OCCT MT 2020 Week 0 Updates

This term, OCCT will continue to run its events online via Microsoft Teams. The Discussion Group has some great sessions lined up! We start the term with a poetry reading with Jennifer Wong, before running a session on transdisciplinary modernism, and another on the use of vernacular languages in national literatures. The final DG session of term will explore what script teaches us about the state of world literary studies with Sowon Park. The Fiction and Other Minds seminar will host Felix Budelmann and Ben Morgan. All sessions will require registration: please consult the website directly for further information.


The Call for Papers for the virtual conference, Pre-modern Comparative Literary Practice in the Multilingual Islamic World(s), is now open. This virtual conference is co-organized by Huda Fakhreddine (University of Pennsylvania), David Larsen (New York University), and Hany Rashwan (University of Birmingham), and supported by OCCT. It will take place on 23-24 July 2021. Further information is available here: https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/pre-modern-comparative-literary-practice-multi....


The winner of this year’s Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize is David Hackston for his translation of Pajtim Statovci’s Crossing (Pushkin Press). The winner was announced on 30 September –International Translation Day – during an online ceremony hosted by English PEN.  The judges’ citations about the individual translations are available here: https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/oxford-weidenfeld-prize.


To accompany the award of the Prize, St Anne’s and OCCT have uploaded a number of videos in which the shortlisted translators discuss or read from their respective translations here: https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/shortlisted-oxford-weidenfeld-prize-translators-reading-and-discussing-their-translations and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCM94w4U7oke1vpAmUaCN07A.




1. International Book Club - 8pm Wednesday 25th November


The next International Book Club meeting will be on Wednesday 25th November at 8pm (GMT). We’ll be discussing Gine Cornelia Pedersen’s book, Zero (Nordisk Books), translated from Norwegian. The translator, Rosie Hedger, will be joining us live for our discussion, taking place on Zoom. 

The book can be purchased directly from the publisher, who have kindly offered us a discount. You can use the discount code IBCZERO15 to get 15% off at checkout until midnight on the day of the meeting. 

To register, go to our website: https://www.queens.ox.ac.uk/international-book-club


Gine Cornelia Pedersen debuted with this explosive novel, which won the prestigious Tarjei Vesaas First Book Award. Compared, in its home country of Norway, with a ‘punk rock single’, the unique lyrical style and frank description of life with mental health problems have come together to create one of the most exciting works of fiction from Scandinavia in recent years.  


Rosie Hedger’s translation of Zero was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2019, and her translation of Agnes Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal won an English PEN Translates Award in 2016. Ravatn’s novel was later selected for BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime, broadcast in January 2017, and was shortlisted for the 2017 Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year. Rosie was a candidate in the British Centre for Literary Translation’s mentoring scheme for emerging translators in 2012, mentored by Don Bartlett. Since then she has worked on a range of projects, more information about which can be found here. She is a member of the Translator’s Association. 


2. You are warmly invited to Comparative Literature Research Seminars held at King’s College London during the autumn term.


14 October 2020 – Dr Xiaofan Amy Li, ‘“The Flight of Wild Geese”: Michèle Métail’s Poetic Migrations between Chinese and French’ - Jointly with the UCL French Research Seminar and UCL Comparative Literature

28 October 2020 – Sawad Hussain, Jonathan Wright and Dr Sinéad Murphy, ‘Crosswords: A conversation about Arabic literature, translation, and writing the future’

11 November 2020 – Dr Justine McConnell, ‘Storytelling and the Podcast: S-Town as a New American Epic’

25 November 2020 – Dr Jenni Ramone, ‘Located Reading: Cuban, Indian, Nigerian and Black British Literatures in the Local Literary Marketplace’


The seminars that encourage friendly academic dialogue between participants will take place online on Wednesdays at 4.30pm. The sessions last for approximately 90 minutes and consist of a paper or panel followed by a Q&A at the end.


