Current Postings

The postings below are all still active, and organized by deadline. Once the deadline has passed, they will be moved to the IABA Posting Archive, on the CBR Website


CFP: Biographies Area of the 2024 Popular Culture Association (PCA) Conference

March 27-30, 2024, Chicago USA

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 30, 2023

The Biographies Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA)  is soliciting papers for the 2024 conference that examine the connections between biography and popular culture. Papers and full panel presentations regarding any aspect of popular culture and biography are encouraged. Potential topics might include:

– Biography and entertainment, art, music, theater
– Biography and film
– Biography and criminal justice
– Television programs about biography
– Biography and urban legends
– Biography and folklore
– Biography and literature
– Scholarly Biography
– Controversial Biography
– Psychoanalysis and Biography
– Historical Biography
– Political Biography
– Autobiography

The conference will be held March 27-30, 2024 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per standard session.  Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. 

Below are some recent titles of presentations in the Biographies Area panels:
·Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll: Celebrity Biography through the Lens of Autopsy

·Will Rogers: American Folk Hero or Elitist Fraud

·Manufacturing “Soupy Sales:” Biographical Insights in the Emergence of a Comic Entertainer

Please see this link for details and guidelines on submitting to the conference:

If interested in submitting for the conference, please provide the title and abstract of your presentation.  

Contact Information

Susie Skarl
Associate Professor/Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Las Vegas, NV 89154
702-895-2141 OR

Contact Email


Haunting Lives, edited collection, call for abstracts

Deadline for Submissions November 30, 2023

Are you a creative writer who consciously plays with techniques that transgress the borders between fiction and nonfiction? What is it that attracts you to this liminal space between the two, and what new writing territory do you want to form there? Your work might be in auto/bio/fiction, the historical or nonfiction novel, speculative history or a hybrid genre. You might balk at these categories as reductive and antipathetic to this genre-defying writing. Haunting Lives is an edited collection that will illuminate this border country, help readers to navigate or succumb to its strange terrain and examine the spectres that live there.
We are looking for chapters that interrogate creative practice, to investigate how you came to this border country and what you are doing with your writing there.  We want chapters that explore your transgressions and subversions of these borders. We want you to map your challenges to a rigid borderline and to illuminate the effects you create. We are looking for chapters which do this in relation to your own work and with reference to the work of other writers and conceptual frameworks. Think Gordon Burn, Ali Smith’s Seasons quartet of novels or Jay Bernard’s poetry collection, Surge.
You might draw on personal/family/cultural memory in your work. You might make stories out of archival documents and objects. How do you bring your imaginative processes to bear on this material to turn it into creative writing? You might be interested in:

  • The subjective
  • The intersectional
  • Telling historical stories from new perspectives
  • Challenging the hegemony of dominant versions of history
  • Bringing hitherto invisible and silenced characters and voices to the fore
  • The creative art of braiding personal and researched stories together
  • Collage techniques
  • Formal experimentation and playfulness

We are particularly interested in the ways that such writing creates powerful haunting effects and sheds uncanny light on real events and people. Ghosts have become a significant trope in recent border writing – Alison MacLeod’s short story collection, All the Beloved Ghosts, experiments with form to tell family histories, combine an autobiographical story with that of Princess Diana and to speculate about making a citizen’s arrest on Tony Blair. Edward Parnell’s Ghostland is both an exploration of the landscape of British ghost stories and a ghost story about his own family. Dylan Trigg says, of returning to a place which holds memories, ‘I am not alone in this memory… I am followed at all times by the ghosts who continue to coinhabit my memories, despite no longer existing in the material world’ Liminal space is the privileged place where ghosts can be brought to light and the past can be brought back to haunt us. Ethan Kleinberg has begun to theorise the concept of hauntological history and the importance of creative writing to it. He foregrounds the role of the imagination in how we make meaning: ‘I use literary fiction as a privileged site that exposes the way the past haunts history’. You might make a virtue of the gorgeous unreliability, peculiarity and rich singularity of memory or you might conjure ghosts/characters from old photographs and official documents. Dan Coxon and Richard V Hirst have identified the uncanny turn in recent fiction: ‘in modern literature, the Uncanny, ‘has become one of its dominant features.’ We want to extend their discussion.
Teaching on a creative nonfiction module while my students are simultaneously studying a fiction module seems increasingly nonsensical to me. I begin the module by suggesting that nonfiction is not the opposite of fiction and by the end I steer students toward the border country where they can cross between fiction and nonfiction to tell haunting stories of reality. If you teach Creative Writing, your chapter might also interrogate pedagogical issues raised by these border writings.
Such writing is as old as literature itself – Plutarch’s Parallel Lives were more morality tales than they were reliable biographies. In the twentieth century Virginia Woolf turned to fantasy and magical realism to illuminate the life of Vita Sackville-West in Orlando. But in recent times the ’truth’ contract, as outlined by Philippe Lejeune (although even he rescinded it), has been a guiding premise of so much Creative Nonfiction. It has become limiting and debilitating. The litigation against James Frey and his publishers, which resulted in A Million Little Pieces having to be moved across the border and sold as fiction rather than nonfiction, might be seen as a low ebb in this rigid categorisation of creative texts, driven as much, if not more, by marketing as by creative imperatives. We want to highlight and showcase the richness, variety and complexity of writing which claims to be neither or both at the same time.
The collection will be co-edited by Dr Helen Pleasance and Professor Rob Edgar, of the York Centre for Writing at York St John University.
Chapters should be between 4 and 6000 words.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short biography of no more than 150 words or questions about the project to by 30 November  


Call for Abstracts – Turntable Stories 

An Edited Collection

Deadline for Submissions–Abstracts: November 30, 2023

Turntable Stories will be a collection of stories, memories and histories. It will be an exploration of turntable culture through creative non-fiction in the form of memoir, essays, autoethnography, personal histories and reflections. We want your experiences of club culture and of bedroom mixing. We want to know about your turntable heroes and your turntable buddies. Contributions might feature memories of a life-altering rave or cider-soaked indie-disco. They might be about niche scenes and subcultures. They might be about your local pub and its funk and soul night. The focus might be broad and cultural or specific and personal. Stories can be funny, heart-breaking, weird or all of these things. Contributors can be DJs, collectors, shop owners, researchers, scholars or simply lovers of material culture. What’s important is the foregrounding of narratives that explore our relationship with our decks, what we use them for and how they shape our musical and cultural memories. 
The turntable is a significant material presence in our cultural and musical life. Our record players sit in dusty corners of our living rooms, take centre stage in clubs, sit sparkling in upmarket shop windows or sad and neglected in the local Cash Converter. They are coveted, mythologised and fetishized. They are functional and material objects that make our record collections spring into life.  
The recent celebrations of hip hop’s fiftieth birthday take DJ Kool Herc’s Bronx party in August 1973 as a starting place. The 18-year-old DJ (known to his mum as Clive Campbell) made the innovative leap to using two turntables at once. In doing so, he ‘played two copies of the same record, a technique known as the merry-go-round where one moves back and forth, from one record to the next, looping the percussion portions of each track to keep the beat alive’. 1 The DJ as artistic maverick and tastemaker was born. With him came the wheels of steel, the ones and twos, the decks.  
With this new way to entertain, the DJ’s understanding of music, crowds and spaces soon became a significant and ubiquitous presence in global cultures and subcultures. By the turn of the new century, turntables sat in bars, clubs, festival stages and carnival floats. To DJ was as legitimate as any other musical skill. DJs became celebrities, superstars and icons. Turntablists showed off lightening sleights of hand. Musical lexicon now included scratching, mixing, break pauses and drops. DJs travelled the world with record boxes on wheels. Grooving across polished departure lounge floors in a timeless and looping party zone. 
But the turntable has always been a domestic item too. It’s been a hand-me-down from sibling to sibling. It’s been saved up for and bought from brightly lit high-street electrical stores. It’s been a set of broken Technics 1200s with a mixer thrown in for 20 quid a week over a couple of years. It’s been an untouchable presence in the living room, part of a gleaming stack system used only by Dad when he’s doing the crossword with his War Movie themes LP on or by Mum when she is soundtracking her evening G&T with James Taylor.2 Decks have been set up in bedrooms, taken to teenage house parties, smuggled into pirate stations at the top of tower blocks. They’ve been direct drive and belt driven. They’ve arrived in boxes with mysterious German and Japanese names printed on them. They’ve been cased in shiny pine and in smudged plastic. They’ve made that hiss and thunk when they hit vinyl. They’ve got dusty. They’ve sat unused but never really disappeared. 
But then, as the new century arrived, it all stopped. We didn’t need our record players. Clubs moved on too when the CDJ made an appearance. The warning signs were there in the 80s and 90s when tapes and CDs jostled for position. ‘Much more convenient’, we were told.  Our loyalty was tested. Then the pocket-sized gadgets appeared. They held thousands of songs. Then laptops. Suddenly we could access all the music we needed through a few mouse clicks. Sometimes it cost nothing. Music lost its magic. Our tribes and genres dissolved. Record shops looked sad and empty. Record collections were ditched. They ended up in charity shops and car boot sales. They were stashed in lofts and damp garages next to that old turntable. Only a few of us stuck with it. We kept buying them. We keep cleaning them. We keep talking about them. We kept our turntables moving. 
Now? Turntables have returned.  They are a retro item and a new fascination. Youngsters buy them for playing their new ‘vinyls’. There is a revival. The shops have reappeared and you can buy a flat white in them now. Portable record players like your grandma owned are must-have items for your socials. There are days put aside for buying records. You can order slip mats with a photo of your dog on them. T-shirts have pictures of those old knackered 1200s on them. It all come round full circle. A full revolution.  
What all of this means is stories and narratives and this is where you come in.  
We are interested in contributions of between 3000 and 4000 words. Contributions can include memories, observations, academic articles or any combination of these forms. We welcome contributions from experienced writers and from first time writers.   
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a short biography of no more that 150 words or questions about the project to by November 30th 2023. 
This collection will be curated by the editors of Venue Stories3 (Equinox 2023). Turntable Stories will follow a similar format. 


CFP: Biographies Area of the 2024 Popular Culture Association (PCA) Conference
March 27-30, Chicago USA
Deadline for Submissions: November 30, 2023

The Biographies Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA)  is soliciting papers for the 2024 conference that examine the connections between biography and popular culture. Papers and full panel presentations regarding any aspect of popular culture and biography are encouraged. Potential topics might include:

– Biography and entertainment, art, music, theater
– Biography and film
– Biography and criminal justice
– Television programs about biography
– Biography and urban legends
– Biography and folklore
– Biography and literature
– Scholarly Biography
– Controversial Biography
– Psychoanalysis and Biography
– Historical Biography
– Political Biography
– Autobiography

The conference will be held March 27-30, 2024 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Sessions are scheduled in 1½ hour slots, typically with four papers or speakers per standard session.  Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes. 

Below are some recent titles of presentations in the Biographies Area panels:
·Sex, Drugs, and Rock-n-Roll: Celebrity Biography through the Lens of Autopsy 
·Will Rogers: American Folk Hero or Elitist Fraud 
·Manufacturing “Soupy Sales:” Biographical Insights in the Emergence of a Comic Entertainer

If interested in submitting for the conference, please provide the title and abstract of your presentation.  

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 30, 2023

Contact Information

Susie Skarl
Associate Professor/Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Las Vegas, NV 89154

Contact Email


Deadline for Submissions Dec. 1, 2023

CFP: “Witnessing / Becoming” – University of Toronto, Centre for Comparative Literature, March 22-23, 2024

“‘I bear witness’—that means: ‘I affirm (rightly or wrongly, but in all good faith, sincerely) that that was or is present to me, in space and time (thus, sense-perceptible), and although you do not have access to it, not the same access, you, my addressees, you have to believe me, because I engage myself to tell you the truth, I am already engaged in it, I tell you that I am telling you the truth. Believe me. You have to believe me.’” – Jacques Derrida (“Poetics and Politics of Witnessing” 76)

Witnessing is more than seeing, more than recounting testimony. A witness to an event is its participant, whether central or peripheral. In its continuity, the act of witnessing carries us past the immediate crisis of an event, into a post-event life. Processes of witnessing have manifested as fluid, ongoing testimonies, conveyed through various mediums such as novels, memoirs, autobiographies, reports, and films, among others. One could argue that at the core of these testimonies lies what Nadine Gordimer describes in “Literary Witness in A World of Terror: The Inward Testimony” (2009) as “the duality of inwardness and the outside world” (Gordimer 68), the dual exploration of one’s inner self and the external world, the quest to reconcile oneself with the uncertainties inherent in evolving events and the imperative to conceive new meanings of self-identity.

We invite papers that consider how testimony has been represented not only as a form of documented eyewitness literature, but also as a process that entails transformations, and encounters that elicit new forms of becoming. By conjugating witnessing with becoming, we invite you to move past the eventuality of crisis, to understand language as irrevocably tied to the process of bearing witness, remaking itself continuously against the possible threat of erasure, “as if it were being invented at every step, and if it were burning immediately” (Jacques Derrida The Post Card 11). Differing subjectivities, selves, and life stories emerge in different environments. How might the act of bearing witness to uncodified subjective experiences and marginalized social realities challenge narratives of dominant power structures?

