Monthly Archives: March 2016

Jane Eyre’s Fairytale Legacy at Home and Abroad: Constructions and Deconstructions of National Identity — by Abigail Heininger

Exploring the literary microcosm inspired by Brontë’s debut novel, Jane Eyre’s Fairytale Legacy at Home and Abroad focuses on the nationalistic stakes of the mythic and fairytale paradigms that were incorporated into the heroic female bildungsroman tradition. Jane Eyre, Abigail Heiniger argues, is a heroic changeling indebted to the regional, pre-Victorian fairy lore Charlotte Brontë heard and read in Haworth, an influence that Brontë repudiates in her last novel, Villette. While this heroic figure inspired a range of female writers on both sides of the Atlantic, Heiniger suggests that the regional aspects of the changeling were especially attractive to North American writers such as Susan Warner and L.M. Montgomery who responded to Jane Eyre as part of the Cinderella tradition. Heiniger contrasts the reactions of these white women writers with that of Hannah Crafts, whose Jane Eyre-influenced The Bondwoman’s Narrative rejects the Cinderella model. Instead, Heiniger shows, Crafts creates a heroic female bildungsroman that critiques fairytale narratives from the viewpoint of the obscure, oppressed workers who remain forever outside the tales of wonder produced for middle-class consumption. Heiniger concludes by demonstrating how Brontë’s middle-class American readers projected the self-rise ethic onto Jane Eyre, miring the novel in nineteenth-century narratives of American identity formation.

Transatlantic Literary Exchanges, 1790-1870: Gender, Race, and Nation by Julia Wright

Exploring the ways in which transatlantic relationships functioned in the nineteenth century to unsettle hierarchical models of gender, race, and national and cultural differences, this collection demonstrates the generative potential of transatlantic studies to loosen demographic frames and challenge conveniently linear histories. The contributors take up a rich and varied range of topics, including Charlotte Smith’s novelistic treatment of the American Revolution, The Old Manor House; Anna Jameson’s counter-discursive constructions of gender in a travelogue; Felicia Hemans, Herman Melville, and the ‘Queer Atlantic’; representations of indigenous religion and shamanism in British Romantic literary discourse; the mid-nineteenth-century transatlantic abolitionist movement; the transatlantic adventure novel; the exchanges of transatlantic print culture facilitated by the Minerva Press; British and Anglo-American representations of Niagara Falls; and Charles Brockden Brown’s intervention in the literature of exploration. Taken together, the essays underscore the strategic power of the concept of the transatlantic to enable new perspectives on the politics of gender, race, and cultural difference as manifested in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and North America.


Norm and Anomaly in Literature, Culture, and Language 19-20 September 2016

Franciszek Karpiński Institute for Regional Culture and Literary Research, Siedlce POLAND
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Norm and anomaly have long constituted a binary opposition whose boundaries are becoming increasingly blurry and open to scrutiny. What precisely does the ‘norm’ mean? Which political, economic, and social forces play a decisive role in producing the ‘norm’? How is the ‘norm’ endorsed through the construction of the ‘anomaly’? And how does the ‘anomaly’ contest the ‘norm’? Can the ‘norm’ be anomalous when viewed as a discursive practice and a form of ideological control? And can the ‘anomaly’ be an integral part of the ‘norm’ without losing its subversive and oppositional character?

This conference invites you to explore norm and anomaly from a variety of disciplinary and methodological perspectives in literary and cultural studies, linguistics and teaching methodology.

As a theme in literary and cultural studies, norm and anomaly pertain to representations of transformed and transformative spaces. These include eerie landscapes, geographies of hope and despair, and sites of post-human activity, all of which have featured prominently in such modes of writing as environmental, risk, and speculative fiction. We also invite papers that address forms of expression and repression in modern and contemporary British and US culture. The problem and problematic of order and chaos, autonomy and oppression, harmony and discord open up further avenues for exploring norm and anomaly through reference to theatre, film, visual arts, television, computer and video games.

The linguistic aspect of norm and anomaly relates to the regularities and/or irregularities of linguistic usage, and to the ways in which norms and anomalies affect linguistic form and meaning or limit language use, its study and understanding. We invite proposals from intra- and interdisciplinary perspectives, such as constitute all areas of theoretical and applied linguistics – from semantics and sociolinguistics through morphology and historical linguistics to pragmatics, translation studies, and lexicography.

