World Literature and Film

The figure of the hero underwent a renascence in meaning, visibility, and cultural cachet in the twenty-first century, with the success of the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and World War Z franchises;  the Batman, James Bond, and Marvel Cinematic Universe tent-poles; and the 24, Arrow, and Games of Thrones television series. Moreover, the hero took on new significance in other countries’ cultural productions, as with the film series Krrish in India, Zebraman in Japan, and Valley of the Wolves in Turkey. We should also consider the role of the heroine in both ancient and modern representations: Penelope, Shahrazad, and even with television heroines such as Charlie’s Angels or today’s Emily Thorne in the show Revenge (that capitalizes on Dumas’s novel, The Count of Monte Cristo and the Occupy Protests, as well as the Villainy of the One Percenters)
The 2013 World Literature and Film Conference at Kennesaw State University will therefore explore such reconceptualizations of heroism as they travel across different media, genres, cultures, milieus, genders, and audiences. We invite scholars from a number of disciplines to consider representations of heroism in relation to the following items:
• The hero as an intermedial figure, taking shape in film, comic art, literature, radio, and new media and merchandising channels
• Ethnic, racial, and intersectional constructions of the hero across different cultural and ideological constellations
• Gender mappings and the sexual objectification of the hero, especially in relation to the Bechdel and Hawkeye tests
• The impact of the hero on the cognitive, affective, and unconscious identifications and self-understandings of readers, viewers, and consumers
• The sociopolitical resonance of the hero in a post-9/11 context of drone attacks, terrorism, market imperialism, and controversies over American exceptionalism
• Neo-Jungian and neo-structuralist approaches to the archetypes of the hero and the hero’s journey
• The notion of secret identity in relation to issues of identity and multiplicity, “viral” memetics, and schizoanalysis
Conference papers should read no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300-word abstract and a 50-word biographical sketch to Larrie Dudenhoeffer at or Khalil Elayan at by March 2, 2014. Kennesaw State University is in the north-metro Atlanta area. As of now, Friday, April 4th is the target date for the conference, with a reception taking place on campus the evening of Thursday, April 3rd.

Teaching African American Literature and Culture

Phillis_Wheatley_frontispieceCFP deadline Friday 6th December for ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’ Durham University 10 January 2014

We invite proposals for ‘Teaching African American Literature and Culture’. This one-day, HEA-sponsored event is intended to open up conversations about the place of African American literature within teaching and within teaching in different contexts. The organisers hope it will foster reflection on Higher Education pedagogical approaches, the politics of teaching, cultural canons, and the possibilities and pitfalls of the appeal of African American literature to students. We welcome a wide spectrum of responses, including interdisciplinary engagements and discussion of music, film, television, visual arts etc alongside written texts. Topics might include:


    Teaching African American literature and culture outside of the US

  • Case studies of teaching practices devised or revised for African American-focused modules
  • Questions of canonisation, exceptionalism, tokenism, exoticisation
  • Institutional contexts and / or strategies for different student groups
  • Opportunities for widening participation, public engagement, social impact
  • The Obama bounce? Historicising approaches to African American studies
  • African American literature and interdisciplinarity
  • Teaching African American literature in postcolonial / black Atlantic / American studies frameworks


Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Jenny Terry ( by Friday 6 December 2013.

The organisers would like to encourage a variety of formats; for example, proposals could be for less formal, short ‘starter’ presentations with interactive elements, workshops involving sharing teaching resources or teaching scenarios, 15 minute papers etc. Presenters will be confirmed by mid-December 2013.

Teaching C21 Genre: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Old_book_bindings‘Teaching C21 Genre: Interdisciplinary Perspectives’  University of Brighton 21 January 2014

Genre has become an increasingly significant part of academic and popular criticism since the year 2000. This one day symposium will unite interdisciplinary perspectives encouraging dialogue across boundaries to ask if the politics of genre can offer insights into developments to teaching in the Arts and Humanities across the twenty-first century. The study of genre can offer insight into twenty-first century developments across the Arts and Humanities and the function of new genres in an ever-changing world. In looking closely at teaching practice, this symposium will ask where and why ‘new’ twenty-first century genres have originated, and to which other genres do they owe a debt of influence.  We encourage academics, students and writers to meet and engage with a wide range of interdisciplinary issues in contemporary genre studies, as focused through teaching and learning including, but not limited to:

  • teaching genre in the twenty-first century
  • multi-disciplinary genre developments
  • teaching new genres and authors
  • teaching technology, social media and genre
  • teaching popular culture and parody
  • the future of genre and classroom/lecture hall practice

                              Abstracts of 250 words for 15 minute papers by 2nd December 2013 to:


PhD Studentships in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, 2014-15

PhD Studentships in Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow, 2014-15

Scottish Literature at the University of Glasgow is pleased to invite applications for PhD studentships through its involvement in the recently announced AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland. We welcome research proposals which relate to our research strengths in the medieval and Renaissance periods, the Eighteenth Century and Romantic periods and in Modernism, but we are keen to discuss applications on all aspects of Scottish literature. Scottish Literature also plays an active part in Scottish Studies Global here at the University of Glasgow.

