Call For Papers

Monash Social Aesthetics Research Network
Friday 13 June 2014
Monash University, Caulfield Campus, T2.26/T2.27

From lullabies to laments, from the Song of Solomon to the music of Lady Gaga, the interactions between literature and music are so ubiquitous they often go unnoticed. Considering the obviously interdisciplinary nature of the question, it is perhaps surprising that few studies have attempted to approach this relationship through an application of interdisciplinary theory. Recent studies in interdisciplinarity have offered the hypothesis that cross-disciplinary research may be understood as a form of “cultural exchange” taking place between academic terrains that are not always accustomed to the codes and rituals of the other. If this principle of cultural exchange is applied to literature and music, it has the potential to facilitate a mutual understanding between the disciplines and point the way towards new research possibilities.

This symposium aims to enact such a cultural exchange by gathering research that blends musical and literary topics in diverse and novel ways. We encourage papers that explicitly address the disciplinary relationship between music and literature, and also those that outline the methodologies of one discipline for the edification of the other. Since there are any number of aesthetic forms that can combine music and words, we invite submissions from any literary studies, creative writing, musicology, ethnomusicology, performance studies, film and television, translation studies, or any number of other disciplines that may touch upon them. Some possible areas of investigation may include:

- The links between music and literature in early civilisations
- The importance of literary text in the contexts of world musics
- The strategies involved in setting poetic texts in “art-song” or as “programme” music
- The social functions of lyrics in popular music genres
- The challenges surrounding the lingual and cultural translation of song lyrics
- The use of music as rhetorical device in performance media, such as film and theatre
- The appropriation of musical imagery in poetry
- The use of musical concepts as structural principles in the composition of poetry
- The blending of literature and music in other aesthetic contexts (theatre, film, religion, etc.)

Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers. Please send abstract (no more than 250 words) and a short biography to by 1 May 2014. Please also advise organisers of any A/V requirements and/or dietary preferences (for catering purposes).

Symposium Organisers:
Christian Griffiths, Anthea Skinner, Angela Tiziana Tarantini, Dr Paul Watt.

NB – The organisers are planning to publish a selection of these papers as a special journal issue. However, a separate call for papers will be issued for this purpose.

A PDF flyer is available here.

We encourage submission of articles for a special issue of the peer-reviewed journal Adaptation (Oxford University Press), jointly edited by Ken Gelder (University of Melbourne) and Imelda Whelehan (University of Tasmania).

While adaptation studies has recently reflected on its own theoretical gaps and silences, little work has been produced on national literatures and cultures in adaptation beyond an Anglo-American framework.  The purpose of this special issue is to gather perspectives on this topic: what happens when a nation reflects on its past through the adaptation of core narratives (novels, poems, memoirs, plays, films, myths, historical events, folktales, political and social movements, graphic narrative, etc)?  Can changing notions of Australianness be charted through the process of adaptation; do they change a nation’s consciousness or do they more readily shore up the illusion of shared identity?  What do Australian adaptations tell Australians about themselves, and who are excluded?  What institutions act as gatekeepers for Australian adaptations and to what effect?  What do Australian adaptations suggest to the world at large?

The special issue title, ‘Adapting Australia’, invites creative interpretation.  Adaptation was an important part of New Australian Cinema in the 1970s and 1980s, as was explored in the 1993 Special Issue of Literature/Film Quarterly, edited by Brian McFarlane, and it is hoped that this volume will extend that early exploration of culture and identity in adaptation, to show how much adaptation studies has diversified and broadened over the past twenty years.

We invite proposals on any aspect of contemporary Australian adaptations, but suggestions include:
- (mis)appropriating the canon
- adaptation and Indigenous culture
- Screens and sounds: adaptation, audiobooks and music
- Post-literary adaptation: cartoons, games, oral narratives
- Horror adaptations
- Gendering adaptation
- Remakes/rewriting/rethinking Australia
- Crossmedia/transmedia storytelling
- Culture and adaptation industries: agents, institutions, copyright and funding
- Adaptation and fandom
- Costume and location
- Authorial/star discourse
- Screenwriting and script adaptation
- Theatrical adaptations

Please submit completed papers (up to 5000 words accompanied by a 150-word abstract) directly to the Adaptation website (Flagging submissions as intended for the special issue), and following the advice on online submission: .

