ESSE 2021

From 08/30/2021 to 09/03/2021

Lyon - France

Download the list of roundtables and seminars here

List of roundtables

RT1: Literary Journalism and the P/Light of the ‘Lumières’

Literary journalism – a genre of nonfiction prose that lies at the conceptual intersection of literature and journalism – is a useful vehicle to recount and combat certain kinds of trans/national stories. While its narrative aesthetics may whet universal appetites and pique interests beyond statutory borders, real and immaterial, its commitment to rigorous journalistic standards firmly situates literary journalism within a localized milieu. In other words, despite its widespread appeal, in time as in place, literary journalism is first and foremost a tool to explore, examine and expose the here and the now. Given the current socio-political climate, where world leaders have repeatedly espoused one true nationalist narrative and have cast themselves as its rightful protagonist and conduit to recover a lost or usurped glorious past (e.g., U.S., North Korea, England, Brazil, Russia, Austria, Hungary …), the proposed roundtable will examine ways in which literary journalism can inumbrate these self-proclaimed Lumières and shed its own light on how various counter narratives (political, economic, cultural, etc.) can govern us when such sea changes are underway.

Convenors: John S. Bak (University of Lorraine, France) & David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, USA).

Panelists: Michael Berryhill (Texas Southern University, USA), Lisa A. Phillips (SUNY New Paltz, USA), Beate Josephi (The University of Sydney, Australia), Adriënne Ummels (Radboud University Nijmegen, Netherlands), Christophe Den Tandt (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium).

RT 2: “We Too”: Female Voices in the Transnational Era of Crisis, Migration and Climate Change

This roundtable proposes to adopt a historical-comparative perspective so as to gain a deep insight into migratory movements that happened in our recent history and contemporary migrations happening at the present moment, which may have been caused by political and economic crises, armed conflicts, environmental disasters or other unsettling events. In particular, our aim is to draw attention to the way these migrations have affected women’s lives and the way female writers and artists have tried to represent these processes and their consequences in diverse cultural artefacts, such as film, narrative, poetry and autobiographical works. Therefore, we will explore issues related to diaspora, feminism, environmentalism, memory and identity from a transnational and intersectional perspective, attempting to find connections among those cultural texts by women voicing some of the most relevant crises that have configured and are still re-configuring our global and local identities.

Convenors: Silvia Pellicer-Ortín & Julia Kuznetski

Panelists: Chiara Battisti (University of Verona, Italy), Silvia Pellicer-Ortín (University of Zaragoza, Spain), Merve Sarikaya-Sen (Baskent University, Turkey), Julia Kuznetski (University of Tallinn, Estonia), María Rocío Cobo Piñero, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain).

RT 3: Meeting of the Gender Studies Network

The GSN meeting is meant as a get-together of all ESSE members interested in extending a gender perspective within and from our association. It will be the fourth in a row since Kosiče. First an account will be given of what has been done so far (e.g. Internet presence with a Directory of Members, Gender Studies Gallery, etc.). Special focus will be on the follow-up from Brno concerning the threats to gender studies in Hungary and other European countries/universities. Then the floor will be open to all present in order to articulate and discuss proposals for the near future, such as developing access to the social media, the organizing of seminars and a Gender Studies Doctoral/Young Researcher Symposium, with the ESSE Conference 2022 on the horizon. New ideas welcome.

Convenors: Işil Baş (Istanbul Kültür University, Turkey), Florence Binard (University of Paris, France), Renate Haas (University of Kiel, Germany), María Socorro Suárez Lafuente (University of Oviedo, Spain).

RT 4: (Un)regulated Bodies in Contemporary Cultural Texts in English

Taking as a starting point the idea that contemporary advanced capitalist societies regulate certain (posthuman) bodies by means of different strategies and/or policies, this round table will address how robots, clones and other posthuman bodies negotiate such imposed regulations and manage to produce tactics to resist them. For this purpose, we will be looking at contemporary cultural texts from a feminist perspective in an attempt to detect acts of resistance and rebellion against oppressive systems that regulate life. Hence, we will discuss the following questions: Who is responsible for the violent (sometimes destructive, unethical behavior of these regulated bodies? Which are the moral and ethical implications of such actions? Which alternatives are offered to and by regulated bodies?

Convenor: Rocío Carrasco Carrasco

Panelists: Rocío Carrasco Carrasco (University of Huelva, Spain), Carolina Núñez Puente (University of A Coruña, Spain), Maria Sofia Pimentel Biscaia (University of Aveiro, Portugal), Libe García Zarranz (University of Trondheim, Norway).

RT 5: Qualitative Approaches to English Historical Data in a Multimodal Perspective

This panel will discuss state-of-the-art methods in the linguistic investigation of historical texts, focusing on the contribution that a multimodal perspective can give to the enhancement of qualitative analyses. Unlike in studies of PDE, in English historical linguistics attention to these issues is a relatively recent development (e.g., Meurman-Solin & Tyrkkö 2013; Ratia & Suhr 2017). Moreover, there is now increasing interest in defining a reliable methodology meant to validate the findings of qualitative analyses (e.g., the ICEHL 2018 workshop on “Qualitative evidence and methodologies in historical linguistics”). Instances of good practice will be presented so as to encourage further debate.

