CFP: Francophone Postcolonial Studies in the 21st Century

Society for Francophone Postcolonial Studies

In association with Liverpool University Press

Francophone Postcolonial Studies in the 21st Century

Friday 18–Saturday 19 November 2016

Institute of Modern Languages Research, University of London,

Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU


The first fifteen years of the twenty-first century in the francophone world have been turbulent, marked by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian earthquake, uprisings and conflicts including the 2005 French riots, the Arab Spring of 2010, the 2013 French intervention in Mali, and the Charlie Hebdo and Paris terrorist attacks in 2015. This conference aims to consider how such events have been negotiated by authors and producers of francophone postcolonial cultural responses. Through discussion of very recent cultural production from the postcolonial francophone world, we hope to begin to identify what sets the cultural products of the twenty-first century apart from those that came before. Whose are the new francophone voices to have emerged, and why? What are the specific challenges facing producers of francophone postcolonial culture in the twenty-first century? And what are the implications for the future of Francophone Postcolonial Studies as a discipline?

We welcome proposals for papers and panels on topics including:

  • Defining moments of the 21st-century in France and the francophone world
  • The role of history in defining 21st-century francophone postcolonial studies
  • Contemporary challenges for francophone postcolonial studies
  • New francophone postcolonial voices of the 21st century
  • Readership and audiences in the 21st century
  • Form and experimentation in 21st -century francophone texts
  • The publication and circulation of postcolonial francophone texts in the 21st century
  • Digital literatures and cultures in the postcolonial francophone world
  • New and future directions for francophone postcolonial studies
  • Teaching Francophone Postcolonial Studies in the 21st century
  • Francophone Postcolonial Studies and the Academy

Please send abstracts of 200-250 words plus 50-100 words of biography in a Word document to the Conference Secretary, Dr Catherine Gilbert ( Papers can be in English or French.

The deadline for receipt of abstracts is: 1 June 2016

Networking assembly: Translanguaging and Translation in the Superdiverse City

The University of Birmingham research project, ‘Translanguaging and Translation in the Superdiverse City’ is holding its first Networking Assembly on 13th May 2016.  This event, open to academics, students, community groups, public organisations, charities and the public, aims to create opportunities for cross-disciplinary, cross-sector, and cross-city conversations about communication in the superdiverse city.  The day will focus on everyday encounters in city contexts in relation to two themes: business and heritage.

The research project creates opportunities to understand the possibilities of multilingualism and superdiversity from a range of perspectives, including the arts, cultural and heritage sectors, business, and the academy. The network event will be held at Birmingham’s award-winning city centre science museum, Thinktank, which is a short walk from New Street Station.

Further information about the programme for the day is attached.

We are grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for making this event possible.

If you wish to attend please register free here.  Any questions, please contact the TLANG project administrator, Sarah Martin (

Workshop: Literary Translation, Cultural Diplomacy and International Dialogue

The AHRC-funded project on the translation of the literatures of smaller European nations is pleased to announce its third public workshop, which will take place on Monday April 25th at 5pm at the Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Rd, London EC1R 3GA. The workshop will focus on the work of national, international and third-sector promoters of literature in translation. We aim to understand better the nature of their work, its aims and priorities, how its success is measured and the challenges faced.

Our speakers will include Erica Jarnes from English PEN and Gabriela Mocan from the Romanian Cultural Institute. We would especially welcome the participation of representatives from national cultural centres and embassies in London and representatives of third-sector organisations that promote literary translation. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

To book a place or for more information, please e-mail Rajendra Chitnis at

For more information about our project, see

Micky Sheringham (1948-2016)

A version of my obituary for Micky Sheringham appeared in today’s Telegraph.

In tribute, and in recognition of my profound gratitude to Micky for his support and inspiration, I post the full version of the text below:

Professor Michael Sheringham

Professor Michael Sheringham, who has died from prostate cancer aged 67, was one of the finest French studies scholars of his time and one of the field’s most eloquent advocates. Professor of French at the University of Kent in Canterbury and then at Royal Holloway, he spent the final decade of his career as Marshal Foch Chair of French in Oxford and as a Fellow of All Souls. He acted as what the French call a passeur between academic disciplines and traditions, and was active on both sides of the Atlantic, maintaining numerous highly fruitful collaborations in France and North America. Equally at home in French as in English, Michael knew Paris particularly well. A committed reader of Baudelaire and a dedicated flâneur, he took great pleasure exploring the everyday life of the city. An initial interest in the surrealist poet André Breton and avant-garde fiction developed into a wide-ranging commitment to studying contemporary French literature, a field on which he made a profound impact through definitive contributions to the study of autobiography, the everyday and, latterly, archival memory. Michael’s intellectual interests were driven by genuine curiosity and a great enthusiasm for his subject. A highly perceptive reader of contemporary French texts, he wrote widely on authors such as Yves Bonnefoy, Jacques Réda, Jacques Roubaud, Marie NDiaye and Pierre Michon, and was responsible for bringing a number of them to wider public attention, not least through his lucid and memorably insightful contributions to the Times Literary Supplement over a period of nearly thirty years.

His books were the result of sustained, detailed reflection, and of meticulous attention to textual subtleties. Prominent among them was French Autobiography: Devices and Desires, which appeared in 1993, a study that presents autobiography as a persistently hybrid genre in which any sense of coherent self-projection on the part of the author is challenged by tensions between the present of writing and the past being recalled; Everyday Life: Theories and Practices from Surrealism to the Present followed in 2006 (with a widely commented French translation published in 2013), a genuinely engrossing book that offers what one critic called ‘a seriously learned and spiritedly engaged study of the rich variety of response to the quotidian in the thought and writing of twentieth-century France’. At his death, Michael was near completion of a major book on the archive in contemporary French literature and culture, with the working title of The Afterlives of Pierre Rivière: Foucault/Archive/Film.

Michael was born in Cairo in 1948. His mother Yvette (née Habib) was from an Egyptian Copt background, and a poet. His father John (son of Hugh Tempest Sheringham, one of the finest angling writers of the twentieth century) was serving then in the Colonial Administration of Palestine, before going on to join the BBC monitoring service in Caversham. Returning to England, Michael was a pupil at Wallingford Grammar School and then studied French at the University of Kent in Canterbury from 1966. After two terms teaching at the New University of Ulster in Coleraine, he returned to Kent from 1974 to 1995, initially as Lecturer and Senior Lecturer before becoming Professor of French Literature in 1992. It was there that he met and married Priscilla Duhamel and that their two children, Sam and Olivia, were born. Appointed to a chair at Royal Holloway in 1995, he spent almost a decade at the institution before his election to the Marshal Foch Chair of French in Oxford in 2004. This was the post he held, together with a Fellowship of All Souls, until his recent retirement in 2015.

Michael was an active contributor to the fields in which he worked, serving as General Editor of Cambridge Studies in French from 1996 until 2001, as President of the Society for French Studies between 2002 and 2004, as a member of the French RAE subpanel in 2001 and 2008, and as Chair of the Committee of the Maison Française d’Oxford. He held numerous visiting professorships in France, including at the Collège de France in 2007, and also spent a particularly fulfilling period at Berkeley in 2006. On each occasion, he made lasting friendships and maintained significant academic ties. For two periods, in 2010 and 2012, he was a Camargo Foundation Fellow in Cassis, flourishing in the magnificent surroundings and enjoying being part of a diverse and creative community of artists and scholars. Appointed Chevalier in the Ordre des Palmes académiques in 1998, he was promoted to Officier in 2006, and the rare grade of Commandeur will be awarded posthumously later this year. He was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

Michael had an infectious sense of conviviality, a genuine gift for friendship, and a great generosity of spirit. Despite challenging times during his illness, especially in the final few months, he maintained his good humour as well as his curiosity for the many subjects to which he had devoted his career. He was always an attentive listener and a witty, genial interlocutor. He made those with whom he interacted feel that their own ideas were significant. This was particularly true of his many graduate students, for whom he was not only an inspirational teacher, but also a great source of encouragement. The week before his death, a conference was held in his honour at All Souls on the theme of ‘What forms can do’. The event, gathering friends, colleagues and former students associated with various periods in Michael’s life as well as the numerous strands of his interests, revealed not only the enduring impact of his work, but also the great affection and esteem in which he was held.

