The definitive programme for the third ENSFR conference: “Short Fiction: Co-Texts and Contexts” is now online on the website of the conference: https://ensfrleuven2017.wordpress.com/
Twentieth-Century British Periodicals: Words and Art on the Printed Page, 1900-1999
4 July 2017
Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, Redlands Road, Reading, UK
Current scholarship on twentieth-century periodicals is moving beyond the study of the ‘little’ magazine and avant-garde publications. Many mainstream and specialist periodicals, including tabloids, broadsheets, illustrated newspapers, illustrated magazines, fashion magazines, ‘slick’ magazines, women’s magazines, art periodicals, trade and specialist periodicals, pulps, reviews, and political and campaigning magazines have yet to receive sustained critical attention.
This interdisciplinary one-day * conference, coordinated by Dr Kate Macdonald, University of Reading, and Emma West, Cardiff University, will bring together scholars and collectors to discuss the magazines, newspapers, journals, dailies, weeklies, fortnightlies, monthlies and quarterlies of British cultural life in the pre-Internet twentieth century. The focus of the discussion will be on the producers and consumers of these ephemeral products, to attempt to map out their networks. By focusing on both words and images, this conference aims to bring the specialist collector and the art historian to the table, to share knowledge of commercial and artistic figures and movements with publishing and book historians.
We invite abstracts relating to these topics:
- graphic design, art direction, advertising and publicity
- magazine fiction
- the sporting pages
- the children’s comic and the teen magazine
- fashions on the page
- monthly domestic instruction
- freelance writing
- the reviewer and the reviews
- ephemerality and collectability
- pre- and post-war periodicals
- the bibliographers and the academy
Please send abstracts of 300 words or less, plus a brief account of your teaching, publications or research in these fields, by 31 January 2017, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
* If enough abstracts are received to warrant a second day, we will extend the conference to 5 July.
The Fifth Biennial John Updike Society Conference
Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Serbia – June 1 – 4, 2018
THE FIRST CALL FOR PAPERS
The Fifth Biennial John Updike Society Conference will be the first one outside the United States of America, and it will take place in Serbia. John Updike visited Belgrade in 1978—it was then the capital of Yugoslavia and now it is the capital of Serbia. Updike also visited Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, which was then one of the six constitutive republics of Yugoslavia. In both cities Updike gave important interviews for magazines and TV stations.
Papers on any aspect of John Updike’s work or life will be considered, but topics that are especially appropriate can be found on the society’s website: http://blogs.iwu.edu/johnupdikesociety. One-page proposals for 15- to 20-minute papers on all aspects of Updike’s life and work and especially suggested topics should be sent, along with a brief one- or two-paragraph bio, to conference director Biljana Dojčinović – email@example.com – by the 31st of January 2018.
The American Short Story: New Horizons
Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany
October 5-7, 2017
Program coordinator: Oliver Scheiding
Organizing Committee: James Nagel, Olivia Edenfield, Elke D’hoker, Jochen Achilles, Dustin Anderson, Damien Schlarb
Throughout its history, the American short story has been praised either as a highly polished gem or condemned as literary fast food. Despite such rise-and-fall predictions, the short story has always been a demanding form. Its narrative economy in terms of time and space records decisive, intimate moments of life that give the American Short Story a broad social resonance. As such, the short story offers a vibrant field of research. There is a renaissance in progress not only in terms of the short story’s productivity but also in terms of innovative theoretical questions. The current state of research is, however, probably best described as “ripening.”
The conference “The American Short Story: New Horizons” invites both panels and papers that address fresh and original questions relevant to studying the American short story: how the genre works as performance in itself; how it conveys a theory of culture in which aesthetic structures and the presentation of cultural problematics interrelate; how the short story and the practices of text-making are related to the cultures of print in which textual circulation and economic exchange are homologues; how we can read the short story as an expressive form alongside its material dimensions, its vitality of forms (i.e., short-short fiction, flash fiction), and the multiple meanings of such concepts as authorship and genre; how we can reassess the short story as a field to map out exchanges not just among authors, but also among editors, publishers, reviewers, readers, and the physical text, with its advertisements, illustrations, and editorial changes. The conference thus seeks to explore the American short story as a coming together of the enduring narrative practice of compression and concision in American literature, presently culminating in a digital culture in which brevity rules.
- History of the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Ethnicity
- Gender/Sexuality Studies and the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Literary/Cultural Theory
- American Short Story and Linguistics
- American Short Story and Psychology
- American Short Story and Religion
- Early Short Narratives prior to 1800
- American Short Story and Periodicals
- American Short Story and Graphic Narratives
- American Short Story and Print Culture/Material Culture
- American Short Story and Translation/Translators
- American Short Story and Storytelling
- New and old Forms: Short and Short-Short Stories
- American Short Story Cycles
- The American Short Story and Life Writing
- American Short Stories and Authors
- Flash Fiction and Microfiction
- American Short Story and Visual Arts/Film
- American Short Story and Digital Research
- American Short Story and the Digital Age
- American Short Stories and Globalization
- American Short Stories and Transnationalism
- American Short Stories and Medical Humanities
- American Short Story and Literary Periodization/Movements
- American Short Story and MFA Programs
- American Short Story and Music/Theater
- Editing and Anthologizing the American Short Story
- Publishing and Reception of the American Short Story
- American Short Story and Pedagogy
- American Short Story and Genres (Novel, Novella, Essay etc.)
- New Literary Histories on American Short Stories (1980s to the Present)
Please submit all proposals and abstracts to Oliver Scheiding (firstname.lastname@example.org) by June 30, 2017.
- The organizing committee screens all proposals and abstracts, issues acceptances, and arranges the presentations on the program. It will form panels to accommodate papers not included in pre-arranged groups.
- All persons wishing to give a paper at the conference, including all members of pre-arranged panels, should give a one-paragraph abstract of the paper to be presented along with a biographical paragraph giving the credentials of the presenter to address this topic. Individual papers should be scheduled for 20 minutes.
- Panels and roundtables have three presenters, although some may have more. Proposals for pre-arranged panels should include a 250-300-word description of the topic and full contact information for all members of the group. The person submitting the proposal is the chair of the session. He or she may also be a presenter, but need not be.
Short Fiction: Co-texts and Contexts
University of Leuven (KU Leuven), 4-5-6 May 2017
Since the emergence of the modern short story as a distinct literary form in the second half of the nineteenth century, many critics and writers have sought to decide what it is exactly that distinguishes the short story from longer fiction, such as the novella or the novel – Is it length? Conciseness? A specific thematic concern? Or a particular stylistic feature? The matter has not yet been settled. Perhaps we need to look to more circumstantial, material elements for a pragmatic answer to that question. Indeed, one could argue that one of the discerning features of the short story is that it is rarely if ever published separately. Instead, it appears as one text among others, whether in a newspaper or magazine, an anthology or collection, a short story cycle or sequence, on a website or in a twitter feed. Precisely these different formats and contexts of publication have also been instrumental in the birth and development of the modern short story as we know it today. As several critics have argued, the short story rose to fame as a new and fashionable literary form in the 19th century thanks to the boom in the periodical press. Similarly, its decline in popularity in the second half of the 20th century correlates with the decimation of magazines willing to publish short fiction. And one could argue that the renewed interest in short fiction today is related to the proliferation of new publishing opportunities through digital media.
This necessary co-textuality of the short story or the different contexts in which it is published and read are slowly receiving more critical attention. Dean Baldwin’s Art and Commerce in the British Short Story: 1880-1950 documents the rise and fall of British short fiction through a study of its modes of publication. Other studies address the processes of unification and collection that go into the making of short story cycles, anthologies or collections, while the interactions between short fiction and new (digital) media formed the topic of the previous ENSFR conference.
This third annual ENSFR conference wants to further explore the many different ways in which short fiction interacts with its co-texts and contexts in different literary traditions. Questions we would like to address are:
- How have the publication formats of short fiction changed over the centuries?
- How is the development of the short story bound up with the printing and publishing context of a particular time and space?
- To what extent have the publication contexts of the short story influenced its perception as an avant-garde or popular genre, or as highbrow/middlebrow/lowbrow literary form?
- What are the new publishing formats emerging today and how do they influence the short story?
- What is the interaction between short fiction and other media (e.g. illustrations, typography, photographs) in such multimedial publishing formats as the magazine or the website?
- What is the importance of the book trade and its marketing strategies on the writing and publishing of short stories?
- How is the co-textual nature of a single-author collection different from that of an anthology or from a short story cycle? How does this context influence our reading of a given short story, as it moves, for instance, from a magazine, to a collection and on to an anthology or syllabus?
- How does a short story take on new meaning throughout its migration across different publishing contexts? What metamorphoses can be observed from a story’s initial publication to later, revised versions?
- What connections might be made within an author’s complete oeuvre? For example, do authors sometimes return to initial stories or storyworlds later in his/her career, creating connections that extend beyond the temporal frame of an initial publication, but also beyond the material boundaries of a single collection?
- In what way do stories interact with the socio-political context of the time and place they reflect? How do they evoke that larger context within a restricted frame?
In other words, possible topics can include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
- The short story cycle
- The anthology
- The collection
- The story as part of an author’s oeuvre
- Short fiction in magazines
- Short fiction and other media
- The short story and the book trade
- The short story and prize culture
- The short story and its socio-political contexts
- Interpreting the short story
We welcome papers (in both English and French) that address these questions and topics either through individual case studies or more theoretical or historical explorations as well as in different literary traditions. Proposals for three-paper panels are also welcome. 300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers should be sent to Elke D’hoker (email@example.com) and Bart Van den Bossche (Bart.firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 15th of January 2017. Contributors should also send a short biographical note indicating institutional affiliation. Further information about the conference will be posted on the conference website http://www.shortfiction.be. The conference will take place in the Leuven Irish college (http://www.leuveninstitute.eu/site/index.php).
CONSTRUCTING COHERENCE IN THE BRITISH SHORT STORY CYCLE
15-16 October 2015
Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany)
Patrick Alasdair Gill (Mainz) and Florian Kläger (Würzburg)
While the American short story cycle has recently been the object of extensive critical discussion, the same can hardly be said of its British counterpart. Still, thematically unified short story cycles would appear to constitute an established feature of the British literary landscape: recent specimens include Graham Swift’s Learning to Swim, Salman Rushdie’s East, West, Julian Barnes’s Cross Channel, Adam Thorpe’s Shifts, Sara Maitland’s Moss Witch, A. L. Kennedy’s What Becomes, and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Nocturnes. By reference to these and other British examples of the form, this conference aims to explore the generic characteristics of the short story cycle alongside and against those of the novel and the short story collection, pursuing questions such as:
- What are specific effects of a story cycle’s coherence as against that of a novel on one end of the spectrum and a story collection/compilation on the other?
- How can the construction of coherence in the short story cycle be situated generically vis-à-vis other narrative cycles (e.g., in television, film, comics, web videos, etc.)?
- How do readers participate in the production of such coherence? Does reader participation in the short story cycle differ qualitatively from the creation of coherence in other genres?
- What aspects, other than recurrent themes or characters, can serve as agents of coherence?
- If the cycle relies on recurrent themes and characters, how is their function enhanced by use in a story cycle rather than a novel or other longer narrative genres?
- What insights are to be gained from comparisons between the short story cycle in the British Isles and in other literatures?
- What are forms and functions of paratextual features in short story cycles?
- Which economic or other material aspects have (had) a decisive impact on the development of the genre in Britain?
We invite twenty-minute papers on these or related questions. Please send a 250-word abstract along with your institutional affiliation and a short biographical blurb to <email@example.com> and <firstname.lastname@example.org> before the 15th of May.
Call for Papers
Haunting in Short Fiction and Its Adaptations
20-21 November 2015, University of Angers, France (in collaboration with Edge Hill University, University of Leuven, University of Le Mans, and University of Nantes)
There is a long tradition of haunting in short fiction, often appearing in the form of ghost stories, folk tales, fairy tales, and legends. Short narrative indeed appears to embrace the supernatural. Elizabeth Bowen explains, for example, in the preface to A Day in the Dark and Other Stories that while she uses “the supernatural” in her short stories, she considers it “unethical’ to do so in a novel. In “The Flash of Fireflies” (1968), Nadine Gordimer similarly observes how short fiction navigates the uneasy borders of the supernatural and the rational world, explaining how “Fantasy in the hands of short story writers is so much more successful than when in the hands of novelists because it is necessary for it to hold good only for the brief illumination of the situation it dominates.” Continue reading
Call For Papers: (Deadline 1 March 2015)
Short fiction writers with a theory: re-reading short fiction theory through the lens of new writing and new media
11-12 June 2015, Université Catholique de Lille, France
(In collaboration with the University of Angers, France and the European Network for Short Fiction Research)
We are all familiar with the writings of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Frank O’Connor, Ernest Hemingway, Raymond Carver, and Flannery O’Connor on the short story. Their fiction has often been studied through the lens of their own critical essays, now considered essential elements in the heritage of short story criticism. The history of the short story indeed resounds with authorial declarations, ranging from Poe’s “single effect” to Anthony Burgess’s declared ambivalence about the form when announcing the new Journal of the Short Story in English in 1983 (JSSE 2). Continue reading
Reading Short Fiction in Transnational Contexts’
A conference of the European Network for Short Fiction Research
School of English, University of Dublin, Trinity College; School of English, Drama, and Film, University College Dublin
April 17-18, 2015
Much scholarly work has been done in recent years on the idea of transnationalism in literary studies, but the extent to which the term relates to works of short fiction has not yet received sustained scrutiny. This conference aims to address this scholarly lacuna with a series of lectures and panel discussions on a range of issues including (but not limited to) the following:
- The transnational origins of short fiction
- Short fiction between nations
- Short fiction and nation-building
- Short fiction and the idea of the nation
- Short fiction as transnational form
- Short fiction between national cultures
- Reading short fiction across nations
- Short fiction authors between states
- Short fiction and its international audiences
- Short fiction and issues in translation
- Short fiction and the nation state
- Short fiction and the transatlantic world
- Short fiction in Europe
- Short fiction and empire
- Short fiction and the gendering of nation
In addition to papers on these and other topics, the conference will include a panel discussion on the first five years of Best European Fiction, an annual anthology of short fiction in English (and translation into English) published by the Dalkey Archive Press. The conference will also include some readings by contemporary Irish short fiction writers.
300-word abstracts for 20-minute papers should be sent to email@example.com no later than midnight on the 1st of December 2014. Contributors should also send a short biographical note indicating institutional affiliation. A provisional conference programme will be announced in early January 2015.
It is envisaged that conference proceedings will be published as a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice: http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=196/
The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies invites submissions for a special issue on the Contemporary Irish Short Story, guest edited by Michael Kenneally. Essays are invited on all aspects of contemporary Irish short fiction, with special preference to be given to writing published since 2000. Essays exploring individual stories, writers, collections or a particular thematic focus are welcome, and should demonstrate an awareness of recent critical writing on the short story genre. Given the commitment of CJIS to highlight Irish visual, material and spatial cultures, submissions that explore the short story as a material or graphic object or as a precursor to physical manifestations on screen, stage or video, for example, would be especially welcome.
The length should not exceed 5,000 words and should follow the submission guidelines on the CJIS website: www.irishstudies.ca/canadian-journal-of-irish-studies
The deadline for submissions is December 2014 but it is advisable to contact the guest editor beforehand: Michael.Kenneally@concordia.ca
The new issue of the peer-reviewed journal Short Fiction in Theory and Practice is devoted to the short story cycle. In the editorial, Elke D’hoker gives a critical overview of different conceptualisations of the short story cycle in different literary traditions. Articles by Raphaël Ingelbien, Jennifer Smith, Rob Luscher, Ailsa Cox, Rachel Lister and An Van Hecke offer original analyses of short story cycles by such writers as LeFanu, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Byatt, Simpson and many others. The issue also contains an interview with Rachel Cusk, who offers interesting reflections on the short story. For the publisher’s link to the journal, click here.
Interférences Littéraires / Literaire Interferenties: A Multilingual e-Journal of Literary Studies has just published a special issue on the short story collection. It is entitled “Cycles, Recueils, Macrotexts: The Short Story Collection in Theory and Practice” and is edited by Elke D’hoker and Bart Van den Bossche. It contains articles in English and French and is available on the journal’s website.