Convenors: Maura Ratia & Marina Dossena

Panelists: Marina Dossena (University of Bergamo, Italy), Tuomo Hiippala (University of Helsinki, Finland), Maura Ratia (University of Helsinki, Finland), Massimo Sturiale (University of Catania – Ragusa, Italy), Carla Suhr (University of Helsinki, Finland).

RT 6: Oscar Wilde in the New Millennium: Assessing Critical Approaches

The organizers aim to illuminate new directions in Wilde studies within the European context. The hybrid and polymorphic identity of Wilde has attracted considerable attention over the years, but academic approaches to such a powerful watershed figure are gradually moving away from the well-trod paths of poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and queer studies. This roundtable will focus on new contemporary critical perspectives on Wilde, including his connections with popular and media culture (celebrity and performance studies), religion (spiritualism, occultism), and prison literature (poignant indicators of this trend are the opening of Reading Prison in 2016 and the National Trust Reading Gaol Tours).

Convenor: Elisa Bizzotto

Panelists: Elisa Bizzotto (Iuav University of Venice, Italy), Jane Desmarais (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK), Laura Giovannelli (University of Pisa, Italy), Katharina Herold (University of Oxford, UK), Pierpaolo Martino (University of Bari ‘Aldo Moro’, Italy).

List of seminars

S1: International perspectives on learning and teaching English

Language teachers continue to face challenges rooted in ongoing developments in education, technology and society. Along with addressing practical aspects such as matching teaching praxis to learner needs, using ICT or innovative assessment effectively, or contending with external requirements, the seminar critically examines current trends in language teaching policies and theories. The seminar aims to share and discuss EFL and ESL experiences in both local and global contexts. Case studies, critical and empirical analyses, evaluations, and reviews regarding developments, innovations, adaptations, and reactions in language education are welcomed.


* Katalin Doró (University of Szeged, Hungary), dorokati[at-sign]
* František Tůma (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), tuma[at-sign]
* Thomas E. Bieri (Nanzan University, Japan), bieritho[at-sign]

S2: Borrowings and loan translations from English multi-word units in other European languages

Phraseological borrowings and loan translations (or calques) from English are a widespread linguistic phenomenon. They do not only concern idioms but all types of multi-word units such as collocations, conversational formulae, proverbs, slogans, catchphrases, clichés, etc. They can be identified and analysed in translated texts, subtitled and dubbed films, blogs, academic texts and especially in the press. This seminar will focus on corpus-based, state-of-the-art research in one or several European languages (cross-linguistic approach). Topics can include institutionalization, lexicalization, lexico-grammatical adaptation, variant forms, semantic calques vs native semantic extensions, pragmatic adaptation, frequency of use, usage according to text types or genres, vernacular idioms vs phraseological calques, borrowings vs loan translations or calques of phraseological patterns.


* Ramón Martí Solano (Université de Limoges, France), ramon.marti-solano[at-sign]
* José Luis Oncins-Martínez (Universidad de Extremadura, Spain), oncins[at-sign]

S3: Teaching and learning EFL grammar

In the last decades, the role and place of grammar in language classes has been questioned and greatly reduced. This seminar aims to explore the place and role of English grammar in the teaching and learning of English as a foreign language, in secondary schools and at university. The stress will be laid on grammatical and (meta)linguistic awareness and knowledge, and on grammatical concepts as well as grammatical and epilinguistic skills, in the perspective of the current CEFR task-based communicative approach. Contributions should particularly explore the relationship between formal syntactic, semantic and pragmatic concepts, and the varied uses of English in context. Linguistic and didactic contributions are both very welcome, including contrastive and sociolinguistic approaches, as well as corpus-based grammar.


* Jelena Vujic (University of Belgrade, Serbia), jvujic[at-sign], jelenajvujic[at-sign]
* Viviana Cortes (Georgia State University, US), vcortes[at-sign]
* Clotilde Castagné-Véziès (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France), clotilde.castagne-vezies[at-sign]

S4: English for Specialised Purposes & Humour

Despite research on humour specific to certain ESP disciplines (e.g. medical gallows humour, lawyer jokes, 'headlinese', etc.), a methodological approach to related lines of enquiry, such as ESP pedagogy, linguistics, translation and interpreting studies, corpus linguistics and fictional representations in specialised environments, remains rare.
Numerous cognitive, social and psychological paths invite research in specialised humour. Yet, the richest field is probably the insider/outsider theme which typically permeates specialised communities.
Other lines of enquiry may bear on the ethics of ESP humour and the correlated notion of acceptability. While specialised humour is often a means of bonding and stress-reduction, it also breeds sexism, harassment and even racism in ESP teaching, disciplinary or workplace contexts.