Manuscripts must be submitted online in an anonymous form and will be sent to at least two external reviewers.  The deadline is 1 July 2014.

A PDF flyer is available here.

Critical Soundings:  Space, Identity, Narrative
Eds., Joseph Cummins and Helen Groth

This special issue will consider whether it is possible to claim a distinct sonic texture for Australian literary and cultural formations. What kind of readings result from attending to the auditory dimensions of Marcus Clarke’s melancholic rendition of the Australian bush, for example, the ‘cold and loud’ sound of Stan Parker’s settler axe resounding through the opening scene of Patrick White’s The Tree of Man, or the stormy resonance of Alexis Wright’s Carpentaria?

Since the coining of the term ‘soundscape’ by R. Murray Schafer in 1969 there has been a growing critical awareness of the sonic dimensions of modern culture.  Indeed Jonathan Sterne has argued in The Audible Past (2003) that just as “there was an Enlightenment, so too was there an ‘Ensoniment’ …a series of conjunctures among ideas, institutions, and practices [that] rendered the world audible in new ways and valorized new constructs of hearing and listening’ (2). Paralleling the broader cultural focus of Sterne, theoretical work by Steven Connor, Jacques Ranciere and Juan Suarez has argued for an attunement to the auditory dimensions of literary experience, rethinking what Garrett Stewart suggestively describes in Reading Voices (1990) as ‘the listening throat and mouth of the reading voice’ (11).  Extending this historical and theoretical work on sound into an Australian context, this special issue will explore the multiple auditory dimensions of aesthetic, literary and sonic practices in a range of historical, geographical and cultural domains.

We invite essays of between 4,500 and 6,000 words in length to be submitted by 10 May 2014.  Please send submissions to   All essays should conform to the style guidelines specified on the JASAL site.

Friday 4 July and Saturday 5 July
School of English, Media Studies, and Art History, Michie Building,
University of Queensland

Keynote speakers: Leah Marcus (Vanderbilt University), Andrew Taylor (Edith Cowan University) and Thomas Bristow (University of New England)

Since William Empson published his landmark Some Versions of Pastoral in 1935, the ancient mode that is pastoral has been re-visioned and re-analysed, and a range of scholarly readings has confirmed there is no easy or comfortable way of pinning down just how pastoral operates either in Virgil’s Eclogues or in the literature the poem has inspired since the Renaissance.  Annabel Patterson in her Pastoral and Ideology: Virgil to Valéry (1987) focused on why Virgilian pastoral has echoed and continues to echo through western literary history, arguing “it is not what pastoral is that should matter to us”; what is far more useful is to consider “how writers, artists, and intellectuals of all persuasions have used pastoral for a range of functions and intentions that the Eclogues first articulated” (7; emphasis in original).  In 1996, pastoral scholar Paul Alpers referred to “a happy confusion of definitions,” and with a linguistic nod to Empson, confirmed “there are as many versions of pastoral as there are critics and scholars who write about it” and that “‘pastoral’ can still be a word to conjure with” (What Is Pastoral? 8).

Over the last twenty-five years, there has been a resurgence of interest not only in the theory and criticism of pastoral but in literature that in various ways is in dialogue with the mode.  For instance, Seamus Heaney self-consciously writes back to Virgil, and Stanley Fish has noted telling elements of pastoral in Suzanne Collins’s blockbuster trilogy The Hunger Games (2008–2010).  Environmental criticism, too, has found a dialogue with this tradition to be a productive way of thinking about the human/nature relationships in which so many current environmental issues are embedded.

