ESSE 2021

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

Lyon - France

S41: Theatre and Minorities

The birth of theatre is historically related to the birth of democracy, but it may have become an elitist artform. And yet, by nature and scope, theatre has always been a welcoming space for voices of dissent in the city, the ‘Polis’. The seminar “Theatre and Minorities” contemplates the representation and the expression of minorities (migrant communities, groups discriminated on the grounds of race, ethnicity, class, gender, or ability, LGBTIQ, intersectional identities) in contemporary Anglophone theatre since the 1990s. Such questions as staging alterity, stereotyping minorities, repression and transgression, specific dramatic voices and aesthetics for minority groups may be raised.


* Christine Kiehl (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France), christine.kiehl[at-sign]
* Serena Guarracino (Università dell'Aquila, Italy), serena.guarracino[at-sign]
*Vesna Tripković- Samardžić (Mediterranean University, Montenegro), vesna.tripkovic-samardzic[at-sign]

S42: Revisiting the periodical essay (1860-1940)

This seminar focuses on Victorian and modernist writers’ literary essays that were initially published in periodicals, and subsequently republished or forgotten. The aim of the seminar is to reconsider these essays in the context of easily discarded media and see how this affected their meaning, compared to later republications; or to unearth forgotten essays by influential writers of the time. We seek firstly to trace a tentative history of the genre and define its characteristics from various perspectives (literature, print history, periodical literature, gender studies, etc.) and, secondly, to study the transition between the Victorian periodical essay and its modernist counterpart.


* Laurel Brake (Birkbeck University of London, UK), l.brake[at-sign]
* Bénédicte Coste (Université de Bourgogne, France), Benedicte.Coste[at-sign]
* Adrian Paterson (National University of Ireland, Ireland), adrian.paterson[at-sign]
* Christine Reynier (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3, France), christine.reynier[at-sign]

S43: Polyglossia and Multilingualism in Early Modern Travel Writing and Drama

As exploration and overseas migration steadily grew over the period from 1550 to 1660, Britain slowly established itself as a global and Atlantic power and its citizens became “cosmopolitans” (Game 2008). Geographic mobility encouraged multilingual practices and polyglossia: travel reports often relied on earlier translations, displayed multilingual exchanges between explorers, mariners and “others”, and were themselves translated into vernaculars that circulated widely in Europe. This seminar (which is part of the “Translation and Polyglossia in Early Modern England – LLCT project, ( will explore the uses, forms and functions of polyglossia in early modern English travel writing as well as in Renaissance travel drama. We welcome contributions that will examine the staging of multilingual practices in travel plays and travel writing, as well as linguistic hybridity or pluralism; pronunciation and accents; literacy; reading habits; maps.


* Sophie Lemercier-Goddard (ENS de Lyon, France), sophie.lemercier-goddard[at-sign]
* Chloe Houston (University of Reading, UK), c.houston[at-sign]

S44: Urban and Suburban Spaces and the Narrative of Locality in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Fiction

Of all periods of British history, the Victorian Age is best remembered for its irrevocable transformation of the very fabric of modern existence. For a nation caught in the grip of the world’s first industrial revolution, a particular challenge was represented by the rapidly developing cities, which created a medium where societal and individual values were questioned and contested. This seminar is aimed at exploring the echoes in Victorian / Neo-Victorian fiction of this second, urban revolution, in whose wake “future-shock” led to a novel understanding of “locality” and a reappreciation of the dialectic relationship between “periphery” and “centre”.


* Elisabetta Marino (University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy), marino[at-sign]
* Octavian More (Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania), octavian.more[at-sign]

S45: Shell Shockin Modernist Fiction

This seminar focuses on shell shock, a puzzlingly physical condition of anxiety affecting many soldiers during WWI, not only as a physical, mental and psychological state but, most importantly, as a literary representation. It aims to discuss the various forms of shell shock, literal and non-literal, and question how WWI contributed to the expression of modernist moods and literary imagination on the whole. Potential participants are invited to discuss any of the following:
- Representations of shell shock and war trauma(s)
- The shell shocked individual, self and the world
- WWI and the post-war period
- Modernist isolation, fragmentation, disillusionment, alienation and WWI
- Post-war private and public lives


* Armela Panajoti (University of Vlora, Albania), armelap[at-sign]
* Angelika Reichmann (Eszterházy Károly University, Hungary), reichmanna[at-sign]

S46: Literary Studies after the “Spatial Turn”

The “spatial turn” in the humanities and social sciences involves both (1.) a renewed interest in spatiality as a social and cultural phenomenon and (2.) a socio-constructivist reconceptualisation of space itself. Literary scholarship has played a crucial part in these developments. While spatial concepts originating from literary theorists have had remarkable transdisciplinary careers, the field of literary studies has, in turn, adopted spatial approaches from other disciplines. We invite contributions that take stock of the spatial turn and critically (re-)assess its potentials. At the same time, this seminar aims to challenge current space-oriented approaches by pushing beyond their limitations–for instance, by exploring the material and experiential dimensions of space.


