Parallel Lectures – Abstracts

PL01 The Lexicographical Management of English. Usage, Authority and Stance (1961-Present Day)

Lecturer: Stefania Nuccorini, Roma Tre University, Italy,

As is well known, the fierce controversy that arose over Webster’s Third New International Dictionary (NID3) when it was published in 1961 called into question not only its lexicographical policy but also its socio-cultural role and the relation between usage, authority and morality (Landau, 1984; Béjoint, 2010). Critics said that NID3 marked a change, for better or for worse, in people’s way of living, a statement on which its marketing and sale had a significant bearing, since the publishers used the slogan “the Voice of America” well into the 1990s (Stamper, 2017).

Starting from its descriptive approach, this presentation aims at analyzing subsequent dictionary-making policies with special reference to the ways in which they have ‘managed’ English (and language change) when taking a neutral or partial (or biased) stance on critical and social issues (woman question was first introduced in the OED in 1986, in its fourth Supplement: Mugglestone, 2013). Present-day corpus-driven lexicography advocates a neutral and objective approach in presenting the natural and common use (which may well be not neutral itself) of English. I would argue that especially British Learners’ Dictionaries provide users, whose needs are linguistically, culturally and commercially paramount, with information on relevant use, alongside usage, bringing to the fore a crucial theoretical issue: the balance between descriptive pragmatic appropriateness and prescriptive grammatical correcteness. For example,  ain’t, which had full lexicographical citizenship in NID3 as a headword, with no label, and which is not present in the OED, has long been a headword in Learners’ Dictionaries, where it has been differently presented in time; the pragmatic, descriptively corpus-based, but prescriptive-sounding information used in nonstandard spoken English, which was  given in COBUILD 1989, twenty years after  turned into a more neutrally informative some people consider this use to be incorrect (COBUILD, 2009). This approach might lead to a significant step in the future lexicographical management of English.

PL02 A Register Approach to Morphosyntactic Variation in World Englishes

Lecturer: Elena Seoane, University of Vigo, Spain,

The unprecedented spread and globalization of English has led to its indigenization in new vernaculars, known as World Englishes (WEs), which have been the object of numerous specialized publications and scientific events since the early 1980s. This talk will briefly describe the history of this field of research, focusing on its current models of analysis (essentially Schneider’s 2007 Dynamic Model and Mair’s 2013 World System of Englishes), the resources for its study, and the linguistic and extralinguistic factors involved in its analysis. Special attention will be paid to historical, social and cognitive determinants of variation, looking particularly at contact-induced phenomena such as substrate and superstrate influence (Schreier and Hundt 2013), the (socio)linguistic implications of  globalization (Blommaert 2010), the Americanization of English (Mair 2013; Hilpert and Mair 2015), cognitive phenomena in second language acquisition (Gilquin 2015) and the emergence of new epicenters of influence (such as India and Australia; cf. Peters 2009; Hundt 2013).

A much neglected factor in the study of WEs is register as a predictor of language change. In numerous works, Biber and associates have shown that there are systematic differences in the patterns of linguistic variation between registers and sub-registers, and that linguistic change is mediated by such differences (Biber 2012; Biber and Gray 2013, 2016). The second part of this talk will thus argue that in order to model morphosyntactic variation in WEs, a register perspective needs to be adopted, and will be illustrated here through the latest studies on modals, relative clauses and the entrenchment of temporal adverbials in WEs. This register approach is only possible through the use of corpora (Hilpert and Mair 2015); in the case of WEs, the most suitable one is the International Corpus of English, in that it includes a wide array of spoken and written registers. I will show that adopting such a register perspective is not only a means of gaining further insights into morphosyntactic variation in WEs but that any rigorous synchronic description of language variation in WEs needs to take register differences into account.