Please join via this link (no institutional login required):

Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Or: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/meetup-join/19%3ameeting_Zjk1NDFiMmMtNWZkNC00MjZhLWIxZjktNGEyN2JlOWU0M2Ji%40thread.v2/0?context=%7b%22Tid%22%3a%228370cf14-16f3-4c16-b83c-724071654356%22%2c%22Oid%22%3a%22da737018-5262-4df4-9926-f0b566f95af0%22%7d

For further information or questions, please email to: anna.katila@kcl.ac.uk or maria.marino@kcl.ac.uk.


3. Per terra e per mare: Poesie per chi è in cerca di rifugio (CivicLeicester, 2020) is now available as a paperback https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/191645934X/ref=sr_1_1

The anthology is part of a series translating poems from Over Land, Over Sea: Poems for those seeking refuge (Five Leaves Publications, 2015) from English into other languages.

The OCCT hosted an event around the initiative in February 2018 https://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/journeys-translation-poetry-reading-and-discussion

Per terra e per mare translates a selection of poems from Over Land, Over Sea into Italian and is being sold to raise funds for After18 (Leicester), Mosaico: Azioni per i rifugiati (Torino) and Watch The Med AlarmPhone who are all working with people looking for refuge and those on the move.
For information on how Over Land, Over Sea came about, see https://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-5ac6-solidarity-which-sings-1


4. Whatever. A Transdisciplinary Journal of Queer Theories and Studies

Themed Section: Queer Thanatologies

Guest editors: Anna Chiara Corradino, Carmen Dell’Aversano, Roberta Langhi, Mattia Petricola

The expression ‘queer death’ could be said to describe two distinct yet deeply interrelated fields of inquiry. The first one is built around the study of the cultural performances related to death, the end of life, grief, and disposal from the perspective of peripheral, non-normative, and anti-normative identities —among which are those identities that fall within the LGBT+ spectrum. The second field of inquiry is devoted to the theoretical deconstruction of the polarity life/death itself, considered as one of the most fundamental constructs for the creation of all social entities, no matter how small or simple.

Our themed section seeks to explore both these declinations of queer death, taking into account real-life social constructs and practices as well as the representation of death/dying/grieving/disposal in fiction and the arts. How can queer theories and studies contribute to destabilise the polarity life/death and reshape the endless set of social practices that derive from it? In what sense can life and death be described as performances? How can queer help us deconstruct classical thanatological notions like that, among others, of ‘death denial’ or the Freudian idea of grief as the ‘overcoming’ of death?

Raising such questions implies adopting an extremely open, wide-ranging approach to queer death, spanning from the study of eroticised corpses in Renaissance and Baroque painting to the analysis of grief practices in 21st-century LGBT+ communities.

Possible topics include, but are by no means limited to:

    Queering the life/death polarity
    Queering death in fiction (literature, film, comics, theatre, etc.) and the arts
    Queering death in psychology, medical humanities, and the social sciences
    Queering the anthropology of death
    Queer approaches to bereavement and mourning
    Queer death and the post-/non-/a-human
    Queering the corpse
    Death-related forms of desire and aesthetic contemplation

Deadlines and relevant dates

    •    The deadline for all submissions for issue 4 (general and themed sections alike) is October, 31, 2020.
    •    Revised versions of accepted papers will be due on February, 28, 2021.
    •    Last proofs will be sent on May, 21, 2021 and corrections are due on May 25, 2021.
    •    The issue will be published on June, 20, 2021.

About Whatever

Scholars working in queer studies, both in and out of academia, are still often marginalized; one of the aspects of this marginalization is the lack of publishing venues, which discourages potentially original and creative researchers from pursuing their interest in queer studies, and from contributing to the development of the field. This has a negative impact on both the queer studies community, and on scholarly, social, and political discourse in general.

Whatever exists to facilitate a dialogue among researchers who work in any field related to queer studies. We are excited that scholars the world over are spinning queer outwards in a range of new and promising directions, such as neuroqueer, animal queer, queer economies, queer pedadogies, the queer politics of migration, and many more. Their daring and original work is a powerful testimonial to the productivity and vitality of a cluster of theories which deserve to be more widely known and applied, both in scholarship, teaching, and research, and in activism, advocacy, and policy-making.