* Michael C. Frank (University of Zurich, Switzerland), michael.frank[at-sign]
* Johannes Riquet (Tampere University, Finland), johannes.riquet[at-sign]

S47: Arthur Koestler: Novelist CANCELLED

Although the last English-language monograph devoted to Arthur Koestler’s fiction came out in 1984, there has been a resurgence of interest in the past decade both in Koestler’s texts and the person himself. The proposed seminar would focus on Koestler as a novelist, potentially interrogating not only the six novels published in Koestler’s lifetime, but also his 1934 novel (published in 2013), or his co-operation with Andor Németh. Discussions may include questions of realism, authorship, characterization, the representation of historical and political conflicts, literary language and style, non-fiction elements in fictional texts, language change and cultural interference.


* Uwe Klawitter (Ruhr University, Germany), uwe.klawitter[at-sign]
* Zénó Vernyik (Technical University of Liberec, Czech Republic), zeno.vernyik[at-sign]

S48: Writing on the move: The conditions of writing during / about travel

We invite participants to reflect on the conditions of travel-writing production. Writing from a vessel (ship, train) allows immediate transcribing of one’s experience. Other travel modes (cycling, walking) may be too demanding for writing in the moment. Either way, the final travel text may result from a long, post-travel editorial process. How does remoteness affect discourse? Digital technologies, meanwhile, have multiplied recording modes, extending ‘travel writing’ (semantic) to ‘travel narrative’ (semiotic). Social media have further broadened the scope of travel narrative. Does ‘literary’ status require a post-travel creative process, or is ‘literary’ quality inherent even in synchronic recordings of notes or posts?


* Tim Hannigan (University of Leicester, UK), thannigan[at-sign]
* Samia Ounoughi (Université Grenoble Alpes, France), samia.ounoughi[at-sign]

S49: Behind Closed Doors: Reconfigurations of Domestic Architecture and Gendered Spaces in Contemporary Indian Literature in English

According to Bachelard, “the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace” (The Poetics of Space), but it also shapes our understanding of reality, of the surrounding world and our relation to it. Our seminar focuses on various strategies of mapping and representing domestic spaces and the relationships that shape their human geography, in the context of the social, political and cultural changes that redefine gender binarism in modern India. We welcome proposals mostly analysing the correlation between the ever new dynamics of gendered domestic spaces, and the contemporary architectural reconfigurations of the “house” in recent literary productions.


* Elisabetta Marino (University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Italy), marino[at-sign]
* Daniela Rogobete (University of Craiova, Romania), dani.rogobete[at-sign]

S50: War and its Aftermath in Contemporary English-Speaking Theatre

War has been a major topic represented in theatre since Greek antiquity. While the focus of much of 20thcentury English-speaking theatre lay elsewhere, the Yugoslav wars and 9/11 and its aftermath have brought war back centre stage in more recent years, this renewed interest taking on many different forms. In our seminar we want to debate how war has been portrayed in the English-speaking theatre in the last three decades with the following possible topics:
- war and migration/displacement
- political, ideological and economic implications of war
- aesthetic modes and war
- memory, identity and war
- staging war and the use of technology


* Sibel Izmir (Atilim University, Turkey), sibeleceizmir[at-sign]
* Claus Peter Neumann (Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain), cpneuman[at-sign]

S51: Adapting Literature in Film and the New Media

We invite papers that will explore different ways in which literary works have been adapted and appropriated for the screen, or other media, such as, video games, cartoons, comic books, advertisements, newspapers, etc. Some of the questions that will be addressed are related with how the adaptation industry impacts on the book industry; how the adapter's production choices enable new readings of the source text; whether issues like race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity are dealt with in ways that produce more politically correct versions of the plays for contemporary audiences; or if and how literary texts are revisited in an effort to question expansionist and imperialist discourses and politics.


