Past Events

CfP: Poetry and/as criticism, Maynooth, 21 Mar 2022 (deadline 15 Jan 2022)

One day symposium, Maynooth University, 21st March 2022.

Call for papers

How might we understand the at times fraught, at times generative relationship between poetry and criticism? 

What does it take for poetry to be, as Matthew Arnold proclaimed, “a criticism of life”, or as Audre Lorde insisted, “a vital necessity… toward survival and change?” And what steps must we take to, in the words of Adrienne Rich, “enter an old text from a new critical direction”?

How might epigraphs function as critical measures of the poem which follows? Is there a different rhythm for reading reviews in the same magazine as we encounter poems? How does the poet-critic negotiate the demands of both roles in relation? And what work can poetry criticism do to bring about cultural awareness and even change? 

Our chiasmus takes account of the symbiosis that exists between poetry and criticism, seeking to explore the reciprocity and tensions therein. Poems such as Alexander Pope’s An Essay on Criticism (1711), Anne Carson’s Glass Essay (1994), W.H. Auden’s The Sea and The Mirror: A Commentary on Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1944), and Vahni Capildeo’s reviews-in-verse in Skin Can Hold (2019) melt the distinctions we usually make between verse and prose, poetry and criticism, into air. Essays such as Sandeep Parmar’s ‘Not a British Subject: Race and Poetry in the UK’ (2015) and ‘Still Not a British Subject: Race and UK Poetry’ point to the work to be done in addressing the structures of whiteness in Anglophone poetry criticism, and “expanding the definition of innovative or avant-garde to account for challenges to the expressive and individual lyric mode posed by poets of colour.”

Whatever the relationship between poetry and criticism, it is one of vital importance, shaping how poems are written and received, canons formed, interrogated, and reformed, and poetic energies unleashed in both verse and prose. 

This one-day symposium on March 21st at Maynooth University, Ireland, seeks to address such questions, and more, bringing together scholars working on poetry, poetics, literary studies, and other relevant areas. We especially welcome work from BAME/BIPOC scholars, poets and writers. 

We are honoured to host Professor Sandeep Parmar and Dr Mary-Jean Chan as our joint plenary speakers.

While we hope this symposium will be in person (abiding by the Covid-19 measurements required by the Government of Ireland, which includes mandatory mask-wearing), we reserve the right to pivot online in the interests of public safety. 

Please send us an abstract along with a brief biography to Dr Karl O’Hanlon and Dr
Catherine Gander at by January 15th 2022.

  • Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • Critical poetic forms (e.g. poetic essays, odes and palinodes, elegies, epistles, parody,
  • burlesque, reviews-in-verse)
  • Public-facing critical cultures (platforms, media, audience)
  • Poetry criticism and race
  • Poetry criticism and gender
  • Poetry criticism and ‘craft’
  • Poetry responding to criticism and vice versa
  • The social function of poetry
  • Reviewing and rhetoric: critical arguments in the ‘poetry wars’
  • Canon formation, occlusion and marginalisation
  • The role of the poet-critic
  • Lyric subjectivity and new lyric studies
  • The roles of various reviewing platforms
  • Literary politics, self-fashioning and critical reputations
  • Prose criticism and style
Past Events

CfP: Modernisms revisited, 1922-2022 (deadline 28 Feb 2022)


Cadernos de Literatura Comparada, no. 46 (June 2022)

Modernisms Revisited II: 1922-2022

In 2022, we will celebrate the centenary of the Modern Art Week, consensually hailed as a landmark in Brazilian art and literature and as the event that gave rise to Modernism in Brazil. As Alfredo Bosi has noted, the Week was “the meeting point of the various trends that had been taking hold in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro since the First World War and the platform that allowed the consolidation of particular groups”, which, in the following years, would significantly change the direction of the country’s intellectual production.