This conference invites a dialogue on the afterlives of pastoral.  It is inspired by the recent pastoral turn, by the questioning title of Alpers’s book, and by Patterson’s focus on the pastoral as literature in action.  As Alpers reminds us, the pleasures of nymphs and shepherds and their herds are only ever the vehicle for a quite different, darker discourse: “the very notion of pastoral . . . represents a fantasy that is dissipated by the recognition of political and social realities” (24).

In this spirit, the organisers seek participants from a wide range of fields, including literature, the performing arts, music and other forms of cultural discourse that engage with the core of this ancient tradition.

Papers and panels might consider:

- Historiography of pastoral; how we might read the arguments of theorists of pastoral, including Paul Alpers, William Empson, Terry Gifford, Peter Marinelli, Leo Marx, Annabel Patterson, Philip Tew, and Raymond Williams
- Pastoral as a way of exploring melancholy, mourning, longing and love
- The pastoral mode as intertext; pastoral parodies; pastoral and metafiction
- Pastoral and ecocriticism; guardianship/custodianship, anti-pastoral; counter-pastoral
- Pastoral and the negotiation of concepts of ‘civilization’ and ‘nature’, the city and the country
- Pastoral concepts of dispossession and exile
- Postcolonial pastoral
- Australian pastoral
- Pastoral and the concept of the active versus the contemplative life; pastoral and reverie
- Pastoral and its relationship to myth
- Pastoral and the aesthetic: landscape, the sublime, the picturesque; pastoral and the garden
- Pastoral and gender
- Pastoral and anti-war literature
- Pastoral and time
- Responses to the mode by specific painters, composers, sculptors, dramatists, poets, and novelists whose work takes up and produces versions of pastoral.  Some possibilities are Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, Marvell’s “Upon Appleton House,” Milton’s “Lycidas,” Poussin’s Et in Arcadia Ego, Watteau’s The Shepherds of Arcadia, Streeton’s Australia Felix, Coetzee’s Disgrace, Stoppard’s Arcadia, Roth’s American Pastoral, Lohrey’s Vertigo, Heaney’s Electric Light; Kinsella’s Jam Tree Gully.

Please submit a 250-word proposal together with a 100-word biographical note to the conference organisers at  Proposals for panels are welcome.

Deadline for proposals: Friday 21 March 2014

For further details please go to

University of Technology, Sydney
Friday 11 April 2014
Convenor:  Anne Cranny-Francis
PDF flyer available here

For Jack Lindsay political commitment was not an attitude or mannerism to be adopted as the occasion demanded but was the touchstone for his whole life – his family, his relationships, his writings, his publishing, and his work as a cultural activist.  This symposium explores the work of Jack Lindsay and of others like him, who have led and sometimes goaded their contemporaries to examine what constitutes knowledge; how orthodoxies develop and are used to discipline thought, and how they operate as shields against new or different ways of knowing.

Lindsay’s commitment to socialism as a means to a more inclusive and generous society meant that his thinking and writings came under criticism from a range of establishment forces.  It also meant that he was subject to continual surveillance by the secret service.  Like compatriots such as Randall Swingler, Lindsay’s life was directly impacted by this surveillance, which included  a covert direction to the BBC to stop employing him.  Contemporary revelations about surveillance technology, along with access to the secret service files on figures such as Lindsay, demonstrate how certain kinds of knowledge are suppressed by those in a position of political power or with the protection of that power.  This symposium, therefore, will explore the many different aspects of the politics of knowledge, and invites contributions on all related topics, for example:

- The political and/or cultural legacy of Jack Lindsay
- The nature of knowledge
- Knowledge, disciplines and the academy
- Knowledge, politics and activism
- Knowledge and culture
- Knowledge and surveillance
- The history of surveillance
- Surveillance and the formation of public opinion
- Political activists under surveillance
- The social legacy of surveillance regimes

Please send abstracts of 100-150 words to:, with the Header ‘Jack Lindsay symposium’ by Friday, 14 February 2014.

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