To return to the temporal disconnect between the witnessed event and the performance of testimony, becoming can take a similar form. To become is to recognize the same temporal disconnect, to look backwards at what once was, yet no longer remains. Becoming might be a reading of the past, enacted in tandem with the witness’ attempt to reconstruct it, which remains eternally out of reach. How do these two forms interact with one another? How else might they intertwine?
As an interdisciplinary conference, we encourage submissions from a variety of fields, such as literature, philosophy, history, ethnography, anthropology, media studies, disability studies, sociology, art history, religious studies, and gender studies. We welcome papers related (but not limited) to the following topics:

  • Testimonial Literature
  • Ethics of Bearing Witness
  • Living & Writing
  • Socio-political events in literature
  • Performativity
  • Transnationality & the Diaspora
  • Queerness & Alterity
  • Black Studies
  • Indigeneity & Decolonial thought
  • Planetary Subjectivity vs. Capitalist Globalism
  • Language & Translation
  • Temporality & the Self

Those who wish to participate in the conference should submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, along with a short bio. Abstracts must be sent, as attachments, to before December 1, 2023. Emails should include the author’s name, institutional affiliation, and contact information. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes.

Contact Information

Zichuan Gan, co-organizer 

PhD student 

Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto

Contact Email


Conference Announcement–Diaries in the 20th Century: Testimony, Memory, Self-Construction (12/8-9/2023) Dublin, Ireland, and Zoom

We are thrilled to announce the upcoming international conference Diaries in 20th Century: Testimony, Memory, Self-Construction, sponsored by the UCD Humanities Institute, the College of Arts and Humanities, the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, and the Foundation for Italian Studies. 

The conference will be held at University College Dublin, Newman Building on 8 and 9 December 2023, and will be live-streamed on Zoom. Please refer to the programme to see the location of the parallel sessions.

If you wish to attend the conference either in person or on Zoom, please register here.

For further details, please visit UCDiaries2023, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at

Best wishes,

The organisers
Valeria Taddei and Mara Josi

Dr Valeria Taddei (she/her)

IRC Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

University College Dublin

Dr Mara Josi (she/her), Ph.D. Cantab  

FWO Junior Postdoctoral Fellow, Ghent University

The Research Foundation – Flanders


Journal of Perpetrator Research Special Issue: Complicit Testimonies

The Journal of Perpetrator Research is seeking submissions for a special issue on the theme of Complicit Testimonies, scheduled for publication in Spring 2025, and guest-edited by Ivan Stacy (Beijing Normal University).

deadline for submissions: 

December 10, 2023


Shoshona Felman and Dori Laub wrote their seminal Testimony: Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis, and History (1992) as a result of their experiences with the Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale. For this reason, they developed a model in which testimony is closely connected to the subject position of victimhood and the experience of trauma. This relationship has endured in academic research on testimony, with Avishai Margalit, for example, proposing the figure of the “moral witness” as one that has experienced directly the suffering produced by atrocity; it also appears in more recent contributions to The Future of Testimony: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Witnessing (edited by Jane Kilby and Anthony Rowland, 2008) and the Palgrave Handbook of Testimony and Culture, in which the editors Sara Jones and Roger Woods write in their introduction that “the urge to communicate the unique experience is the impulse behind much testimony from survivors of trauma”.

Endeavours to explicate the nature of testimony as written or told by those who have lived through extreme suffering are necessary and valuable, yet the creation of testimony does not necessarily presuppose a state of victimhood or an experience of trauma. Analysis of perpetrator testimony by writers including Leigh Payne, Ute Hirsekorn and Sue Vice has productively complicated the relationship between testifier, the account they produce, and their role in historical events. However, the tendency to adjectivize testimony with a particular subject position – typically in the form of “victim testimony” or “perpetrator testimony” – presents a further problem: if, as Margalit argues, “testimony, not direct observation, is our basic source of evidence and knowledge,” to categorize that primary source of knowledge itself with the value-laden labels of “victim” or “perpetrator” imposes an a priori framework for interpreting events and experiences that are still in the process of becoming known. Moreover, as Primo Levi’s well-known elaboration on the “gray zone” in The Drowned and the Saved shows, the blurring of boundaries between victims and perpetrators was one of the central mechanisms by which the camps functioned, as a means of securing the complicity even of those whose lives they were designed to destroy.

For this reason, the concept of complicity, and the uncertain moral positions that it encompasses, offers a valuable but hitherto under-theorised approach to studying testimony. The aim of this special issue of the Journal of Perpetrator Research is therefore to explore the relationship between complicity and the creation and reception of testimony from an interdisciplinary perspective. In a general sense, complicity is an increasingly important concept for understanding the negative consequences of actions in an ever-more interconnected world, and as Christopher Kutz notes, “the most important and far-reaching harms and wrongs of contemporary life are the products of collective actions, mediated by social and institutional structures.” Moreover, language itself is at once shaped by social and institutional pressures while also creating and performing complicity with those structures of power: as Thomas Docherty argues, complicity with institutions tends to operate through the “establishment of a reduced lexicon.” This special issue is intended to consider testimony in light of the particular challenges posed by the concept of complicity, and in doing so to examine the nature of narrative accounts created in a moral “gray zone.”

Topics for articles in this special issue might include, but are not limited to:

  • Language and form in complicit testimonies
  • Literary and cultural representations of complicit testimonies
  • Affective responses to compromised testimony
  • Complicity and the generic boundaries of testimony
  • Distinctions between perpetration and complicity
  • Complicity and adjacent concepts (beneficiaries and implicated subjects)
  • Categories of complicity (collaborating, consorting, condoning and conniving)

We intend that the special issue will represent a range of disciplines, and we are particularly interested in articles from non-European and non-Anglophone perspectives.

Deadline for submissions:

Abstracts of around 300 words should be submitted to Ivan Stacy at, no later than 10 December 2023. Queries can be directed to the same email address.

Full articles of 6,000-10,000 words will be due by 30 June 2024, with publication scheduled for Spring 2025.


Call for abstracts for a special issue of the International Mad Studies Journal (IMSJ), Maddening the Academy

Deadline for Submissions, December 15, 2023

Guest Editors:

Meaghan Krazinski (she/they), Syracuse University

Jersey Cosantino (they/them), Syracuse University

Jennifer Poole (she/her), Toronto Metropolitan University

May Friedman (she/her), Toronto Metropolitan University

Both traditional formats and non-traditional forms are welcome (and encouraged!).

Deadline to submit abstracts: December 15th 2023, with publication in 2025

Call For Abstracts:

The academy (noun): A place. A body. A collection of bodies, of bodyminds that bend/are bent toward who and what is considered “normal”. Never neutral, always operating in the context and coordinates of space and time including histories of in/access(ability).

The academy often functions to suppress, oppress, invalidate, and erase m/Mad knowledges, ideas, thoughts, and expressions, while at the same time producing forms of madness by pathologizing ways of being that exist outside the boundaries of “normal”.

The academy is a geopolitical space that reproduces itself and extends its control beyond the physical campus, while entwined in legacies of violence that reflect how education and the medical-industrial complex are always and have always been tools of white supremacy, ableism, sanism, and colonialism.

Yet, while seeking to distance itself and rid itself of m/Madness, the academy encircles itself around it, quite literally, in its histories and investments in control of Mad/mad(dened) people, leaving traces of these hauntings (Gordon, 2008) and becomings in its wake.

In this special issue of the International Mad Studies Journal, we seek to explore how Mad Studies, bodyminds, knowledges, meaning-making, thoughts, ideas, creativity, and imaginations, engage in an ongoing process of m/Maddening the academy and being m/Maddened by the academy. We operate from a shared understanding that the academy is rooted in the glorification of a particular colonial, white supremacist, neoliberal, Western, Global North ideological and political context and we seek to transgress this. Therefore, we invite a multitude of definitions of what the academy is, has been, and can be. We are especially grateful to scholars Juan Carlos Cea-Madrid and Tatiana Parada for their 2021 article “Maddening the Academy: Mad Studies, Critical Methodologies and Militant Research in Mental Health” from which the title of this special issue pays homage.

We invite submissions from individuals with complex and multifaceted m/Mad(dening) relationships to the academy, including folks who were excluded from the academy, who rejected the academy, who found home and community within the academy, who long/ed for the promises of the academy, who helped to carve more accessible pathways through the academy, who seek to watch the academy burn once and for all…the list is endless.

The ways that we, as guest editors of this special issue, practice and dream of m/Maddening the academy and hold space for the stories and felt-sense experiences of those m/Maddened by the academy are made possible because of histories of global activist and community-based resistance to psychiatrization, and the controlling, harmful practices of the psy-disciplines. Thus, a m/Maddening of the academy encompasses an infinite array of experiences and perspectives, backgrounds and identity intersections, pasts and presents, all the while perpetually seeking m/Mad(dened) futures that are liberatory for all.

Abstract Submissions:

We encourage abstract submissions to this special issue of the International Mad Studies Journal, “Maddening the Academy,” by December 15, 2023 via email to If alternative dates are helpful, we welcome these requests. Abstracts should:

  • be approximately 250 words that describe what will be discussed/addressed in your final article/submission and how this is connected to the theme of the special issue
  • include an approximately 100 word bio
  • include clear references to/engagement with Mad Studies scholarship/Mad movement building.

Estimated Publication Timeline (that also honors m/Mad time, Crip time, queer time, etc.):

  • August 2023: CFA is shared publicly
  • December 15, 2023: Author abstracts are submitted to guest editors
  • February 2024: Editors begin to contact authors
  • August 2024: Author final submissions due
  • Peer Review
  • Author Revisions
  • Copyediting
  • Special issue ready for publication: Winter/Spring 2025

Accessibility: Please note that we intend this special issue to also take up a process of m/Maddening academic outputs. As a result, we are open to processes which may make submission and contribution to this issue more accessible, nourishing and open to all. Please let us know what specific processes, including timelines, can best support your engagement.

Final Submission Formats: In addition to traditional scholarly writing, we welcome arts-based, poetic, musical, autobiographical, photographic, and other non-normative contributions. Because the journal is entirely virtual, video, audio and other creative formats and offerings can be distributed and are warmly welcomed. We request that you include a brief written/recorded description of your arts-based contribution that highlights the submission’s connections to the special issue theme and personal significance. Contributors may choose to have their submission peer reviewed or reviewed only by editors. For more information, please feel free to reach out to us.

Final Submission Word Count: There is no minimum word-count for scholarly writing  submissions of finished articles. We do ask that you please not exceed 5,000 words and to reach out to us directly if your piece will likely exceed this word count.

For more information on this special issue, including possible themes and topics that we welcome you to explore, please feel free to reach out and we would be happy to share a longer, more detailed call for abstracts.

Guest Editor Bios:

Meaghan Krazinski: Meaghan (she/they), is a doctoral student in Special Education at Syracuse University with advanced study in women’s and gender studies. They seek to privilege neurodivergent ways of knowing as a means of resisting the pathologizing logics of the academy. Their most recent work investigates the relationships between healing, trauma, race, and disability labels. They also have a forthcoming work on the topic of Autistic understandings of gender and identity. Meaghan is white, multiply neurodivergent, and has education, class, and citizenship privileges with English as a first language. They hold a master’s in inclusive special education and a certificate of advanced study in disability studies from Syracuse University.

Jersey Cosantino: Jersey Cosantino (they/them), a former K-12 educator, is a doctoral candidate in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University, completing certificates of advanced study in women’s and gender studies and disability studies. Jersey’s scholarship resides at the intersections of Mad studies and trans studies and, utilizing disability and transformative justice frameworks, their research centers the experiences and subjectivities of Mad, neurodivergent, trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals. Through oral history and autoethnography, Jersey seeks to construct Mad trans archives that create pathways and portals to Mad trans futures, imaginaries, and elsewheres. Using Mad trans methodologies that challenge sanism, ableism, and transmisia, Jersey’s research confronts medical model discourses and the pathologizing gaze of the psychiatric industrial complex. Jersey identifies as Mad, neurodivergent, queer, trans, and non-binary and is white with class, education, and citizenship privilege. They are a co-facilitator for SU’s Intergroup Dialogue Program and a co-editor of the International Mad Studies Journal. Jersey holds a master’s degree in high school English education (‘14) and a graduate certificate in mindfulness studies (‘19) from Lesley University, and a bachelor’s degree in English and studio art from Wellesley College (‘09).

Jennifer (Jen) Poole (she/her) is a white, first generation settler to T’karonto (Treaty 13). Jen identifies as M/maddened and along with race, class, education, employment, citizenship,  language and other privileges, lives with disability, pain and fear.  As an Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at Toronto Metropolitan University, Jen’s work sits in the confluence of madness and grief, and while companioning learners is Jen’s professional priority, current (re) search projects focus on grief in the classroom, sanism, care, decolonizing education and knowledge. Jen is also a settler trainer for the Centre for Indigegogy at Wilfrid Laurier University, a Fellow at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research at the University of Toronto and a Teaching Fellow at Toronto Metropolitan University. Additionally, Jen is a proud bonus parent, a TEDX talker and a long time community peer supporter.  Jen is happiest outside.

May Friedman: May Friedman (she/her) works as a faculty member at Toronto Metropolitan University.  May’s research looks at unstable identities, including bodies that do not conform to normative tropes of race, ethnicity, ability, size, beauty and health.  Most recently much of May’s research has focused on intersectional approaches to fat studies considering the multiple and fluid experiences of both fat oppression and fat activism.  Drawing on a range of arts-based methods including digital storytelling as well as analyses of treasured garments, May has explored meaning making and representation in relation to embodiment and experience.