* Isil Bas (Istanbul Kültür University, France), isil[at-sign]
* Katerina Kitsi-Mitakou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece), katkit[at-sign]

S52: European Translations and Adaptations of 19th-Century British Classics

It is well known that many 19th century classics in British fiction have been adapted for children and published as easy readers in several European countries, e.g. Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. It is less known, however, that classics from Charles Dickens and the Brontë sisters to George Eliot and Thomas Hardy have also been edited for adult readers and that translation practice well into the 20th century involved editing, abbreviation or other kinds of text transformation. This seminar invites papers investigating how 19th-century British classics have been re-shaped across Europe, both for children and adults.


* Alberto Lázaro (University of Alcalá, Spai), alberto.lazaro[at-sign]
* Ebbe Klitgård (University of Roskilde, Denmark), ebbek[at-sign]

S53: Experience and Experiment: Seventeenth-Century English Essays and Other Nonfictional Prose Writing

This seminar aims to explore the forms of the English essay in the seventeenth century, which can be considered a formative age for this genre following its emergence in late sixteenth-century France. We are especially interested in contributions that highlight the historical progression of the genre, both in its intertextual evolution (e.g. Florio’s translation, Cornwallis’s and Bacon’s modes, etc.) including questions of readership and life-writing, and its transgeneric dimension (the contamination with other discourses, most notably the scientific, religious, and political ones).Contributions on other non-fictional genres within the same period are welcome, as are those on non-fiction writers of the late Elizabethan and early Augustan ages.


* Ingo Berensmeyer (University of Munich, Germany), ingo.berensmeyer[at-sign]
* Paolo Bugliani (University of Pisa, Italy), paolo.bugliani[at-sign]
* Emanuel Stelzer (University of Verona, Italy), emanuel.stelzer[at-sign]

S54: Spaces and Places of Care: The Medical Humanities and Literature

What is meant by care in a society identified by Foucault as somatocracy? From the Christian notion of caritas to what Nancy Fraser calls the current “crisis of care”, the affective labour of caring has always been a preoccupation of Western culture and literature. The spatialization and somatization of (self-) care especially reflects on the precarity of the ill subject. The seminar invites presentations on 20th- and 21st-century literature with a background in the medical humanities, philosophy, psychology, history, biopolitics, phenomenology related but not limited to:
- institutional spaces of medical care: hospitals, old people's homes, wellness resorts, rooms, beds
- patienthood, phenomenology of illness, pain, chronic illness, disability
- thanatology, end-of-life care.


* Elise Brault-Dreux (Université Polytechnique des Hauts-de-France, France), braultel[at-sign]
* Eszter Ureczk (University of Debrecen, Hungary), ureczkyeszter[at-sign]

S55: Representing Brexit: community and body politics in contemporary British fiction and visual arts

The Brexit crisis has brought recent British fiction and visual arts to rethink the nature of the body politic. The seminar invites papers that address how metaphors of the body – including those of division, metabolism, expulsion, segregation and encystation, contagion and immunity, the permeability of racial, sexual and class membranes and boundaries, bodily metamorphosis – have been deployed to reimagine the community. Taking its examples from a wide range of genres – from condition-of-England novels and new regionalism through historical and dystopian fiction to cyberpunk and urban fantasy – and media – painting, photography, installations, video art –, the seminar will thus explore anew how closely the body politic is entangled in thinking the biopolitics of the present.


* Catherine Bernard (Université Paris Diderot, France), bernard-cath[at-sign]
* Tamás Bényei (University of Debrecen, Hungary), tamasbenyei[at-sign]

S56: Orientalism and Borealism in the Long Eighteenth Century

Both Orientalism and Borealism are modes of thinking, ways in which the Orient or the North were produced and re-produced as exotic performances and representations by the West eager to control the world by Othering anything that is different. Starting with but not limiting to the famous Turkish Embassy Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, this panel will analyse various ways of commodifying the Orient and the North, the negotiations of identities in the various texts that constituted the Orientalist and the Borealist discourse during the long eighteenth century.


* Michaela Mudure (Babes-Bolyai University, Turkey), mmudure[at-sign]
* Maria Jesús Lorenzo Modia (Universidade da Coruña, Spain), maria.lorenzo.modia[at-sign]

S57: Genre, gender and nation in early prose fiction in English (1600-1700)

This seminar proposes the study of the prose fiction in the seventeenth century, with special attention to the aspects of genre, gender and nation. Paper proposals which address any of the following topics and lines of research are especially welcome: women’s access to the writing of prose fiction, their newly-acquired roles as professionals in the printing and publishing business, the importance of anonymity, generic variance and experimentation, as well as the transcultural nature of early fiction in prose, focusing on the consolidation of a native tradition of the novel in English from the perspective of its European sources.