PL03 The Multimodal Poetics of Football, Language and the Media

Lecturer: Jan Chovanec, Masaryk University, Czech Republic,

The talk deals with selected playful aspects of linguistic and multimodal representation of football and football-related issues in the British press. It pays attention to cases where the formal aspects of the news report are highlighted, resulting in a distinct poetic effect of the represented content. It is argued that creative representations – even where they concern negative issues (for instance, scandals surrounding celebrity football players) – are linked to the media’s attempt at boosting the sensationalism of their coverage through the constant poetic foregrounding of various verbal and visual forms. In this way, the media ultimately make a spectacle of the language that is used to report on such issues.

PL04 Norms and Strategies in Translating Children’s Literature.  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in Polish

Lecturer: Izabela Szymańska, University of Warsaw, Poland,

This lecture will address the major lines of research on translating children’s literature/translating for children, linking the rapid development of interest in this area with the ‘cultural turn’ in translation studies and the emergence of the Descriptive Translation Studies paradigm (Toury 1995/2012). I will explore issues of manipulation in translating for children and systematic changes in translation norms and strategies which can be discovered by contrastive analyses of multiple translations of children’s literature classics from different epochs. I will aim at explaining those changes in the context of changing assumptions about the status and functions of children’s literature in the target polysystem, and about the needs and capacities of the young addressee (the ‘child image’). By way of illustration I will present the history of the Polish translations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the most famous and most frequently retranslated of English children’s classics (considered to be an ambivalent/double addressee text, which adds to scholars’ interest in its translations) -  from the first rendition from 1910 to the latest, published in 2015, asking to what extent they conform to the translation norms of their epochs and how the translation strategies reflect the image of the addressee.

PL05 Texts in Time and Time in Texts: Embodied Cultural Moments in Literature and Language

Lecturer: Anthony Johnson, Åbo Akademi University, Finland,

Drawing its materials from manuscripts, printed works, and 'big' data, the proposed presentation examines the ways in which the time in which a text is produced may become trapped within the textual artefact itself. Having reviewed the development of the idea of the embodied cultural moment (or 'iconosphere') from its inception in the art criticism of Jan Bialostocki, the present lecture examines a number of its more important recent implications and applications for those working on texts and time within the fields of national and cultural imagology, digital humanities, lexicography, and literary studies.

PL06 Choreographers of Speech: Social Space as Performance Space

Lecturer: Jean-Rémi Lapaire, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France, jrlapaire [at-sign]

Speakers are social movers (Birdwhistell 1970) who spontaneously engage in choreographic action as they talk. A multiplicity of movement techniques – “improvisational, compositional, performative” (Burrows 2010) – may be used to explore the inbuilt dynamics and aesthetics of communicative interaction. From gesture studies (McNeill 1992, 2005, Kendon 2004, Calbris 2011, Goldin-Meadow 2014) to performance theory (Schechner 2003), from corpus annotation techniques to dance composition techniques, from linguistic anthropology (Jousse 1974, Goffman 1982, Haviland 2004) to dance theory (Laban 1963, Cunningham 1999, Paxton 2009), human vocal and kinetic behaviour may be observed, analysed and most of all enjoyed. In this talk, I will be reporting on the “multimodal seminars” that I have designed at my home university. These combine formal academic instruction on the physicality of speech with “choreographic moments.” Students are not only expected to engage in “acts of choreographic thinking” but are also required to engage in reflective journaling, using mixed composition techniques: artistic and scholarly, graphic and verbal, emotional and rational. The material used during the workshops sessions – both verbal and nonverbal- is borrowed from a variety of sources: literary (O. Wilde, V. Woolf), artistic (W. Forsythe, P. Bausch), rhetorical (J. Kittson), political (N. Clegg). I will close with a short survey of student reception and a brief assessment of student engagement.