Wearing his knowledge lightly, Michael was consistently modest about his many achievements. Amid the many demands on his time, his family remained of paramount importance to him, and the only time he expressed anything approaching pride was when he talked about his son and daughter. His wife Priscilla survives him, with their two children, Sam and Olivia, and grandchildren, Eva, Jack, Leo and Daniel.

Professor Michael Hugh Tempest Sheringham, born June 2 1948, died January 21 2016


Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Venue: Senate House Library, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Marking 400 years since the death of William Shakespeare, the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR), London and Senate House Library in association with the Institut français du Royaume-Uni and Culturethèque, are organising a one-day conference.

With Shakespeare’s works being regarded (and thrust down people’s throats) as ‘universal classics’, it is perhaps not surprising that they have so often been staged across the Channel. The Bard is, in fact, the writer whose works are most frequently performed in France. Indeed, despite a fraught history owing to neo-classical hang-ups, today at least, ‘la langue de Molière’ regularly plays host to ‘la langue de Shakespeare’.

We invite proposals for 20 minute papers that look at commentaries, translations, adaptations and productions of Shakespeare’s works in French contexts from the 17th century to the present day.

Topics may include but are not limited to Voltaire’s dubious attitude towards Shakespeare, Jean-François Ducis’s adaptations (including Macbeth minus the witches), Victor and François-Victor Hugo’s respective interests in the Bard, Peter and Irina Brook’s productions of his plays, Ariane Mnouchkine’s Les Shakespeare and very recent adaptations such as Vincent Macaigne’s Au moins j’aurai laisse un beau cadavre, in which Elsinore is turned into a blood-soaked bouncy castle.

Confirmed keynote speakers include: Florence March and Nathalie Vienne-Guérin (Université Paul Valéry).

Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words, together with a brief biography (50 words) by 5 April 2016 to the convenor Dominic Glynn (IMLR, London) Decisions will be made by 12 April 2016.


The Italian Cultural Institute, 39 Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8NX

Friday 2 and Saturday 3 December 2016

Teaching and research in Modern Languages are conventionally structured in ways which appear to insist on national or linguistic specificity. Work on the transnational inevitably poses questions on the nature of the underlying framework of Modern Languages: whether the discipline should be construed and practised as the inquiry into separate national traditions or as the study of cultures and their interactions. These structures seem inadequate at a time when the study of cultures delimited by the concept of the nation/national identities is becoming more difficult to justify in a world increasingly defined by the transnational and translingual, and by the material and non-material pressures of globalization. Challenging the assumption that cultures are self-contained units that correspond to sharply defined national boundaries must become an essential part of all disciplinary fields and sub-fields that make up Modern Languages, as they seek to avoid the risk of methodological nationalism and of participating in the very structures that it is their purpose to critique. At the same time, how might the transnational acknowledge the residual pull of the nation as a potent, albeit porous, container of cultural identity, and broker of citizenship?

A great deal of research within Modern Languages is already, albeit often implicitly, concerned with the transnational dimension of culture. In so doing, it poses questions about language, translation and multilingualism; about the set of practices that make up a sense of location and of belonging to a geographically determined site; about the notions of temporality that obtain within cultures; about modes of understanding subjectivity and alterity. All these questions are of fundamental importance for the study not only of the contemporary world, and its likely future, but for the study of the past.