However, even though the debate around national identity is an essential part of the period, it should not be ignored that Modernism, as a movement of artistic renewal from the first twenty years of the last century, has, in Brazil and in the world, characteristics that predate the Week and cut through it, undergoing new transformations in its wake. Thus, there is still a need to reflect on the beginnings of Brazilian Modernism in light of its relationship, for example, with the European vanguards, or even with other defining events of Modernism, which took place around the same year as the Week.

1922 is, after all, celebrated in the Anglo-American space as the annus mirabilis of Modernist literature, so named for bringing together the publication of three of the most important works in the English language of the last century: The Waste Land, by T.S. Eliot; Jacob’s Room, by Virginia Woolf; and Ulysses, by James Joyce, which was published in the same month as the Modern Art Week. In 1924, in France, Yvan Goll and André Breton each published their own Manifeste du Surréalisme, a few months after Oswald de Andrade launched, in Rio de Janeiro, the Manifesto da Poesia Pau-Brasil. In short, as a world movement, there is still a vast field of Modernism to be explored, which can greatly benefit from a comparative perspective.

Thus, this issue invites researchers from diverse areas to submit articles that address the Modernisms of different countries, emphasizing their particularities and their points of contact. Although this issue of the Cadernos de Literatura Comparada celebrates the centenary of the Modern Art Week, we also intend to bring together texts aimed at the comparative study of the most diverse Modernisms, as well as approaches that emphasize their interartistic, intermedial and interdisciplinary character. In this sense, the journal will feature articles that focus on topics like (but not exclusively) the following:

Brazilian Modernism and European Vanguards;
Other compared modernisms;
The Spirit of 22 and its place in the contemporary era;
Modernism and Intermediality: literature, music, painting, cinema, etc;
Genders and sexualities in Modernism(s);
Modernist Manifestos and Literary Magazines.

All articles must be sent, by e-mail, to by February 28, 2022. Submitted articles must comply with the publication rules of the Cadernos de Literatura Comparada available at:

We will consider previously unpublished essays written in the following languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish and French.

Issue 46 of the Cadernos is organized by:
Joana Matos Frias (ILCML – FLUL)
João Paulo Guimarães (ILCML – FLUP)
Ivana Schneider (ILCML – FLUP)
Daniel Floquet (ILCML – FLUP)

Past Events

CfP: Watch Words: John Furnival and Text (as) Art (EOI ASAP; deadline 31 Jan 2022)

Watch Words: John Furnival and Text (as) Art

Royal College of Art, London, 25 March 2022

Submission deadline 31 January 2022 (expressions of interest asap): 


Supported by the Paul Mellon Foundation

The English text-artist John Furnival (1933-2020), who died last year, made extraordinary contributions to a number of national and international movements at the juncture of text and image. These include Kinetic Art, Mail Art, British Pop Art, Book Art, and the global Concrete Poetry movement. Furnival also worked with, and influenced, a number of important graphic designers and typographers such as Edward Wright. Today, Furnival’s practice continues to excite and inspire, and bears relevance to a number of contemporary critical discourses and paradigms within art theory and history, including new materialisms and conceptions of the post-digital.

Watchwords: John Furnival and Text (as) Art is an interdisciplinary one-day symposium, co-organised by Dr. Natalie Ferris, Lecturer in Post-1945 Literature at the university of Durham and Dr. Greg Thomas, author of Border Blurs: Concrete Poetry in England and Scotland (Liverpool UP, 2019) in collaboration with the Writing MA at the Royal College of Art. The art press Bricks From The Kiln will produce an accompanying special edition of their journal series celebrating Furnival’s life and work and exploring his relevance to British and international art history, featuring creative and critical contributions from symposium participants and contemporary artists and poets.

Our confirmed keynotes are the writer Eley Williams, author of Attrib. and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and Professor Stephen Bann, Emeritus Professor of History of Art at the University of Bristol and editor of Concrete Poetry: An International Anthology (1967). We are also delighted to be welcoming textile artist Astrid Furnival, John’s frequent collaborator, and his curator and publisher Bernard Moxham.