The purpose of Whatever is to offer scholars working in queer studies, in and out of academia, a place to share their work, to reach like-minded readers, to initiate collaborations, to make things happen. We aim to foster a diverse and mutually respectful community among scholars of different backgrounds, research interests, methodological allegiances and disciplinary affiliations.

Whatever is indexed in the following databases: ROAD, ERIH plus, DOAJ.
Applications for the following databases are pending:
EBSCO: Philosopher’s Index, LGBT&Gender studies database; ProQuest; Sherpa/ROMEO; OpenAIRE.

Whatever is published once a year; the first three issues are online at https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/

We are now inviting submission for the fourth issue.

Even-numbered issues, like the upcoming one, include a general section, which will host papers dealing with any and all aspects of queer theories and studies, and several themed sections, each curated by an independent editorial team. A list of the themed sections for this fourth issue can be found below.

Whatever is double-blind peer-reviewed, online, open-access.

Contributions are accepted in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Papers should be between 30.000 and 80.000 characters in length; authors wishing to submit longer works are invited to contact us first explaining their reasons; please write to the managing editor, Giovanni Campolo: giovanni@battitoriliberi.it . Authors are welcome to include a variety of media, such as images, sound files, and audiovisuals.

Papers should be submitted anonymously through the journal website following a guided five-step submission process. A submission checklist and guidelines are available at: https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/about/submissions. A detailed submission guide is found at the end of this document.

Whatever registration guide

1. Go to whatever.cirque.unipi.it and click on “Register” or (in case you have already registered) on “Login”, the pink buttons on the top right-hand corner.
2. Register to Whatever — we would much appreciate if you also registered as a Reviewer and listed your reviewing interests. (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/user/register)
3. Check your email for a message asking you to confirm your registration (please also check your spam folder). Then confirm, log in and customise your password.

Whatever submission guide

1. On the Whatever website, click the “Make a submission” button on the right and read the checklist and guidelines (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/about/submissions)
2. Click on “Make a submission” at the top of the frame (https://whatever.cirque.unipi.it/index.php/journal/submission/wizard)
3. Step 1 — Choose your role (Author), the Section you wish to submit to (see the call for papers above), check the Requirement boxes (the checklist is the same as in “Make a submission”; only this time you must check all boxes yourself ); then click “Save and continue”.
4. Step 2 — Upload your file: a) select the file type (usually it’s “Article”, but you can upload more than one file); b) check the filename, just in case you uploaded the wrong file; c) confirm or add more stuff d) click “Complete” e) click “Save and continue”.
5. Step 3 — Enter metadata: title, abstract, languages, keywords... Your co-authors must be listed in the “List of contributors” box; they do not have to register. Click Save and continue
6. Step 4 — Click on “Finish submission”.
7. Step 5 — Sit back and relax or do what you please while your reviewers do their job.


5. LETRA Seminario di traduzione letteraria (LaborLETT, CeASUm)


Translations of Aristotle’s Poetics ever since the XVI Century 

and the Forging of European Poetics


Trento University, March, 4th-5th, 2021


History will record few things lovelier and more moving than this Arab physician's devotion to the thoughts of a man separated from him by a gulf of fourteen centuries. To the intrinsic difficulties of the enterprise we might add that Averroës, who knew neither Syriac nor Greek, was working from a translation of a translation. The night before, two doubtful words had halted him at the very portals of the Poetics. Those words were "tragedy" and "comedy." He had come across them years earlier, in the third book of the Rhetoric; no one in all of Islam could hazard a guess as to their meaning. He had pored through the pages of Alexander of Aphrodisias, compared the translations of the Nestorian Hunayn ibn-Ishaq and Abu-Bashãr Mata—and he had found nothing. Yet the two arcane words were everywhere in the text of the Poetics—it was impossible to avoid them.

