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Week 0 Updates

Joseph Hankinson

Welcome back! We hope you had a restful break. This term, OCCT has a number of exciting events planned, both in-person and online.

In Hilary, the Discussion Group will be meeting in-person on Weeks 2, 4, and 8, and will have one online session in Week 6. As part of our Covid precautions, we encourage participants to bring their own lunch to the in-person sessions. For those unable to do so, a sandwich lunch will also be provided, as well as tea and coffee.

The following Discussion Group sessions are scheduled for Hilary Term 2022:

Monday Week 2 (24 Jan): Tinashe Mushakavanhu discusses the question ‘What is Shona?’ Part philosophical musings, part critical reflections, this discussion will track and trace how a mega colonial language that did not exist before 1929 was created over 90 years ago to subdue various groups of people in the territory that is now Zimbabwe.

Monday Week 4 (7 Feb): Oliver Ready discusses his translations of Vladimir Sharov, particularly his recent translation of Be as Children (2021), as well as his translations of nineteenth-century Russian authors, including Gogol and Dostoyevsky.

Monday Week 6 (21 Feb): ONLINE session on Microsoft Teams, 10:00 to 11:00 UK time Behnam M. Fomeshi discusses the reception of American literature in Iran between two revolutions. This session will require registration: if you want to participate, please fill in this form by midnight on Sunday, 20 Feb. We will be sending out invitations via email on the morning of the event, from 10am. Select the link Join Microsoft Teams Meeting in your meeting invite to be taken to a page where you can choose to either join on the web or download the desktop app. If you already have the Teams app, the meeting will open there automatically. If you have any questions, please contact Ola Sidorkiewicz (

Monday Week 8 (7 March): Marta Arnaldi discusses her forthcoming monograph The Diasporic Canon: American Anthologies of Contemporary Italian Poetry 1945-2015 


This term also features two exciting special events. First, a one-day conference, held at St Anne’s College on Saturday 26 February, on Translating Metaphor/Metaphors of Translation. Join us for an exciting day of interactive workshops and roundtable discussions, featuring a range of speakers—from poets and academics to translators—all exploring the interplay between translation and metaphor. Second, a Special Roundtable Discussion around the recently published Routledge World Companion to Polish Literature (September 2021). We will be joined by one of the book’s editors, Dr Stanley Bill (Cambridge), as well as by Professor Tamara Trojanowska (Toronto), the editor of Being Poland: A New History of Polish Literature and Culture since 1918 (2018), and Dr Karolina Wątroba (Oxford). The discussion will be moderated by Ola Sidorkiewicz (Oxford), and will take place online at 5pm on Wednesday 2 March. To join the discussion, please sign up here. The deadline for signing up is midday, 2 March, 2022. The link to join the meeting will be sent to your email address an hour before the event.


Hilary Term will also see the return of the Fiction and Other Minds Seminar. Look out for the date, which is yet to be confirmed.

We look forward to seeing you!



Calls for Papers and Events


[1] Job: Radical Translations

Applications are invited for a 6-month postdoctoral research position on the AHRC-funded project 'Radical Translations: The Transfer of Revolutionary Culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815), based at King's College London. The start date will be February 14 2022. In

*** Closing Date for applications January 24, 2022, with online interviews provisionally scheduled for February 3rd.

You will assist the Project Team in researching new material for the database; updating the project website; identifying new avenues for further research and helping organise and deliver associated impact activities.  Reading knowledge of French required. Read the full description and apply by clicking on the link below.

For more information on the project, please visit the website or contact

[2] CfPs: Trauma Narratives and Trauma Theory

Comparatismi issue no.7/2022


Trauma - a word of Greek derivation that literally means "wound" - has been of interest to

narratologists and literary scholars since 1980, when the phrase "Post-Traumatic Stress

Disorder" enters the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, thus legitimating

the idea that every trauma induces an aberration of memory capable of invalidating the

individual's ability to tell events sequentially and plausibly, that is, to transform a personal

experience into narration. Symptoms such as episodic amnesia, dissociation or

permutation of causes and effects, predominant dysphoria, the primary role of flashbacks

on the narrative in the present, psychotic or hallucinatory reasoning, difficulty in

considering the social context and the presence of a community – erased by the isolation

of the individual – are just some of the consequences pertaining to narratology and literary

studies when it comes to analyzing stories – true or fictional – of traumatic events such as

natural disasters, wars, rape, torture, pandemics, etc.


As a narrative, the trauma plausibly acts as a void, a lost or unrecoverable experience,

generating a story deprived of the emotions that the events produced or a review of the

emotions without any memory of the events. Since the "narrative memory" integrates the

experiences into pre-existing mental schemes and is accompanied by emotional states

consistent with them, anyone who has been affected by post-traumatic disorders must

organize re-executions, always recounting the traumatic event anew, while trying to adopt

a necessary prophylaxis.