Possible topics for papers – which should be rooted in an engagement with John and/or Astrid Furnival’s practice – include but are not limited to:

·         Concrete poetry

·         Mail art

·         Small press practice

·         Kinetic art and constructivism

·         British pop art

·         Typography

·         Collaboration and pedagogy

·         Cut-up and machine poetry

·         Neo-dada and intermedia art

·         Book art

·         Textile and fibre arts

·         Craft as critical practice

·         Subversive stitching

·         Feminist craft

·         Craft and ecology

·         West-country and regional avant-gardes

·         Post-war avant-gardes

·         Text art and new materialisms

·         Post-digital making

·         Communication and media, Marshall McLuhan and after

·         Cybernetics and information theory

·         Social and cultural history of the post-war

·         Sociologies of small press culture

·         Artistic and literary practices – contemporary or historical – informed by the Furnivals’ work

200-word abstracts for 15-20 minute papers should be sent to before 31 January 2022. However, participants are asked to respond with expressions of interest as soon as possible. 

Past Events

CfP:  Humour in Times of Confrontations, 1901 to the Present (abstract 31 Dec 2021; chapter 31 Aug 2022)

We’d like to invite humanities scholars to contribute to our edited volume, Humour in Times of Confrontations, 1901 to the Present, to be published in 2022/23 by Routledge in the Humour in Literature and Culture series.

This volume seeks to offer a broad understanding of humour in the 20th and 21st centuries by examining how humour emerges as a reaction to and/or against various dramatic conflicts across the period through the new modes of representation and new technologies that have emerged. Some humour is ageless and other humour dies in the moment. This volume stands out by exploring how the new modes and new technologies produce and share humour, and how they can be said to have changed humour in some way. Each chapter will begin with an overview of one of the confrontations below and move on to provide a case study of how that confrontation contributes to the creation, enjoyment, and sharing of humour via different media. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

1.    The WWI
2.    The Great Depression
3.    The WWII
4.    The cold war between the US and the USSR
5.    The rise and fall of the Berlin Wall
6.    The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China
7.    May 68
8.    The Stonewall riots
9.    The age of postmodernism
10.  Asian financial crisis
11.  9/11 attacks
12.  Climate change and global warming
13.  Black Lives Matter
14.  The Me Too movement
15.  The surge of Trumpism and Brexit
16.  The Covid-19 pandemic

By 31 December 2021, please submit an abstract of 400 words max and a brief bio to the editors Prof Shun-liang Chao (, Dr Alvin Dahn (, and Prof Vivienne Westbrook ( Full-length articles of 6000 to 8000 words will be due on 31 August 2022.

Past Events

CfP: Sylvia Plath Across the Century, 11-12 March 2022, online (deadline 20 Dec 2021)

The Sylvia Plath Society is happy to present to you, ‘Sylvia Plath Across the Century’, an online conference, which will take place on 11th-12th March 2022. Next year, we are celebrating Plath’s 90th birthday, while also re-evaluating her role and identities in the twentieth and twenty-first century and her influence across various times, geographies, cultures, and groups. This two-day conference acknowledges the renaissance of Plath studies with the resurfacing archives, auction items, new biographies, and republication of Plath’s works.

We welcome 15-minutes paper presentations from all disciplines, abstracts for roundtables, poster presentations, and other forms of art. Please send a maximum 250 words abstracts with a short, 100 words biographical note to by 20th December 2021. Topics include, but are not limited to, Plath and…

  • media, digital, virtual revisiting
  • science
  • health and disability
  • social movements
  • spaces and places
  • environment
  • education
  • religion and spirituality
  • Plath’s reception in non-Anglophone countries
  • re-reading race, class, and gender
  • feelings
  • family
  • archives, objects, and auction items
  • creative legacy: writers/artists inspired by Plath

The event is free and is open to the public, but registration will be necessary, for which information will be provided in time. For more information and enquiries, please follow us on Twitter at @Plath_Society or contact us via email at

The Sylvia Plath Society

Past Events

CfP: Outside/rs, 1-2 Apr 2022, Brighton/online (deadline 9 Jan 2022)

Outside/rs 2022 is a conference for postgraduate researchers, early career researchers and community parties, that provides a space to explore topics of sex, gender and queerness at the margins. The conference will be a hybrid of in-person, at the University of Brighton, and online sessions.