Email questions to:

Please share out with all who may be interested!

Live Link:

May Friedman (she/her)
School of Social Work and School of Fashion
Toronto Metropolitan University
350 Victoria St. Toronto, ON M5B 2K3
Office: 208-D Eric Palin Hall
416-979-5000 x552525


Symposium Selfing and Shelving: Zines, Zine Media, and Zintivism

deadline for submissions: 

December 31, 2023

Zines are extremely versatile and shapeshift across various historical and cultural contexts. The term covers a wide range of objects with different aesthetic and material qualities as well as contexts of production and reception: Zines accommodate the collective concerns of fans and activists (zintivism) and the personal voice of the diarist and letter writer. Since the rise of digital media, zines and their aesthetics have become portable: Digitised and digital zines exist alongside blogs, social media, podcasts, and substacks, which seem to exhibit zine-y tendencies, while digital infrastructures have changed the ways that print zines are produced, distributed, and archived.

At the same time, print media, including zines, have seen a revival and postdigital reinvention, not the least as a paper-based escape from screens. In this new constellation, we propose to revisit questions like: Where does the zine begin and end and how have its meanings changed for readers, collectors, and makers? How can contemporary developments of the zine (like the wave of quaranzines) change our understanding of its meaning, genealogy, and archive? And what, and where, are zines now?

This symposium suggests considering these questions through the lens of

–       shelving – the zine at home, on the shelves of libraries, archives, and collectors, its repurposing and disassembling, its neglect as ephemera as well as remediation through reprints and staging in exhibitions, coffee table books, etc.

–       and ‘selfing’ – the zine as a tool in making identities and ‘working on the self,’ as a ‘third space’ for new subjectivities, as ‘sticky’ with affects, as the glue of communal belonging (local/transnational), as resource for ‘subcultural capital’ and distinction, and as conduit for relationships and activism.

We especially welcome papers that propose theoretical approaches which attend to the materiality of zines and zine production and consider the printed zine as only one form of zine media. We are interested in new approaches to zines as well as in investigations of media and objects that borrow from, reference, mimic, disguise as, or are influenced by the zine – that are in some way zine-y and take the format, aesthetics, tone, and /or affect beyond paper.

Please send an abstract (ca. 300 words) + short bio to and

by December 31, 2023

This symposium is designed as a friendly space for established and emerging scholars to share and discuss ideas. We also encourage practitioners to apply and are happy to accommodate non-academic formats of presentation.


Sabina Fazli, Obama Institute, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany

Miloš Hroch, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


Call for Papers:


Expressionismus, Ausgabe 20/2024

Herausgegeben von Kristin Eichhorn und Johannes S. Lorenzen

 Deadline for Abstracts 1/1/2024

Das Selbstporträt gehört zu den klassischen Motiven der Malerei, führt darüber hinaus aber auch zu der für die Moderne zentralen Frage nach den Wechselwirkungen zwischen Künstler*in und Werk. Es rückt den Produktionsprozess ebenso ins Zentrum wie den Menschen dahinter und erlaubt so neben der programmatischen Selbstverortung auch eine Diskussion über Art und Rolle künstlerischen Schaffens, die weit über bildende Kunst hinausgeht. In der Moderne werden deren mediale Möglichkeiten durch die Fotografie entscheidend erweitert, auch die Selbstdarstellung der kunstschaffenden Persönlichkeit verändert sich – man denke an die Akte von Egon Schiele, der sich oft selbst nackt und stilisiert malte und damit durchaus für Kontroversen sorgte. Künstlerische Selbstinszenierung durch Spiegelung der eigenen Person im eigenen Werk ist auch in der Literatur möglich und weit verbreitet. So ist es kein Zufall, dass viele Protagonisten im Werk Franz Kafkas als „K“ eingeführt werden und die frühen Romane von Johannes R. Becher autobiografische Züge aufweisen bzw. reale Lebensereignisse des Autors verarbeiten. Hintergrund dieser neuen Fokussierung auf das Selbst sind nicht zuletzt auch das Aufkommen der Psychoanalyse und dem Begriff eines ‚Ichs‘, das sich vor dem Hintergrund verdrängter Traumata und Sexualität gesellschaftlich konstituieren muss, sowie der weitgehende Wegfall religiöser und spiritueller Bedeutungsmuster, die das moderne Subjekt auf die eigene Biografie und die eigenen Lebensentscheidungen zurückwirft.

Hat es das self-fashioning (Stephen Greenblatt) schon in der Renaissance gegeben, nimmt der Druck zur Selbstinszenierung vor dem Hintergrund miteinander konkurrierender und oft kurzlebiger (avantgardistischer) Strömungen zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts noch einmal deutlich zu, die nicht ohne Grund ihre Positionen durch so viele Manifeste begründen. Hinzu kommt, dass die Rolle des Künstlers zeitgenössisch stark über seine Rolle zur Gesellschaft definiert wird. Er kann als poeta vates eine quasireligiöse Seherfigur darstellen, sich entweder durch Elitarismus oder durch Provokation und Antibürgerlichkeit von der restlichen Gesellschaft absetzen und in mehr oder weniger konkreter politischer Verankerung ihre grundlegende Veränderung anstreben: In jedem Fall gehen Kunst und Leben eine enge Verbindung ein, bezeugen und beglaubigen sich gegenseitig. Künstlertum gilt es biografisch in Szene zu setzen und das Werk muss wiederum zu der Persona passen, der sich sein*e Erschaffer*in verpflichtet fühlt. So sind die Grenzen zwischen Fiktion und Realität nicht zuletzt in der Literatur des Expressionismus fließend, etwa wenn Else Lasker-Schüler als Figur in ihren Texten auftaucht, dort eine fiktive Identität als Prinz Jussuf annimmt, als der sie gleichzeitig wiederum im realen Leben auftritt.

Häufig hat das Selbstporträt im Expressionismus also keine rein abbildende Funktion. Es entwickelt sich vielmehr ein komplexes Wechselspiel zwischen Original und Abbild, das die Grenzen zwischen beiden ebenso verwischt, wie es die Frage aufwirft, wo die Kunst endet und das Leben beginnt. Das geplante Heft möchte diesen und anderen Aspekten des Selbstbildnisses im Expressionismus vertieft nachgehen. Dabei sind sowohl Überlegungen zur generellen Praxis der Selbstverortung und Selbstinszenierung möglich wie auch die Auseinandersetzung mit einzelnen (bildkünstlerischen) Selbstporträts bzw. Alter Egos in narrativen Formaten (Literatur, Film).

Abstracts zu diesen, aber gerne auch anderen thematisch einschlägigen Aspekten von nicht mehr als 2.000 Zeichen senden Sie bitte bis zum 1. Januar 2024 an und Zudem werden unabhängig vom Thema des Hefts auch immer Vorschläge für Rezensionen oder Diskussionsbeiträge zu aktuellen Forschungsdebatten entgegengenommen, die Phänomene der aktuellen Expressionismus-Rezeption vorstellen und besprechen.

Die fertigen Beiträge sollten einen Umfang von 20.000 Zeichen (inkl. Leerzeichen und Fußnoten) nicht überschreiten und sind bis zum 1. Juli 2024 einzureichen. Das Heft im November 2024.


The self-portrait is one of the classical motifs of painting, but it also leads to the question of the interaction between artist and work, which is central to modernism. It focuses on the production process as well as on the person behind it and thus, in addition to the programmatic self-positioning, also allows a discussion about the nature and role of artistic creation that goes far beyond fine art. In the modern era, photography decisively expands the media possibilities of art, and the self-portrayal of the artistic personality changes as well – think of the nudes of Egon Schiele, who often painted himself naked and stylized, thus causing controversy. Artistic self-dramatization by mirroring one’s own person in one’s own work is also possible and widespread in literature. Thus it is no coincidence that many protagonists in Franz Kafka’s work are introduced as “K” and that the early novels of Johannes R. Becher have autobiographical features or process real life events of the author. The background to this new focus on the self is not least the emergence of psychoanalysis and the concept of an ‘I’ that has to constitute itself socially against the background of repressed traumas and sexuality, as well as the widespread disappearance of religious and spiritual patterns of meaning, which the modern subject could relate to his own biography and his own life decisions.

If self-fashioning (Stephen Greenblatt) already existed in the Renaissance, the pressure for self-dramatization increases again significantly at the beginning of the 20th century against the background of competing and often short-lived (avant-garde) currents, which not without reason justify their positions through so many manifestos. In addition, the role of the artist is contemporary strongly defined by his role to society. As poeta vates, he can represent a quasi-religious seer figure, set himself apart from the rest of society either through elitism or through provocation and anti-bourgeoisie, and strive for its fundamental change in more or less concrete political anchoring: In each case, art and life enter into a close relationship, testifying to and authenticating each other. Artistry must be staged biographically, and the work must in turn fit the persona to which its creator is committed. Thus the boundaries between fiction and reality are fluid, not least in the literature of Expressionism, for example when Else Lasker-Schüler appears as a character in her texts, assuming there a fictitious identity as Prince Jussuf, as whom she in turn appears in real life.

Please send abstracts on these, but also gladly other thematically relevant aspects of no more than 2,000 characters to and by January 1, 2024. In addition, regardless of the theme of the issue, we also always accept proposals for reviews or discussion papers on current research debates that present and discuss phenomena in the current reception of Expressionism. Final articles must be in German but translations will be accepted.

Finished articles should not exceed 20,000 characters (including spaces and footnotes) and should be submitted by July 1, 2024. The issue in November 2024.


Call for Papers

“Through Their Eyes…” – Biographical Research in the Digital Age

Deadline For Submissions: January 4, 2024

PaRDeS 30 (2024)

Journal of the Association for Jewish Studies in Germany / Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für Jüdische Studien e.V.

Editor: Dr. Björn Siegel (Institute for the History of the German Jews, Germany) Guest-Editor: Prof. Dr. Andrea Sinn (Elon University, USA)

Biographical studies have always been central to the historically working humanities, however, the relevance of biographical research seems to have gained importance throughout the last years, calling for a deeper analytical study as well as a critical re-evaluation of such a newly evolving “biographical turn”. Especially in an increasingly digitalized world, including academia, life stories seem to offer new and candid, but also personal and local lenses through which to examine, understand and present historical narratives, cultural phenomena, or literal productions. Different (auto)biographical sources offer the unique opportunity to see history “through their eyes” and provide authentic and insightful perspectives on the past and the present and can therefore, when viewed critically, serve as valuable historical records.

Such personal insights into the past and present not only enable researchers to reconstruct and preserve different life stories, but offer a unique opportunity to study political, cultural and social networks and spaces, but also to analyze the interwoven feelings, thoughts and beliefs of people who experienced past realities. However, these sources also raise questions about the interests and perspectives of the writer(s), the reliability and subjectivity of the individual, as well as the constructiveness of the related texts and sources. Therefore, biographical research not only represents an interesting tool and promising methodology, but also poses considerable challenges to researchers in the humanities in general, and Jewish Studies in particular.

The challenges are largely connected to phenomena such as (forced) migration, the evolution of diasporas and exiles, the consequences of multilingualism and transnational networks, questions of acculturation and representation, influences of religious principles, social habits or gender relations as well as the effects of changing moral concepts, philosophies, and identities. The worldwide spread of digitization seems to have solved some of these challenges, such as the issues of availability or legibility, but it also leads to new demands and difficulties, when studying biographies.

While these phenomena might be universal, they seem to be inherent in Jewish history and culture, thus, making biographical research in Jewish Studies a complex, but also promising methodology. Therefore, the journal PaRDeS is seeking contributions that explore the potential of the “biographical turn in Jewish Studies” and aims to examine its impact on the study and representation, but also preservation of Jewish history, culture, and religion in the digital age. We welcome contributions from fields including but not limited to history and literature, political and cultural studies, sociology and anthropology, as well as contributions focusing on digital studies as well as archeology, archival studies etc. Potential contributions may focus on any character, locality or time period, related to Jewish life stories.

Potential papers might focus on the following (not exhaustive) topics and questions, pose examples to illustrate the changing settings and/or

  • What are the specific challenges to write Jewish biographies/life stories in the digital age?
  • How important are biographies in Jewish history, religion and/or philosophy and has itchanged to write a biography in an ever more digitized world?
  • How can one life story influence the study of Jewish history, culture, and religion anddoes the function of the individual and/or collective transform in a digital world?
  • What kind of benefits does the digital age offer/suggest for the of study of Jewishhistory, language(s), religion, and/or culture? And, how does it influence the socialconstruction of a life story?
  • Is digitization expanding the source base of biographical research and does it change theavailability, readability and/or accessibility of sources (e.g. texts and multimedia sources)?
  • How does digitization change the materiality of the sources?
  • How are Jewish biographies used today, e.g. in academia, memory culture, educationalstrategies or public debates and did the representation of Jewish life changed by newlydeveloped digital tools?
  • How do museums and archives modify their strategies to preserve “Jewish life stories” inthe digital age?
  • Do digital biographical studies offer new insights and tools to decode and analyzeemotions or thoughts, but also trauma or violence?Proposals for papers (max. 500 words) and a short CV (max. 100 words) should be submitted to the editors, Björn Siegel ( and Andrea Sinn (, by January 5, 2024. The candidates will be notified on January 15, 2024. The submission of the finished papers is tentatively scheduled for May 2024. The full article should be 30.000 to 35.000 characters including spaces. All submissions will undergo a blind peer-review process.PaRDeS is an interdisciplinary journal that ensures its quality through a blind peer review; all articles published in PaRDeS are indexed in Rambi: Index of Articles on Jewish Studies. PaRDeS is published online in open access and in print. Previous issues are available at this link:Contact Information

Editors: Björn Siegel ( and Andrea Sinn (

Contact Email



Call for Papers 

Acts of Witnessing on Film 

American University of Paris
July 17, 2024 – July 18, 2024

Deadline for Submissions: January 8, 2024

The definitions, uses, policies, and norms of testimony continue to be debated, with discussions fueled by a large scientific literature; works of philosophy and aesthetics (Frosch, & Pinchewski, 2009, Goutte, 2016, El Madawi, 2020, Détue, 2022) explore the relationship between filmed oral testimonies and historical facts, the narrative processes created by this medium in the Era of the Witness, the contours of truly cinematic testimonies, and even of testimony as a new documentary form (Leimbacher, 2014, Katz, 2018). At the intersection of Trauma Studies, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and Memory and Media Studies, scholars have conducted research into audiovisual productions about the Holocaust as well as repressions in Latin America, the Middle-East, North Africa, and Asia (cf. the selected bibliography). These works are characterized by a constructivist perspective and an interest in the role of documentary filmmakers in the writing of history.  

This conference reflects through a historical perspective on the act of witnessing on film. Beyond “testimonial” cinema (Garibotto, 2019), we hope to approach testimonies as a practice, shaped by the specific environments of their national cinematographic cultures. How are enunciative devices reconfigured through the technical and institutional mediations inherent to the production of knowledge? How can we address the social and political stakes of archiving at the time of creation (omissions, negotiations, political pressures…)? Which epistemological approaches can be used to analyze testimonial functions assigned after the fact (such as previous footage reassigned for other purposes and uses, witness retractions regarding propaganda)?  

Studies on the historicity of individual accounts in documentaries (most often Anglophone and Francophone) situate their emergence in the 1960s (Leimbacher, 2014). This conference also proposes to account for prior decades and to introduce a global and comparative perspective. We wish to shed light on sensitivities to oral expression specific to various documentary traditions (Zéau, 2020), including those that developed under authoritarian and dictatorial regimes. These elements will be put in dialogue with various approaches to conceptualizing evidence, the document, and the audio trace. In so doing, we hope to pave the way for further research into the international circulation of ideas and expertise.   

In order to understand the listening conditions (Comolli, 1995) of a verbal testimony centered on personal experiences of violence, it is essential to recognize to what extent the topic is both political and conflictual. It is our wish to explore this dimension of communication in these societies that are torn apart, in particular in authoritarian regimes and police states. We also seek to question the pressures coming from institutions and social groups that lie behind the emergence of testimonies in cinema by comparing examples from various national cinemas. A part of the conference will be dedicated to the dissemination of filmed-based testimonies (their geographical circulation, infrastructure, breadth, and accompanying narratives). 

This conference is situated at the intersection of the history of cinema and a reflection on the act of witnessing that considers the social history of mass violence and the history of the end of dictatorships. We hope that it will be multidisciplinary and will foster connections between various cultural areas of research. We welcome proposals in French or English from a diversity of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches. 

The conference will take place on June 17 and 18, 2024 at The American University of Paris

Submission criteria: 

Please send your proposals in English or French before January 8, 2024. Please indicate the argument and issues raised by the topic of your communication and do not exceed 500 words. Submissions are to be sent to the organizing Committee ( Authors will be responded to in February 2024. The presentation should be of 20 minutes.

Organization Committee : Luba Jurgenson (Sorbonne Université), Constance Pâris de Bollardière (AUP), Brian Schiff (AUP), Irina Tcherneva (CNRS) 

Scientific Committee, in alphabetical order: 

Ruth Beckermann (filmmaker) 

Jennifer Cazenave (Boston University) 

Jochen Hellbeck (Rutgers University) 

Luba Jurgenson (Sorbonne) 

Sylvie Lindeperg (University Paris 1) 

Ania Szczepanska (University Paris 1) 

Irina Tcherneva (CNRS) 

Indicative bibliography 

  • Paul Bernard Nouraud and Luba Jurgenson (ed.), Témoigner par l’image, Paris, Petra, 2015. 
  • Paul Bernard Nouraud, Luba Jurgenson, Irina Tcherneva (ed.), Témoigner par l’image II, Paris, Petra, forthcoming in 2023. 
  • Véronique Campan, Marie Martin, Sylvie Rollet (ed.), Qu’est-ce qu’un geste politique au cinéma ? Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2019. 
  • Catherine Coquio, La littérature en suspens. Écritures de la Shoah : le témoignage et les œuvres, Paris, L’Arachnéen, 2015. 
  • Efren Cuevas, Filming History from Below: Microhistorical Documentaries, Columbia University Press, Wallflower Press, 2022. 
  • Frédérik Détue, Témoigner au cinéma : une action dans l’histoire, Presses Universitaires de Paris Nanterre, 2022. 
  • Frédérik Détue & Charlotte Lacoste, Témoigner en littérature, Europe n° 1041-1042, janvier-février 2016). 
  • Stefanie El Madawi, Approaching Contemporary Cinematic I-Witnessing, PhD thesis, University of Huddersfield, 2020. 
  • Paul Frosh & Amit Pinchevski, Media Witnessing. Testimony in the Age of Mass Communication, Pallgrave Macmillan, 2009. 
  • Verónica Garibotto, Rethinking testimonial cinema in postdictatorship Argentina: beyond memory fatigue, Indiana University Press, 2019. 
  • Martin Goutte, « Le témoignage au rythme des images et des mots : accélération et accumulation », Écrire l’histoire [online], 16 | 2016, pp. 155-163. 
  • Luba Jurgenson & Alexandre Prstojevic, Des Témoins aux héritiers, Paris, Petra, 2012. 
  • Aurélia Kalisky, « Pour une histoire culturelle du testimonial. De la notion de “témoignage” à celle de “création testimoniale” », PHD thesis, 2013, Paris 3 University. 
  • Rebecka Katz Thor, Beyond the Witness. Holocaust Representation and The Testimony Of Images. Three Films by Yael Hersonski, Harun Farocki And Eyal Sivan, Stockholm, Art and Theory Publishing, 2018. 
  • Irina Leimbacher, More than Talking Heads: Non-fiction Testimony and Cinematic Form, PHD thesis, University of Berkley, 2014. 
  • Sylvie Lindeperg & Annette Wieviorka, Univers concentrationnaire et génocide : voir, savoir, comprendre, Paris, Mille et une nuits, 2008. 
  • Rory O’Bryen, Literature, Testimony and Cinema in Contemporary Colombian Culture : Spectres of la Violencia, Woodbridge, Rochester, NY, Tamesis, 2008. 
  • Bhaskar Sarkar & Janet Walker (ed.), Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering, New York, Routledge, 2010. 
  • Annette Wiewiorka, The Era of the Witness, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2006. 
  • Caroline Zéau, Le cinéma direct : un art de la mise en scène, l’Âge d’homme, 2020. 
  • Revue Images Documentaires « La Parole Filmée », 1995, n° 22. 


Call For Papers: Rasanblaj Fanm: Stories of Haitian Womanhood, Past, Present and Future,
Institute for Black Atlantic Research,
University of Central Lancashire,
Preston, United Kingdom,

10-12 July 2024

Deadline for Submissions: January 13, 2024

Haitian women are regarded as the poto mitan (central pillar) of Haitian society. As caregivers, warriors, healers, artisans, traders, cultivators, manbos, storytellers, companions and agitators, they have been vital agents in shaping the fortunes of Haiti’s revolutionary anticolonial encounters and its quest for sovereignty and legitimation as an independent state. However, this term of veneration conceals diverse forms of political, social and discursive exclusion that women in Haiti and across the dyaspora confront in the present, and the myriad forms of silence and neglect to which they have been subjected in the historical record. 

The little that we know of the women whose courage, ferocity, resilience and generosity paved a course for independence, postcolonial statehood and the universal and permanent abolition of slavery in 1804 is often shrouded in mythology, which, as Colin Dayan has highlighted, “not only erases these women but forestalls our turning to [their] real lives.” Moreover, these legendary “sheroes” of Haiti’s past have often been exploited for the sake of political opportunity, symbolically deployed in the service of nationalist sleights of hand which obscure the precarity, insecurity, exploitation and vulnerability of Haitian women in the present. Piecing together the scattered fragments produced by the violence and ruptures of the colonialist archive and the continuing violence, neglect and co-optation of the dominant political oligarchy necessitates a form of rasanblaj, or (re)assembly, a practice advocated by Gina Athena Ulysse which “demands that we consider and confront the limited scope of segregated frameworks to explore what remains excluded in this landscape that is scorched yet full of life, riddled with inequities and dangerous and haunting memories.” Through rasanblaj, multiple modalities and disciplinary perspectives offer pathways of intersection. 

This conference invites opportunities to (re)assemble narratives, theorisations, performances, mobilisations and representations of Haitian womanhood, past, present and future. It welcomes proposals for 15-20-minute presentations from scholars, artists, activists, performers, creators and organisers that grapple with these diverse assemblages of Haitian womanhood. Potential topics of discussion include (but are not limited to): 

  • (Under)representations of women in histories of the Haitian Revolution 
  • Literary, artistic and filmic re-imaginings of Haiti’s revolutionary “sheroes” and women of Haiti’s pre- and post-revolutionary history
  • Haitian women as creators of art, literature, film, music and dance
  • Haitian women as subjects in art, literature, film and other media
  • The history of the feminist movement in Haiti
  • Haitian girlhood and education: where it’s been, where it is, where it’s going
  • The restavek system in Haiti and its particular impact on girls and young women 
  • Land-tillers and Haiti’s moun andeyo
  • Makers, artisans and Madan Sara
  • Women and culinary traditions in Haiti
  • Cultural veneration of women icons and the notion of the poto mitan
  • Haitian women in the dyaspora
  • Manbos and the primacy of women in Vodou
  • Women elders, matriarchs and oral storytellers
  • Fashion icons and beauty queens from Haiti’s past and present
  • Women’s fashion in Haiti and the dyaspora
  • Women-led social justice organisations in Haiti and across the dyaspora
  • Stateswomen and women of the judiciary in Haiti

This event marks 220 years of Haitian independence, 200 years since Marie-Louise Christophe, first and only Queen of Haiti, departed Britain, and 90 years since the end of the U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915-1934). It also celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research, whose record of hosting international events celebrating Haitian history and culture is established. As a radically transnational, interdisciplinary, collaborative, anticolonial and feminist endeavour, we aspire to create a conference that is inclusive in its structure and its mode of dissemination, and will make provisions for presenters in English, French and (where possible) in Kreyòl. Though we hope to assemble as many delegates in one common space as possible for this ambitious project, we recognise the challenges and potential barriers to travel (especially for our Haitian contingent). For this reason, and in order to promote inclusive discussions, there will be some opportunities for remote and hybrid participation.* 

A selection of the accepted papers may be invited to further develop their research for inclusion in an edited volume that may be produced after the conference. 

Confirmed keynote speakers include the Haitian-born artist Patricia Brintle, Ayitian Ourstorian and Vodouvi Professor Bayyinah Bello and filmmaker and journalist Etant Dupain

Proposals for papers, panels, film/video presentations, workshops, and roundtables are due by 13 January 2024. Please submit an abstract of up to 300 words (these should be “blinded”, with names and affiliations removed, for peer review), along with a separate document containing a short biography of no more than 200 words (to include name and institutional/organisational affiliation if applicable). Proposals for complete panels of three speakers (or up to a maximum of four, keeping in mind that sessions will run for 90 minutes) are also welcomed. For full panel submissions, a designated group representative should collate abstracts and speaker biographies. All materials should be sent to the conference organisers, Dr M. Stephanie Chancy and Dr Nicole Willson at by the deadline date.

* Proposals should indicate language requirements and any needs for remote participation.

Conference Committee

Dr M. Stephanie Chancy, Digital Library of the Caribbean, University of Florida

Dr Nathan Dize, Washington University in St. Louis

Dr Rachel Douglas, University of Glasgow

Dr Raphael Hoermann, Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire

Isabelle Dupuy, Writer and Trustee of the London Library

Dr Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall, California State University San Marcos

Dr Nicole L. Willson, Institute for Black Atlantic Research, University of Central Lancashire

Contact Email



(Para-)Military Violence, War Crimes in Post-Soviet Conflicts and Narratives of the Russo-Ukrainian War: New Avenues of Methodology and Research

May 21-23, 28-29, 2024

Application deadline: January 15, 2024.

Potsdam and Jerusalem

Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in cooperation with the Pilecki Institute, the Lemkin Institute for Genocide Prevention and the University of New Europe (UNE) organize a joint international workshop that will take place in two locations: The Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF) (May 21-23, 2024) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (May 28-29, 2024).

The first part of the workshop at the Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam will take place within the research framework KonKoop (Conflict and Cooperation in Eastern Europe: The Consequences of the Reconfiguration of Political, Economic, and Social Spaces since the End of the Cold War). It will primarily focus on the topic of (para-)military violence over a period of time starting with the collapse of the USSR till present.