J.L. Borges, Averroës’ Search

Aristotle’s Poetics stands among the most important texts for the development of Western poetics. However, though already drawing great attention during the Middle Ages, Aristotle’s treatise was appreciated through its Arab translations and comments for a long time. When the Greek original was found at the turn of the XV Century, an extensive translation work was undertaken and carried out into Latin by William Moerbeke in 1491, Giorgio Valla in 1498 and Alessandro de’ Pazzi between 1527 and 1536 as well as into vernacular languages, whose first example was Bernardo Segni's translation into Tuscan in 1549. Translations gradually spread throughout Europe and accounted for remarks, commentaries and further treatises which in turn severely affected the aesthetic concerns and taste as well as the artistic production; suffice it to mention the significance gained by the concept of the unity of action between the Renaissance and the Baroque period by virtue of not so much the Aristotelean text as Agnolo Segni’s and Ludovico Castellani’s readings of it. If critical literature on the reception of the Poetics is vast, the same can hardly be argued about the studies of the influence exerted by its translations into modern languages on such reception and, as a consequence, on the aesthetical thought and taste within different ages and traditions, and therein on the relative conceptualizations of literary genres. In fact, the problem does not regard the modern age only. Arab translators had already modified and sometimes even slanted Aristotle’s texture with relevant outcomes on aesthetical theories. One should just think of Averroes’ gloss linking tragedy and moral teaching, which actually resulted from a wrong translation and still held a tremendous importance for the shaping of Western poetics (not only) during the Middle Ages. Scholars, including Antoine Compagnon and William Marx, have consistently explored this terrain with reference to such specific terms as mimesis and catharsis, thus raising awareness as to the necessity of further studies on translations stemming from different epochs and linguistic areas, and on how such translations subsequently related to and resonated in the development of European poetics. The conference aims to further connect the analyses of translations from a range of temporal and linguistic contexts and the forging of aesthetic theories, with a focus on specific genres and forms, so as to assess the extent to which the ‘translational horizon’ – to use Berman’s terms – of vernacularizers and translators alike has influenced such connection. In particular, it aims to analyze works from both a synchronic and a diachronic contrastive standpoint so as to improve our understanding of how translators’ choices of lemmas as well as semantic fields in Aristotle’s text have affected the shaping of literary poetics ever since the Sixteenth Century. The organizers wish to involve scholars from a range of disciplines, including national literatures, translation studies, comparative literature, theory of literature, philology and philosophy, with an interest in issues relating to the translations of the Poetics into modern languages (English, Italian, French, Spanish and German) starting from the Sixteenth Century. The following research questions may be addressed:


  • particular translations;
  • comparison of two or more translations either distant in time or belonging to different linguistic areas;
  • comparative analyses of translations of key words and semantic fields;
  • survey on translations in a given linguistic area or epoch;
  • the relationships between translations (also into vernacular languages) of the Poetics and treatises on either poetics or aesthetics.


Those who wish to take part in the conference with a 25-minute paper (in English, Italian, French, Spanish or German) should submit their proposal by sending an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biographical note to letra.lett@unitn.it by October, 31, 2020. Selected authors will be emailed by November, 15th, 2020.



Between Genres, Intermediality, Transmediality  


In recent years, exchanges and, more generally, relationships between new and old media played an increasing role in the artistic, visual, and literary production, as well as in the critical debate. 

In fact, the wider idea of intermediality flanked the well-established concept of intertextuality. Intermedial research perspectives focus on the interconnection between different modern media: from cinema to music, from visual art to photography, from videogames to graphic novels, and so forth. Within this methodological framework, recent scholarship increasingly investigated intermedial relations from both a theoretical and a textual point of view, aiming at an exploration of the intertwining between digital and traditional media, and at the aesthetic results of such intersections.  