PL07 Shakespeare and Contemporary Media Culture

Lecturer: Maurizio Calbi, University of Salerno, Italy,

This talk will focus on the heterogeneous, fragmentary, “spectral” presence of Shakespeare – or “Shakespeares”-- in the contemporary mediascape, as exemplified, for instance, by the uncanny appearance of Shakespearean lines and themes in TV series such as Westworld and House of Cards; the recent proliferation of web series that explicitly reference the Bard such as Nothing Much To Do, Titus and Dronicus, and Mac & Beth; amateurish remakes of Shakespearean material on YouTube as well as modernized, multimodal versions of plays on Twitter such as Such Tweet Sorrow.
What kind of “Shakespeare” emerges, or re-emerges, through these new media platforms that not only converge but also “remediate” (Bolter and Grusin) aspects of each other? What kind of impact does the “spreadability” of Shakespeare (Jenkins) across different platforms have on the ethico-political status of the Bard as cultural icon and source of authority? Conversely, what difference, if any, does the singularity of “Shakespeare”— “Shakespeare-as-language”--make in the world of new media? How different are contemporary new media productions from more “traditional” forms of experiencing Shakespeare (e.g., theatre and film), especially in terms of affect and audience participation? My talk will address these and similar questions.

PL08 A Dialogue Between the East and the West? Uses and Abuses of Sharawadgi

Lecturer: Martin Procházka, Charles University, Czech Republic,

The lecture traces the mediating function of a corrupt Chinese word sharawadgi used in England from the 1690s throughout the eighteenth century to describe careless beauty and elegance and to denote a different aesthetic order in garden design, opposed to the geometrical layout. The word, used first by Sir William Temple in an essay “Upon the Gardens of Epicurus: or Of Gardening, in the Year 1685” (1692), may be said to subvert the basic principle of representation in the “Classical Episteme”, the transparence of sign (Michel Foucault). It has a productive influence in the early phases of the development of English landscape gardening, pointing out the existence of a different culture, with a fundamentally different aesthetic order, which cannot be formalized in logical or arithmetic ways. As Thomas Whately showed in 1770, the new order of English gardening was based on irregular distributions of trees and shrubs, creating dynamic, spatial and colour effects. His approach to garden layout as to a non-hierarchical, heterogeneous structure, where individual groups of trees and shrubs are connected transversally, anticipates Deleuze’s notion of style in modern art.
In a later phase of the development of European landscape gardening the assimilation of sharawadgi can be observed in the exoticism of William Chambers, whose Dissertation on Oriental Gardening (1772) was well-known and influential both in Britain and on the Continent. In contrast to this, the “patriotic” form of landscape gardening, promoted mainly by Horace Walpole, was based on the forms of English landscape identified with Homer’s and Milton’s descriptions of ideal gardens. Walpole also emphasized links between landscape gardening and agricultural infrastructure and villagers’ social life. Aimed against the political and economic globalism of the British Empire, his project of gardening had politicized the use of the word sharawadgi, which became connected with the excesses of the exotic garden style, devastation of the English countryside and even with the threats of Asiatic despotism (William Mason). While the irregular aesthetic order denoted by sharawadgi became domesticated in the English aesthetics of the picturesque (William Gilpin, Richard Payne Knight, Uvedale Price, and others), Chambers’ assimilation of the Chinese exotic style facilitated the emergence of gardens designed as entertainment parks, where “a simple fantasy [brings] together all times and places” (Louis Carrogis, called Carmontelle, on Garden Monçeau, 1779).

In the course of its assimilation the word sharawadgi had ceased to denote the otherness of Chinese culture and started to anticipate contradictory features of postmodernity: an illusive play with attributes of diverse cultures and the grim triumph of global political and economic powers.

PL09 In Their Own Voice: Women’s Periodicals in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain

Lecturer: María José Coperías-Aguilar, Universitat de València, Spain,

In the nineteenth century, the press in Britain became the most important vehicle for disseminating information and ideas and consequently a significant contributor to social and political life, as well as an appropriate medium to shape public opinion. Women, although mostly invisible as contributors, had been courted by editors as readers since the publication of the first magazines (Gray & Hessell 2014). The contents of most women’s magazines fostered feminine virtues and, supposedly, catered for their likes and needs by focusing on issues appropriate to the woman’s sphere, thus keeping them apart from public affairs. Nonetheless, these journals did not always reflect the concerns of all women and, in the second half of the nineteenth century, their fight for a variety of rights regarding the labour market, property and votes, among others, as well as the ‘woman question’, and their challenge of the radical separation between the private and public spheres became a major issue in the British periodical press (Fraser, Green & Johnston 2003: 148). The analysis of women’s periodicals can, therefore, be a key source of information for getting to know the role of women in society and the significance of these publications in the creation of gender ideologies (Beetham 1996).