Example topics of submissions could include:

  • Social marginalisation, disruptive gender identities and dissident sexual cultures
  • Creating safe-spaces and navigating unsafe ones in terms of gender, sex or queerness
  • LGBTQIA+ and Queer political movements or history
  • Gender, family and kinship issues or politics
  • Queer arts, literatures, aesthetics and/or performance
  • New technologies for LGBTQ people: reproductive, non-reproductive and more
  • (Auto- )Biographies and ethnographies within and beyond the gender binary
  • Queer subjectivities, intersubjectivities and phenomenologies
  • Gendered or bodily boundaries, political borders and abolitionist responses
  • Outsides: nomadism, liminality and mobilities

We invite submissions in the form of:

  • Abstracts for complete papers (300 words)
  • Abstracts for panels (panels consist of 3 papers: include 300 words for each abstract and a cover letter)
  • Workshop proposals (400 words describing the topics, structure and aims of the workshop)

Abstracts and proposals should be sent to <> by 9 January 2022. See the conference website for more details. <;

For all enquiries or to join our mailing list for the conference, please email:

Past Events

CfP: Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art, Leuven, 23-24 May 2022 (deadline 15 Jan 2022)

Call for Papers: Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art

University of Leuven, 23-24 May 2022

This interdisciplinary conference, open to contributions on all art forms, aims to re-examine the theory and practice of the historical avant-gardes’ Gesamtkunstwerk. What, if anything, was specific to the historical avant-gardes’ Total Work of Art?   

Confirmed invited speakers include Matthew Wilson Smith (Stanford University) and Alexandra Vinzenz (University of Heidelberg).


The notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, inextricably tied to Richard Wagner, plays a central role in our understanding of the historical or classical avant-gardes. While it has regularly been observed that Wagner’s notion must be traced at least as far back as Jena Romanticism and that Wagner’s ambitions further meandered into the 19th-century, most notably in Symbolism, the Gesamtkunstwerk is often said to have come into its own only with the advent of the historical avant-gardes. In the hands of classical avant-gardists, the idea, or ideal, of a unison of sensory languages brought by a fusion of art forms and media indeed led to a watershed of experiments. Der Hang zum Gesamtkunstwerk, as Harald Szeemann memorialised it in his eponymous exhibition of 1983, may well have been one of the most salient features of the historical avant-gardes, be it in Cubism, Expressionism or Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism or Constructivism.

The aesthetic and (totalitarian) political implications of the avant-garde Total Work of Art have been a topic of critical debate at least since the early 20th century. Scholars of a more recent date (among others, Roger Fornoff, Boris Groys, Anke Finger, Matthew Wilson Smith, David Roberts and Marcella Lista) have also begun to chart complicated genealogies of the avant-gardes’ Total Work of Art, further paying attention to the clear social and religious aspects involved. Classical avant-gardists, so it has been observed, desired to reaffirm the social role of art and to recover a higher sense of spiritual unity through a synthesis of different art forms.

Now that we are beginning to have a clearer understanding of the variegated and multifarious pre-history of the avant-gardes’ totalising interartistic project, it may also be time to address the key question of this conference: what, if anything, was specific to the historical avant-garde Total Work of Art?

Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art welcomes all contributions that can help shed light on this question, be it by dealing with individual artworks, artists and movements, or by presenting broader historical and comparative approaches to the avant-gardes’ artistic practices and aesthetic theories during, roughly, the first half of the 20th century. Possible issues to consider include:  

(1)  H i s t o r y : To what extent can (and must) we still revise the history of the Gesamtkunstwerk before the arrival of the historical avant-gardes? Are alternative genealogies of the avant-garde Total Work of Art still conceivable? What historical sources or precursors, drawn on by avant-gardists themselves, demand more scrutiny?

(2)  G e n r e  &  M e d i a : The Total Work of Art is above all a work of art, but it remains one that eludes clear generic definition. The Gesamtkunstwerk is tied perhaps first and foremost to the symbol of theatre (and the “temporal” arts of poetry, music, dance) and that of the cathedral (and the “spatial” arts of architecture, sculpture and painting). What other art forms did the avant-gardes promote as symbols or potential grounds for Total Works of Art? To what extent did “new” media, such as film, photography or the phonograph, as well as “old” media, such as the panorama or diorama, play a role in their reconsideration of the Gesamtkunstwerk and the recalibration of art forms involved? What aspects of the avant-gardes’ theorisation of the Total Work of Art have been neglected? And which perhaps so far ignored examples of Total Works of Art, leaving behind the limited stock of works we usually address, can still shed a different light on the avant-gardes’ aesthetic of the  Gesamtkuntwerk more generally?   

(3)  U t o p i a : Total Works of Art are commonly viewed as projections of both a future art and a different, utopian community or society. Could part of the specificity of the avant-garde Gesamtkunstwerk reside in the types of possible worlds they trigger hermeneutically, and, if so, how? Are the possible worlds of the avant-garde Total Work of Art necessarily futural? And, how, methodologically, do we extract or salvage such possible worlds from individual art works, when, for instance, artists’ comments fail us?  

(4)  S c i e n c e : The Total Work of Art has been approached so far mainly for its aesthetic, political, social and religious implications. To what extent did science as well play a role in the avant-gardes’ conceptualisation of the Gesamtkunstwerk? How, for example, did the sciences of chemistry, biology, sociology or engineering figure into the avant-garde Total Work of Art?

(5)  A f t e r m a t h : Which more recent works, artistic practices or theories that align themselves with, or reflect on, the historical avant-gardes may still help us to reconsider the historical avant-gardes’ Gesamtkunstwerk, to highlight perhaps hitherto neglected facets of it?   


Revisiting the Avant-Garde Total Work of Art will take place in the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) on 23 and 24 May 2022. Given the current health and travel situation, we are open to alternative arrangements in light of contingencies.

The conference language is English.

Proposals for 25-minute papers – including an abstract (max 500 words) as well as a short biography (max 200 words) mentioning institutional affiliation and up to five previous publications – can be sent to by 15 January 2022. Proposals should be in Word format.

Accepted papers will be considered for inclusion in a book publication after the event.

This conference is organised by Sascha Bru and Abigael van Alst. It is hosted by the MDRN research lab of the University of Leuven.

Essay Prize News Past Events Postgraduate

BAMS Essay Prize 2021 winners: Imola Nagy-Seres and Doug Battersby

Two essays have jointly been awarded this year’s BAMS Essay Prize of £250 and the publication of the essay in Modernist Cultures. We would like to congratulate both:

Imola Nagy-Seres, ‘Katherine Mansfield’s Poetics of Breathing’

The committee found this a fabulous rereading of Katherine Mansfield’s work though breath and physical culture.

Doug Battersby, ‘Ford Madox Ford and the New Cardiology’

The committee found this a wonderfully convincing article on cardiology, the heart, and Ford Madox Ford.

The standard of essays submitted this year was truly astounding and the prize committee would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their work. The field of modernism is in excellent hands if this is the standard of scholarship from our new and emerging colleagues.