The wide range of interdisciplinary issues related to the concept of intermediality encourages a variety of critical approaches to this topic. Taking into account Irina O. Rajewsky’s categories (Rajewsky 2002), the conference will investigate some of the most relevant intermedial perspectives: medial transposition (the way in which a media product is translated into a different one); medial combination (the mash-up of two or more media in order to create a new product); intermedial references (as, for example, ekphrasis). Also, further attention will be placed on the concept of transmediality (Jenkins 2006), namely the strategy of unfolding and expanding a story across different media (such as a film saga continued through novels and comics, as in the case of the “Star Wars” franchise).  


The conference also aims at discussing a further type of intersection, that is, the one between genres (mainly literary, but also cinematic). From classical literatures to the twentieth century, the intersection between genres has proved an ever-evolving phenomenon. With regard to the classical age, one may think of the interaction of lyrical genres in the sung sections of Attic drama (cf. Rodighiero 2012), or of the so-called “Kreuzung der Gattungen” in the Hellenistic age, or of the combination of different literary forms found in several Latin works, such as the Satyricon (see, among others, Conte 20072); with regard to the modern and contemporary ages, one may consider such instances of literary intersection as prose poetry and verse novel, or, more generally, other instances of hybrid literary forms (cf., e.g., recent monographic issue of «Ulisse» 21, 2018). 


The conference also sets out to examine how the same topic is treated across different literary genres (e.g. novel, literary/artistic translation, essay-writing, and poetry). 

We welcome contributions from different research fields (literary – ancient, modern, and contemporary –, musicological, artistic-visual, theatrical, cinematographic). 


Contributions may address, but are in no way limited to, the following issues: 

- Hybridization of forms and intersection between genres (literary, artistic or visual), from antiquity to today. 

- Intermedial phenomena between disciplines (e.g. Literature and Cinema, Music and Theatre, etc.) and intermedial references (e.g. èkphrasis, or the organization of a work around another medium: e.g. painting for Retablo, music for Le Benevole, etc.). 

- Phenomena of hypermediation, postmediality, transmediality. 


The conference is organized in the framework of the PhD course in Philology, Literature and Performing Arts and will be held at the University of Verona in the first half of May (the exact date will be announced at the beginning of November); the two-day event will be divided into sessions, each one opened by a keynote speaker. 


We welcome abstracts from PhD Students and Post-Docs. We encourage proposals for presentations of twenty minutes to be delivered in Italian. Those interested in participating should submit an abstract of max 400 words and a short bio-bibliography by 15 November 2020 to the following e-mail address: sovrimpressioni2021@gmail.com


Notice of acceptance will be notified by e-mail by 15 December. No conference fees will be charged. Travelling, accommodation and subsistence expenses will have to be covered by speakers themselves. The host institution will provide the social dinner on the first day and lunch on the second day for all delegates. 


Conference proceedings will be evaluated for a publication. 


Organizing Committee: Profs Paolo De Paolis, Massimo Natale, Giuseppe Sandrini; Drs Federica Barboni, Fatima El Matouni, Giulia Perosa. 

Scientific Committee: Teaching Committee for the PhD in Philology, Literature and Performing Arts (https://www.dcuci.univr.it/?ent=organo&cs=818&id=900). 


7. CPCT Research Seminar 2020-21:
Critiques of Violence
Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought, Goldsmiths, University of London

Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00pm UK time on Zoom
=> Register here: https://gold-ac-uk.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_gLOwwDQFTX2WYR4MmZ40Cg


CPCT’s annual research seminar meets on a bi-weekly basis and is open to centre members, graduate affiliates, and other interested staff and students at Goldsmiths and beyond. It aims to serve as a forum for philosophical work and dialogue at Goldsmiths.