As a concern in teaching methodology, norm and anomaly are inseparable from the status of English as a global lingua franca. Across the world, English is part of the school curriculum, which results in the need to test the students’ skills formally. However, the focus on fluency and communicativeness frequently weakens accuracy requirements, and the gravity of errors is assessed against non-native speakers’ subjective judgements. The gap between the ultimate yet not fully attainable goal and the reality of the ELT classroom calls for redefining the parameters of teaching English in response to a number of questions: Is there still one set of norms learners should follow? Or, do norms vary depending on the learner’s progress and learning environment? Which language is the ‘norm’ – the English of the social media or the English of the classroom?

Further possible topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

– Conventionality vs. nonconformity, normativity vs. transgression
– Order vs. chaos and anarchy, hegemony vs. opposition, protest and rebellion
– Evolution and continuity vs. revolution and disruption
– Alienation and appropriation vs. inclusion and communality
– Beauty and body cultivation vs. deformity and mutilation
– Language as a rule-governed system vs. language as a usage-based model
– Morphological, lexical, syntactic, and phonological variation
– Sociocultural norms (formality vs. informality/politeness vs. impoliteness)
– Transparency vs. opacity of meaning
– Equivalence vs. non-equivalence in translation
– Standard vs. non-standard varieties of English
– Idiomaticity vs. non-idiomaticity in the language classroom
– Accuracy vs. fluency
– Testing vs. assessment

Confirmed keynote speakers:
Prof. Dr hab. Helga Schwalm, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Prof. Dr hab. Liudmila Liashchova, Siedlce University of Natural Sciences and Humanities
Dr hab. Ireneusz Kida, University of Silesia in Katowice

The conference will take place in Siedlce, Poland, on 19-20 September 2016.

Proposals for individual 20-minute papers should include an abstract of 200-250 words, as well as the name, institutional affiliation, a 100-word biography of the author, and the title of the paper.

Please send proposals by 30 June 2016 to: All other enquiries may be addressed to Dr Joanna Stolarek We aim to notify all applicants by 31 July 2016.

The conference fee of PLN 350 or € 80 will cover conference materials, coffee breaks, 2 lunches, and a wine reception.

Post-conference articles will be put forward for review. Selected articles will be published in a collective monograph in the ‘Transatlantic Studies in British and American Culture’ series by Peter Lang Verlag, or in Studia Anglica Sedlcensia in 2017.

Conference organizers

Prof. Dr hab. Leszek Kolek
Prof. Dr hab. Liudmila Liashchova
Prof. Dr hab. Roman Mnich
Dr Joanna Stolarek (conference secretary)
Dr Maxim Shadurski
Dr Jarosław Wiliński
Mgr Agnieszka Wróbel
Mgr Jowita Buńko

World Congress of Scottish Literatures: Dialogues and Diasporas

full name / name of organization:
International Association for the Study of Scottish Literature
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World Congress of Scottish Literatures: Dialogues and Diasporas

The second World Congress of Scottish Literatures will be held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from June 21-25, 2017 and will coincide with the annual meeting of the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society. The Congress’s subtitle, “Dialogues and Diasporas,” speaks to the range of ways in which Scotland is articulated both at home and within a global context. At the same time, it acknowledges the multiple roles Scotland has played in the production of both globalism and localism.

The geographical location of the conference on the West Coast of Canada draws particular attention to two key themes of the conference:
1. Indigenous/Scottish relations and 2. Transpacific/Scottish connections

The steering committee invites proposals for papers that explore these or any of the following themes:
• Imagining Scotland at home and abroad
• Connections between Scottish/non-Scottish writers, texts, genres
• Diaspora, migration and immigration
• Scotland in/and empire
• Globality, locality, glocalism
• Scottish literature/world literature
• Teaching Scottish literature in the world/teaching world literature in Scotland
• Scotland and the transatlantic
• Internal dialogues in Scottish writing
• Scottish literature and the dialogue across time
• Scotland, race and indigeneity
We also welcome pre-organized panels on any of these topics. In keeping with the conference’s focus on dialogue and in order to maximize discussion and participation, panel organizers are encouraged to explore alternatives to the traditional format of three to four papers: workshops, roundtables, lightning talks, pecha kucha.

Please note that in the interests of involving as many people as possible, participants are asked to present only one paper at the meeting; however, they may also serve on a roundtable/discussion or as a discussant.

Deadline for submissions of papers and panels: Oct. 1, 2016.

Further information about the conference is available at

Please send submissions to: Leith Davis at