Magazines such as The English Woman’s Journal (1858-1864), and its successors[1], can illustrate the nature of feminist reform in the latter part of the century in Britain (Herstein 1993: 24). The EWJ was founded by Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon and Bessie Raynor Parkes, who came from middle-class, dissenting, progressive backgrounds. The journal was conceived as a medium to give voice to their political activity and derived in the formation of the feminist activist network the Langham Place Circle that worked to bring about changes in women’s employment, education and legislation (Rendall 1989). Though both the journal and the circle were very active in their vindications, their middle-class background influenced the form of their feminism, which procured them greater social acceptance (Dredge 2005: 134) as well as the support of popular contemporary writers such as Elizabeth Gaskell (Uglow 1993: 311) or George Eliot (Herstein 1996: 23).

The aim of this lecture is to analyse the role of the EWJ, along with similar periodicals, as a forum and a ‘connective tissue’ (Fraser, Green & Johnston 2003: 148) for late nineteenth-century British women; to explore to what extent this journal can be representative of the struggle for the rights of women across social classes; to discuss some of its ideological contradictions and restrictions; and to delve into the relevance of female networks of friendship in the making of the emergent feminist movement.

[1] The Alexandra Magazine (1864-1865), The Victoria Magazine (1863-1880) and The Englishwoman’s Review (1866-1910).

PL10 Women’s Words: Victoria Ocampo and the Reception of Virginia Woolf in Hispanic Countries

Lecturer: Laura Mª Lojo-Rodríguez, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain,

The aim of this paper is to examine the process of the literary reception of Virginia Woolf’s works in Hispanic countries. Tracking Woolf’s critical reception in these countries reveals a rich cultural exchange in a fluid climate of cooperation which largely pivots on the role of Argentinian writer and publisher Victoria Ocampo (1890–1979). Encouraged by Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, editor of the influential periodical Revista de Occidente [Journal of the Western World] in Madrid, Ocampo founded the literary journal Sur in 1931 aiming to establish mutually enriching cultural connections between Europe and America. Ocampo’s ambitious project also encompassed two related publishing houses, “Sur” and “Sudamericana”, which functioned as a vehicle to introduce major European authors in translation to a Spanish-speaking readership.

Victoria Ocampo’s first contact with Virginia Woolf was propitiated by Sylvia Beach, at that time running “Shakespeare & Co.” in Paris: aware of Ocampo’s literary aspirations and feminist concerns, Beach complimented her with a copy of A Room of One’s Own (1929).  The reading of Woolf’s essay soon haunted Ocampo’s imagination to the point of regarding the British author as the only woman writer that could become a literary model to satisfactorily satiate what she called her literary “hunger”, the Argentinian’s particular expression to name her writing impulse (Ocampo 1935: 11). Virginia Woolf became one of Ocampo’s more significant and long-lasting influences both in Sur’s editorial project and in her own literary development as a woman writer. The two women met in London in the autumn of 1934 through their mutual friend Aldous Huxley: shortly after their first meeting, Ocampo published in Ortega’s Revista de Occidente one of the first critical pieces written in Spanish on Virginia Woolf’s work entitled “Carta a Virginia Woolf” [“Letter to Virginia Woolf] (1934), an insightful combination of personal reflection and expository prose which brings to mind Woolf’s essayist production. Significantly, Ocampo chose this essay to preface her first collection of criticism entitled Testimonios [Testimonies] (1935), Ocampo’s literary expression to testify to her literary “hunger, authentically European” (1935: 11). As Ocampo acknowledged in the essay’s opening pages, “your name, Virginia, is linked to these thoughts” (1935: 10).

Victoria Ocampo commissioned her friend and collaborator Jorge Luis Borges the translations of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Orlando, to be published in 1935 and 1937, respectively, under the auspices of Ocampo’s intellectual circle ‘Sur’ [‘South’]. Despite the controversial and equivocal circumstances of Borges’ translations, these were to play a major role in the reception of Woolf’s works in Spanish-speaking countries.

Works Cited: Ocampo, Victoria 1935. Testimonios I. Madrid: Revista de Occidente.

PL11 Frankenstein 1818/2018: Science and Gender in Mary Shelley’s Novel

Lecturer: Lilla Maria Crisafulli, University of Bologna, Italy,

2018 will see the bicentenary of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, conceived by the author in Geneva in June 1816, in a literary contest also involving P.B. Shelley, Lord Byron and John Polidori. Many conferences and seminars are planned to celebrate this incomparable work of gothic, dystopian and science-fiction imagination. My paper aims to contribute to the 2018 celebrations by paying particular attention to the relationship between science and gender, and to the role they may have played in shaping Mary Shelley’s creativity while conceiving her novel.

Frankenstein is undeniably one of those works that have entered into the collective imagination as a powerful emblem of a nightmare that continues to haunt bourgeois consciousness, dominated by the myth of knowledge. Frankenstein is also a dystopic science fiction novel, since the aspiration to create a better world  turns into a dramatic failure, while science or knowledge,  when unrestrained, become a tragic Promethean gift. At the same time, Frankenstein embodies the early nineteenth-century fear of technological development that, following the industrial revolution, had totally changed the lives of millions of British, and affected the second Romantic generation’s view of human nature. Many feminist critics, however, have pointed out that the sources of this gothic conception might in reality be more closely related to the anxieties of a woman. Thus Frankenstein, despite the scarce presence of women in the text, can be placed within a so-called female mythology, or even a phantasmagoria of the nursery, in relation to the post-natal trauma that generates fear and guilt (Barbara Johnson, Gilbert and Gubart, Ellen Moers etc.). But the monster can also be seen as inhabiting the liminal zone between gender and the minority subject, or what Patricia Hill Collins would define as an ‘outsider-within’.
It is perhaps more interesting  ̶  it seems to me  ̶  to focus on Shelley’s surprisingly modern sensibility and intuition, that make of her novel an anticipation of the many questions and doubts that undermine shared and traditional certainties today. For instance, how does the figure of the surrogate mother challenge the notion of motherhood and childbearing? Or to what extent may technology have transformed the conception of the body, turning it into a territory of manipulation and genetic engineering? If Mary Shelley had heard about Luigi Galvani’s animal electricity, Erasmus Darwin’s precocious references to evolution, and Humphry Davy’s chemical experiments (see Anne Mellor, Stuart Curran), she may have been equally aware of creations such as Jacques Vaucanson’s three famous automata in 1742, or texts such as Julien de la Mettrie’s L’homme Machine, 1746, and Jean Blanchet’s Principes Philosophiques, 1756, which explain how to go about constructing an automaton. This problematic relationship with science and technology survives today in gender studies and elsewhere: Donna Haraway’s Cyborg Manifesto, for example, cannot do without referring to Frankenstein’s creature as a first model of cybernetic creation, even if she then discards it in articulating her theory. This paper, therefore, will discuss Shelley’s monster as an unrivalled trope for the human condition, that has outlived the time of its creation and continues to generate new interpretations and unexpected appropriations.

