OCCT HT Week 0 Updates


Don’t forget to register for OCCT’s postgraduate and early-career conference, Translational Spaces: Language, Literatures, Disciplines Conference, taking place on 22 February 2020 at St Anne’s College. The conference programme and registration link is available here: https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/translational-spaces-language-literatures-disciplines-conference. The conference will culminate with André Naffis-Sahely reading from The Heart of a Stranger: An Anthology of Exile Literature (Pushkin Press, 2019).

OCCT has a great term lined up! As usual, the Discussion Group runs its fortnightly meetings and is thrilled to host Yeogeun Kim on translations of a 17th century Korean Buddhist romance (Week 2), and Margherita Laera on translation, adaptation and performance (Week 8). In Week 4, the Discussion Group will welcome Julia Caterina Hartley and Xiaofan Amy Lin to talk about their newly-published Transcript monographs. The Fiction and Other Minds Seminar will take place in Week 4 (details TBC). In Week 5, Jennifer Croft discusses and reads from Homesick and her translations. In Week 6, Antjie Krog, Nkosinathi Sithole, and Chris Dunton will jointly present the talk African Classics: Translating Texts, Translated Contexts. In Week 7, we will celebrate the publication of OCCT's latest book, Prismatic Translation, edited by Matthew Reynolds and containing essays by our own Adriana X. Jacobs and Kasia Szymanska as well as many other distinguished contributors.

Check our website for further details!


1. 2020 Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities

We invite applications to the second gathering of the Colby Summer Institute in Environmental Humanities, taking place this August 1-7 in Waterville, Maine. This Mellon Foundation-funded institute, will bring together international scholars to collectively explore how this developing field contributes to the theorization, imagination, and practice of socially just and ecologically hopeful futures for humans and nonhumans in a global collective. 

Participants will work closely with seminar leaders Stacy Alaimo, Professor of English and Core Faculty Member in Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Professor of English and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Imre Szeman, Professor of Communication Arts at the University of Waterloo, for an intensive week of collaborative seminars and workshops on contemporary issues in the field. Applications are due February 1, 2020. For more information on the application process and to access the application form, please click here.

Please feel free to share and repost! You are welcome to contact Christopher Walker (cawalker@colby.edu) for more information. Attached is a promotional poster with more information.

More information can be found at http://web.colby.edu/environmentalhumanities/colby-summer-institute/

 2. Graduate Forum hosted by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, at Senate House, London

With the new term approaching, we are glad to invite you to join the 2019-2020 Graduate Forum hosted by the Institute of Modern Languages Research, at Senate House, London!

The Forum is a friendly and informal space for postgraduates to present their research. It is a great way to meet other students, share your ideas and work-in-progress and get constructive feedback from peers across languages and institutions. Whether you are drafting a chapter or preparing a conference paper, you will find it a really helpful space to develop your work.

Speakers can be from any subject related to the study of modern languages and cultures. Graduate students from departments other than Modern Languages (e.g. English, Anthropology, History, Drama, History of Art, Film and Media, etc.) and students working on comparative projects, are also welcome to join the group to develop interdisciplinary links.

There will be two 15-20 minute presentations per session, followed by a Q&A with free wine and nibbles. After the reception, we will continue the conversation at a local pub.

Please send your 200-500 word proposal, for a 15-20 minute paper or work-in-progress presentation, to gradforum.imlr@sas.ac.uk by January 31st.

3. Call for Papers for Critical Insights: Life of Pi (2020)

This is a call for chapter proposals for a forthcoming edited collection on the 2001 philosophical novel Life of Pi by Canadian author Yann Martel. This volume will be published in Fall 2020 by Salem Press as part of the following subseries of their Critical Insights collection: https://www.salempress.com/ci_works.

In line with the expectations of the Critical Insights series, we ultimately seek essays that:

-  Provide undergraduate and advanced high school students with a comprehensive introduction to the work and elucidate various aspects of the novel that they are likely to encounter, discuss, and study in their classrooms;

-  Help students build a foundation for studying Martel’s novel (as well as other related works) in greater depth by introducing them to key concepts, contexts, critical approaches, and critical vocabulary.

The format of each volume includes:

A BIOGRAPHY OF THE AUTHOR essay (2,000 words) that offers an overview of Yann Martel’s life.
An HISTORICAL BACKGROUND essay that addresses how the cultural backdrop of the early 21st century influenced the work as well as what makes the author and his work relevant to readers today.
A CRITICAL RECEPTION essay reviews the history of the critical response to the Martel’s novel, surveying the major concerns to which critics of the work have attended over the years. This essay should examine the history of criticism of Life of Pi rather than offering a specific critique or perspective.
A CRITICAL LENS essay that offers a close reading of Life of Pi from a particular critical standpoint, such as, for example, animal studies, narratology, or New Criticism.
A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS essay that analyzes Life of Pi in the light of another (similar, comparative or contemporary) work, either by Martel or by another author.

The volume will also include 14–18 essays (4,500–5,000 words each) that will offer critical readings of Life of Pi. Although all proposed topics will be considered, some possibilities include:

Animal studies
Critical race studies
Survival narratives
Narrative techniques
Religious studies
Feminism, Postcolonialism, Performance studies, or other critical approaches
Life of Pi in other media (film, theater etc.)

I encourage proposals from both established and early-career academics (including independent scholars), and welcome any questions or inquiries. If you are interested in contributing to this project, please submit an abstract of approximately 250-350 words and a brief resume/CV to Adam T. Bogar (adam.t.bogar@ncis.org) by Sunday, February 9, 2020.

Selected authors will be notified by Sunday, March 1st, 2020, and completed essays will be due on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

For accepted essays, each contributor will receive a $250 honorarium.

deadline for submissions:
February 9, 2020

full name / name of organization:
Adam T. Bogar / NCIS

contact email:

4. The conference "European travel writing in context: strategies of negotiating identity in travel writing – a comparative approach" will take place at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz on January 23-24, 2020. With papers by Tim Youngs (Nottingham Trent University), Nikol Dziub (Mulhouse), Alison Martin (Mainz), Jean-Xavier Ridon (University of Nottingham), Anna Sennefelder (Freiburg) and many more.
For more information and the programme see: https://travelwriting.uni-mainz.de/final-conference/ 

5. Forum for Modern Language Studies

Special Issues: Call for Proposals

Forum for Modern Language Studies produces two General Issues plus two Special Issues per year. These Special Issues address topical themes and debates across the journal's portfolio of languages, literatures, and cultures.

Guest Editors for Special Issues are normally approached by the General Editors, but the journal is currently inviting proposals from suitably qualified scholars who may have a future Special Issue in view for publication in 14-20 months’ time.  

If you are interested in proposing a Special Issue for an upcoming issue of Forum for Modern Language Studies, please complete and return the FMLS Special Issue Proposal Form at the link below to Dr Greg Kerr (greg.kerr@glasgow.ac.uk) of the University of Glasgow:


If you are unfamiliar with the scope and coverage of a Forum SI, our current special issue is July 2019: Intermedialities: Dance in Modern and Contemporary French Culture edited by Áine Larkin. A full list of special issues since 1994 is available at this link: https://academic.oup.com/fmls/pages/Special_Issues

Further information on Special Issues

Pioneering a model that has now been adopted by a number of Humanities publications, FMLS first introduced themed issues in 1985, gradually including one or two per year until the current rhythm of two Special and two General issues per volume was established in 1997. The pattern has since become a distinctive feature of the journal. Special Issues typically feature a selection of articles from different language areas covered by FMLS. Each Special Issue is edited by a Guest Editor whose expertise in the chosen field of enquiry determines the overall shape and coherence of the volume.

Articles are commissioned or selected from the disciplines covered by FMLS and all work is peer-reviewed. In keeping with its ethos of openness to diversity, FMLS ensures that Special Issues now encompass an increasing variety of contemporary scholarly concerns, combining the latest critical innovations with reassessments of canonical texts and ideas. They regularly include minority or marginal material as well as unusual perspectives on traditional topics. Special Issues frequently complement and enhance the wide disciplinary and chronological scope of General Issues by examining subjects from broader cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives.

Translational spaces poster