* Sonia Villegas-López (University of Huelva, Spain), villegas[at-sign]
* María José Coperías-Aguilar (University of Valencia, Spain), maria.j.coperias[at-sign]
* Karen Gevirtz (Seton Hall University, US), karen.gevirtz[at-sign]

S58: Sex in the Postcolonial City CANCELLED

Cities play a central role in the postcolonial literary imaginary: they are frequently perceived as embodiments of (post)colonial modernity and transculturation (Primorac; McLeod). Some postcolonial novels also portray cities as corrupt environments characterised by sexual violence and sex trafficking or, alternatively, as sites enabling transgressive sexual encounters. The urban experience may, therefore, become a way for articulating “narratives of self (re)possession” (Callus) through erotic or pornographic imagery with overtly political undertones, or to produce much gloomier portrayals of sexual exploitation. This panel invites papers exploring the diverse and sometimes paradoxical roles of sex in literary representation(s) of postcolonial cities.


* Cédric Courtois (Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne, France), cedric_courtois[at-sign]
* Anna-Leena Toivanen (University of Eastern Finland), anna-leena.toivanen[at-sign]

S59: English Dialects from Page to Stage

This seminar examines the construction of diatopic variation on the page and on the stage. The participants are invited to present their work on English dialects in poetry and drama with a special emphasis on rather contemporary productions (from the 1950s to today). The papers may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:
- how dialect is enregistered in the literary field
- how dialect is encoded by the poet or the playwright and decoded by the reader in the text
- how textual / literary dialect is actualised by the poet or the actor and received by the audience during poetic and theatrical performances
- how dialect translates in other regions and other countries


* Natalie Braber (Nottingham Trent University, UK), natalie.braber[at-sign]
* Claire Hélie (Lille University, France) claire.helie[at-sign]

S60: Dickens: Heirs and Heirlooms

The 150th anniversary of Dickens’s death in 2020 offers a powerful impetus to reinterpret his relationship with what is left behind. The dead’s legacy exercises its influence through elusive wills, secret codicils and undecipherable echoes in the Dickensian text, while characters such as Miss Havisham and Magwitch have been transposed into new contexts to engage with contemporary issues, nevertheless preserving their Dickensian origin and testifying to the abiding persistence of the past in the present. These seminars address how heirs and heirlooms trouble Dickens’s texts and legacy in surprising ways, assailing the boundaries between life and death, literature and afterlife.


* Emily Bell (University of Leeds, UK), E.J.L.Bell[at-sign]
* Georges Letissier (Université de Nantes, France), georges.letissier[at-sign]
* Céline Prest (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, France), celine.prest[at-sign]

S61: Hybrid Transtextualities: Adaptation and the Aesthetics and Politics of Form

Inspired by Genette’s interest in transtextual relations that link the aesthetic form to its outside, this seminar focuses on adaptation. While giving a new life to the old text, adaptations respond to the needs of their present moment. Invited proposals can explore the hybridizing effects of adaptation, and especially the aesthetic, affective, and epistemic gains and losses that occur when a hypotext transitions into a differently mediated hypertext. We encourage submission of case studies of literary and transmedial adaptations that can expand the critical idiom of adaptation studies and broaden our understanding of recent theoretical shifts and emerging hybrid transtextualities in the context of global inequalities and new communication technologies.


* Eva C. Karpinski (York University – Toronto, Canada), evakarp[at-sign]
* Ewa Kębłowska-Ławniczak (University of Wrocław, Poland) ewa.keblowska-lawniczak[at-sign]
* Jacqueline Petropoulos (York University – Toronto, Canada), jpetr[at-sign]

S62: Bodily (Re)Orientations in Neo-Victorianism

This seminar addresses the relevance of the materiality of the body in neo-Victorian literature and culture. It considers how the material turn is deployed in neo-Victorianism, and the ways in which critical perspectives such as phenomenology, Thing theory, and object-relations ontology (re)position and (re)orientate the dichotomy between subject and object, materiality and immateriality in neo-Victorian literature and culture by means of (re)embodiment and sensorial apprehension. In addition, this seminar explores the neo-Victorian text as a dynamic inter-space of bodily re-inhabitance, an in-between space of flows and movements, where the contemporary present brings the Victorian past into close proximity, enacting contact through affective interactions with various text(s) and bodies.