PL12 The Monument and the Voice: Commemoration and Spectrality in British Literature of the Great War

Lecturer: Tamás Bényei, University of Debrecen,Hungary,

Far from being only a symptom of the memory crisis of modernity, the complex and conflictual European memory and commemoration of the Great War was in fact instrumental in the crystallization of this memory crisis. My proposed talk is concerned with one strand of this process, with the way in which – mainly – British poetry and fiction of the Great War dramatizes the chances and limitations of public and official gestures of commemoration while also attempting to work out valid commemorative strategies of its own, ways of representing the dead. I am particularly interested in the way in which war memorials (like the Cenotaph) and commemorative practices are represented in literature. Looking at poems by Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Ivor Gurney, Siegfried Sassoon and contemporary poet Alice Oswald as well as fiction by Sassoon, Irene Rathbone, Christopher Isherwood, John Galsworthy, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Eric Linklater, Henry Williamson, Adam Thorpe, Robert Edric, Jane Urquhart and Pierre Lemaitre, the talk is premised on the hypothesis that the various poetics and politics of the memory and countermemory of the Great War can be placed along a spectrum bookended by the two opposite poles of the official monument and the disembodied, haunting, spectral voice, and that the latter is inevitably called into existence by the former: every attempt to monumentalize the memory of the war necessarily calls forth some version of the spectral voice, which represents a check on official gestures of memorialization.

PL13 Out of Hand: John Donne and Manuscript Circulation

Lecturer: Daniel Smith, Kings College, United Kingdom,

How is literary meaning reflected by or even created by transmission history? This lecture will consider the early modern poet and preacher John Donne from the perspective of his most characteristic publishing context – manuscript circulation. More copies of Donne’s works were transcribed by sixteenth- and seventeenth-century hands than any other contemporary author. My first monograph, John Donne and the Conway Papers (OUP, 2014), explored the ways that Donne’s earliest friends and readers released his poetry and prose into the manuscript medium, gathering extensive evidence about Donne’s interactions in manuscript with men such as the courtier Sir Henry Goodere, intelligencer Rowland Woodward, and playwright Ben Jonson. Donne himself tried to suppress the circulation of his daring, often dangerous writing; but once it left his hands, it had a tendency to spread far and wide. Before Donne emerged as a major canonical writer, his poems jostled in drawers, miscellanies, and archives surrounded by the compositions of a host of minor writers. These early contexts, and an understanding of this contemporary readership, can help us reflect on Donne’s literary influence in his own time. Drawing on my own book and the work of scholars such as Arthur Marotti and Peter Beal, and introducing some new archival research, this lecture will make the case for manuscript circulation as an interpretive method.

PL14 peculative Selves: Money and Subjectivity in Transatlantic Fiction since 1870

Lecturer: Gert Buelens, Ghent University, Belgium,

The sociohistorical background to this lecture is formed by the tremendous changes that were taking place in English and US society in the wake of the rise of a finance capitalism. Around 1870, London was the heart of the financial world; by the First World War, New York can be regarded as having replaced London in this position. Connections between America and Britain were strong in the world of speculation, where wealth was being created less by means of profit derived from production or landed property and more thanks to the ascribed value of financial stock. Literary realism and naturalism are in part responses to these shifting and intensifying relations between old and new, real and virtual, material and ideal, natural and social, especially when charting transatlantic flows of capital, commodities, and people. The works that will be discussed in this lecture are centrally concerned with the effect of such changes on social relations and on individual subjectivity. In particular, they investigate what happens when an exchange economy, in which value is related to objective properties, gives way to a speculative economy, in which value acquires a virtual dimension, dependent on public perception and subject to market manipulation. What happens to the literary representation of personality, of the self, when such deep socioeconomic changes take place? Does a phenomenon like “speculative selves” emerge as a consequence? Are dimensions such as risk, volatility, and power refigured? In an earlier contribution on this subject, I have examined a few works by Trollope, Wharton and Dreiser. For this lecture, I want to extend the investigation to other works by those authors, but also bring on board James’s unfinished novel, The Ivory Tower, and Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

PL15 Risks of Mediation: On Guides and Interpreters in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-century British and Anglo-Irish Travel Writing on the Ottoman Empire

Lecturer: Ludmilla Kostova, St. Cyrial and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria,,

