After Words: Reconsidering Narratives of Trauma and Violence in the Humanities

School of English Postgraduate Conference

Trinity College Dublin – Trinity Long Room Hub
In-person event
9th February 2024

Organizers: Ginevra Bianchini and Elena Valli, PhD Researchers TCD English

Final Programme here

 

The way violence is represented always influences its reception and integration within the cultural imaginary. The narration of violence is ingrained in our perception of ourselves and our communities, and those who report traumatic events then carry the responsibility of how they are received and memorialised. 

Just as the world emerged from the COVID-19 crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine turned the general atmosphere of hope for a new beginning into an even darker and more oppressive state of uncertainty, fear, and sorrow. As scholar Judith Lewis Herman has observed, “[t]he conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.” How do newspapers and media reports choose which pieces of information are to be shared with the public? Why are certain stories considered more important than others? On which premises are specific pieces of news discarded? How geographically, culturally, and socially inclusive are these narratives? And, most importantly, when it comes to trauma, how ethical and accurate can its depiction be when told by someone else?

These questions are more and more relevant in the present age, when it has become extremely easy to both share information and instrumentalise or sensationalise it against its original purposes. This topic of discussion, however, has been central to literature and the arts for much longer. As Michel Foucault observed in “What is an Author?” (1969), any writer or artist is the creator of a reality which is at least partly influenced by their choices, a god-like creature who directs the life of its characters. This becomes especially problematic when suffering and trauma are retold by those who did not experience them. The possibility to ‘become someone else’ through a work of art is one of the great gifts of literary and creative expression, encouraging empathy and mutual understanding while helping elaborate trauma. At the same time, can one truly and faithfully narrate someone else’s most tragic memory?

Moving from these premises, this conference wishes to bring together a wide community of young scholars from all backgrounds working on literary and cultural representations of trauma and violence across historical periods, genres, and contexts. What are the methods, difficulties, and limitations of representing and memorialising violence, and its traumas? How does violence impact our perception of others, ourselves, and interpersonal relationships? How do we, as young scholars, deal with a world constantly rifled by conflicts, and how can we incorporate these topics effectively and ethically into our work?

 

We are delighted to announce that the esteemed Professor Philip McGowan will be delivering our 2023 W. A. Emmerson lecture in person, in The Graduate School, Queen’s University Belfast. 

What more can there really be to say about F. Scott Fitzgerald? With The Great Gatsby turning 100 in 2025, what more remains to be said either about that novel or Fitzgerald’s wider legacy? Philip McGowan offers some thoughts on where work on F. Scott Fitzgerald may be heading next.

About the speaker:

Philip McGowan is Professor of American Literature at Queen’s University Belfast and is President (2016-24) of the European Association for American Studies. He edited the centenary edition of This Side of Paradise for Oxford UP (2020), The Great Gatsby for Penguin USA (2021), and is co-editor of the forthcoming Routledge Companion to F. Scott Fitzgerald (2025).

About the IAAS W. A. Emmerson Lecture:

Beginning in 2014, the IAAS Lecture is an annual event, hosted at a third level institution on the island of Ireland, and presented by an invited member of the IAAS on a topic of their choosing. In 2015, the lecture was renamed the W. A. Emmerson Lecture, in honour of our much-loved late Treasurer. Broad in its remit, the IAAS Lecture appeals to both academic and non-academic communities, and promotes the long-standing interest in and connection to American culture in Ireland.

Bodies and Boundaries in Irish and American Literature, to be held in Dublin City University on September 05-06, 2023, entirely in person.
 
This conference intends to explore twentieth and twenty-first century literature through the lens of literary geography and theories on space, place and embodiment. Indeed, by using the different approaches of literature and geography to “think beyond taken-for-granted categories, levels, and terms” (Hones, 688), literary geography allows a discussion that redefines not only the genres but also how one experiences a text according to different spatialities and bodies. 

Papers addressing the following themes are especially welcomed and encouraged: 

  • Literary geography in relation to Irish literature, American literature, or Irish-American literature (20th-21st centuries) 
  • The body as a boundary 
  • Bodies and boundaries in literature 
  • Fictional accounts on: race; sexuality; gender; disability; social status; the “future body” 
  • Ecocriticism 
  • Political/ non-political bodies
  • Gendering bodies and boundaries 
  • Keynote speakers: June Caldwell, Nessa Cronin, Sophie White and Emilie Pine. 
If you are interested in participating in the conference, whether by giving a presentation or organising a panel, please send an abstract (300 words maximum) and a short biography (100 words) to: laetitia.nebotdeneuville2@mail.dcu.ie. If you want to attend the conference, please send an email to the same email address. Please specify your home institution for both cases. 
 
Deadline for abstract submission and attendance registration: May 22, 2023.

Full details here:

Bodies and Boundaries CFP

 

 

Irish Association for American Studies ECR Funding Workshop (presented by the IAAS ECR Caucus)

Tuesday 17th January, 12:30-14:00

Zoom registration link: http://shorturl.at/lEY59

A virtual workshop aimed at postgraduate students and (self-defined) early career
researchers, with an emphasis on American Studies. Will feature information on the funding
landscape in Ireland and beyond, strategies and tips for building proposals, and brief guides
to particular postdoctoral schemes.

