Call for Papers: “Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations”

Call for Papers:  “Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations”
MLA International Symposia: Translating the Humanities
Düsseldorf, Germany
23–25 June 2016

The Modern Language Association of America, the world’s largest professional organization for scholars of literature and language, announces its first conference outside the United States and Canada, organized in collaboration with the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.

Europe remains a conspicuous part of the global public imagination and a haunting presence in literary and cultural studies across the globe, even as claims for its centrality continue to be challenged from a variety of political and theoretical perspectives. This conference brings together an international group of scholars and engages the paradigms in and through which they work. It seeks to develop ways of thinking that emerge from and address Europe’s evolving political, economic, historical, and philosophical role in a world of ever-shifting migrations, translations, and transformations.

We invite proposals across a broad range of historical periods and disciplines that engage with literary and cultural texts and practices as they interact with or resist political, economic, scientific, or philosophical models of thought.

Papers might be grouped under the following rubrics:

  • Marking time: dynasties, empires, revolutions, republics, regimes; pasts, presents, futures, aftermaths; trauma and memory, ghosts and hauntings; generations; “senses” of history; literary times and periods
  • European maps: East, West, North, South; city, country, banlieue; center, margin, periphery; borders, boundaries, contact zones; the “other” within and the “other” without
  • European economies and the economies of European cultures
  •     European subjects and identities: religions, genders, sexualities, ages, affects, bodies
  •     Community, nation, migration, mobility, roots
  •     Precarious lives: citizens, migrants, refugees
  •     Postcoloniality, decoloniality, subalternity, hegemony, sovereignty
  •     Languages of Europe; multilingualism; Latin, French, English as lingua francas
  •     European cultural politics and institutions: the economies of European cultures, book fairs, film festivals, prizes, universities, publication, national cultural organizations such as the Goethe-Institut, the Alliance Française, and the Instituto
  • Cervantes
  •     Translation, resistance, transmission
  •     Theory transfers
  •     Media and genres, old and new
  •     Transatlantic Europe

The conference will feature several keynote talks and roundtables, as well as traditional sessions with three or four fifteen-minute papers, workshops with precirculated papers, and roundtable conversations based on five-minute presentations. We invite proposals for any of the above formats. Sessions will be ninety minutes long and include thirty minutes of discussion at the end.

The conference languages will be English, German, French, and Spanish, but papers can be delivered in any language if speakers arrange for written or oral translation within the time frame of the session.

Paper proposals should include the paper title, a 300-word abstract, the speaker’s institutional affiliation (if any), and a 1-page biography or CV.

Proposals for panels, workshops, and roundtables should contain the above items for each speaker, a brief description of the format (including an estimate of how many speakers will participate), and a rationale for the session’s topic(s) and format.

For questions, please contact Siri Nergaard at


About Erica Mena

Erica Mena is a Puerto Rican poet, translator, and book artist. Pronouns: they/them.
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