Leading trauma theorists argue that narratives can be salvific and therapeutic because, if

suffering remains the most shared element among the members of a community, the

reaction to a trauma today represents the main wellness problem worldwide: trauma is an

authentic cataclysm, and the responses to traumatic events are considered

"overwhelming", that is overwhelming and over-represented, and the fragmentation of

memories and the impossibility of constructing a coherent plot of unfortunate events are

their most immediate consequences.


If, since Aristotle's times, every story has involved the transformation of reality into a

unilinear and logical-causal sequence, how can I tell what has no plausible explanation, no

arguable purpose, no shared grammar of gestures? Above all: how can "I" describe an event

whose indubitable effect was to suppress myself as "I"? From which tributaries will my

memory be fed, and what configurations will the narrative emissary, that is the story,

assume? These are well-known questions to the scientific community, which began to deal

with them since the First World War and especially after the Shoah, when many veterans

or survivors had difficulty re-entering civilian life, and it is a problem that still occupies

the agenda of international non-profit organization, above all because of the incessant,

colossal migratory flows. Issue #7 of Comparatismi is dedicated not only to literary texts but

to real testimonies and transmedia works in which a traumatic event is represented,

without historical and geographical limits: from pathographies to journalistic reports, from

texts oriented to negative emotions such as fear to iconotexts/photo texts concerning

traumatic events such as pandemics, wars, etc. The theoretical aspect will also be welcome,

taking into consideration the linguistic, neurocognitive, emotional and representational

effects generated by real or fictional traumatic events. Comparatismi welcomes the possible

contributions in their variety, respecting the pluralism that characterizes the contemporary



Proposals for articles (complete with author’s name, an abstract of no more than 1000

words with bibliographical references and a brief bio, affiliation, and email) must be sent

by March 15, 2022, following the instructions available on the journal website (under

“Submit a submission”). By March 30, 2022, each author will receive a response (be it

positive or negative) from the editorial staff. The articles must be delivered in their final

version by September I, 2022. The articles that will be definitively accepted after a double

blind peer-review round will be published in November 2021. Proposals in languages other

than Italian are appreciated and encouraged (preferably in English; alternatively, in



For further questions, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Filippo Pennacchio at


[3] CfPs: Robert Graves and Correspondences

The Robert Graves Society is pleased to announce that the Fifteenth International Robert Graves Conference will be held in Palma, Mallorca, Spain, 12-16 July 2022. The theme of the conference will be ‘Robert Graves and Correspondences’. The conference will explore correspondences in the broadest possible sense, including, but not limited to: communication between people, translation, adaptation, and the relationship between source text and variations. And if we think more broadly about correspondences as ‘the answering of things to each other’, then what other relationships, between artists, historical periods, ideas, come into play? 
Correspondences also relate to Graves’s own extensive letter writing, and to the role of correspondence in literary and cultural studies more generally. How do we research correspondence, identify, curate, and access it? What practical and ethical challenges does it give us?  Best guesses estimate Graves received c. 14,000 letters over his long writing life, from around 1916 to 1975. As Graves was a published poet from the age of 20, many people kept his letters. We know the whereabouts of c. 8,500 letters written by Graves; most of these are still unpublished, and there will be many more not yet identified. He is arguably from the last golden age of letter writing, with correspondents including Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill, e e cummings, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Ava Gardner, Martha Gelhorn, Alec Guinness, T. E. Lawrence, Wilfred Owen, Laura Riding, and Gertrude Stein.  Please also see:

Robert Graves conferences traditionally embrace the creative in addition to the critical, and the conference will also host musical and literary events to be announced in due course, along with keynote speakers. There will also be a daytrip to Deià and to La Casa de Robert Graves:

Proposals are invited for papers (20 minutes) on relevant topics relating to Robert Graves and/or his contemporaries. These could include but are not limited to: 
Any aspect of correspondence broadly defined
Relations and friendships, textual and otherwise, between twentieth-century writers and artists
How literary texts correspond with each other
Texts and writers in dialogue
Any aspect of letters to and from Robert Graves 
Journalism and the idea of the correspondent
Poetry and journalism
Poetry and reportage
Correspondence as a way of thinking about adaptation and collaboration
Curating correspondence 
Digitising correspondence 
Connecting correspondence 
Correspondence: research and criticism 
Correspondence and biography 
Correspondence in exile
War-time correspondence
Verse Letters

Please send an abstract (max. 250 words) by 7 March 2022 to the conference organiser and President of the Robert Graves Society:
Dr Charles Mundye, FEA
Head of the Department of Humanities
College of Social Sciences and Arts
Sheffield Hallam University
City Campus
Sheffield S1 1WB



[4] CfPs: Society of French Studies Postdoctoral Prize Fellowship

Postdoctoral prize fellowship

The Society for French Studies is pleased to announce the return of our new scheme directed at postdoctoral researchers in recognition of the very difficult employment situation for those who have completed a PhD in French. 