2021 is the 100th anniversary of the publication of two texts that were seminal for the development of the modern critique of the state: Walter Benjamin’s “Toward the Critique of Violence” and Sigmund Freud’s Mass Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. The years around 1921 were not only the immediate aftermath of a number of revolutionary events in the environs of “Europe” (Russia, Germany), however; they were also coincident with the abolition of the world’s last widely recognized caliphate, the reshaping of the Arab Middle East, and the creation of the first Islamic mass movement of the twentieth-century: the Muslim Brotherhood. Taking this triple anniversary as its point of departure, this seminar will investigate what it means to “critique violence” and what being a “state” stands for during the long decade around and in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, both for contemporaries of the time and for us today who are the heirs to some of the most influential writings in political and legal thought resulting from this period. Alternating between close systematic readings of the texts in question and a genealogical approach to their historical and intertextual contexts, the seminar will seek to return the conceptual and practical stakes of a critique of violence to their full complexity, reconsidering them as articulations of implicit and explicit debates on anti-imperialism, nationalisms old and new, the value of constitutionalism, and the ambiguous role of religion in the modern world.

Convened by Andrea Mura (a.mura [at] gold.ac.uk) and Julia Ng (j.ng [at] gold.ac.uk).

A detailed session plan including further readings and links to PDFs is available at https://cpct.uk/2020-21/.


(Marginalia: Notes from the Margins Research Cluster – La Trobe University)


This call for papers invites contributors to explore the concept of 'wall' in its variety of expressions, from historical, literary, cultural, anthropological and ecological perspectives. Additional disciplinary approaches are also welcome. 

    Since the early stages of human civilisation, walls have been erected for a variety of purposes: to define borders, defend property, isolate undesirable elements of society, establish hierarchies, and so forth. Walls can be thought of as psychological, social or literary constructs as well as material barriers.

     They mark separations between cultures - the rural versus the urban, the native versus the foreign, the normal versus the irregular, the living versus the dead, the animal versus the human.

     Walls are built to claim a presumed national supremacy, or reinforce deep ideological divisions but, at times, they are reduced to silent witnesses of executions and violence. Elsewhere, they become barricades raised to defend freedom against an oppressive regime. They can unexpectedly turn into vehicles of political protest and engaged forms of art, or simply stand as illusory trompe l’oeil and theatrical screens.

     Walls are religiously charged spaces, sources of echoing narratives, places where the encounter with the sacred, the mythological, or the beautiful, in all shapes and forms, is expressed by countless mosaic fragments. In secular culture, instead, walls can be virtual windows where essential as well as futile aspects of our life are made public to as wide an audience as possible. These are only some of the possible associations with the ‘wall’ theme, but further avenues are open for investigation.


 The contributors are kindly invited to provide a short bio and a 250-word abstract of their proposed article to l.gussago@latrobe.edu.au by 15 November 2020. Notice of acceptance of the proposal will be sent by 30 November 2020. The final version of the accepted articles (7,000-8,500 words) is to be submitted by 31 March 2021.


The funding received by the research cluster will be allocated for the proofreading, formatting and indexing of the final manuscript.


9. Das Wort der Zukunft. 2020 DAAD-IMLR Competition Launched

Das Wort der Zukunft is the theme of the 2020 German Language Competition, the seventh in a series organised by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) and the IMLR.

They say that new words capture the zeitgeist. New circumstances and events encourage us to create new terms to describe the world and slowly but surely, these new words become part of our everyday language. For example, on a trip to Germany, were you ever asked ‘Bist du fly?’ [Are you in a good mood?]  Similarly, in English, ‘upcycling’ was named Word of the Year 2019 by the Cambridge Dictionary.

So what is the German word of the future? This year’s competition aims to encourage learners of the German language to combine their linguistic creativity with their hopes and thoughts for the future. In collaboration with a professional illustrator, we want to create an illustrated dictionary of German words for the years to come. Can you help us? The winning entries will be presented at a closing event and form part of a collection of new German words that will be made available digitally to the wider public and sent to the winners in printed form.

Anyone wishing to take part in the competition is asked to invent one new German word that might become important in the near or distant future. These words can be made up, e.g. neologisms, put together from pre-existing words, e.g. compound nouns or may be coined in any other creative way. At the date of submission, the word should not exist in the German language.

For further details, registration and submission forms, please refer to the competition webpageThe closing date for submissions is 8 January 2021.


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