Archive for April, 2016

CFP: “Cognitive Approaches to Comparative Literature”

Friday, April 29th, 2016

“Cognitive Approaches to Comparative Literature” is the first online conference to be hosted on the MLA Commons platform. It will run from April 5-28, 2017. Twelve presentations (3000 words each) will be posted here on April 5th and then will be open for discussion by members of the Commons. The authors are expected to respond to the questions/comments through April 28th. Please submit a 750-word abstract accompanied by a 200-word bio to Lisa Zunshine by September 10, 2016. Particularly welcome are papers theorizing the relationship between the comparative and the cognitive and/or dealing with literatures other than English.

CFP: Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

The CFP for an upcoming conference, Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods, has been extended until Friday 27th May 2016.

Style and Response aims to share and debate reader-response methods and thus investigate how real readers, players, audiences, and viewers respond to, experience, and interpret texts. In particular, this interdisciplinary symposium will focus on topics such as: the style in which readers respond to a variety of narrative forms (e.g. fiction, poetry, theatre, digital narratives, computer games, film and TV, news broadcasts, political discourse, and other non-fiction including health publications); the methods that we can use to capture and analyse those responses; the ways in which those responses can be used in the analyses of texts across a variety of media.


The conference will take place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th November 2016 at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) with the following keynote speakers:


Dr. Ranjana Das, University of Leicester.

Prof. Melanie Green, University of Buffalo.

Dr. David Peplow, Sheffield Hallam University and Dr. Sara Whiteley, University of Sheffield.

Dr. Bronwen Thomas, Bournemouth University.

For more information about the conference including how to submit an abstract, please visit the conference website:

Style and Response: Minds, Media, Methods is hosted by the Stylistics Research Group at Sheffield Hallam University and sponsored by Sheffield Hallam University’s Humanities Research Centre and the international Poetics and Linguistics Association (PALA).

CFP: Consuming Gender

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Call for Papers: ‘Consuming Gender’


This special issue of Assuming Gender – an online, peer-reviewed academic journal from Cardiff University – seeks to explore the way gender is both presented and consumed through popular media and advertising. As Ann Herrmann points out in the article ‘Shopping for Identities’, commodities ‘are characterised by their dual nature: material composition and symbolic meaning’ (Herrmann 2002: 539). Consumer culture plays a significant role in constructing valid (and normative) identity categories with which consumers are encouraged to identify.


Scholars as diverse as Americus Reed, Laura C. Nelson, and Henry Jenkins have theorised the ways in which identity and consumer culture are intertwined. Reed, for example, claims in ‘Activating the Self-Importance of Consumer Selves’ that ‘[s]ocial identities are mental representations that can become a basic part of how consumers view themselves’ (Reed 2004: 286). In a later article on ‘Identity-Based Consumer Behaviour’, Reed and others use the example of athletics to illustrate their point: ‘if consumers view themselves as “athletes”, they are likely to behave in ways that are consistent with what it means to “be” an athlete’ (Reed, Forehand, Puntoni and Warlop 2002: 310). Consumption thus becomes defined by identity, and identity becomes defined by consumption.


While the construction of identities based on athleticism seems relatively benign, the case quickly becomes more complicated when consumer identities are racially, economically, or sexually coded. In addition to delineating the borders between various interest groups, consumer culture plays a significant role in establishing and maintaining binary identity distinctions (male/female, gay/straight, black/white), undermining the validity of those identifying across or in-between one or more categories, or who refuse categorisation at all. Those identities not classified as valid consumer groups are not seen as valid identities at all.


For this special issue of Assuming Gender, we invite articles that focus specifically on the idea of ‘Consuming Gender’. How has consumer culture constructed (and how has it been constructed by) gender through the ages?


Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Consuming gender/gendered consumption
  • Historical contexts of gendered consumption
  • Feminist/postfeminist approaches to consumption
  • Consumption and intersectionality
  • Queer consumption
  • Media constructions of (gendered) consumer identities
  • Post/colonialism and gendered consumption


Please send a proposal of roughly 500 words to Megen de Bruin-Molé, Akira Suwa and Daný van Dam at under the subject line ‘CFP Consuming Gender’, including your name, e-mail institutional affiliation (if any), and a biographical note (100 words maximum). We welcome papers from scholars of all backgrounds, disciplines, and career stages. The deadline for proposals is 16 October, 2016, and completed papers of 5000 to 8000 words will be expected no later than 16 April, 2017.


Assuming Gender is an electronic journal dedicated to the timely analysis of constructions of gendered texts, practices, and subjectivities. This journal seeks to continue and shift debates on how gender is problematized in contemporary discourses as well as participate in the dialogue and tensions that maintain the urgency of such conversations. Prior issues can be viewed on

Nominations for ISSN Executive Board Members and Second Vice-President

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Dear Members of ISSN,

This October the Society will elect two new Executive Board members, to serve for three years, as well as its next Second Vice-President, who serves for four years (proceeding to First Vice-President, President, and Past President).

The nominations for these positions are drawn up by the nominating committee, which comprises the current VP and two other Society members. This year, that is Sarah Copland, Mari Hatavara, and Jan Alber.

All ISSN members are invited to propose names for the nominating committee to consider.

Self-nominations are entirely in order, so don’t be shy! Note that eligible candidates will have attended recent ISSN conferences, and will usually commit to attending two meetings of the ISSN Executive Board in each year of their term – one at the ISSN Conference and one at the MLA Convention. At the same time, don’t hesitate to nominate someone, including yourself, who for good reason (lack of funding, distance, etc.) cannot make it to MLA. Candidates for Second VP should have attended 3 out of the last 5 annual conferences.

Please send your suggestions to Sarah, Mari, and Jan (along with a brief indication of the reason for your recommendation) no later than July 15, 2016.

Sarah Copland:

Mari Hatavara:

Jan Alber: