr Władysław Witalisz, Institute of English Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow at

Submission deadline: 1 February 2019. Full details:

Modernist Legacies and Futures: Modernist Studies Ireland Inaugural Conference

Friday, 17 May 2019 | National University of Ireland, Galway

Plenary Speaker: Dr Ben Levitas, Goldsmiths, University of London

The Inaugural Conference of Modernist Studies Ireland, ‘Modernist Legacies and Futures’ seeks to bring together Irish and international scholars to initiate an exchange and review of current research, trends, and findings in modernist studies. We ask scholars to consider how modernists created or negated the future in their work. Did modernist artists conceive of the future as a prerequisite of the work itself and, if so, how did they attempt to secure their legacy? What does the digital landscape achieve for modernism studies? What future does modernist studies have? If modernism was a radical attempt to reshape culture and art did it succeed and how can we as scholars perpetuate this radicalism? Do current attempts to democratise the study of literature and unsettle canonicity impact future research? What modernisms are missing from the field of modernist study? What does modernism mean to minority languages, cultures, and to a non-western canon?

Full details:

Abstracts due: 5pm (GMT+1) on 28 February 2019

For further information please contact:

Modernist Studies Ireland (MSI) is a new organisation that aims to facilitate the sharing of interests, research, and pedagogical approaches to modernism and modernity in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Modernist Studies Ireland provides a network to communicate our new research, publications, and archival holdings to a local and global audience.

Twitter: @Mod_Ireland