The aim of the conference is to explore how the ‘cultural’ and the ‘transcultural’ cannot be studied in isolation but rather need to be seen as part of a complex system of circulation which goes beyond national boundaries, canons or linguistic discreteness. The conference aims to bring together researchers who are working on the transnational across Modern Languages and whose work poses questions both on how we study culture and how we produce a version of Modern Languages that is fully respondent to practices of human mobility and cultural exchange.

250 word abstracts should be submitted by 30 April 2016 to Georgia Wall at:

Abstracts should follow this order:

author(s), b) affiliation, c) email address, d) title of abstract, e) body of abstract, f) bibliography

Please specify in the subject of your email: ‘Transnational Modern Languages’.

We will acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in two weeks, you should assume we did not receive your proposal.

West African Literature and Thought in French: Translating Cultures

West African Literature and Thought in French: Translating Cultures

Friday 22 January 2016, British Library Conference Centre, 10-30-17.00

Some of the most important contemporary writing in French has emerged from West Africa. This event brings together authors (leading writer from the Côte d’Ivoire, Véronique Tadjo), publishers, translators and other specialists to explore topics including the history of the Francophone West African book as well as the complex processes of translation between oral and literary cultures, and across various other linguistic, historical and political contexts.

Event organized in partnership with the AHRC ‘Translating Cultures’ Theme and the Society for French Studies, with the support of the Institut français, in the context of the West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song exhibition.

Fuller information will follow in the New Year.  Please do pass this on to anyone who may be interested.



Interdisciplinary Symposium

University of Sheffield, Friday 6- Saturday 7 May, 2016

Supported by the AHRC ‘Translating Cultures’ theme, The Society for French Studies and the University of Sheffield, Dept of Geography

Georges Perec was one of the most inventive and original geographical writers of the twentieth century. His writing explores cities and streets; homes and apartments; conceptions of space and place; mathematical and textual spaces; imagined, utopian and dystopian spaces; time and the city; landscapes of memory and trauma; consumption and material culture; domestic spaces; everyday life, the everyday, the quotidian; ordinary and ‘infra-ordinary’ places.  Perec addressed methods of urban exploration and observation; classification, categorisation and taxonomy; spatial inventories and indexes; and geographical and ethnographic description.

This symposium explores Perec’s Geographies (his own geographical writing) and the wider body of geographical writings and other practices he inspired or speaks to, ranging from novels to travel books, architectural projects and urban expeditions: we call these Perecquian Geographies.

This event will bring together researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines including Geography, Architecture, French Studies, other Area and Cultural Studies, Town Planning and Architecture, and also engaging practitioners including landscape designers and artists with interests in Perecquian themes.

Readings and Keynotes:

  • Karl Whitney, author of Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin (Penguin)
  • David Matless, Nottingham University, author of The Regional Book (Uniformbooks)
  • Joanna Walsh, author of Hotel (Bloomsbury)
  • Derek Schilling, Johns Hopkins University, author of Mémoires du quotidien: les lieux de Perec (Septentrion)

Speakers Include:

  • Amanda Crawley-Jackson, Sheffield
  • Charles Forsdick, Liverpool
  • Matthew Gandy, Cambridge
  • Tim Edensor, Manchester Metropolitan
  • Alasdair Pettinger, Glasgow
  • Joanne Lee, Sheffield Hallam
  • Richard Phillips, Sheffield
  • Andrew Leak, UCL
  • Peter Jackson, Sheffield

There are also opportunities for additional contributors, either as presenters or discussants. Proposals for contributions are welcome now and until 12 February, 2016,  when the schedule will be confirmed. Registration early-bird rate £25 before 28 February, 2016. For expressions of interest, details of how to submit an abstract, register and pay, contact:

Richard Phillips

or Charles Forsdick

Borders and Crossings, Kielce, September 12-14, 2016

First Call for Papers

Borders and Crossings:

An International and Multidisciplinary Conference on Travel Writing

September 12-14, 2016

Hosted by the Jan Kochanowski University’s Department of Modern Languages (Kielce, Poland)

Conference language: English

Conference website:

Deadline for abstracts: May 1, 2016

Notification of acceptance: May 10, 2016

We invite all with an interest in the study of travel writing to the Borders and Crossings Conference.

Proposals for 20-minute papers and for full panels are sought from scholars working in all areas of travel writing, including literary studies, book history, geography, art history, translation studies, anthropology, history and media studies.

Paper proposals from any time period or geographic context are warmly welcome as are proposals from established scholars, early career researchers, graduate students and independent scholars.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Representations of travel through Poland and Central/Eastern Europe
  • Travel writing and autobiography
  • Travel writing and intertextuality
  • Travel writing in translation
  • Travel writing and women
  • Representations of travel and the new media
  • Travel illustration and multimedia
  • Narratives of pilgrimage
  • New directions in travel writing research
  • Teaching travel writing
  • Writing travel and/in minoritised languages
  • Travel and ecology
  • Borders and checkpoints

Please send proposals of approximately 250 words for a single paper or up to 500 words for a panel proposal, complete with a short bio note and your academic affiliation to:

Magdalena Ożarska:


Agnieszka Szwach:


CFP: Turqueries et regards croisés entre l’Orient et l’Occident

Université d’Ankara
Faculté des Lettres

Colloque international organisé par le Département de Langue et Littérature françaises à l’occasion du 80ème anniversaire des études françaises à l’Université d’Ankara (1936-2016)

Turqueries et regards croisés entre l’Orient et l’Occident
12-13 mai 2016

A l’occasion du 80ème anniversaire des études françaises à la Faculté des Lettres de l’Université d’Ankara (1936-2016), le Département de Langue et Littérature françaises organise un colloque international.
Les Turqueries ou autrement dit le thème turc a joué un grand rôle dans la littérature et les arts (la peinture, la musique, le ballet, les objets décoratifs etc…) en France. Si les croisades ont mis en contact l’Orient musulman et l’Occident chrétien, la prise de Constantinople et la montée en puissance de l’Empire ottoman ont fait des Turcs ottomans le principal représentant de l’Orient en Occident. Pour les écrivains français le thème turc représentait l’altérité par excellence. Peu importait la véracité de l’image, la fiction française s’était emparée du Turc. Georges de Scudéry relate l’histoire du célèbre Ibrahim, vizir du sultan Soliman le magnifique dans Ibrahim ou l’illustre Bassa. Le grand Racine, si respectueux des règles classiques, ose contourner la tradition des sujets antiques en prétendant que “l’éloignement des pays répare en quelque sorte la trop grande proximité des temps” et crée sa tragédie intitulée Bajazet d’après le prince ottoman du même nom. A ne pas confondre avec le héros de l’opéra de Vivaldi, un autre Bajazet, le sultan vaincu par Tamerlan. Bien avant Molière, Rotrou fait parler ses personnages en turc dans sa pièce intitulée La Sœur. Molière reprendra ce procédé avec le succès que l’on connaît dans Le Bourgeois gentilhomme qui est la turquerie par excellence du 17ème siècle et qui combine non seulement des personnages turcs mais aussi la musique de Lully directement inspirée des sonorités turques, sans parler des costumes et des pas de danse à la turque. Ainsi, la mode est lancée par Molière pour se moquer des Turcs. D’autre part, grâce à la Bibliothèque orientale d’Herbelot l’érudition passe également par les Turqueries. Au 18ème siècle le thème turc se mêle de critique et de philosophie. Voltaire rapporte les paroles du vieux Turc d’Istanbul, il faut cultiver son jardin, sans cesser de condamner le fanatisme musulman. Les Turqueries se mêlent également de littérature licencieuse voire érotique. Au 19ème siècle les Turqueries se fondent dans l’Orientalisme et prennent des accents politiques. Peut-on dire que de nos jours la tradition des Turqueries continue, après avoir subi certes une certaine transformation ? Peut-on considérer La Pasión turca d’Antonio Gala ou Le Turquetto de Metin Arditi comme des turqueries contemporaines ?
Le but de ce colloque est de discuter les Turqueries dans tous ses états et de faire le bilan de la mode turque dans la littérature et les arts en France. Les Turqueries ouvriront également la voie à d’autres axes de réflexion :
-La relation entre le thème turc, l’imaginaire sur les Turcs et le voyage en Orient.
-La mode turque dans la littérature et les arts en Europe.
-L’apport des témoignages des envoyés officiels du gouvernement français en Turquie à la formation de l’image du Turc et de la mode turque dans la société française et le témoignage sur l’Europe des premiers voyageurs et officiers Turcs ottomans.
-Le thème français dans la littérature et les arts en Turquie (ottomane et républicaine).