* Miguel Ángel Campos-Pardillos (University of Alicante, Spain), ma.campos[at-sign]
* Shaeda Isani (University Grenoble-Alpes, France), shaeda.isani[at-sign]
* Katia Peruzzo (Ca' Foscari University of Venice, Italy), katia.peruzzo[at-sign]
* Michel Van der Yeught (Aix-Marseille University, France), michel.vanderyeught[at-sign]

S5: Competencies in Teaching English as a Foreign Language CANCELLED

21st century brings new perspectives into teacher characteristics by redefining and repositioning the concept of a good teacher. Terms such as competency, ability, and skill have been interchangeably utilized for 21st century learning. For instance, “key competencies” (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], 2005), “twenty-first century skills” (P21, 2009), and “learning abilities” (Loertscher, 2007) have been used by different organizations and researchers. A competency is the capability to apply or use a set of related knowledge, skills, and abilities required to successfully perform “critical work functions” or tasks in a defined work setting. In English language education, competencies often serve as the basis for skill standards that specify the level of knowledge, skills, and abilities required for success at speaking English. This seminar welcomes research papers which will address these competencies ranging from critical thinking to creativity, ethical literacy, digital literacy, media literacy and team skills.


* Feryal Cubukcu (Dokuz Eylul University, Turkey), cubukcu.feryal[at-sign]
* Eva Szabo (Eötvös Lorand University, Hungary), szabo.eva[at-sign]

S6: ESP and professional domains

Recent discussions have highlighted the intersections between professional domains and discourses and the field of English for Specific Purposes (ESP) (Bhatia and Bremner 2014; Charret-Del Bove et al. 2017). This seminar invites speakers to contribute to describe and characterize professional specialization from theoretical and applied linguistic perspectives. Papers are welcome using any of the suggested research perspectives and methodologies (but do not need to be restricted to these):
- The definition of “professional specialization” through the lens of linguistics;
- The characterization of professional discourses domains and cultures;
- Technolects and terminology;
- Interdisciplinarity or multi-specialization of professional discourses;
- Methodological approaches to professional discourses and domains (ethnomethodology; corpus analysis, genre analysis, storytelling, etc.);
- Intercultural and translation issues;
- English for professional purposes, course design and certification;
- Endowing ESP instructors with professional knowledge.


* Fanny Domenec (Université Paris Sorbonne – Université Panthéon Assas, France), fanny.domenec[at-sign]
* Cinzia Giglioni (Università di Roma La Sapienza, Italy), cinzia.giglioni[at-sign]
* Philippe Millot (Université de Lyon, France), philippe.millot[at-sign]

S7: English for Specific Purposes: what theoretical frameworks for what teaching and research outcomes?

English for Specific Purposes has historically been a practitioner-driven field, with its research anchored in applied linguistics. ESP thus concerns the language strand of the conference, as opposed to literature or culture. In many European universities, however, ESP courses are taught by teachers with a background in literary or cultural studies. This seminar asks those involved in research into the teaching and learning of ESP to reflect on the theories which inform their work. Such theories may relate to the ESP content discipline, to different areas of applied linguistics (e.g., corpus linguistics and specialised translation, teacher education, English Medium Instruction for internationalisation), or to other branches of education and the humanities.


* Shona Whyte (Université Côte d’Azur, France), shona.whyte[at-sign]
* Cédric Sarré (Sorbonne Université, France), cedric.sarre[at-sign]
* Barbora Chovancova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), barbora.chovancova[at-sign]
* Patrizia Anesa (University of Bergamo, Italy), patrizia.anesa[at-sign]

S8: Recent advances in the study of the information structure of discourse

The seminar presents recent advances in the field, focusing on the relationship between the textual level and devices serving the indication of information structure, between intonation and information structure in speech, especially with respect to instances of disagreement, and on further elaboration of the distinction between presentation sentences and sentences ascribing quality. Both monolingual and contrastive treatments are included. Research material is drawn from written and spoken texts, making use computer corpora where applicable to the treatment of the subject matter. Elaboration of other points related to information structure of discourse, as well as other approaches enlarging this field of study are welcome.


* Libuše Dušková (Charles University, Czech Republic), libuse.duskova[at-sign]
* Jana Chamonikolasová (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), chamonikolasova[at-sign]
*Renata Gregova (Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Slovak Republic), renata.gregova[at-sign]

S9: Contrastive Approaches to Lexis and Grammar

This seminar is intended as a platform for scholars pursuing contrastive linguistic research, involving English as one of the languages compared. We invite both empirically and cognitively oriented contributions (potentially based on corpus or experimental data), addressing a broad range of topics covering the study of lexicon and syntax-semantics interface. We welcome both theoretical and applied (case) studies, including those that provide links between contrastive linguistic research and corpus linguistics, translation studies, language teaching and second language acquisition. Especially welcome are contributions involving the study of features shared by varieties of language sometimes called “constrained” and/or “mediated”, e.g. to the interlanguage of English L2 speakers and translated language (e.g. Kruger 2018).


* Naděžda Kudrnáčová (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), kudrnada[at-sign]
* Michaela Martinková (Palacký University, Czech Republic), michaela.martinkova[at-sign]
* Ada Böhmerová (Comenius University, Slovakia), adela.bohmerova[at-sign]

S10: Discourse analysis of natural disaster news in the media of English-speaking countries

This seminar invites scholarly driven investigations based on comparative and/or contrastive studies aimed at exploring discourse presenting natural disasters in the media of English-speaking countries. Based on linguistic evidence and analytical analysis, contributions are expected to highlight new paradigms of research and provide insights into discourse presenting natural disasters and how they are displayed or represented by the media in the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia(including linguistic devices, discursive strategies, constructions and transformations, ideological polarizations, etc.), thereby shaping ideological stances and the social, political and cultural identity of the public exposed to them.