Past Events

CfP: Inside and Outside Modernism: An Anatomy of 1922 and its Cultures, Reading, 28 Mar 2022 (deadline 1 Dec 2021)

“James Joyce is quite wrong headed. Anyhow, with his wilfulness, he has made novel reading into a fair imitation of penal servitude…”


Keynote Speakers: Professor Patrick Collier (Ball State University), Dr Beci Carver (University of Exeter)


This one-day conference intends to examine 1922 looking at the cultures and writers associated with this significant year, in all their forms and geographical spread. It will consider the year holistically, considering the cultural and personal interactions and how they relate to the intellectual work of modernism. The conference is designed to bring the year into clearer focus with interdisciplinary contributions from politics, history, science, economics, music, literature, book history and visual culture and areas that have fallen outside the purview of traditional modernism. Some questions the conference would like to approach include: how has modernism impacted on the study of artistic cultures? How far did recent history shape social attitudes? How did the political and economic uncertainties in 1922 permeate different cultures? Was 1922 important for anything more than modernism itself?

Key Areas that we suggest will be covered include:

The music of 1922

Publishing and editing

Popular fiction

The texts of modernism

The political and economic context

The Great War and 1922

Theatre and culture

The trouble with modernism

Visual cultures

Modernism in retrospect

Outside the modernist canon

Scientific exploration

It will be held at the University of Reading Special Collections which holds a number of important documents relating to publishing and literature in 1922 and there will be an exhibition showcasing some of the more prominent holdings which we hope will inform our discussions on the day. 

Proposals for papers should be e-mailed to and copy in no later than Wednesday December 1st 2021. All proposals should be about 250 words in length and all papers should be a maximum of 20 minutes in duration. We hope to contact you about your proposal by 22nd December 2021. Please include an e-mail address and a two-to-three line biography with your proposal. We are currently looking to deliver this conference in-person at the University of Reading, subject to guidelines. However, papers may be delivered online. Speakers and attendees will be notified closer to the date of confirmed arrangements.

This conference has been supported by the Centre for Book Cultures and Publishing and the Samuel Beckett Research Centre at the University of Reading.

CFPs NWIMS Past Events

New Work in Modernist Studies 11, online, 10 Dec 2021 (deadline 20 Oct)

About the conference

The eleventh one-day graduate conference on New Work in Modernist Studies will take place online on Friday 10 December 2021, in conjunction with the Modernist Network Cymru (MONC), the London Modernism Seminar, the Scottish Network of Modernist Studies, the Northern Modernism Seminar, the Midlands Modernist Network and the British Association for Modernist Studies (BAMS).

BAMS is dedicated to fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion (please see our Code of Conduct).   As in previous years, this conference will take the form of an interdisciplinary programme reflecting the full diversity of current graduate work in modernist studies; it encourages contributions both from those already involved in the existing networks and from students new to modernist studies who are eager to share their work.  We particularly encourage proposals from BAME students, who we recognise are underrepresented in the field.

Usually the event is open only to students at British and Irish institutions as we offer each student a travel bursary.  However, as the event will be held virtually again this year, we encourage PhD students from around the world to apply.  The conference will be held during the working day in the UK (approx. 9.30am – 5pm, with regular breaks); please let us know if you are attending from elsewhere in the world and need this to be taken into account.

The day will include a plenary session, with details to be confirmed.

Unfortunately, the coffee breaks and drinks reception will still have to be in your own home this year.  We are keen to enable the making of connections that usually happens in those spaces between academic papers and panels, and are working on ways of doing so.

Proposals are invited from registered PhD students for short (10 minutes maximum) research position papers.  Your proposal should be no more than 250 words. Please also include a short biography of no more than 50 words.  If you are outside the UK and Ireland, please give your location and time difference to the UK.

Proposals for and questions about the event should be sent to

Deadline for proposals: 9am UK time, Wednesday 20 October 2021.

Acceptance decisions will be communicated within two weeks.

Applicants and delegates are encouraged to let us know about any access needs they might have, and if we are able to adjust the application or presentation process, we will endeavour to do so.

We’ll host the conference by Zoom, and there won’t be any charge to attend.