Conférences plénières :
Metin Arditi, écrivain
Christine Peltre, professeur d’histoire de l’art à l’Université de Strasbourg

Langue de travail : français
Durée des interventions : 20 minutes
Les actes de ce colloque seront publiés par l’Université d’Ankara
Le voyage et le séjour sont à la charge des participants
Une excursion en Cappadoce sera organisée à la demande des participants le 14 mai 2016

Les intitulés des propositions accompagnés d’un résumé de 300 mots au maximum et d’une notice bio-bibliographique de l’intervenant doivent être envoyés avant le 15 janvier 2016 à  l’adresse suivante:


Call for papers: ‘Language Learning and Ethnographic Fieldwork’

Call for Papers

Two-day Workshop: Language Learning and Ethnographic Fieldwork

 University of Glasgow, Scotland

11-12 April 2016

For many researchers, learning a new language or working in a second or additional language is a crucial aspect of carrying out ethnographic fieldwork. Language learning and ‘competence’ affect all aspects of our lives ‘in the field’, as well as the analysis and ‘writing up’ of the fieldwork data, but we often do not document these influences in detail in our fieldnotes or include an analysis of their effects in our published work. Whilst we might have completed some language learning prior to fieldwork, the likelihood is that we were not taught in doctoral or other forms of research training how to reflect on the process of language learning or on issues relate to working in one or more other languages. These matters are also rarely addressed in the scholarly literature on ethnographic research. Similarly, the scholarly literature on ethnographic research contains very few detailed accounts of language learning or reflections on issues relating to ‘competence’ in a second or additional language.

This two-day workshop aims to provide an opportunity for researchers at all career stages to discuss a wide range of issues relating to language learning and ethnographic fieldwork. We welcome submissions on any aspect of the topic, but we would be particularly interested in papers addressing one or more of the following questions:

  • How can we reflect in an in-depth, systematic way on issues relating to language learning and ‘competence’ in ethnographic fieldwork?
  • What kinds of issues (epistemological, methodological, conceptual, theoretical) arise when researchers conduct ethnographic research in a language that is not their ‘first’ language, and what are the implications of these at different stages of the research process?
  • What ‘strategies’ have we used at different stages of our language learning? Have these led to different stages of understanding ‘in the field’ that differ from the levels commonly talked about in theories of additional language acquisition?
  • How do our experiences of learning and using additional languages in fieldwork contexts relate to our position as researchers and to wider issues of power, inequality and privilege?

Please email an abstract of no more than 300 words by 30 November 2015 to all three organisers at the addresses below.

There is no fee to participate in the workshop. Financial support is available to cover the travel and accommodation costs of a limited number of ‘early career’ participants or participants without alternative sources of funding. Further information on this and any other aspect of the workshop is available from the organisers on request.

The organisers gratefully acknowledge the support of the AHRC Translating Cultures theme and the AHRC-funded project ‘Researching Multilingually at the Borders of Language, the Body, Law and the State’ for the workshop.

Workshop Organisers:

Dr Julien Danero Iglesias (University of Glasgow):

Dr Robert Gibb (University of Glasgow):

Dr Annabel Tremlett (University of Portsmouth):

Translating the Literature of Small European Nations

Excellent day yesterday in Bristol for the opening of the project conference of Translating the Literature of Small European Nations. The breadth and diversity of the programme, the range of languages addressed and the number of institutions from which speakers were drawn provided clear evidence of the importance of the chosen subject and the genuinely international interest it is attracting. I was particularly pleased to see that translation – as a concept and practice – brought together scholars working on a number of ‘lesser-taught’ languages, ranging from Catalan to Slovene, from Greek to Serbian, demonstrating the ways in which the future health of Modern Languages as a disciplinary field depends on the forging of such creative interactions around shared areas of enquiry and concern. The project to which the conference was linked was one of the ‘translating cultures’ innovation awards granted last summer. The original call invited applicants to reflect on the importance of the spaces, contexts, practices and agents of translation, whilst also exploring the the role of translation in processes of literary creation. These were topics explored by speakers from a variety of perspectives and in a number of different contexts.

An opening panel on theoretical approaches included papers by Marko Juvan on ‘World’ and ‘small’ Literatures, and questions of translation and transnational literary circulation in a Slovenian context; Josianne Mamo, on translation and multilingual writing (with the particularly striking example of Gustavo Pérez Firmat’s Bilingual Blues cited), and Ondřej Vimr, who gave a fascinating overview of questions of non-translation, the political dynamics of inter-war translation and bilateral cultural agreements, and supply-led as well as demand-led strategies of promulgating less translated literatures. A second panel on ‘Reaching the Market’ included: Paulina Drewniak’s analysis of translation, transmediality and the Polish example of Wiedźmin / The Witcher; Olivia Hellewell, on key actors in the Slovene literary translation market; and Richard Mansell, on how a Catalan literary translation gets to the market.

A session after lunch focused on ‘Poetry in Translation’: Ivana Hostová explored English translations of Slovak poetry; the poet and translator Stephen Watts presented his work on an archive of poetry translated into English; underlining the need to go beyond systems, statistics & economics to understand the circulation of poetry in translation, he described the creative collaborations to which poetry translation can lend itself; and Paschalis Nikolaou spoke about translation and re-translation of Cavafy, his ‘globalisation’ as a poet, and the ways in which his poetry has triggered other forms of creative translation. The final panel contained papers on ‘Exporting Literature’, with Şule Demirkol Ertürk analysing the role of publishers in re-contextualizing and legitimating literary translations, through the example of re/translations of Tanpınar’s Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü / The Time Regulation Institute; Gunilla Hermansson and Yvonne Leffler providing historical texture in a reflection on gender, genre and nations drawing on their current project Swedish Women Writers on Export in the Nineteenth Century, including fascinating discussion of the imagined translations of the Romantic poet Julia Nyberg; and Uroš Tomić and Milan Miljković reading Serbian culture in translation.

Delegates celebrated the work of a number of publishers – Francis Boutle Publishers, Istros Books and Shearsman Books – committed to the circulation of the literatures of small European nations in translation, and also addressed a number of factors, ranging from the ideologies of soft power to the commitment of individual translators, determining what gets translated and what does not. The day concluded with a discussion of contemporary translation practices and strategies, with a focus on questions of ‘readability’ and domestication, and an emphasis – echoing Stephen Watts’s earlier comments – on the benefits of collaborative, creative approaches.

ASMCF North West Postgraduate Workshop: “Divisions”, Wednesday 10th June 2015

ASMCF North West Postgraduate Workshop: “Divisions”

University of Liverpool

Wednesday 10th June 2015

The fifth annual ASMCF North West PG workshop will be held this year at the University of Liverpool. The programme is available below, and includes presentations from PG research students working in the North West and beyond, and a keynote entitled Barthes-Charlie-Voltaire, given by Dr Andy Stafford of the University of Leeds.

