Round Tables

Download the round table descriptions in pdf | Archived: List of Round Tables

RT1 Literary Journalism and R/Evolution

John S. Bak, Université de Lorraine, France,
David Abrahamson, Northwestern University, USA,
Julie Wheelwright, University of London, England,
Susan Greenberg, Roehampton University, England,

Literary journalism – a genre of nonfiction prose that lies at the conceptual intersection of literature and journalism – can be the best vehicle to tell certain kinds of stories, ones that foreground the processes of individual, sociocultural and/or political transformation. These are the narratives that call for in-depth reporting, the use of literary techniques and a clear authorial point of view. And since one of the markers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries is the accelerating pace of geopolitical change, literary journalism is well positioned to provide the necessary insight and political commentary to explain and comprehend these changes. Inspired by political events at the upcoming venue – with the demise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after World War I, the namesake of the ESSE host university, Tomas Masaryk, became the founding father of Czechoslovakia, and the host city Brno later became an important focus for the Velvet Revolution – the proposed roundtable session will focus on the nature of social change in all its forms.

RT2 Unpacking Anti-Gender Campaigns in the Context of Rising Populism in Europe

Erzsébet Barát, University of Szeged, Hunary,
Pilar Cuder-Domínguez, University of Huelva, Spain,
Zuzanna Sanches, University of Lisbon, Portugal,
Katharina Wiedlack, University of Vienna, Austria

In the wake of the end of the cold war Europe has experienced several waves of backlash against feminist scholarship. The strategic opposition in the current “war on gender” calls for solidarity and networking amongst us, scholars doing gender/sexuality studies in English Studies programs. How can we contest the hostile accusation of so-called “gender-ideology”, the rhetoric of reframing (some) loss of privilege as a loss of "rights"? What are the modes of action and strategies we can share in the face of such hostile dispositions? How to expose the populist implications of such attacks articulated in neoconservative appeals to ‘family values’, ‘pro-life’ choices and in the systemic attacks on critical research and thinking that is the backbone of humanities degrees? What are the promising achievements of feminist/queer knowledge production countering the appropriation of “gender” as the symbolic weapon by (far-)right populism.

RT3 Cross-Border Dynamics: Mediation and Hybridity across the British Isles, Italy and France

Antonella Braida-Laplace, Lorraine University, France,
Céline Sabiron, Lorraine University, France, Oxford University, United Kingdom,
Matthew Reynolds, Oxford University, Great Britain,
Yen-Mai Tran-Gervat, Sorbonne-Paris 3, France,

This roundtable will focus on the articulation between geopolitical, linguistic and cultural borders in order to question the stability of so-called “national” literatures and cultural products, and to study their crossborder and crosscultural dynamics. We would like to examine shifts and transformations, tracing how a text is re-realised in different linguistic media with diverse affordances and limits. Grammar and semantics, politics and history, textual productivity and the agency of translators will all be at issue.
Our interests lie in the relationships of literature with translation studies and cognitive science, and particular attention will be paid to the translations (into French and Italian) and the circulation/ reception of Jane Eyre. Some of the results of the research conducted by the “prismatic Jane Eyre” collaborative group will be discussed here.
Related topics to be discussed will be:

  • translation as mediation
  • the role of literary journals in cultural transfers
  • journalism, publishing and imagology between the three countries
  • network of mediators (scribes, editors, translators, journalists)
  • plagiarism
  • the role of women as cultural mediators
  • sub-texts and sub-groups.

RT4 Meeting of the Gender Studies Network

Işil Baş, Bogaziçi University, Turkey,
Florence Binard, University of Paris Diderot, France,
Renate Haas, University of Kiel, Germany,
María Socorro Suárez Lafuente, University of Oviedo, Spain,

The GSN meeting is meant as a get-together of all ESSE members interested in extending a gender perspective from our association. Professor Haas will give an account of what has been done since Galway-16 and summarize the next actions to be taken. Then the floor will be open to articulate and discuss proposals for the near future, with Lille-20 on the horizon.

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