* Jasmina Đorđević (University of Niš, Serbia), jasmina.djordjevic[at-sign]
* Bledar Toska (University of Vlora, Albania), bledartoska[at-sign]

S11: Stance and Identity in Discourses

Over the past decades, stance has been conceived as the expression of attitude or evaluation, of epistemic support for a proposition, or the way we construct subject positions in the discourse (Biber & Finegan 1989; Hunston & Thompson 2000; Martin & White 2005; DuBois 2007; Marín-Arrese 2011; Gray & Biber 2012). However, few studies have investigated the link between stance and identity (Ochs 1993; Jaffe2009). This seminar aims to focus on the ways stance contributes to identity construction in discourses. We invite papers on stance and identity in academic, newspaper, professional and political discourse. Cross-linguistic studies are also welcome.


* Juana I. Marín-Arrese (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), juana[at-sign]
* Jolanta Šinkūnienė (Vilnius University, Lithuania), jolanta.sinkuniene[at-sign]

S12: Dictionaries: ideologies and norm

Long considered by language-users to be factual authorities on usage, dictionaries have been influential in establishing the standard variety of a language. This seminar will explore the norms that have influenced dictionary-writing of all kinds (monolingual, bilingual, in book and online) and investigate the covert ideology underlying many dictionary entries. Papers on the following topics will be especially welcome:
- The role of usage notes in dictionaries
- Normative and stylistic labels in dictionaries
- The role and influence of sociocultural norms
- The treatment of borrowings and foreign words
- The representation of language variation and varieties in dictionaries
- The representation of sexual and gender identity in dictionaries


* Charlotte Brewer (University of Oxford, UK), charlotte.brewer[at-sign]
* Linda Pillière (Aix-Marseille Université, France), linda.pilliere[at-sign]
* Wilfrid Andrieu (Aix-Marseille Université, France), wilfrid.andrieu[at-sign]

S13: Intralingual Translation: Rewriting for new contexts and readers

This interdisciplinary seminar will invite participants to explore the ways in which texts are rewritten and adapted for new contexts and readers. Such rewriting, or intralingual translation (Jakobson1959), may include the paratext (Genette 1987), such as illustrations, jacket cover or typography, or the linguistic text itself. Papers may focus on the sociohistorical context that requires modernizing a text, such as religious or classical texts, or on the rewriting for a new readership, such as adapting scientific texts for the lay reader. Papers can also address topics such as textual editing, the role of ideological norms in intralingual translation, or more general theoretical and methodological issues.


* Özlem Berk Albachten (Boğaziçi University, Turkey), ozlem.berk[at-sign]
* Linda Pillière (Aix-Marseille Université, France), linda.pilliere[at-sign]

S14: English as a Foreign Language for Students with Special Educational Needs – Strategies and Challenges

The seminar has been designed as a space for discussions and sharing for linguists interested in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to children, adolescents and adults with special educational needs (SEN). Today in our inclusive societies and communities these persons participate in mainstream education on a par with their peers. This situation creates both significant chances and new scientific problems and methodological challenges. The purpose of the seminar is thus to share research results and ideas about the following issues:
1. Conceptual representations for words in English in individuals with sensory or cognitive challenges;
2. Teaching and learning strategies to enhance both motivation and language performance;
3. Teacher training for EFL in inclusive classrooms;
4. The role of oral communication and sign languages in EFL classes for the D/deaf.


* Ewa Domagała-Zyśk (John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, Poland), ewadom[at-sign]
* Jitka Sedláčková (Masaryk University, Czechia), jitkuj[at-sign]

S15: Phraseology and Business Terminology: The Points of Crossing

We often come across such phraseological units (PUs) as Ockham's razor, nest egg, sleeping beauty, small dragons which appear to function as units of business terminology. Papers on business terminology of idiomatic character are welcome to the Seminar. Items for discussion: - structural, semantic and contextual approaches to business PU-terms;
- types, classifications, and LSP applications of terms of idiomatic character;
- metaphor and metonymy as basic mechanisms of meaning transformation of the PU prototypical word combination;
- characteristics of dictionary entries and definitions of PU-terms and their pragmatic value;
- traditions and innovations in teaching business phraseology at universities.


* Tatiana Fedulenkova (Vladimir State University, Russia), fedulenkova[at-sign]
* Liudmila Liashchova (Minsk State University, Republic of Belarus), lescheva09[at-sign]

S16: Comparative studies of English Idioms

For the sake of cross-cultural awareness and adequate translation, the problem of common and specific features in idioms of different languages as compared to English idioms is going to be discussed (e.g.: to seal one’s ears/ auf den Ohren sitzen / att tillstoppa sitt öra / et al):
- common and specific features in the structure of idioms compared: in the lexical and functional character of their components, in the frequent grammatical composition of the idioms (e.g.: give a helping hand — Verb + Adj + Noun),
- common and specific features in the meanings of the idioms compared, in mechanisms of semantic transformation of their prototypical word-combinations: metaphor, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole,
- common and specific features in the origin of idioms compared, in their functional and pragmatic value, etc.