* Rosario Arias (University of Málaga, Spain), rarias[at-sign]
* Ann Heilmann (Cardiff University, UK), HeilmannA[at-sign]

S63: Textual Production and Reception under 20th-Century Censorship

This seminar seeks to connect scholars working in the field of 20th-century censorship in both English and Anglophone literatures. Intending to explore the spectrum of defiance and conformity in textual production and transmission (also via translation), it invites proposals concerned with, among other topics, political or religious patronage and control, canon inclusion and exclusion, international backing and interference, or censorship evasion via transnational collaborations, clandestine publishing and circulation. The seminar means to further our understanding of both apparent and hidden practices of textual authorization and control and the bearing these may have on canonicity and subsequent influence.


* Krystyna Wieszczek (University of Southampton, UK), kw8g11[at-sign]
* Giuliana Iannaccaro (University of Milan, Italy), giuliana.iannaccaro[at-sign]

S64: Migrant Writers Writing in English

Described as “a controversial world language” (Chantal Zabus), English is no longer the tongue of particular ethnic communities or even nation states. Spoken and written by more non-native than native speakers, it has become the medium of new kinds of writing. This seminar will focus on exophonic writers for whom English is not their first language but is nevertheless a major means of self-expression. Such writers have frequently experienced some form of migration, and their work illuminates significant aspects of the migrant experience. Topics of discussion include, but are not limited to:
- “traditional” and “new” migrant cultures;
- border crossing and cultural translation;
- genres of exophonic migrant writing.


* Petya Tsoneva (University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria), petyatzoneva[at-sign]
* Anna Szczepan-Wojnarska (Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University, Poland), szczepanwojnarska[at-sign]

S65: Material Feminism and Posthumanism in Contemporary Women’s Fiction

We invite papers that assess contemporary women’s writing in the light of material feminism and posthumanism. What kind of new epistemologies and ontologies does contemporary women’s fiction design? Contributors are invited to look at human/non-human relations in novels and short stories, as well as at emerging transcorporeal identities, from the point of view of narrative, characterization, but also of narrative voice and reader reception. What dialogue with the “vibrant matter” (Bennett Duke UP 2010) of the world do authors engage with? Embodied experiences are implicated in chemical, biological, geographical, legal, social and aesthetic processes: how are these reflected in fiction?


* Emilie Walezak (Université Lumière Lyon 2, France), emiliewalezak[at-sign]
* Barbara Franchi (Newcastle University, UK), barbara.franchi[at-sign]

S66: Transnational perspectives in, transnational perspectives on European feminisms

Feminism is back again in activism and in academia, as, among many other things, Merriam-Webster’s title Word of the Year shows. For a long time, diverse feminisms have had international and transnational components or orientations. But definitions of what “transnational” may mean beyond synonymy with “international” vary greatly, not least from discipline to discipline, e.g. between American studies, which declared its transnational turn decades ago, and history. Presentations may analyse concrete examples (movements, works), in particular recent ones, and / or develop current concepts of “transnational feminism” (concerning universalism, intersectionality, etc.). Contributions from ALL ESSE sections are welcome.


* Işil Baş (Istanbul Kultur University, Turkey), isil[at-sign]
* Florence Binard (Paris Diderot – Université de Paris, France), florence.binard[at-sign]
* Renate Haas (University of Kiel, Germany), haas[at-sign]
* María Socorro Suárez Lafuente (University of Oviedo, Spain), lafuente[at-sign]

S67: The Lure of the Renaissance: The Representation of this Cultural Period in Historical Fiction, Fantasy, and Science Fiction, in a Variety of Different Media

The Renaissance in general, and the Elizabethan Age in particular, has been fascinating Anglo-American artists as well as the popular imagination for centuries. Each period, at least since Romanticism, has developed its own image of the Renaissance, either as glorious and splendid, or bloody and full of power struggles, religious conflict, and treachery. Also, in each period these representations were created in media most appropriate to their age, from literature through drama, opera, or the visual arts, and nowadays also including film, television, youtube, and computer games. In this seminar we expect comparative analyses of such representations. Quite naturally, Shakespeare's life and work potentially plays an important part in subsequent representations of the Renaissance, but we particularly encourage proposals dealing with non-Shakespearean themes.


* György E. Szönyi (University of Szeged, Hungary), geszonyi[at-sign]
* Rowland Wymer (Anglia Ruskin University, UK), Rowland.Wymer[at-sign]