Travel writers have often been criticized for producing simplistic representations of their encounters with cultural others. Thus, attention has been drawn to the simplification of travellers’ communications with foreigners to “the extent that both traveller and travellee appear to occupy the same homogeneous, monolingual space” (Alasdair Pettinger, “Gourdes and Dollars: How Travel Writers Spend Money,” 2013). The homogenizing effect in question is often due to the minimization or complete erasure of the role played by intercultural mediators such as guides and interpreters. 
The proposed lecture focuses on representations of intercultural mediation and language difference in accounts by British and Anglo-Irish writers, who undertook journeys through different parts of the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It aims to explore the complex issue of mediation by focusing attention on the cultural-symbolic roles that guides and interpreters are assigned in the texts under consideration as well as on the place of translation and interpreting in the multi-ethnic Ottoman Empire at that time. Key texts include Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters (pub.1763), Elizabeth Craven’s A Journey Through the Crimea to Constantinople (1789/1818), John Cam Hobhouse’s  A Journey Through Albania and Other Provinces of Turkey in Europe (1813), Alexander Kinglake’s Eothen. Traces of Travel Brought Home from the East (1844), Warington W. Smyth’s A Year With the Turks (1854), and George Stoker’s With ‘The Unspeakables’; or, Two Years Campaigning in European and Asiatic Turkey (1878).

My analysis of these travelogues will build on insights from theoretical texts reflecting the “cultural turn” in translation and interpreting studies as well as on other writing analysing representations of language difference.  Overall, the lecture will adopt an individualizing, narrative-contextualist approach to the agents of cultural mediation represented in the travel narratives under consideration.

PL16 Sandcastles and Beach Chairs: Banal Geopolitics in Modernist Literature

Lecturer: Virginia Richter, University of Bern, Switzerland,

As Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau have shown, the meaning of space and place is constituted by everyday social practices. In my lecture, I will put spatial theory in conversation with material object studies to analyse the seaside as an important meta-geography and heterotopia of European modernism. As a site of leisure and sensual enjoyment, the seaside is often perceived as a setting for social and erotic liberation, in contradistinction to the constricting space of urban capitalism. By contrast, I want to argue that the seaside is a highly regulated and socially contested site, claimed by groups with conflicting lifestyles, national and religious affiliations, and class habitus. Nowhere is this more apparent than in modernist literature of the interwar period. In texts such as the “On Ruegen Island” chapter in Christopher Isherwood’s Goodbye to Berlin, the beach becomes a ground of contention between Nazi followers and Jews, Germans and foreigners, homosexuals and hetero­sexuals. This antagonistic partitioning of the seaside is put into effect through what I call ‘banal geopolitics’, the physical and symbolic occupation of space through mundane and even childish practices such as the building of sandcastles. Material objects, for instance spades and buckets, towels and wicker beach chairs, acquire a ‘social life’ (Appadurai) as strategic devices within these political games which foreshadow the anything but banal geopolitical conflict beginning in 1939. In this sense, modernist literature uses seemingly innocuous depictions of seaside holidays to explore some of the most pressing issues of interwar social life. While my examples will be drawn from British fiction of the 1920s and 1930s, ‘banal geopolitics’ also resonate with colonial, racial and gender discourses of the time, and therefore can have a wide appeal to Literatures in English in general.

PL17 Art is every Inexplicable Thing: Affect, Materiality and Pain in Eimear McBride’s A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing (2013), Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones (2016), and Sara Baume’s A Line Made by Walking (2017)

Lecturer: Anne Fogarty, Univrsity College Dublin, Ireland,

The Irish literary scene has been remarkably fertile and productive in recent years.  The resurgence of literary journals and the success of independent presses have furthered the emergence of a host of new voices.  This paper will consider how we can begin to take stock of contemporary Irish fiction and will venture that much recent writing has been characterised by an affective turn and a concern with the material and the creaturely.

To this end, my talk sets out to examine materiality, affect, gender and place in recent Irish fiction.  It will investigate how psychic and physical pain are configured by three very different but inter-related recent Irish texts,  Eimear McBride’s A Girl is A Half-Formed Thing (2013), Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones (2016), and  Sara Baume’s A Line Made by Walking (2017).  McBride’s text seeks to render and track the damage caused by sexual abuse in childhood, Baume’s novel concentrates on the experience of depression by Frankie, a young woman, and McCormack’s work captures the residual and lingering emotions of its revenant narrator, a onetime engineer, who posthumously reviews his life.  Grief, anxiety, depression and emotional trauma are the besetting concerns that further cross-link these texts.  Social contexts are of less import than the material environment, whether the house, family home or landscape, in which they are set.  Architectural tropes and natural settings are deployed by these writers to inspect femininity and masculinity and to review modes of Being in the world.  Crucially, too, identity is construed and re-envisaged not in national but in somatic, geophysical and cosmic terms.

PL18 Why Read Joyce in the 21st Century?

Lecturer: Dieter Fuchs, University of Vienna, Austria,

This lecture is going to add a new perspective on Joyce’s rewriting of the myth of the Homeric Odysseus in Ulysses. Rather than focusing on the errant Odysseus in the Odyssey as a standard reading of Ulysses, the presentation is going to focus on Joycean references to the Iliad which features Odysseus as a warrior in the battle of Troy.

As a first step it will be shown that Joyce’s ‘mythical method’ (as elucidated by T.S. Eliot) draws a parallel between the Trojan War as the great war of the ancient world and the Great War of modernity and thus fuses the archetypal dimension of the Trojan War with the topicality of the Great War as a timeless anti-war novel. Fuit Ilium! The sack of windy Troy. Kingdoms of this world. The masters of the Mediterranean are fellaheen today. (Ulysses 7;910-11). As can be seen from this text-passage, the fall of Troy or Ilium is contextualized with the here and now (“today”) of the early twentieth century: the plot of Ulysses set in 1904 or the period of Joyce writing Ulysses: 1914-22). As a second step the lecture is going to elucidate how Joyce further elaborates and specifies the anti-war dimension of Ulysses in Finnegans Wake: The house of Atreox is fallen indeedust (Ilyam, Ilyum! Maeromor Mournomates!) (Finnegans Wake 55.3).

By locating the fallen “masters of the Mediterranean” and “Ilium” / “Ilyam, Ilyum” in “Maeromor” / Miramar Castle, Joyce draws a most obvious parallel between the fall of the House of Atreus / “Atreox” – the House of Helen of Troy’s husband Menelaus – and the Austrian imperial family of the House of Habsburg which built Miramar Castle next to Trieste: the city where Joyce lived from 1905-15. Presenting Trieste – the seaport from which pre-war Austria controlled the Mediterranean Sea trade – as a modern counterpart of ancient Troy, Joyce fuses the epic landscape of the Homeric Iliad with topical references to the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the end of the Great War.

It will be argued that it is this undiscovered Austria-related anti-war dimension which makes Ulysses and Finnegans Wake enduringly relevant for an Austrian readership.

PL19 Re-affecting Vision: the Body Politic of Contemporary English Art

Lecturer: Catherine Bernard, Paris Diderot University, France,

In an age where contemporary art has been denounced for its aporetic use of shock and scandal, and where, symmetrically, critics have insisted on the re-politicizing of art’s agenda, contemporary English art occupies a place of its own. Derided for its supposed collusion with the myth of “Cool Britannia,” it also offers a unique perspective to reread art’s paradoxical ethics of vision. Focusing on the works of Mark Wallinger, Marc Quinn, Anya Gallaccio, Jeremy Deller, or Cornelia Parker, this lecture aims at understanding how contemporary English art has returned to an art of affect which aims ultimately at reinventing art’s praxis for our late-capitalist world. Resorting to what Nicolas Bourriaud has defined as “post-production,” borrowing from the tradition of conceptual art, while also reaffecting the concept, they may be said to work towards a democratic aesthetic of the multitude, thus offering new ways of envisioning the body politic of art.

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