* Natalia Potselueva (Pavlodar State University, Republic of Kazakhstan), nata_potz[at-sign]
* Lilli Tissen (Albrechts Universität, Germany), l.tissen[at-sign]

S17: Cross-linguistic and Cross-cultural Approaches to Biblical Phraseology

The seminar will focus on new theoretical perspectives and the latest innovations in Biblical phraseology, including:
- the studies of stylistic or instantial usage of biblical phraseological units in fiction,
- the issues of tradition vs creativity in the use of biblicisms in media discourse,
- cross-linguistic and cross-cultural research of biblical proverbs (Man shall not leave by bread alone – Der Mensch lebt nich vom Brot allein – Människan skall inte bara leva av bröd...), etc. The pedagogical implications of teaching the pragmatic use of biblical idioms is also of great interest. Participants are encouraged to give their observations and theoretical conclusions on the basis of systematic studies of empirical material.


* Zoia Adamia (Tshum-Abkhazian Academy of Sciences, Georgia), a.zoia777[at-sign]
* Tatiana Fedulenkova (Vladimir State University, Russia), fedulenkova[at-sign]

S18: Developing Genre-and Discipline-Specific Standards in Academic Writing?

Many young scholars complain that Academic Writing conventions are getting “harder and harder”. This seminar tries to follow the development of conventions over the last 30? years in all genres (like conference presentations, journal articles, BA/MA/PhD theses, etc. and related reviews or reports) in as many different European (English) departments and universities as possible. Empirical studies may include corpus- or discourse analyses of metalanguage usage (hedging/boosting, modality, reader/listener address, etc.), argumentative structures, research questions/hypotheses, cohesion/coherence, referencing, evidence in the form of examples, tables, figures, etc. The conveners welcome contributions from all sub-disciplines (linguistics, literature, methodology, cultural/area studies, digital humanities, etc.) and hope to establish a comparative state-of-the-art evaluation, which can also provide guidelines for postgraduate seminars, summer schools or on-line teaching.


* Josef Schmied (Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany), josef.schmied[at-sign]
* Marina Bondi (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy), marina.bondi[at-sign]
* Olga Dontcheva Navratilova (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), navratilova[at-sign]
* María Carmen Pérez-Llantada Auria (Universidad Zaragosa, Spain), llantada[at-sign]

S19: The discursive management of conflict in interpersonal interactions

The panel seeks to address diverse conflict-related phenomena such as disagreements, arguments, quarrels and other kinds of communicative disunities and antagonistic interactions including bullying, trolling and hate speech. We look for contributions preferably addressing these aspects in various kinds of technology-mediated communication, with data coming from public media (such as talk shows, online reader comments, discussion forums) as well as social media (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) and, possibly, also other domains. The papers are expected to engage the issues from the perspectives of (media) discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and interactional pragmatics, discussing synchronic and potentially also diachronic aspects of conflict-based and conflict-related interactions in relation to such concepts as face, impoliteness, aggression, categorization, etc.


* Jan Chovanec (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), chovanec[at-sign]
* Roberta Facchinetti (University of Verona, Italy), roberta.facchinetti[at-sign]

S20: “Man utanbordes wisdom ond lare hieder on lond sohte” – Relations between England and the Continent in the Middle Ages

This seminar will bring together papers exploring various aspects of contact and interchange between England and the Continent in the medieval period. We welcome all approaches and especially encourage contributions that move beyond disciplinary and period boundaries. Hostile, amicable and ambiguous encounters both real and imagined will be discussed. Topics may include the shaping of the English language, culture and politics through settlement, conquest, missions and the circulation of texts; the role of religion, language, ancestry, and place of birth in creating English versus Continental identities; fears of insular marginality versus pride in insular exclusiveness.


* Judith Kaup (Universität zu Köln, Germany), judithkaup[at-sign]
* Elise Louviot (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France), elise.louviot[at-sign]
* Annina Seiler (Universität Zürich, Switzerland), annina.seiler[at-sign]

S21: From Cottonopolis to the Ville Lumière of Silk: Factories, Fibres and Frameworks of Victorian Textiles

A follow-up to the “The Finer Threads” session at the 2016 Galway ESSE conference, this session seeks to extend ongoing research by mapping the many channels through which textile and textual exchanges circulated in Europe in the nineteenth century. Our session aims to explore the tensions between the textile industry as a site of modernisation, technological innovation and economic opportunity, and a site of working-class resistance against exploitation or “white slavery”. It also examines the impact of textile production beyond the factory by providing narratives and subject matter (objects, machines and artefacts) for the literary and visual arts. Historical, literary or aesthetic approaches are welcome and interdisciplinary approaches to the subject are strongly encouraged.


* Fabienne Moine (Université Paris Est Créteil, France), fabienne.moine[at-sign]
* Michael Sanders (University of Manchester, UK), Michael.Sanders[at-sign]

S22: Sounds Victorian: Acoustic Experience in Nineteenth-Century Britain

As a sequel to the successful 2018 ESSE panels on Victorian Voices and Noises, which examined the production of sound in nineteenth-century Britain, this seminar purposes to explore the field of auditory sensations. Victorian literature of fiction and non-fiction helps readers, scholars, and film-directors of period movies recreate historicised soundscapes. But how were environmental acoustics processed in the nineteenth century? And how were soundscapes designed, both individually and collectively, as perceptual constructs? Research areas include, but are not limited to, cultural studies, literature, phonetics, musicology, language philosophy, gender studies, and medical humanities.