The Mutiny of the Wagner group in summer 2023 has highlighted the significance of armed militias for understanding conflict, violence and war in the post-Soviet space. The dissolution of the USSR was preceded by the disintegration of the Soviet Army and the rise of armed groups, local strongmen and warlords in parts of the Caucasus, in Central Asia and in Moldova. From the 1990s onwards irregular formations of armed men played a significant role in various conflicts from Chechnya to the Donbas. These men, as well as the regular armed units of Russia used violence and committed war crimes in the conflicts following the dissolution of the USSR.

The workshop will assemble both those who have contributed to the ongoing discussion on methodological approaches in the study of violent groups, including ethical questions, as well as researchers who have already studied sources and collected data in the field. Presentations will include work on the conflicts of the late USSR and the 1990s as well as more recent studies about the Russian war against Ukraine (starting in 2014). The goal of the workshop is to gain a better understanding of the origins, the actors as well as the forms and consequences of irregular military violence from perestroika to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

The workshop language is English. Submissions should include a one-page abstract and a short CV. Please send all materials by 15 January 2024 to

Applications are welcome from scholars and nonacademic research professionals such as journalists and activists. Some of the participants’ travel costs will be reimbursed upon request.

In cooperation with the University of New Europe network a publication of some of the contributions is planned with a transcript in the “New Europes” book series.

Organizing committee: Alyona Bidenko (ZZF/ KonKoop), Jan Claas Behrends (ZZF/ Viadrina U)

Contact email:

For more information see.

The Potsdam Workshop is supported by funds from the Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF)

The second part of the workshop at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will concentrate on the Russo-Ukrainian war and explore a range of topics related to how the war is narrated, constructed and interpreted by its immediate witnesses: refugees from Ukraine who left the country to various destinations, primarily to Europe and Israel.

Topics that we intend to discuss include but are not limited to the following:

I. History of the war seen from “within”
We look forward to discussing the major narrative strands in the stories about living in Ukraine during the war (possibly, under the Russian occupation), of flight/evacuation to other countries and of current refugeehood in the country of destination. We aim here at enhancing our understanding of the social reality, micropolitics of everyday life and larger social processes as all these were altered by the war.

Some of the foci in this discussion may include:

1) grass-root agency in the situation of war: where and how it is produced and sustained, how it facilitates micro-level social practices, how it shapes interaction in larger social networks and how it is inscribed in the workings of formal institutions or organizations;

2) various choices (practical, moral, political, linguistic, etc.) involved in people’s war-time experience contexts and how these choices reflect people’s individual and group-based political allegiances and humanitarian commitments;

3) individual and collective identity(ies) and their role in shaping people’s vision of the broader context of Russo-Ukrainian war, of their war-time experiences in Ukraine and later in their new host countries, as well as of the broader political agendas on the international level against which these identities are negotiated.

II. Methodology

We are also looking forward to discussing methodologies underlying our oral history research with particular regard to the nature of our interviews and to some extent participant observation.

First, here we may focus on the ontologies of the texts produced in our work with particular regard to the following aspects:

a) “translatability” of the war experience, particularly of the trauma experience, and “conditions of felicity” under which communication of this experience becomes possible;

b) the role of individual and collective subjectivities invoked in people’s stories as categories of the scholarly analysis;

c) critique of the nature of oral narratives produced in a multiple-stage process of immediate perception and postponed reflection of the witnesses, as well as the interpretation on the part of researchers and their resulting value for the academic discourse;

d) crystallization of earlier “raw” testimonies into structured narratives with specific civil agendas, as well as various social, political and cultural factors that impact this process;

e) possible theoretical framings that allow oral narratives to become part of the academic discourse.

Second, we may discuss the place of our findings within the existing discourses in social sciences and humanities, such as “anthropology of emergency,” identity-and-agency theory, actor-network theory, anthropology of everyday life, genocide studies, Ukrainian studies, European studies, Israel studies, studies of colonialism and post-colonialism, diaspora and nationalism studies, aliyah studies, etc.

Third, we might give thought to how ethnographic and anthropological perspectives on the one hand provide the possibility of different framings of historical events and processes as compared to official documentary sources, but on the other, how they may complement each other to expand our perspective on the object of our study. In other words, how oral history may be integrated into the larger historical canon and how this synthesis may provide a more human-oriented perspective upon the war.

III. Further collaborative efforts

Last but not least, we are planning to discuss our further research around the theme of the Russo-Ukrainian war, including development of joint projects, creation of cross-referenced archival depositories and establishing research networks with other academic institutions.

Applications are welcome from scholars and nonacademic research professionals. We particularly welcome researchers who have been doing oral history research with war-time Ukrainian refugees, as well as scholars in social sciences more broadly.

Application deadline: January 15, 2024.
Accommodation costs in Israel will be covered.

Organizing committee: Semion Goldin (Hebrew U of Jerusalem),, Anna Kushkova (Hebrew U of Jerusalem),

Contact email: (Anna Kushkova)

Contact Information

The Leibniz-Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam (ZZF): Alyona Bidenko (ZZF/ KonKoop), Jan Claas Behrends (ZZF/ Viadrina U). Contact email:

Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Semion Goldin (Hebrew U of Jerusalem),, Anna Kushkova (Hebrew U of Jerusalem), Contact email: (Anna Kushkova).

Contact Email


Call for papers – International Colloquium–Échappées belles – Correspondance of Surrealist Women

deadline for submissions: January 27, 2024

contact email:

Organized by

Andrea Oberhuber (Montreal University), Sylvano Santini (University of Quebec in Montreal) et Eve Lemieux-Cloutier (University of Quebec in Montreal)

Montreal, October 23-25 2024

Where do we stand, almost 100 years after André Breton published the First Manifesto of Surrealism, in our understanding of what Georgiana Colvile and Kate Conley, in La femme s’entête (1998), have called “the feminine part” of the third historical avant-garde? Is it still necessary in 2023 to add a question mark, as the curators did in the case of the Surréalisme au féminin? exhibition at the Musée de Montmartre in summer 2023? Would this symbolize a doubt about the historical presence and aesthetic contribution of numerous female creators – writers and artists, often both at the same time – to the Surrealist movement? It’s true that, in the first pages of the manifesto, Breton evokes a castle in a “rustic setting, not far from Paris” where his “handsome and cordial” friends have taken up residence. He names them all, one by one, before concluding by imagining “and gorgeous women, I might add”, without bothering to specify their names.

Over the past thirty years, a growing number of literary critics and art historians have put names and images to these “gorgeous women ” (Rubin Suleiman, 1990, Caws, Kuenzli and Raaberg, 1991, Conley, 1996, Rosemont, 1998, Colvile, 1999, among others). We now know that Simone Kahn and Mick Soupault were immortalized in Man Ray’s group photographs, that the young Gisèle Prassinos was the “femme-enfant” par excellence (Conley and Mahon, 2023) for quite some time, and that the group generally became more welcoming of creative women in the post-war period (Bonnet, 2006). Nor is there any need to revisit the triple role of muse-model-mistress in which young women authors and artists were mostly confined, and which for many was a means of drawing closer to Breton’s “group”, finding new ideas and values, while others have settled for a deliberately marginal position within the Surrealist nebula. Whether their relationship was one of proximity or distance, varying according to the key moments in their careers, their contribution to Surrealist aesthetics and ethics – since the two are intimately linked in the avant-garde movements of the first half of the 20th century – is no longer in doubt today. It seems to us that the centenary of the publication of the founding manifesto offers an opportunity to consider the past-present-future of Surrealism from a perspective that gives pride of place to the feminine. This bias in favor of women’s legacy, particularly in the field of correspondence, is intended to go beyond a binary vision of masculine and feminine, to breathe new life into movement studies and perpetuate creative practices to the present day.

No progress, however radical, can be made without a return to the past. Surrealist women creators were witnessed to an era of upheaval that profoundly changed the conditions of art and forms of life. This was the desire of the avant-garde in general and Surrealism in particular, although it has been a long time coming. Women’s art made an original and integral contribution to the creation of these new conditions. And the reasons that explains the late realization of the will to change life are the same that might clarify the delay in the discovery of women’s work. We must avoid repeating this delay by hesitating to join their works to the forms of life that produced them. If the end of art’s autonomy is an essential contribution of the historical avant-gardes, despite their failure, as Peter Bürger (1984) demonstrated long ago, it goes beyond the question of gender. We must recognize, however, that its ultimate consequences affect women more intensely, whose subversive works have not been as decontextualized and neutralized by bourgeois recuperation and the art market as those of men. Besides, in his thesis on the historical failure of the avant-garde, Bürger never mentions the existence of women’s Surrealist works. Without wishing to deny their access to economic capital – they have the same right to it as men – their works still retain their subversive power. It’s this power that we need to bring to light, by revisiting and questioning the forms of life that gave rise to them.

As part of the 100th anniversary of Surrealism in 2024, we propose to organize a colloquium on what we might be called a blind spot in surrealism studies to date, prompting us to reflect on it together: the correspondence of writers and artists whom we associate closely or remotely with the movement.

They (hers) – Claude Cahun, Leonora Carrington, Lise Deharme, Leonor Fini, Simone Kahn, Nelly Kaplan, Dora Maar, Lee Miller, Suzanne Muzard, Gisèle Prassinos, Dorothea Tanning and Unica Zürn, to name but a few – knew each other from close and far-flung Surrealist circles. Although they sometimes maintained an ongoing correspondence with one of the eminent representatives of Surrealism, there are few examples of letters they addressed to each other. Examples include the correspondence between Simone Kahn and her cousin Denise Lévy, or the few letters exchanged between Claude Cahun and Adrienne Monnier. In the majority of cases, female Surrealist artists corresponded with their male counterparts: Nelly Kaplan and Leonor Fini with André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Gisèle Prassinos with Henri Parisot, Lise Deharme with Pierre Reverdy, Unica Zürn with Henri Michaux and, of course, Jacqueline Lamba with André Breton.

While it is generally believed that male writers and artists pursue their work by shaping and editing their correspondence – they somehow know that it will be read – we shouldn’t think that women don’t care. We need to get rid of all gendered stereotypes about epistolary writing, such as the one suggesting that women neglect the literary value of their letters in favor of spontaneity. As Brigitte Diaz (2006) rightly points out, the various gendered stereotypes associated with correspondence should no longer have a place in epistolary studies. This will be all the more true in our colloquium, which, rather than redoing the history of Surrealism, aims to extend and refine it by questioning the modes of sociability favored by women, their desire to collaborate, their friendships and loves, their criticisms, their ambitions, their moods – in short, their aesthetic, political and social sensibilities. In short, it will explore the multiple links – from everyday life to political reflections to questions of advice on a work in progress, for example – that several generations of Surrealist creators established between writing, creation and life in an era that, in more ways than one, can still inspire our own.

Proposals for papers – whether for research or research/creation – which may concern published or archival correspondence by women, or, from a broader perspective, the question of epistolary writing by women, should be around 300 words long and accompanied by a brief bio-bibliographical note. Written in French or English, they should be sent simultaneously to Andrea Oberhuber (, Sylvano Santini ( and Eve Lemieux-Cloutier ( no later than January 27, 2024. In the subject line of your message, please indicate “Colloque. Échappées belles”.

Please note that the colloquium organizers are planning to submit a funding application to cover part of the travel and subsistence expenses of colloquium participants. Further information will be sent to candidates whose proposals have been accepted by the scientific committee.


Bonnet, Marie-Jo, Femmes artistes dans les avant-gardes, Paris,Odile Jacob, 2006.

Bürger, Peter, Theory of the Avant-Garde, trad. Michael Shaw, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1974.

Caws, Mary Ann, Rudolf Kuenzli et Gwen Raaberg (dir.), Surrealism and Women, Cambridge, The MIT Press, 1991.

Colvile, Georgiana, et Katharine Conley (dir.), La femme s’entête. La part du féminin dans le surréalisme, Paris, Lachenal et Ritter, coll. « Pleine Marge », 1998.

Colvile, Georgiana, Scandaleusement d’elles: trente-quatre femmes surréalistes, Paris,
Jean Michel Place, 1999.

Conley, Katharine, Automatic Woman, Nebraska, University of Nebraska Press, 1996.

Conley, Kate, et Alyce Mahon, «The “Problem of Woman” in Surrealism », International Journal of Surrealism, vol. 1 n° 1, 2023, p. v-ix. 

Diaz, Brigitte, et Jürgen Siess (dir.), L’épistolaire au féminin : Correspondances de femmes (xviiie-xxe siècle),Caen, Presses universitaires de Caen, 2006.

Oberhuber, Andrea, Faire œuvre à deux. Le livre surréaliste au féminin, Montréal, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, coll. « Art + », 2023.

Rosemont, Penelope (dir.), Surrealist Women, An International Anthology, Texas, University of Texas Press, coll. « Surrealist Revolution », 1998. 

Suleiman, Susan Rubin, Subversive Intent: Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde, Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1990.


Reading Group 2023/2024

The new GloBio Reading Group season is about to commence with the following
exciting line-up:

2 February 2024
‘Biographical Lexicons: Advantages and Pitfalls’
Sietske van der Veen
25 March 2024
‘Biography, Nationalism and Ideology’
Christian Wicke
2 May 2024
‘The Global Lives of Muslim Women’
Siobhan Lambert-Hurley and Andrew Amstutz
All meetings take place from 3pm to 4.30pm CET (9am EST/ 2pm BST). Readings and
Zoom link will be shared closer to the date. Feel free to invite along anyone who is
interested in participating.

RSVPs go to or 

Laura Almagor at

Looking forward to discussing with many of you!


CFP: Writers of Extreme Situations: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

deadline for submissions: 

February 15, 2024

contact email:

CFP: 58th Annual Comparative World Literature Conference

Venue: California State University, Long Beach. Hybrid

Dates: Tuesday, April 16 (Zoom presentations only), Wednesday and Thursday, April 17-18, 2024 (in person presentations only with Zoom projections)

Plenary Speaker: Christopher Goffard, author and senior staff writer, Los Angeles Times

Family crises, exilic conditions, forced migrations, excessive poverty, armed conflicts, political warfare, environmental calamities, workers’ exploitation, pandemics, and all manner of natural or man-made disasters have been rising to unprecedented levels over the last decades. How are extreme situations or situations so extraordinary as to defy imagination represented? What are the poetics underlying them?

We welcome conversations about how extreme conditions and situations, (individual, collective, or global) are expressed, analyzed, and engaged from a multidisciplinary perspective, including but not limited to:  Literature, Journalism, Geography, Anthropology, Political Science, Criminology, Linguistics, Ethnic Studies, Women and Gender Studies, Disability Studies, Media Studies, Geology, Human Development, and more.

This conference invites paper and panel proposals on all aspects of extreme situations. Possible topics can include but are not limited to:

-Literature of extreme situations

-Investigative Journalism

-Trauma literature

-Literatures of genocide

-Holocaust memoirs

-Feats of survival

-Crime narratives

-Narratives of addiction

-Natural and man-made disasters

-Innocent Project LA

-Victims speak up: truth to power

-The rise against femicide

-Wars and exilic narratives

-Refugee narratives

-Pandemic narratives

-Medical malpractice and botched surgeries

-Ethics of survival and survivors’ guilt

-The Family Secret and the wounded individual

-Dementia and violence: nursing homes

-Perpetrators and victims

-Asylum seekers and their fate in the US

-Ethical ordeals: surviving the unimaginable

-Memory as a repository of horror

-Collapse of ethical systems in a digital world

-Institutional responses to catastrophes

-Crossing the Mediterranean: the Syrian refugee crisis

-Extreme geo-political conflicts

-Journalism at work: covering extreme conditions

-“The Banality of Evil” in urban settings.

-State terrorism and extreme-isms

-Millennial fatigue and extremist stances

-Monuments of shame

-The Kafkaesque in our daily lives

-Systemic risks in the 21st Century

-Extreme environments

-Soft White Underbelly: Mark Laita interviews

The Trials of Frank Carson Podcast (Christopher Goffard)

-Deaths in the Grand Canyon and Other National Parks.

We are thrilled to announce that the plenary talk will be delivered by Christopher Goffard, Pulitzer Prize winner, journalist for the LA Times, novelist and podcaster, on Thursday, April 19th, at 2PM (PDT). The title of his talk is:

“Crossing the Impossible Bridge in a Dynamite Truck: Observations on Film, Friendship and Collaboration”

In “Crossing the Impossible Bridge in a Dynamite Truck,” Goffard will reflect on his friendship and collaboration with one of cinema’s great poets of desperation and obsession, William Friedkin, and of their efforts to bring some of Goffard’s riskier stories to the screen. As a crystallization of Friedkin’s danger-courting artistry—and as a metaphor for their quest to get controversial projects made— Goffard invokes an image from the filmmaker’s 1977 masterpiece Sorcerer, in which a truck laden with nitroglycerin attempts to cross a crumbling suspension bridge in the South American jungle.

Submissions for individual presentations and 90-minute sessions are welcome from all disciplines and global / historical contexts that engage with historical, personal, or social instances of extreme conditions and situations.

Proposals for 15-20 minute presentations should clearly explain the relationship of the paper to the conference theme, describe the evidence to be examined, and offer tentative conclusions. Abstracts of no more than 300 words (not including optional bibliography) should be submitted by January15, 2024. Please submit abstracts as a Word document in an email attachment to

NB: Please do not embed proposals in the text of the email. Make sure to indicate your mode of preference (Zoom on April 16 and in person only on April 17 and 18) for planning purposes

While the conference will be hybrid, all Zoom presentations will take place only on Tuesday, April 16, and in-person presentations will take place on Wednesday-Thursday, April 17-18 (and will be Zoom-projected). We cannot accommodate pre-recorded presentations.

The conference committee will review all proposals, with accepted papers receiving notification by February 15, 2024.


Special Issue of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies
Lives, Selves, Media and #MeToo: Anticipating Futures, Tracing Histories and Articulating the Present
Call for Papers
Abstracts due 4 March 2024

This issue explores #MeToo not as an isolated media flare, but as part of a wider social, cultural and historical matrix wherein auto/biographical modes and practices collide and connect with feminist resistance—as well as negotiate and impel its backlash. #MeToo crosses media borders, inviting scholars to consider how media shape and are shaped by political movements, and how transmedia forms a part of this story.

Testimony is the dominant form of engagement with the #MeToo hashtag. Millions of tweets have offered testimony and asked for the public to bear witness as people who have long been silent about their experiences of sexual violence, most of them women, speak out on social media. That a feminist phenomenon occurring in the age of the selfie has been propelled by auto/biographical statements, is extremely online, and has “Me” at its centre is possibly unsurprising and legitimately—to scholars of life narrative, at least—fascinating.

Me Too began in 2006 as a Black, feminist grassroots movement founded by activist Tarana Burke. The focus was local support for Black girls and women who had survived sexual violence, and Burke used Myspace to spread her message. The Twitter hashtag exploded in 2017 in social media ecosystem different from the 2006 Myspace era. The flood of mass digital testimony drew attention from news media, inspiring books, and breaking a long-held silence by exposing perpetrators of sexual violence, chiefly in the entertainment and media industry.

Likewise, #MeToo spills over historical and national borders, and is embedded within broader discourses and histories of feminist activism and sexual violence. We want to explore what has alternately been called the ‘moment’ and the ‘movement’ of #MeToo/Me Too beyond the temporal location of the hashtag and phrase. What conditions, movements, stories, and texts came before #MeToo that benefit from re-examination (or refresh) in light of #MeToo? What conditions, movements, stories, and texts are emerging after #MeToo and might productively be linked to this significant phenomenon? And where might we imagine the future leads now? Have futures been opened up or closed off by #MeToo? What have we learned from the past that would benefit future feminist activism addressing sexual violence?

This issue welcomes broad interpretations of “media” to think beyond the social media context and into print media, ephemera, sound and screen media, with a view to examining the significance of mediation (and media contexts) in testimony, auto/biographical practices, and feminist activism.

Our suggestions for engaging with this theme include:

  • How media forms and networks (digital, print and beyond) have played a part in feminist resistance
  • Stories, reportage, memoir, and media before and/or after #MeToo
  • The violent rhythms of ‘progress’ and backlash, and how this pattern shapes the stories we tell about gender and violence
  • Backlash politics and social media
  • Hashtag activism
  • Testimony and media(tion)
  • The embeddedness of media in social and political life, relevant to gendered violence and feminist protest
  • Forms of protest and the evolution of protest in relation to gender and violence
  • Addressing the problems of #MeToo
  • Racism, sexism and other forms of ideological violence within activist movements
  • Testimony and feminist media history/feminist activism
  • Posthuman feminist pasts, presents and futures
  • Health humanities approaches to #MeToo
  • Mediating sexual trauma in the past and present
  • Mass testimony and collective trauma
  • Digital activism, policy, and structural change
  • Parallel phenomena (what is occurring parallel to #MeToo and how would we benefit from seeing ‘across’ media and political contexts?)
  • Memoir and other narratives of childhood trauma
  • Feminist resistance, gendered violence and celebrity culture
  • Teaching #MeToo 
  • #MeToo futures
  • Memoir of the movement including Tarana Burke’s Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movemen

    We are seeking 250-300 word abstracts for articles of up to 6000 words, and shorter creative or critical contributions of up to 1000 words. Please make clear in your abstract which format your proposal pertains to. 

Abstracts are due on 4 March 2024, and full papers will be due on 2 September 2024.

Please submit abstracts via email to: and 
We are also planning a collaborative workshop for potential contributors in July 2024, and details will follow for those whose full papers are requested. 
The editorial team for this special issue is led by Kylie Cardell (Flinders University) and Emma Maguire (James Cook University). Please submit abstracts via email to: and


Deadline for Submissions, March 31, 2024

CFP: Oral History and Disability

The Oral History Review is happy to announce a call for papers for a special issue dedicated to Oral History and Disability. It is currently slated for the Spring 2025 issue of the OHR.  

Oral historians often write and talk about inclusion, even radical inclusion. What does this mean in practice? What contributions have oral historians made – or can they make – to Disability Studies? What are the cultural representations of disability and how can oral historians add to a view of disability beyond the traditional, mostly medical, and socially constructed ones? What do the practices of oral historians with disabilities look or sound like? What can oral historians learn about communication from people with disabilities? And how do such themes as embodiment, trauma, and identity, topics oral historians often discuss, apply to disability?

For this issue, we especially want to encourage multimedia submissions and to push thinking around new technologies for both interviewing and oral history project outcomes. This might include, for example, for the blind and seeing impaired, not only audio but perhaps screen reader (or text-toaudio) software. For people who are deaf or hearing impaired, the use of signed interviews with video online (ASL), closed captioning, and downloadable transcripts. Or for people with neurocognitive differences, intellectual disabilities, and other conditions, anything from assistive devices to language cues within an interview to the use of photos to aid in story capture.

This special issue thus asks oral historians to explore:

  • Multimedia projects and the use of audio/video/photography  
  • New technologies for both interviewing and oral history project outcomes
  • Access and accessibility
  • Visibility and its meanings
  • Stories before and after the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The second wave of the disability rights movement, also called Disability Justice (DJ)
  • The role of oral history in Disability Studies and history  
  • How disability is framed today and at different times and places
  • Disability and advocacy, family, and religious belief
  • Stories from the field of narrative medicine, which seeks to bridge clinical practice and patients’ emotional health and well being  
  • What oral historians can learn about communication from people with disabilities, and/or from artists with disabilities who address the labor of care in their work
  • How oral history can be used to investigate the structural ableism that people with disabilities confront daily (spatial equity)
  • Disability and poverty, gender, or race  
  • COVID-19 stories
  • And other themes that oral historians often address – embodiment, trauma, community, labor, inclusion/exclusion, identity – as applied to disability

It is estimated that one in four people in the U.S. alone live with a disability.

If you have questions, book and media review ideas, or would like to discuss your proposal in advance, please contact the OHR editor, Holly Werner-Thomas, at by December 31, 2023. To submit your articles, use the OHR submission portal, The deadline for submissions is March 31, 2024.

Contact Email



The Expatriate Archive Centre (EAC) invites master’s students around the world to participate in the EAC Master’s Thesis Award and submit theses that contribute to the scholarship of expatriation studies.
Prize: €500 and promotion of the executive summary of the winning thesis by the EAC and partner organisations.
Application deadline: 31 March 2024.
Master thesis requirements:
•             The thesis should relate to the EAC’s mission and objectives;
•             The thesis is written in English;
•             The thesis is from the 2019–20, 2020–21, 2021–22, or 2022–23 academic year;
•             The thesis has been awarded a mark of 8/10 or more (or equivalent, e.g., 16/20 or more, or an ‘A’).

In 2019, we created this award to celebrate and reward talents who produce outstanding master’s theses that help to further understand the impact of expatriation on people’s lives. Five jurors evaluate the submissions. They use the following criteria: originality and innovation (20%); technical quality (30%); composition (10%); potential for contributing to the stimulation of scholarly (e.g. theoretical, methodological, etc.) perspectives regarding the award theme (20%); potential for contributing to the stimulation of practical engagement by policy, industry and/or civil society actors with the award theme (20%). More information about how to apply can be found here.

Partner organisations: Families in Global Transition, The International Metropolis Project, International Centre for Archival Research, TheHagueOnLine, ACCESS Netherlands and

For more information about the EAC and this initiative, please visit our website or email
Have a nice day,


Expatriate Archive Centre
Paramaribostraat 20
2585 GN  The Hague (the Netherlands)
T. +31 (0)70 427 2014
F. +31 (0)70 427 2016
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Slavery, Authorship and Literary Culture

Call for papers

April 1, 2024

Edited Collection

This volume, the last in a three-volume series devoted to the comparative literary history of modern slavery, explores slavery, past and present, from the perspective of authorship, textuality and literary cultures. The editors invite abstracts for essays on all aspects of this question.

Slavery is often portrayed as shrouded in silence due to the simple fact that the number of texts and accounts written by enslaved people is very limited, especially when compared to the vast amount of documentation produced by the colonial powers. As recent scholarship has shown, however, enslaved people were not silent — silence is rather an effect created by the privileging of some forms of writing and as a result certain voices and viewpoints over others.

This volume aims to investigate writing about slavery in all its forms, from the written traces left by enslaved people to the archives of slaveholders and from the discourses of abolition to postcolonial narrative. While we acknowledge the problem of invisibility as a fundamental condition for the study of slavery, we also wish to highlight the ways in which discourses about slavery have found their way into print and other media as well as the ways in which these texts have circulated and been read. The volume will consider how enslaved people expressed themselves in writing, considering, among other genres, letters, legal and financial documents, as well as published texts of all kinds. We encourage contributions that explore how the formerly enslaved took up authorship as free colored people or, after emancipation, in newspapers, journals or in other contexts and venues. We will consider the literary cultures that took shape in colonies and countries in which texts on slavery were produced and disseminated. Finally, we wish to explore postcolonial writing about slavery as well as accounts of slavery in today’s world. An important question for the volume will be how and to what extent authorship corresponds to agency and political subjectivity.

For vol. 3 we invite articles that address any of the many the ways in which literature relating to slavery has been written, disseminated, read and discussed. This includes, for example, the existence of libraries and literary and scientific circles in colonial settings, the ways in which colonial literature was read and discussed in Europe, international debates about abolition, the uses of literature in colonial schools and missions, and more broadly the use of text as documentation. Articles might also consider processes of translation between languages and cultures, e.g. from an African to a plantation context, when texts pass from one colonial system to another, or when accounts circulate between European audiences and readers in other parts of the world. We also invite articles that address the afterlives of colonial slavery in contemporary literatures worldwide and the recreation of lost authorship as authors engage with the memory of slavery and attempt to recover lost voices.

                      The volume will have a broad historical and geographical scope. We encourage submissions on modern slavery from the 16th century to the present. While the focus will be on the Atlantic world, we are also interested in the related systems of African, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean slavery. Comparative angles are especially welcome. Areas of particular interest include but are not limited to:

  • Questions of agency and political subjectivity in relation to authorship. How do we situate slave narratives and their impact both at the time of their publication and since? Where do we locate the voices of enslaved and formerly enslaved in different genres and forms of textual expression?
  • Literary cultures in the colonial world, e.g. the existence of libraries, bookstores, printing presses, scientific societies and the relationship between literature and literary institutions and the practices of slavery in the colonies and Europe.
  • The relationship between literary, performative, and visual forms of expression relating to slavery in the colonies and in Europe.
  • Gender in colonial literary culture, in relation to questions of subjectivity, and in later historical and literary reflections on the gender structures of slavery and post-slavery societies.
  • The relationship between slavery and colonialism and the development of African print culture and the traces and translation of oral slavery stories in printed texts.
  • The role of abolitionist movements in the disseminations of early texts on slavery and the establishment of African-American and African-European literary traditions.
  • The relationship between economy, capitalism and literature in the colonial Atlantic and its importance for the circulation, translation and commerce of texts across the Atlantic and between colonial spheres.
  • How to recognize processes of silencing. Which strategies of reading traces and absences must be employed in order to highlight and perhaps counteract silencing?
  • Post- and decolonial responses to slavery in 20th-century art, film and literature especially in relationship to questions of voice and agency.

Please send a 300 words abstract to the volume editors Mads Anders Baggesgaard ( and Helen Atawube Yitah ( no later than April 1, 2024.

If selected for further process, the final deadline for the article will be October 1, 2024. After that deadline there will be a peer review process. The volume will be published in the fall of 2025.

This volume is the third and last in Comparative Literary Histories of Slavery, main eds. Mads Anders Baggesgaard, Madeleine Dobie and Karen-Margrethe Simonsen in the series of literary histories made by CHLEL (Coordinating Committee for Literatures in European Languages) under the ICLA (International Comparative Literature Association) Publishing House: John Benjamins Publishing. Please read the description of the book here:

Kind regards from the editors

Mads Anders Baggesgaard (Comparative Literature, Aarhus University)

Helen Atawube Yitah (Department of English, University of Ghana)

Contact Email



Deadline for Submissions: July 30, 2024

The melancholy of knowing

Autobiography under the sign of Saturn
XXIII International Symposium of the Scientific Observatory
for Written, Oral and Iconographic Autobiographical Memory   
ROME (It) 3-4-5, December, 2024
Palazzo Mattei di Giove
Via Caetani 32-00186

Promoted and organized by:
Mediapolis.Europa ass. cult.
and by
Biblioteca di Storia Moderna e Contemporanea
Mnemosyne o la costruzione del senso
Presses universitaires de Louvain-Université catholique de Louvain
A journal devoted to the study of autobiography
Scientific Committee
Beatrice Barbalato (Mediapolis.europa – Mnemosyne PUL)
Fabio Caffarena (Università di Genova)
Antonio Castillo Gómez (Universidad de Alcalá)
May Chehab (University of Chypre)
Fabio Cismondi (Fusion for Energy,  European Commission)
Nathalie Frogneux (UCLouvain)
Laurence Pieropan (Université di Mons)
Edgar Radtke (Universität Heidelberg)
Irene Meliciani (managing director Mediapolis.Europa)
Melancholy, exacerbated self-awareness
Peu de gens devineront combien il a fallu être triste pour entreprendre de ressusciter Carthage.
Gustave Flaubert
Letter to Ernest Feydeau, 28 November 1859

This call for papers invites one to reflect upon melancholy, particularly the melancholy of knowing.  This is a feeling that, as we will see, emerges after the Renaissance, a period in which, with reference to classical antiquity, melancholy is not seen as a pathology but as an extreme and exacerbated self-perception. The main figures of reference are two: Democritus and Heraclitus. The former embodied melancholy with laughing, the latter with crying.
Hippocrates, who, according to tradition, had paid a visit to Democritus bringing hellebore (the herb that was administered to people with mental ailments), ultimately acknowledges him as the wisest of all for being able to impart an ironic judgment on the world, his contemporaries, and himself. Melancholy as profound awareness, the meaning and hallmark of existence itself.