Presented by Dr Tim Groenland and Dr Caroline Dunham-Schroeter, with guest speakers Dr
Dolores Resano (Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow, UCD Clinton Institute for American
Studies) and Dr Gillian Moore (IRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Trinity College Dublin).

 

 

Reading Shirley Jackson in the Twenty-First Century II: The House that Jackson Built
Wednesday, 14 December 2022, 4:30 – 8pm

An online symposium organised by the School of English, Trinity College Dublin, in association with the Trinity Long Room Hub.
‘The House that Jackson Built’ is the second online symposium dedicated to exploring the status of Shirley Jackson’s writing in the work of scholars, creative practitioners, and the general public. Over the past two decades, Jackson’s reputation has undergone a truly remarkable transformation. Despite being one of the most prominent (and commercially successful) American authors of her era, critical interest in Jackson’s work declined in the decades immediately following her death in August 1965. While her works of horror and Gothic fiction have long been held in high esteem by genre aficionados, she was, for quite some time, unfairly considered by many to be a relatively ‘minor’ writer. However, the twenty-first century has seen an explosion in the level of critical and public interest in Jackson’s work, and she is arguably one of the most significant American writers of the present day, as well as her own.
PROGRAMME:
4:30-4:40: Welcome/Ground Rules
4:40-5:40: Panel 1: Jackson’s family: Laurence Jackson-Hyman, Barry Hyman, Gretchen
Hyman and Miles Hyman
5:40-5:50: Break
5:50-6:50: Panel 2: Folk Horror: Kevin Corstorphine and Faye Ringel
6:50-7:00: Break
7:00-8:00: Panel 3: Fictional Impact: Ellen Datlow, Elizabeth Hand, and Paul Tremblay
‘The House that Jackson Built’ symposium brings together writers, academics, and members of Jackson’s own family and literary executors to celebrate her presence in and influence upon contemporary popular culture and thought, on the anniversary of her birth. All are welcome, and attendance is free, but pre-registration is required.

More information/registration available here: 

https://www.tcd.ie/trinitylongroomhub/whats-on/details/event.php?eventid=163419791

.

This event is organised by the IAAS Postgraduate Caucus Co-chair Janice Deitner (TCD Provost’s PPA holder, School of English), friends of the IAAS Dr Dara Downey (Former IRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow based in the Long Room Hub) and Dr Bernice Murphy (TCD School of English), as well as Dr Rob Lloyd (Cardiff University), and Dr Luke Reid (Dawson College).

 

Irish Association for American Studies

Annual Conference

“In/Security”

University of Limerick

Hybrid event: virtual and in-person

28-29 April 2023

The Irish Association for American Studies is an all-island scholarly association dedicated to promoting interdisciplinary American Studies in Ireland. It invites paper and panel proposals for its 2023 Annual Conference, which will take place 28-29 April at the University of Limerick. The hybrid event will be the first IAAS Annual Conference since 2019 to include an in-person element.

“There are others out there on whom my life depends, people I do not know and may never know. This fundamental dependency on anonymous others is not a condition that I can will away. No security measure will foreclose this dependency; no violent act of sovereignty will rid the world of this fact” (Judith Butler, Precarious Life xii).

The theme for the 2023 IAAS Annual Conference is “In/Security.” Inderpal Grewal argues that “constructs of security have come to dominate everyday life in the US imperial state” (Saving the Security State 2). Certainly, questions of security have dominated the US news agenda this year, from the inquest into the breach of the Capitol on 6 January 2021; to geopolitical threats of energy shortages, a cost-of-living crisis, cyber-attacks, and nuclear war; to the FBI’s retrieval of documents endangering national security from a former President’s home. Actual and perceived threats to security – personal, institutional, and technological – have increasingly become the norm in US politics, as allegations of voting fraud and campaigns of intimidation continue to reverberate across elections. Meanwhile, the rising risks of wildfires and storms are a reminder that climate change represents an existential threat to human society that requires us to act now to secure a liveable future.

This year, we invite proposals that consider security, safety, defence, and protection, as well as their opposites: insecurity, precarity, vulnerability, and danger. We will think about security at various scales, the various senses and feelings of terms like “security” and “safe,” and the different ways in which notions of security and its absence structure cultural, social, political, and economic discourses in the Americas.