* Béatrice Laurent (Université de Bordeaux Montaigne, France), beatrice.laurent[at-sign]
* Anna Kérchy (University of Szeged, Hungary), akerchy[at-sign]

S23: Brexit and National Identities in the United Kingdom

The 2016 Brexit referendum has put in evidence the divisions within the British multinational state: Scotland and Northern Ireland voted “Remain”, while England and Wales chose to “leave” Europe. And the following negociations between the UK government and the EU have contributed to revive the problematics of the territorial governance of the UK, by addressing issues like the Irish border, the future of devolution or the prospect of Scottish independence. This seminar will focus on the differences of perceptions of the European issue within the national components of the UK, and discuss how the Brexit process is also challenging the idea of Britishness, undermining the British union and reshaping territorial politics in the UK.


* Stéphanie Bory (Université Lyon 3, France), stephanie.bory[at-sign]
* Gilles Leydier (Université de Toulon, France), leydier[at-sign]
* Roger Scully (Cardiff University, UK), ScullyRM[at-sign]
* Richard Wyn Jones (Cardiff University, UK), WynJonesR[at-sign]

S24: Identifying and Representing Domestic Violence between Partners in European Countries (18th-21st centuries)

Largely ignored before the 1970s, domestic violence between partners suddenly emerged across many European countries as a “social problem, leading various groups (in the legal, political, charity, artistic, philosophical fields...) to lead inquiries, publish results, and eventually take action. The seminar will address the tools used to identify this social problem and will reflect on the construction of an object of inquiry from its inception to the many forms its representations might take. The framework of Cultural and Area Studies will provide an opportunity for transdisciplinary and transnational studies.


* Claire Charlot (Sorbonne-Université, France), clairecharlot.sorbonne[at-sign]
* Sylvie Lausberg (Présidente du Conseil des Femmes Francophones de Belgique (CFBB) et de la Commission « Ethique » du CFBB), Sylvie.Lausberg[at-sign]

S25: Assertiveness and Diffidence in Scottish Culture

This seminar will explore how assertiveness or diffidence have been manifest in works produced in Scotland and/or by Scots (18th-21st C). These might include the creation of un/assertive fictional characters, deploying significant historical events, foregrounding linguistic and cultural diversity, highlighting or dissembling political intent etc. We also aim to examine how these productions may have reflected or modulated the self-assertiveness of the nation itself, boosting or tempering its sense of identity and its place in the world. Papers are invited on any form of Scottish cultural production and manifestations of assertiveness and diffidence. We welcome a variety of approaches: historical, political, linguistic, feminist, sociological...


* Jean Berton (University of Toulouse, France), jean.berton[at-sign]
* Lesley Graham (University of Bordeaux, France), lesley.graham[at-sign]
* Milena Kalicanin (University of Nis, Serbia), mkostic76[at-sign]

S26: Cities in Scotland: Cultural Heritage and National Identity

This panel intends to reflect on Scotland’s cultural heritage as an important national asset with a focus on cities (e.g. Edinburgh as City of Literature and World Heritage Site). Instead of the country’s natural heritage, which is often favoured in analyses of Scotland’s past, we would like to assess its particularly urban heritage, and how it relates to issues of national identity. Our panel thus invites contributions on:
- heritage conservation,
- local and national identity in an urban context,
- historic buildings, monuments, architecture, and lieux de mémoire,
- museums, collections, and material culture,
- jubilees, festivals, and the cultural industries,
- literary works, literary cityscapes, Scottish authors,
- intellectual and industrial cultural memory


* Clarisse Godard Desmarest (University of Picardie Jules Verne, France), clarisse.godarddesmarest[at-sign]
* Nora Plesske (University of Magdeburg, Germany), nora.plesske[at-sign]

S27: The World of Publishing

The world of publishing involves various people and institutions, among them writers, agents, publishers, editors, librarians, organisers of literature festivals and reading series, directors of literature centres, booksellers, librarians, administrators of literary prizes, writing schools, books and journals (and their electronic versions), websites, blogs, etc. Tradition and innovation have always marked the publishing world. We welcome papers focusing on any of the previously listed people and institutions as well as all relevant and related issues from the world of publishing. We welcome proposals that go beyond the English-language publishing scene and may relate to any historical period.


* Wolfgang Görtschacher (University of Salzburg, Austria), Wolfgang.Goertschacher[at-sign]
* David Malcolm (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland),[at-sign]

S28: Spaces in Transit: Literary and Cultural Responses to Mnemonic Landscapes”

This seminar aims to look at issues of memory and spatialization. By space in transit we refer to the dynamic and malleable nature of space, which becomes apparent in configurations linked to collective memories about the past, subjected as they are to ongoing negotiations and interpretations (e.g.: monuments, memorials, architecture, ruins, topographic features). Can inter-medial representations of space contribute to illuminate the complex dynamics of memory? Do literary and cultural artefacts have the potential to function as sites of memory themselves, in the absence or failure of material sites?. Our particular focus is on literary and cultural representations of urban space associated with collective memories, but we will also consider explorations of memory and space from a broader perspective.


* Lourdes López-Ropero (University of Alicante, Spain), lourdes.lopez[at-sign]
* Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż (University of Warsaw, Poland), m.a.sokolowska-paryz[at-sign]

S29: The perception and representation of plants in early modern England (1550-1700)

“To interrogate plants means to understand what it means to be in the world” (Coccia, Life of Plants, 2016). How did early modern philosophers and artists perceive their natural environment? Was the perception of plants conditioned by ideological and theological discourses or was it also shaped by individuals’ senses and emotions? Did the relationship between man and plants challenge the centrality of man’s position in the world? These questions invite reconsideration of the significance of the body in the building of the individual and the vision of selfhood as an environmentally constructed entity. Eco-critical approaches to early modern representations of plants may also question contemporary aesthetic categorisations and norms.


* Anna Maria Cimitile (Università L’Orientale, Italy), annamariacimitile[at-sign]
* Jean-Jacques Chardin (Université de Strasbourg, France), chardin[at-sign]
* Laurent Curelly (Université de Haute Alsace, France), laurent.curelly[at-sign]

S30: Cosmopolitans and strangers: literature, culture and conviviality in and beyond the West

Recent discussions of (neo)cosmopolitanism (Gunew 2017, Mignolo 2002; Delanty 2012, among others) consider the cosmopolitan subject as more likely to be found in the cross-cultural migrant, refugee or ‘stranger’ than in elite world travellers and privileged movers, thus redefining this historically established concept while also effecting a critique of globalization. Such theories aim to engage ethically and sustainably with cultures from a planetary (Spivak, Gilroy, Cheah) perspective. This seminar invites participants interested in exploring the argument that today the ‘migrant condition’—and its multiple structures of belonging, which question nationalisms and globalizations—may constitute the most evident basis for a cosmopolitan world view, and that world literatures and cultural practices constitute world-making activities which often resist and counteract exclusionary discourses.


* Isabel Carrera Suárez (University of Oviedo, Spain), icarrera[at-sign]
* Ananya Yahanara Kabir (King’s College London, UK), ananya.kabir[at-sign]

S31: Representation and Spectatorship in an Age of Excessive Visuality CANCELLED

This seminar recognizes as a point of departure the inevitable evolution and constant development of modes of representation and spectatorship practices through time. Over the past two decades, the excessive emphasis on visuality which characterizes Western societies has been further exacerbated due to the overwhelming intervention of the social media across the entire spectrum of human activity and experience. As a result, various pressures are currently exerted on existing modes of representation and conceptions of “seeing” among audiences. We invite participants in the seminar to consider the impact of excessive visuality as it relates primarily to drama, theatre and the performing arts but also well beyond these areas.


* Konstantinos Blatanis (National and Kapodistrian University, Greece), kblatanis[at-sign]
*Tomáš Kačer (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), kacer[at-sign]

S32: Postmodernism and After: A Literary, Cultural and Theoretical Response to Postmodernism

As early as in the 1990s, the end of postmodernism started to be discussed, for example at the International Colloquium in Stuttgart, Germany which was attended by the most prominent postmodern authors and critics (Hassan, Federman, Barth). This session welcomes papers analyzing a literary, philosophical, theoretical, film and artistic response to postmodernism, especially postmodern literature and arts. Analyses of particular works of literature and art, interdisciplinary approach and the critical analysis of new theories and philosophies related to the post-postmodern culture are welcome.


* Dan Horatiu Popescu (Partium Christian University, Romania), jaroslav.kusnir[at-sign]
* Jaroslav Kušnír (University of Prešov, Slovakia), dhpopescu[at-sign]

S33: Reorientations: Reading Neo-Victorianism in Contemporary Culture

This panel explores the affective and cognitive responses of readers/viewers of neo-Victorian texts. It considers how the polytemporal dynamics between writers, readers and critics of neo-Victorianism reorientate and/or disorientate textual reception eliciting or short-circuiting empathy. In addition, it examines the tension between “unknowing” and “knowing” readers who negotiate immersion versus critical distance, and the strategies of adaptation, interpretation and interpolation that such (re)positionings involve. Seminar participants are invited to reflect on the comparative effectiveness (or failure) of such (re)orientations in relation to temporal contexts of production and reception. How do such strategies impact engagements with the nineteenth-century past? What manner of cultural memory work is thus enabled?


* Patricia Pulham (University of Surrey, UK), p.pulham[at-sign]
* Rosario Arias (University of Málaga, Spain), rarias[at-sign]
* Marie-Luise Kohlke (Swansea University, UK), m.l.kohlke[at-sign]

S34: English Printed Books, Manuscripts and Material Studies

This panel will focus on the physicality of English printed books and manuscripts—whether they be strictly literary or not—in an attempt to discuss textual circulation, influence, and reception out of the box alongside material aspects, issues of palaeography, as well as questions of methodology and practice overview.
Scholars are invited to share their experience in dealing with these issues: How do the material features of the page influence the text’s interpretation and reading practices? To what extent is the circulation of a text linked to its medium? Is it possible to apprehend contents from texts we have not seen?