Registration for this event is free, and includes refreshments and lunch. All are welcome to attend, but places are limited and advance registration is essential. Please contact Will Amos ( and Hugh Hiscock ( by Wednesday 3rd June to register.


Coffee and welcome


Mason Norton: History in France Today – Discipline ou Divertissement?


Hugh Hiscock: « L’Algérie, c’était notre paradis à nous » – Place, Locality and Contested Sites of Memory in Contemporary France




Will Amos: The Battle for Naming Rights – Occitan, Corsican, and French on the Street Signs of Southern France


Sophie Handler: The Cultural Otherworldliness of Proust’s ‘Magic Lantern’ – Orientalism and Difference




Beatrice Ivey: ‘Je suis Charlie’ and the Performative Politics of Mourning


Andy Stafford: Barthes-Charlie-Voltaire



At the Limits of Memory: Legacies of Slavery in the Francophone World

At the Limits of Memory: Legacies of Slavery in the Francophone World

Kellogg College, Oxford, OX2 6PN

Tuesday 16th June, 2015

3.00 pm – 7.00 pm

A series of papers and discussion exploring new research in the field of memory studies, and its relevance to understanding the legacies of slavery and colonialism in the Francophone Caribbean and beyond

3.00 pm   Representing the Slave Past: the limits of museographical and patrimonial discourses

Professor Christine Chivallon, Sciences Po Bordeaux

3.30 pm The Art of Reconciliation: the memorial to the abolition of slavery in Nantes

Dr Nicola Frith, University of Edinburgh

4.30 pm  Tea/coffee

5.00 pm Haiti and the Memorial Discourses of Slavery after 1804

Dr Kate Hodgson, University of Liverpool

5.30 pm ‘This island is not an island’: locating Gorée

Professor Charles Forsdick, University of Liverpool

6.30pm Reception and book launch, At the Limits of Memory: Legacies of Slavery in the Francophone World, edited by Nicola Frith and Kate Hodgson, University of Liverpool Press

Registration is free. For further information, to book a place at the seminar and for dinner at a local restaurant, please contact David Howard ( by Friday 12th June, 2015

World Book Day: Children’s Literature and/in Translation

It is good to see that, to celebrate World Book Day, Sainsbury’s has published a list of 50 books which every child should read by the age of 16. Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory takes the top spot, followed by Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Winnie The Pooh and Black Beauty. I was pleased that some of my favourites, shared (and joyfully rediscovered) over recent years on page and screen with my own family, are there, including A Bear Called Paddington, The Railway Children, The Wind in the Willows, Charlotte’s Web and Watership Down. And with recognition of Mark Twain, Eric Carle, Dr Seuss, L. Frank Baum, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Maurice Sendak and others, there is – despite the recent impoverishment and indeed provincialization of the GCSE English syllabus — an eloquent celebration of a wider body of literature in English from which young people have much to learn and in which they can take great delight. (John Sutherland helpfully suggested in The Guardian the ‘10 [Anglophone] American writers that English children should study for GCSE’.)

I was concerned, although perhaps not wholly surprised, to see only one work in translation on the Sainsbury’s list. Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl is an important, powerful text, and a key one in Holocaust education. In the context of the survey and more generally, it is undoubtedly a title I would have suggested as incontournable. The diary is now the most translated Dutch book of all time, with the first translation, in German, appearing in 1950. English translations for Britain and the United States followed two years later, and the text has subsequently been translated into more than 60 languages.

There are, however, plenty of additional contenders for inclusion in the Sainsbury’s list. Although the appetite for and visibility of literature in translation continues to grow, there is clearly still much work to do on raising awareness of the rich diversity of texts available thanks to the tireless work of translators. There was an excellent special issue of In Other Words published by the British Centre for Literary Translation  on the subject in 2012,  the English-Speaking Union offer a prestigious annual prize (the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation), and – to complement the Sainsbury’s list – I suggest as an excellent starting point Anthea Bell’s recommended top 10 books for children in translation.