The award offers the fellow an opportunity to develop their research profile over a period of six months (during which the fellow will be paid at a rate equivalent to a lectureship at the lowest point of the Junior Lecturer scale, to include gross salary, National Insurance, superannuation and a London allowance where applicable). The fellow may also choose to spread the award over 12 months (at 0.5 FTE).

Applications will only be accepted from those who are not full-time permanent employees of a Higher Education Institute, and who have not already received a fully-funded early career fellowship (e.g. British Academy, Leverhulme or Institutional JRF) of a period exceeding one year. 

Applicants must be within five years of the award of a doctorate in the field of French studies. The Society will make allowances for special circumstances, e.g. documented periods of maternity or sickness leave. 

Applicants must be supported by the UK host institution in which they wish to hold the Fellowship. 

Applicants must be a member of the Society. 

Applicants must be either a UK/EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university

The overriding criteria for selection are (i) the potential of the proposed research to result in a major contribution that will enhance the standing of French Studies; (ii) the academic standing and achievements of the applicant, taking into account their current career stage, supported by reference and examiners’ report; (iii) institutional support.

The research may involve bringing to publication all or parts of the doctoral thesis and/or post-doctoral work.

Applicants are invited to send a research proposal with a maximum length of 1,500 words, together with a CV, letter of support, reference and reports to the President of the Society, Professor Michael Syrotinski by by 31 January 2022. This should specify the timetable for production of outputs, and the choice to take one semester fully-funded (equivalent to a lectureship at the lowest point of the Junior Lecturer scale, to include gross salary, National Insurance, superannuation and a London allowance where applicable) or to spread the award (funded at 0.5 FTE) over 12 months.

All applications must be accompanied by: 


  • One reference plus the full PhD examiners’ report (pre- and post-viva); 
  •  a letter of support from the Head of Department, Dean or other managerial post-holder to specify that the Fellowship can be taken up in their department of Modern Languages and that they will provide appropriate support including mentoring, access to training courses, office accommodation and facilities. It is assumed that candidates who choose to take one semester fully-funded will not do more than 2-3 hours teaching per week; while those who are choosing to take the award over 12 months may be invited to do more as long as this is compatible with the demands of the research and writing specified in the application. All teaching should be paid separately by the institution at the appropriate hourly rate.

Those seeking exemption from the 'within 5 years of PhD' eligibility criterion should also supply a covering letter explaining the relevant circumstances. 

The support of the Society for French Studies should be acknowledged in the publication(s) produced on the basis of the work carried out during the period of the award. 

The decision will be made by April for a grant which will begin on 1 September 2022. 

Feedback is not a feature of Society for French Studies schemes, and the Society is, regretfully, unable to enter into correspondence regarding the decisions of the awarding committee. Please note that by applying to this scheme, applicants undertake to accept the terms under which applications are assessed.


[5] CfPs: Culture and Quarantine

As the latest iteration of the coronavirus continues to impact our lives and careers, with no definitive conclusion in sight, the British Comparative Literature Association would like to invite all specialists in the fields of comparative literature and translation, whether lecturers, early career researchers or postgraduates, to contribute reflections of 1000-1500 words to the ongoing initiative on Culture and Quarantine ( scheme has been running since the outbreak of the pandemic, receiving essays in numerous languages from across the world on what it means to live in an age of confinement. Now that we are two years into the pandemic, we are particularly interested in contributions that reflect on the continuing evolution of cultural criticism in the age of Covid. What, if anything, have we learned?

Examples of essays by members of the BCLA Executive Committee and a range of leading international figures, including Andrew Motion, Susan Bassnett and William Marx, may be found on our page Reflections on Culture in the Age of Confinement ( The essays cover the broadest range of relevant topics possible, from the transformation effected by the pandemic on our scholarly activities, to the strange and vivid dreams that many of us have experienced during this time, and the applicability of works from national literatures and cultures to the present situation.

The texts are fully searchable by keyword, institution, and language, and constitute an instantly accessible, internationally recognised publication.

Since these pages are also intended as a hub and repository of material relevant to the unprecedented times that human society and culture is living through, we also welcome links to relevant articles, books, historical material, and (copyright cleared) images and artwork in the public domain, with commentaries on these for the Resource Bank and Gallery.

To submit a contribution, a contact form, ""Submit Your Reflection" is available at various points on the main page of "Culture and Quarantine" (
If you encounter any issues with the form, please e-mail us at or