Key words:
- archives, book, and manuscript collections
- palaeography
- printing and scribal practices
- editing (electronic vs. print)
- digital humanities
- page layout and interpretation


* Carlo Bajetta (Università della Valle d'Aosta, Italy), c.bajetta[at-sign]
* Guillaume Coatalen (University of Cergy-Pontoise, France), guillaume.coatalen[at-sign]
* Daniel Starza-Smith (King’s College, London,UK), daniel.s.smith[at-sign]
* Ileana Sasu (Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale, France), sasuileana[at-sign]

S35: Forms of Refugee Writing

This seminar will study the formal limits and means of expression found in contemporary refugee writing. Papers could study such aspects as narrative modes, focalization and voice, genre affiliation, instability and experimentation, use of interiority and the relationship to traditions of life writing. We are particularly interested in papers that focus on examples of fictional or non-fictional refugee writing that move beyond the realistic mode of journalistic writing and instead draw on lyrical or dramatic forms of expression. Contributors are also encouraged to examine the mechanics of form as a means to lend expression to pain, suffering, and trauma.


* Gerd Bayer (FAU Erlangen, Germany), gerd.bayer[at-sign]
* Vanessa Guignery (ENS de Lyon, France), vanessa.guignery[at-sign]

S36: The Poetics and Ethics of (Un-)Grievability in Contemporary Anglophone Fiction

Literary genres like elegy, testimony or (pseudo-)autobiography provide means to perform mourning or, conversely, postulate an ethics of melancholic attachment to the departed. Our post-trauma age has revealed the influence of race, class, gender and/or sexual orientation in the determination of the precariousness and grievability of subjects and groups submitted to violence. Drawing on Judith Butler’s work, we propose to address the ways in which fictions in English since the 1990s delve into the socio-cultural construction of (un-)grievability, thereby refining and displacing the more traditional categories of subalternity, inaudibility and invisibility associated with the poetics of postmodernism.


* Jean-Michel Ganteau (Montpellier 3, France), jean-michel.ganteau[at-sign]
* Susana Onega (Zaragoza, Spain), sonega[at-sign]

S37: Just “making it new”? Modernist Fiction Writers Reaching Back to their Predecessors

Modernist writers have been notoriously known as “making it new”, cutting ties with the previous generations, as famously declared by Virginia Woolf, denigrating their predecessors as materialist Edwardians. More recent research, however, argues that in spite of their manifestos, modernist writers actively engaged in a dialogue with their predecessors from all ages, taking inspiration and even narrative models from their texts, thus deconstructing the sharp dividing line created by the modernists themselves. The seminar invites presentations that pertain to this area of research so that we can have a more complex view of how modernism is positioned in literary history.


* Janka Kascakova (Catholic University in Ruzomberok, Slovakia), janka.kascakova[at-sign]
* Nóra Séllei (University of Debrecen, Hungary), sellei.nora[at-sign]

S38: The Roaring Novels of the 1920’s

The Roaring Twenties were not only the gilded age of dance and entertainment sandwiched between the First World War and the Great Depression; but also the age of roaring novels in the British and American tradition. Although written almost a century ago, these novels problematized the basic and fundamental aspects of modern life. They pushed experimentation to very daring limits, explored sexuality without any false prudery, gave voice to the ethnic minorities and the new comers to Britain and America. This panel aims at analysing the novels of the 1920s from multiple perspectives.


* Michaela Mudure (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), mmudure[at-sign]
* Begoña Lasa Álvarez (Universidade da Coruña, Spain), b.lasa[at-sign]

S39: Affect, Theory, and the Emotions: Literary Feelings from the Age of Sensibility to the 21st Century CANCELLED

The study of affect and the (history of) emotions has transformed literary criticism in the past few decades. While many critics now agree that studying feeling and literature, in literature, or even through literature, have become legitimate pursuits, there is much debate concerning questions of theory, critical methodology, and interpretation (Greco 2008; Seigworth and Gregg, 2009; Keen 2010; Pedwell 2014). This seminar invites papers taking stock of the opportunities and debates in the wake of the Affective Turn in literary criticism through individual case studies from the 18th to the 21st centuries. Papers exploring specific affects in literary works (such as shame, fear, joy, etc.) and affective responses to fiction and poetry are particularly welcomed.


* Veronika Ruttkay (Karoli Gaspar University, Hungary), ruttkay.veronika[at-sign]
* Ildiko Csengei (University of Huddersfield, UK), I.Csengei[at-sign]
* Agnes Gyorke (Karoli Gaspar University, Hungary), agnesgyorke[at-sign]

S40: Energy in Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad’s works

The age of Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad saw the discovery of many new forms of energy: steam, gas and electricity contributed to reshaping the environment as well as the social and economic organization of the world. How did these new energies compete or interfere with older ones, like those of the human body and of nature in general? And how did the two writers accommodate, or render in prose or verse the power of these new energies, the fascination/repulsion for their chemical/physical impulses? Aside from pure epistemology, can the notion of energy help us read the two authors differently?


* Richard Ambrosini (Università Roma 3, Italy), richard.ambrosini[at-sign]
* Peggy Blin-Cordon (Université Cergy-Pontoise, France), peggy_cordon[at-sign]
* Nathalie Martinière (Université de Limoges, France), nmartiniere[at-sign]

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