The Renaissance abandons the equation sloth = sin postulated in the Middle Ages. Dante places the slothful in Hell, in ice. Petrarch’s Secretum (1342-1343) marks a moment of passage between the Middle Ages and Humanism. Despite the apparent contradiction of feeling himself a sinner before Truth, Petrarch maintains that he can handle the melancholy of knowing with full awareness, and it is not by chance that he turns to Saint Augustine, his phantom confessor, citing himself. Thus, he makes use of accusation to achieve self-praise (Barbalato. B. 2006).
To essentialize the argumentation on this theme, we can say that, on one side we find Aristotle, Ficino, Milton, and Kant, and on the other side, Freud, Binswanger, Lacan, Tellenbach, and other professionals of the psyche. Melancholy has been studied from different angles and with interpretations that have varied over time.
In the psychoanalytic and psychiatric fields, melancholy has been observed and treated primarily as a pathology, omitting its creative components. It is regarded by Freud as a bereavement without object, which is expressed through forms of self-denigration and lack of self-esteem. Freud (1917), Lacan (1966), Binswanger (1960), Tellenbach (1961-1983) identify in melancholy the pain caused by an unidentifiable loss. Binswanger explains melancholy with the passage of the subject from the primordial status, in which the being was indistinct, an unus, to the act of expulsion or acceptance of elements that led him/her to recognize a reality external to him/herself. The question is whether melancholy is an ordinary psychosis (which can therefore be analysed in itself) or it is the background to any psychosis (Lacan J. 2005: 149-150).
Binswanger talks about the style of our own mode of experience (style is a word that he repeats several times), thus indicating the melancholic person’s particular propensity to forge, globally absorb every act of living (Binswanger L. 1987 French edition: 51-54 [1960]). The locution is important because, beyond the fact that Binswanger, a psychiatrist, studies and treats melancholy, he acknowledges how it is not a trauma that can be isolated, nor an intermittent pathological manifestation, but a hallmark of some individuals and their Weltanschauung.  
Having here touched on the types of intellectual commitment of different natures, that is, philosophy and history of literature and art on one side, and psychiatry/psychoanalysis on the other, the conclusions are not consequently associable. However, some pathways can be established. 
Marsilio Ficino and Jean Starobinski, men of letters and physicians, place themselves in this entre-deux
Jean Starobinski, a physician and a man of letters, investigated the various facets of this theme through a vast study. L’encre de la mélancolie. La mélancolie, un mal nécessaire? Paris, Seuil, 2012 (in this book, Starobinski brings together reflections preceding 2012) is a title that leads one to reflect upon the pairing writing/melancholy, and, as the subheading suggests, melancholy seems to be indispensable to giving consistency to thought. 
       Praise of melancholy
On this theme, Aristotle had followers especially during the Renaissance. In Problemata XXX, I, he regarded melancholy as a natural mood whose excess was not necessarily harmful but could rather be the condition of poetic or philosophic genius.
Following ancient thought, and Aristotle’s, Marsilio Ficino, a physician and a humanist, in the first of his three books on life (De vita libri tres, published in 1489) devotes several reflections to melancholy. Illa heroica, Melancholia generosa, is defined by men of letters, by Musarum sacerdotes, that is, an intellectual force, a sign of man’s dignity, to refer to the title of a work by Pico della Mirandola (1485-1486). (See the chapter “Melancholia generosa”, Klibansky, R.; Panofsky E.; Saxl, F. 1989 French edition: 389-432-chapter II, II [1964]).
Ficino suggests treatments, places body and soul in constant relation, so that the disquiet and the tension of a melancholic conscience can be lightened. He himself is under the sign of Saturn. For Ficino, the soul of the melancholic person withdraws from outside inwards as though converging to the central point of a circumference, and while it is thus concentrated upon speculation, it remains firmly there, and, to say it more exactly, at the very centre of man. (Ch. IV, book I. Ficino 2000: 29, French edition). Finally, melancholy is a centripetal force that leads everything to be led towards a centre, to strengthen the perception of one’s self. For Ficino, melancholy is emblem and firm pact of man with himself. It is said that he had had the figures of Democritus and Heraclitus painted on a wall.
In his pastoral poems (1645-1646) L’Allegro and Il Pensieroso, he gives a positive and spiritual value to the melancholic mood: “which essentially corresponds to an exacerbation of self-awareness”, write Klibansky, Panofsky, and Saxl about Milton (1989: 375 [1964]).
  Almost with the same words, about two centuries after Ficino and a century after Milton, Kant, in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime (Ch. II, 40-41 [1764]), will once again underscore the convergence, in the melancholic person, of every perception and experience towards a central nucleus of the self. Kant maintains that the melancholic person does not care about other people’s opinions but depends exclusively on his/her own judgment. In other words, melancholy constitutes an act of concentration on one’s own conscience.
  As several scholars have observed (including Ágnes Heller and Eugenio Garin, the authors of works on the Renaissance man: Heller 1967, Garin 1998, and much earlier Jacob Burckhardt, 1860), the Renaissance is “the epoch of great autobiographies, actually, the era of autobiographies”, Garin affirms (Garin  E. 1998: 11), because, he maintains, modern man was a man in the making, was aware of this, and recounted it. It is possible to underline how this period saw a flourishing of apologies, of autobiographical narrations that justify their own actions and intend to explain them (compare various self-apologies: Ficino, Lorenzaccio, Cardano). In this great Promethean forge, melancholy, as Ficino’s book well illustrates, is recognized as a factor intrinsic to genius, and as man’s great leap towards knowledge of himself and the means he constructed for knowledge. The pessimistic vision of melancholy continues to exist, but in a position of very little dominance in this period of the Renaissance.
           The melancholy of knowing
  The theme that we are proposing refers to a post-medieval, post-Renaissance conception of melancholy that also invests our contemporary culture: the melancholy of knowing regarded as one of the expressions of the Baroque, and that should perhaps be framed more within Mannerism. As Daniel Arasse explains, Mannerism is introspective, it is the involution of movement, while the Baroque opens towards the outside (Arasse D. 2004: 202).
  The melancholy of knowing takes shape in written and figurative works from an autobiographical perspective, especially beginning from Mannerism, and the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. In the period following the Renaissance, the era called modern, man develops a vision of himself that has much to do with the material instruments and the techniques with which he has been equipping himself. Dürer’s angel – a figure regarded by many scholars as the artist’s self-representation – is doubtful of the thousand instruments available to him. Astronomy and astrology are already seen as chimeras. Even though the interpretations of a work do not all converge, there is no doubt that Dürer stages the reflection upon the importance of the knowledge of not knowing and non-accessibility to metaphysics. He does so by putting at the top all the symbols that in the past had designated melancholy, observes them with perplexity, but does not look away from the future. “This limit is not a source of despair for the artist, while knowledge of not knowing is for him supreme knowledge” (Schuster P.-K. 2005: 94). Schuster reminds us that this etching has been regarded as Dürer’s spiritual self-portrait, and the representation of the melancholic angel as a personification of the artist (Ibid.: 101). The Renaissance artist, a demiurge, extremely confident in his own faculties, begins to critically reflect upon the instruments he has created and to challenge Humanism’s optimistic vision that placed man at the centre of the cosmos.
  Talking about melancholy means involving a very vast bibliography. The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621) by Robert Burton constitutes a summation of what had been written up to 1600. Burton has his own portrait represented on the cover under the name Democritus Junior. He writes in the first person and explains that he made use of other people’s thoughts one step at a time, in a vertigo of references.
The Baroque multiplies the reflections/mirror images on melancholy (see, amongst others, the recent Aurelio Musi, Malinconia barocca, 2023). After the demiurge-man of the Renaissance, the following period plunges into experimentation, in the investigation of matter and of forms. Man reckons with extraordinary scientific and artistic achievements – Galileo, Copernicus, Bernini, and many other thinkers – and also with his own ghosts (see the work of Athanasius Kircher 1602-1680); taking all Renaissance knowledge to extremes, he begins to perceive the gap between his aspirations, the ever-advanced means available to him, and the results, which, albeit extraordinary, do not fully harmonize with his own self. Already a century earlier, (Ch. 2, book I) Ficino had warned against excessive abstraction: when man no longer directly takes care of the instruments he uses, but only theorizes, melancholy becomes a discomfort of knowing.
  Thus, we witness the passage from the idea of melancholy as a deficit in acting, to the melancholy of knowing, that is, to suffering due to excess of activism.
  The relationship with instruments and techniques is crucial. Already the Prince at his apogee had felt the need to make his public life coexist with his private life, finding shelter and meditating in his study, a small, windowless space in which he preserved what was subjectively closest to his heart, ancient works and finds (see Arasse D. 2004: 133). That is, objects become increasingly important, intended as external supports to the indefatigable search for dialogue with the world of experience (Meliciani A., television programme in 25 episodes, Rai-Radiotelevisione italiana, 1995).
         A Faustian theme?
A Faustian discomfort? Klibansky, Panofsky, and Saxl also refer to Faust and the melancholy of knowing in several passages in their extraordinary work Saturn and Melancholy mentioned earlier (see Part 3, Ch. 1. French edition: 384).
  Faust, a son of the Reformation, of the ethics of capitalism, strives to obtain every instrument of knowledge, selling his soul to the devil.  “[…] when [Faust] – writes Jean Clair – in Marlowe’s text, to increase his wealth, orders Satan to search the oceans to find the pearls of the East or to scour every corner of the New World or to fly to India to look for gold, he does no other than prolonging the accumulating frenzy of the Princes of this world. But when he begins to want to experiment with and transform the materials he has gathered, the study of the man of letters turns into a forge in which a Promethean fire burns. The metamorphosis of the theme is decisive, making us move from a theological era to a technological one” (Clair J. 2005: 2004. Italics is mine). The inauguration of the technological era would produce a melancholy that is due to the perception of the disproportion between man and the means that make him fall behind, and to the abandonment of theology.
  The second aspect of melancholy is connected to Cronus, which is identified with Saturn, the planet of melancholic people. The pressure of time, intensive exploitation of knowledge generates discomfort and leads man to question his own efficiency. This is a theme that becomes dominant with the Reformation, the Protestant ethic, capitalism. Saturn-Cronus has always been represented as the protector of riches (and of avarice). Dürer himself explains, in his etching Melencolia I, that the key means power, the bag wealth (Klibansky R.; Panofsky E.; Saxl F.: Ch. II 1: 447 of the French edition). These are symbologies that derive from antiquity, which nonetheless Dürer recontextualizes in the atmosphere of dawning Protestant reformism.
In the seventeenth letter on modern literature (1759), Lessing refers to a German Faust that has come into his hands. The speed race that takes place between seven devils is won by the two who proclaim, one to have the speed of human thought, and the other man’s speed to pass from good to evil. (Lessing G. E. 1876: 35 French edition [1759-1765]). Speed, duration, thus time. The great chimera of which Faust becomes the interpreter is that, by advancing, time corresponds to progress. But he himself will be crushed by it and will need external aid.  
The extreme activism postulated by Protestantism/capitalism also brings about awareness of limits. The Protestant Reformation of 1517 and Dürer’s Melencolia I of 1514: the reformist spirit was spreading. Dürer’s Angel is depicted amidst many instruments but, as Walter Benjamin observes, seems to no longer know how to use them! On Dürer’s Melencolia I, on the autobiographical aspect, we once again refer to the previously mentioned text by Klibansky, Panofsky, and Saxl. Already from the dawn of capitalism, a willingness to act, to collect, to exceed takes hold, and at the same time the discomfort of accumulation is perceived.
Melencolia I – writes Jean Clair – marks this very brief and singular moment of Western thought when the artist, the homo artifex, believes to have become a multi-mathematician, mathematician, engineer, surveyor, botanist and physician, capable of acquiring the knowledge and measure of all things, numero et pondere, while he discovers, captured, that no mathesis universalis is capable of reorganizing and bringing together the desjecta membra of the real” (Clair J. 2005: 206).
Dürer’s Angel (1514) is surrounded by instruments that could be those in the Prince’s study: ink, compass, sphere, scale, bell, athanor – the alchemic furnace; he is sombre, irked, but not depressed, he rather has a gaze that would like to see far away. On the left is the word ‘Melencolia’ held by a bat, the mammal that appears at dusk, the moment in which this feeling comes forth. The dog, endowed with perseverance and a fine sense of smell, symbolizes the indefatigable researcher, Benjamin points out (Benjamin W. 1985: 166 French edition [1925]). However, the angel is clearly in the grip of much perplexity. Jean Clair contrasts this image, which is not defeatist but troubled, with the image of a pensive, melancholic old man by Leonardo, (pen drawing, London, Windsor Castle, ca. 1513): “Where Dürer’s angel, with his gaze lost into nothingness, seems to have relinquished the hard work of geometry and architecture, Leonardo’s old man seems to be absorbed by a precise observation. It is the nature of physical phenomena that he questions, and not the metaphysical sense of an infinite universe. Where Dürer’s angel is a disciple of Plato, who practises an ideal geometry by means of instruments ‒ rulers and compass ‒ that do not demonstrate it, Leonardo’s old man establishes himself as a disciple of Aristotle, who investigates a scientia experimentalis. He observes rather than contemplates. Even though Leonardo is fully aware of death and of transformation. Dürer and Leonardo were fascinated by deluges, by catastrophes. Leonardo’s old man blends into a wisdom made of resignation and respect” (Ibid.: 207).
 Leonardo’s old man, like Dürer’s angel, rests his head on a hand, an icon that we find in many figurative works. More precisely, on a fist in Dürer. This is an ancient motif that is present in Egyptian sarcophagi, a sign of sorrow that could indicate tiredness or creative reflection, as it is suggested in the work Saturn and Melancholy (Ch. I, b: 450, French edition).
Incidentally, it should be noted: the oscillating state between a creative vision and a destructive one accompanies many paintings. Amongst them, the one by De Chirico, Mistero e malinconia di una strada (1914, private collection). A girl playing with the hoop heads towards a shaded area. De Chirico adopts a perspective for the right-hand side of the painting, the one in darkness, which moves downwards, and another one for the bright left-hand side, which moves upwards, perhaps proposing once again the dual vision of the melancholic person’s possible moods.
Without proposing forced parallels, we can nonetheless affirm that some elements of discomfort which emerged from the post-Renaissance period that inaugurates the modern era can today be tracked down in various autobiographies by men of science: the pressure of time, the handling of instruments, accumulation, the relationship with the object, the techniques that can operate outside their creator’s control. 
What is of interest to this call for papers is to investigate how the subject recognises itself in the melancholy of knowledge, in a relationship with science, which is certainly complex and discontinuous, as Foucault illustrates in the text Archéologie du savoir (1969).
Charles Darwin, Enrico Fermi, Ettore Majorana, Nikola Tesla, Robert Oppenheimer, Rita Levi Montalcini, in their autobiographical writings have expressed the melancholy of knowing, and in our contemporaneity more than ever has the relationship between man and the object of his creations proved to be fatal. Darwin regrets to have atrophied the brain towards the perception of aesthetics by continuing to work like a machine for grinding (The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1887).
This call for papers invites one to consider works of self-reflection on this topic, particularly by scholars of the mathematical and natural sciences, without excluding a priori those by ordinary people, men of letters, and artists. We will accept proposals that aim to illustrate in what way a style, a semantic modality marks a life narration informed by the melancholy of knowing.
Daniel, Arasse, “Pour une brève histoire du maniérisme”, 188-202, “La règle du jeu”, 125-138, in id., Histoires de peintures, Paris, Editions Denoël, 2004.
Beatrice Barbalato, “Il pirronismo del Petrarca, ovvero il Secretum come aporia”, 99-115, in Mariapia Lamberti (ed.), Atti del convegno: Petrarca y el petrarquismo en Europa y América, UNAM, Universidad Nacional Autónoma  de Mexico (18-23 Octobere 2004), Mexico City, UNAM, 2006.
Walter Benjamin, Origine du dramme baroque allemand, transl. by Sybille Muller with André Hirt, Paris, Flammarion, 1985 [1925].
Ludwig Binswanger, Mélancolie et manie, transl. from the German by Jean-Michel Azorin and Yves Totoyan, revised by Arthur Tatossian, PUF, 1987 [1960].
Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621.
Jean-Marc Chatelain (ed.), Baudelaire. La modernité mélancolique, BnF Éditions, 2021.
Jean Clair, “La mélancolie du savoir”, 220-208, ed. by Id., Mélancolie, génie et folie en Occident, Paris, Gallimard, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2005.
Marsilio Ficino (French edition): Marsile Ficin, Les trois livres de la vie, transl. by Guy Le Fevre de la Boderie, Paris, Fayard, 2000, [new edition of the 1582 text. Original in Latin De vita libri tres, 1489].  
Jon Fosse, Melancholia, transl. by Cristina Falcinella from nynorsk, new Norwegian, Roma, Fandango, 2009 [1995]. 
 Michel Foucault, L’Archéologie du savoir, Paris, Gallimard, “Bibliothèque des sciences humaines”, 1969.
Sigmund Freud, Trauer und Melancholie, 1917.
Eugenio Garin, L’uomo nel Rinascimento, Bari-Roma, Laterza, 1998.
Immanuel Kant, Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen, 1764, [Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime].
Raymond Klibansky, Erwin Panofsky, Fritz Saxl, Saturne et la Mélancolie, transl. from the English and other languages by Fabienne Durand-Bogaert and Louis Évrand, Paris, Gallimard, 1989 [1964]. The French edition is referred to in this call for papers.
Jacques Lacan, Le Séminaire, livre xxiii, Le symptôme, Paris, Seuil, 2005.
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, “Dix-septième lettre. Gottsched considéré comme réformateur du théatre allemande”, 31-37, in Id., Lettres sur la littérature moderne, et sur l’art ancien. Estratti tradotti da G. Cottler, Paris, Librairie Hachette, 1876. [Literaturbriefe, 1759-1765].
Alessandro Meliciani, La Stanza del Principe, 25 TV episodes, RAI-RadioTelevisione Italiana, 1995.
Aurelio Musi, Malinconia Barocca, Vicenza, Neri Pozza, 2023.
Peter-Klaus Schuster, “Melencolia I. Durer et sa postérité”, 90-110, trnsl. from the German by Jeanne Étoré-Lortholary, in Jean Clair, Mélancolie, génie et folie en Occident, Paris, Gallimard, Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2005.
Jean Starobinski, L’encre de la mélancolie. La mélancolie, un mal nécessaire?, Paris, Seuil, 2012.
Hubertus Tellenbach, Melancolia: storia del problema, endogenicità, tipologia, patogenesi, clinica, edited by Giovanni Stanghellini, intr. by Viktor Emil von Gebsattel, translation and translations of supplementary texts edited by Lorenzo Ciavatta, Roma, Il pensiero scientifico, 2015 [1961].


Suggestions for sending proposals 
The languages admitted for submission are: Italian, Spanish, French, English. Everyone is allowed to write in one of these languages. There will be no simultaneous translation. A passive understanding of these languages is desirable.
A) Deadline for submission: 30 July 2024. The abstract will be composed of 250 words (max), with citation of two reference sources, and a brief CV (max: 100 words), with possible mention of two of one’s own publications, be they articles, books, or videos.
The judging panel will read and select every proposal, which is to be sent to,
The authors of the accepted proposals will be notified by 31 August  2024.
B) Regarding enrolment in the colloquium, once the proposals are accepted the fees are:
Before 30 September 2024: 160.00€
From 1 to 30 October 2024:  190.00€
Enrolment fee cannot be accepted in loco
For graduate students:
Before 30 September 2024:  100.00€
From 1to 30 October 2024:   110.00€
Enrolment fee cannot be accepted in loco
Once the programme is established, no change is allowed.
For information on the symposia organized in previous years by the Osservatorio della memoria autobiografica  scritta, orale e iconografica, visit the site:


Call for contributions:

Proposal for a symposium at the 11th ESHS Conference, Barcelona 4-7 September 2024. Science, Technology, Humanity and the Earth.

Symposium: The “Other” Genius: A Historical Approach to Genius, Giftedness, and Gender

The figure of “the genius” has been traditionally defined in terms of the masculine Romantic ideal – a heroic individual who battles against all odds to achieve significant artistic, political, and scientific accomplishments. Historically, however, what constituted “genius” and who was labelled as such was (and remains) a question with multiple answers that did not always align with the traditional Romantic ideal. Be it a question of gender, age, race, or even madness and disability, different categories have been mobilized over time to understand exceptional talent and define genius and similar concepts (e.g. giftedness) in the history of science and medicine. In this panel, we wish to explore alternative representations of genius throughout modernity and reflect on the multiple social, cultural, scientific, and political contexts that inform this phenomenon beyond its present ideal.

We welcome presentations from the fields of the history of psychology, medicine, psychiatry, anthropology, and pedagogy dealing with topics such as (but not limited to):

– Genius and madness

– Genius and gender in medicine and psychology

– Genius and politics

– Hermaphroditism, androgyny, and genius

– Child genius: child prodigies and gifted children

– Genius, talent, and disability

– Savant syndrome

– Literary, visual and scientific representations of genius

– Genius and emotions

Contact Information

Dr. Victoria Molinari

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Researcher

History of Science Group

Spanish National Research Council – Institut Milà i Fontanals

Carrer Egipcíaques 15



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