We welcome papers from all disciplines in American Studies, broadly defined. Possible paper and panel topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Texts and events that dramatize questions of (in)security at various scales: personal, societal, national, global
  • Levels and forms of security forces, threats, risks, defences, protections, allies, and immunities
  • Senses (meanings and feelings) of security and insecurity, vulnerability, and precarity
  • Resource (food, water, energy, housing) security and insecurity, and the geopolitics of resource security
  • Securing the (environmental, biodiverse, just) future; risking the future
  • Financial securities and insecurities
  • Job security, precarity, safety nets, and their absence; welfare and wellbeing
  • Technologies of security – drones, doorbells, digital systems – and their ownership
  • Home security, domestic threats, and safe spaces; private security, personal safety, and safekeeping
  • Questions and definitions of care: carefree (secure, from the Latin securus, meaning without care), careless, and caregiving

The conference organisers welcome individual proposals or panel proposals. Individual participants should submit abstracts of no more than 300 words for a 20-minute paper. Panel proposals will normally consist of an overall proposal of 200 words, plus individual abstracts of no more than 150 words for each of 3 papers for 1½-hour sessions. However, proposals for innovative, alternative panel formats are also encouraged. All proposals should include a short academic biography (50-100 words) for each presenter. Please also indicate if you prefer to attend online or if you are able to attend in person. Priority for online presentations will be reserved for those with accessibility issues or those who are outside of Ireland. Due to limited capacity, we may not be able to meet all requests for online presentations.

Papers from all disciplines in American Studies are welcome, including literary studies, history, politics, economics, geography, science, philosophy, media studies, film studies, photography, art, music and dance, cultural studies, international relations, and others, and from any theoretical or practical perspective. The IAAS and the Annual Conference are dedicated to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and we welcome papers from under-represented groups. The deadline for submissions, to IAAS2023@ul.ie, is 31 January 2023.

All presenters at the Annual Conference must be members of the IAAS. More information is available here: https://iaas.ie/memberships/.

The 2023 IAAS Annual Conference will be hosted by University of Limerick and run by Tim Groenland, David Coughlan, and Clair Sheehan. For more information, contact us at IAAS2023@ul.ie.

Heidelberg Center for American Studies 20th Annual Spring Academy Conference

Heidelberg, Germany, 20–24 March, 2023

*Call for Papers * 

The twentieth HCA Spring Academy on American Culture, Economics, Geography, History, Literature, Politics, and Religion will be held from March 20-24, 2023. The Heidelberg Center for American Studies (HCA) invites applications for this annual one-week conference that provides twenty international Ph.D. students with the opportunity to present and discuss their Ph.D. projects.

The HCA Spring Academy invites participants to work closely with experts in their respective fields of study and offers workshops held by visiting scholars.

We encourage applications that pursue an interdisciplinary approach and range broadly across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Papers can be presented on any subject relating to the study of the United States of America. Possible topics include American identity, issues of ethnicity, gender, transatlantic relations, U.S. domestic and foreign policy, economics, as well as various aspects of American history, literature, religion, geography, law, musicology, and culture. Proposals should include a preliminary title and run to no more than 300 words.

Participants are requested to prepare a 20-minute presentation of their research project, which will be followed by a 40-minute discussion. The presentations will be arranged into ten panel groups.

In addition to cross-disciplinary and international discussions during the panel sessions, the Spring Academy aims at creating a pleasant collegial atmosphere for further scholarly exchange and contact.

Accommodation will be provided by the Heidelberg Center for American Studies.

Thanks to a small travel fund, the Spring Academy is able to subsidize travel expenses for participants registered and residing in soft-currency countries. Scholarship applicants will need to document the necessity for financial aid and explain how they plan to cover any potentially remaining expenses. In addition, a letter of recommendation from their doctoral advisor is required.

 

START OF APPLICATION PROCESS:                                          August 15, 2022

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS:                                                November 15, 2022

SELECTIONS WILL BE MADE BY:                                                January 2023

PLEASE USE OUR ONLINE APPLICATION SYSTEM:             www.hca-springacademy.de

MORE INFORMATION:                                                                 www.hca.uni-heidelberg.de

FOR FURTHER QUESTIONS:                                                        springacademy@hca.uni-heidelberg.de

We’re glad to share the details for PopMeC’s Animals in the American Popular Imagination virtual keynote talks:

Brett Mills: Jaws, from the Shark’s Point of View
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 6PM CEST

Christy Tidwell: Prehistoric Futurism: Dinosaurs, Kids, and the Future in the Jurassic Park Franchise
Thursday, September 8, 2022 at 6PM CEST

The talks will be held on Zoom. Registration is free / pay what you want at 

https://popular-animals.com/index.php/registration/

You can find a brief description of the talks and speakers on our official website
______________________

Animals in the American Popular Imagination | Conference 2022
Organized by

PopMeC

 and AACCP
Follow on Twitter

@POPanimals_2022

Facebook

official website

Dartmouth Summer Institute Scholarship 2022 

 

The UCD Clinton Institute is offering a scholarship  for one PhD/early career scholar to attend the Future of American Studies Summer Institute in Dartmouth College 20–26th June 2022

Application Procedure:

  • Applicants must be a registered member of the IAAS (Irish Association for American Studies). For details on membership, visit here.

Applicants should submit:

  1. A summary of their current research/thesis, including comment on the work they hope to advance through participation at the Summer Institute (max 500 words)
  2. A writing sample (max 5,000 words)
  3. CV

The Scholarship will cover the cost of a return flight to Boston, internal travel from the airport to Dartmouth College and the registration fee for the week (which includes accommodation).

Applications should be sent to Catherine Carey (catherine.carey@ucd.ie) and should arrive no later than the 1st April 2022