Studentships are available to applicants living in the UK and the European Union. Applications for interdisciplinary projects are also very welcome. For full details, please visit the website of the newly-created Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities here: Further information on this exciting new development can be found at the bottom of this page.

In addition, the College of Arts will offer a number of scholarships for PhD study in 2014. These scholarships are open to UK/EU and International applicants.

The deadline for all scholarship applications is Monday 13 January 2014. To be considered for an award, candidates must have applied to study at the University of Glasgow and have provided two academic references through the university’s application system.

Further details can be found at

You can also e-mail Scottish Literature’s Postgraduate Convener, Dr. Rhona Brown, for further information on

* * *

The Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities

The University of Glasgow is a founding member of the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities (SGSAH). The SGSAH is a unique and ambitious national organisation created to provide world leading support for doctoral researchers in the Arts and Humanities.  A collaboration of Scottish Higher Education Institutions, we will share the best of what we have in order to enhance the quality of provision across Scotland, providing our students with access to research expertise across the nation and to our universities’ world-class resources – including museums, special collections and archives. Working with our partners, ranging from the National Galleries of Scotland to BBC Scotland to Oxfam Scotland, the SGSAH will deliver outstanding and innovative skills development training fit for the challenges of the twenty-first century. Please see for further information.

GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

You are warmly invited to a GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

Wednesday 13 November 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm, Room 352
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

As part of his research on the communities of power, including the Church and the Politburo, Riello’s artistic practice comments upon the issue of national residency as a site for the power of the State. For instance, a blown glass containing a Residence Permit shows that the State (in this case, the Italian Republic), understood as “a juridical entity that has sovereignty over a definite territory”, has the authority to grant or refuse the permit to enter the country. This could be seen as a very topical comment on war refugees fleeing Syria in search of a safer life.

Thus in an attempt to rouse us from the deep-seated indifference that keeps us from realising what is happening to people who need our help, Riello’s artistic practice uses a cruel-and-playful approach. This creative attitude is examplified by Italiani brava gente, an artwork in the form of a videogame where the player has to sink the boats of refugees approaching the southern Italian coasts, thus echoing the reality of the role of the sea-coast armament in the region, and its effects on human lives. One must read PerGraziaRicevuta, the rocket missile painted with the stories of Saint-Anthony, and KT WE, the military aircraft where Western and Eastern winged putti fight each other, in much the same way.

Riello’s new project, “Collateral Damage” (CD), deals with the rampage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or so-called “drone” attacks and their typically random, thus insidious, process and effects. These are common military tools, as they are considered to be effective and relatively inexpensive. Many military decisions are outsourced to computers and cameras, and are based on algorithms developed to detect “patterns of dangerous behaviour.”

Following the seminal research on the aesthetics of war undertaken by such figures as Paul Virolio, Guy Debord and Jacques Derrida, Riello argues, it seems urgent and vital that contemporary art, as a form of radical visual thinking, should deal with this new situation. “A sign of public defiance against the illegal use of these improper weapons should simply be our cultural duty.”

CD is a low-budget, urban public art project based on a series of outdoor installations and a campaign of visual information and protest. It takes the form of a logo of a giant bull’s-eye to be for instance stenciled on a large scale in open spaces close to social institutions or people in danger.

Antonio Riello is an eclectic artist with various interests, but he works especially with sculpture, installations, photo-montage, and digital art. He delivers courses on “Videogames Phenomenology” at several Universities. He has exhibited works and installations in art institutions and art galleries internationally

Rice Seminar Research Fellowships, 2014-15

logo_rice3The Humanities Research Center at Rice University is accepting applications for yearlong residential fellowships to participate in the 2014-15 Rice Seminar, “Exchanges and Temporalities in the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Victorianism.” We are looking to appoint three external faculty members (any rank) and one postdoctoral fellow.  Fellows will participate in the Rice Seminar, a yearlong research seminar designed to study a broad topic from an interdisciplinary perspective. The seminar will be directed by Helena Michie (English) and Alexander Regier (English).
Applications are welcome from scholars, from all ranks and in all disciplines, whose research problematizes the geographical, chronological, and epistemological assumptions that divide the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries into periods or movements, and addresses cultural exchanges between Britain and the rest of the world. Fellows will take part in a yearlong residential research seminar, leading to the publication of an edited collection with a major university press. See below for a full description of the seminar.
All fellows are expected to be resident and full time at Rice for the entire appointment of the 2014-15 academic year. Their primary obligations will involve actively participating in all aspects of the Seminar. The postdoc will be required to teach one foundation course in the humanities. Participants will also be expected to contribute to the graduate and undergraduate experience of Rice students; the nature of this engagement will be determined in consultation with the applicant.
International scholars are encouraged to apply. Postdoctoral applicants have completed PhDs between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2014.
Fellowship stipends will be commensurate with rank, up to $60,000; we offer eligibility for Rice medical benefits and an allowance for travel and relocation to Houston.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS FOR POSTDOCS: Postdocs must apply through Rice University’s RiceWorks system. Click HERE for the application.

Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives

Saint_GeorgeIntimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives
RHS symposium
Friday 18 October, Bath Spa University, Corsham Court campus
Keynote speaker: Dr Joanne Bailey, Oxford Brookes University
‘English Manly Intimacy and Power in Representations of St George and the Dragon c. 1750-1950’
This symposium will approach the concept of intimacy and closeness from a range of neglected perspectives, addressing several fundamental themes in European history. Current strands in the history of emotions dwell on singular feelings, their production, and the influence of pathological and medical discourse on their expression. Few historians have sought meaning in the theoretical advances of Lauren Berlant and Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose work has profound implications for the way in which social and political relations are understood. The symposium will approach intimacy variously through sessions that explore the following themes: political cultures, (official, popular and subaltern); legal norms; ethnic and religious difference; and desire.  The relation between interior and public modes of intimacy will be explored, through consideration of the ‘advent of intimacy as a public mode of identification and self-development’ (Berlant). A second key theme will be the concept of ‘intimate publics’ in pre-modern and modern Europe. In a similar vein, the seminal work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has offered new perspectives on the way in which intimacy operates in tandem with looking, sexuality and bodily contact.

Invited contributors will present on: gendered intimacy and personal authority in nineteenth-century England; the subversion of political intimacies in early modern intelligence networks; and the influence of medieval ecclesiasts on the policing of intimacy in local communities; the politics of sympathy; intimacy and power in early medieval Europe.

For the full programme, and registration form, see:

Conference attendance:
Attendance is free, as the event is sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and Bath Spa University.
Registration (for catering purposes and room size):
Please register for a place by completing the registration form and emailing it to: by Friday 11th October.

Melancholy – Pain (9-11 July, 2013)

3rd Conf.Our 2013 Embodiments international conference explores the themes of melancholy and pain, reading through different types of narratives on emotional and physical pain in dialogue with cross-disciplinary studies of melancholia in Europe and throughout the wider world. The event concerns itself with the melancholy-pain gap across geographies, genealogies, and time, conceptual portrayals of pain and melancholy in the media, varieties of genres and approaches, as well as cross-genre and cross-cultural communications of these terms and concepts. Last year, our Arts-Science conference Paranoia and Pain saw magnificent presentations from around the world. Building on the success of that inaugural event in Embodiments Research Group, we are working through journal and book chapters to be published during 2013-14.

We welcome delegates to the University of Liverpool Campus and wish everyone a very delightful time in our beautiful city. Whether you are registered and attending the conference or not, you can follow us and share ideas on tweeter @Embodiments. Dr Erik Grayson @egveitikkje is live-tweeting the event during these three days. Extended questions, comments, and discussions must be directed to

You can find more about the schedule and panels in the conference booklet, following this link:


William_Cowper_by_Lemuel_Francis_AbbottTHE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM

By William Cowper (1731-1800), Written Feb., 1780.  Published 1782.

A Nightingale, that all day long
Hath cheer’d the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangu’d him thus, right eloquent—

Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For ’twas the self-same pow’r divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.
The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,
Releas’d him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real int’rest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other;
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life’s poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other’s case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace, both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.

The Legacy of the Grand Tour

Portrait of Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, on his Grand Tour with his physician Dr John Moore and the latter's son John. A view of Geneva is in the distance where they stayed for two years. Painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1774.

Portrait of Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, on his Grand Tour with his physician Dr John Moore and the latter’s son John. A view of Geneva is in the distance where they stayed for two years. Painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1774.

Submissions are sought for an edited collection, tentatively entitled The Legacy of the Grand Tour: New Essays on Travel, Literature, and Culture. It has been claimed that there are really only three basic plots in all of literature, boy meets girl (or variations thereof), a stranger comes to town, and someone goes on journey. The topos of the journey is one of the oldest in literature, and even in this age of packaged tours and mediated experience, it still remains one of the most compelling. This volume seeks to examine the ways in which the legacy of the Grand Tour is still evident in works of travel and literature. From its aristocratic origins and the permutations of sentimental and romantic travel to the age of tourism and globalization, the Grand Tour still influences the destinations tourists choose and shapes the ideas of culture and sophistication that surround the act of travel. Essays examining a wide variety literature, travel literature, memoir, and culture are welcome, though the editor is particularly interested in the ways travel and ideas of “culture” overlap in destinations historically associated with the Grand Tour. Please send abstracts of about 300 words and CVs, as well as inquires, by August 1, 2013 to Lisa Colletta, The American University of Rome ( If requested, full articles will be due by January 15, 2014.