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  Events 2015

Call for Papers

J.M. Coetzee and the non-English Literary Traditions

EJES (European Journal of English Studies) Volume 20

Deadline for proposals: 31 OCTOBER 2014

Guest editors: María J. López, (Córdoba, Spain), Kai Wiegandt, (Berlin, Germany)

In J.M. Coetzee's latest novel, The Childhood of Jesus (2013), Miguel de Cervantes and his novel Don Quixote are central, calling attention to gaps in the existing research on Coetzee's intertextuality. Research has mainly focused on English intertexts, although Coetzee enters a dialogue with a myriad of literary and linguistic traditions, especially, though not only, European ones. As Derek Attridge states in his introduction to Coetzee's collection of essays Inner Workings, Coetzee's "evident fascination with the European novelists of the first half of the twentieth-century suggests that, although he has never lived in continental Europe, he is, if looked at from one angle, a deeply European writer." In spite of substantial examinations of the echoes of different non-English writers in Coetzee, these critical analyses are scattered and some influences remain patently unexamined. Hence, this issue intends to cover an important critical gap by offering the first unified view of Coetzee's relation with non-English literary traditions both in his fictional and non-fictional works, focusing on Coetzee’s interaction with European literatures such as Spanish, Italian, French, Dutch, German, Polish, Greek or Russian, but also welcoming contributions on Latin American, Asian and other non-English influences.

Topics for papers may include:

- Thematic and formal influences of non-English literary traditions on Coetzee's fiction
- Coetzee's re-thinking of the novel form through non-English novels, for example, via Don Quixote, as opposed to the much-discussed Robinson Crusoe
- Coetzee's dialogue with specific authors, such as Kafka, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Milosz, Musil, Márai, Rousseau, Cervantes, Goethe or García Márquez
- A broadening of the notion that Coetzee is influenced by modernism by including non-English modernisms
- Coetzee's representation of non-English languages in his fiction
- Coetzee's work as a translator, especially from Dutch, and its possible effects on his fiction

Detailed proposals (500-1,000 words) for essays of c. 5,000-6,000 words, as well as all inquiries regarding this issue, should be sent to both editors:

- María J. López <ff2losam@uco.es>
- Kai Wiegandt <kai.wiegandt@fu-berlin.de>

Please note that the deadline for proposals is 31 October 2014, with delivery of completed essays by 31 March 2015.

Volume 20 will appear in 2016.







Friday/Saturday 12/13th September 2014

University of Plymouth, Devon, UK


Confirmed speakers:

Nick Bentley
Clare Hanson
Laura Marcus
Susan Watkins

more to follow shortly …



Please send 200 word abstracts for a 20 minute paper, along with a brief biography, to


by Monday 30 June 2014.


In one of the many obituaries from fellow writers that followed Doris Lessing’s death in 2013, Joyce Carol Oates observed that ‘it might be said of Doris Lessing, as Walt Whitman boasted of himself: I am vast, I contain multitudes.’ Doris Lessing 2014: An International Conference, takes the end of Lessing’s long life as the starting point for a renewed engagement with her life and work. This conference seeks to stimulate new scholarship on Lessing’s work by embracing her vast multitudes: her contexts ranging from Iran and Zimbabwe to London; her genres from documentary to science fiction to life writing; and her engagements with political ideologies from Marxism and imperialism to feminism and environmentalism. Reflecting Lessing’s own lifelong interest in the positions and politics of reading, it aims to bring together a diverse range of scholars, critics and readers to reflect on the legacy and future of Lessing work. It will also try to extend our sense of how Lessing connects to a host of other writers, a list that might include (but is certainly not limited to): Margaret Atwood, John Osborne, John Berger, J. M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, Kurt Vonnegut, Virginia Woolf, Idries Shah, Olaf Stapledon, Leo Tolstoy, Marcel Proust, D. H. Lawrence, Salman Rushdie, Margaret Drabble . . . Finally, the conference aims to not only generate new research on Lessing’s work, but to use Lessing’s lifelong commitment to a common and global literary culture to discuss her relevance to that most pressing topic of contemporary debate: the public role and value of the humanities.

Submission are invited on topics including, but certainly not limited to:

• Lessing’s relationships to other writers
• Lessing, Empire and post/coloniality
• Lessing, life writing and auto/biography
• Lessing, Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene
• Lessing’s craft and style
• Lessing and feminism
• Lessing, Communism and politics
• Lessing and the legacies of modernism
• Lessing, spirituality and religion
• Lessing and science fiction
• Lessing’s readers
• Lessing and world literature
• Lessing’s genres
• Lessing and cultural criticism
• Lessing, theatre and opera
• Lessing’s emotions and affects




The 12th ESSE Conference

Košice, Slovakia

29th August to 2nd September 2014

Deadline for submission of proposal abstracts: 28 FEBRUARY 2014

We invite proposals for our ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) Seminar, “'There are but a handful of stories in the world': J.M. Coetzee and the non-English literary traditions.” This quote from J.M. Coetzee’s 2003 Nobel Lecture conveys the writer’s need to borrow stories from others; the fact that “if the young are to be forbidden to prey upon the old, then they must sit forever in silence”. Whereas research on Coetzee has concentrated on Coetzee’s English intertexts, we welcome papers that focus on the dialogue that Coetzee’s fictional and non-fictional works establish with literary traditions other than those of the English language. Accepted papers will be considered for publication after the conference.

Dr. María J. López, Senior Lecturer, University of Córdoba (Spain): ff2losam@uco.es
Dr. Kai Wiegandt, Senior Lecturer, Freie Universität Berlin (Germany): kai.wiegandt@fu-berlin.de

Procedure for submitting paper proposals

Those wishing to participate in the Conference seminars are invited to submit 200-word abstracts of their proposed papers directly to the convenors of the seminar in question before 28 February 2014. The convenors will let the proponents know whether their proposals have been accepted by no later than 31 March 2014. In your proposal, please follow the following format:

E-mail (only ONE address)
Title of paper
Abstract (max 200 words)
Equipment needed (all seminar rooms will be equipped with a computer and a projector).


About the seminar

The authors of seminar papers will be expected to give an oral presentation of no more than 15 minutes’ duration, rather than simply reading their papers aloud. Reduced versions of the papers will be circulated among all speakers in advance of the seminar in question, during July/August 2014. The convenors will allocate a respondent to each individual paper from among the seminar participant who will comment on the paper. There will be a maximum of 5 papers in each two-hour seminar session, and convenors will plan so that there is time for discussion between speakers and with the audience.


Further information about the conference is available on the conference website:




J.M.Coetzee and Serious Fiction

Duncan Chesney
National Taiwan University

11 August 2014

Otto Beit Seminar Room
Upper Campus




Autobiography Into Fiction:
J.M.Coetzee's Disgrace

David Atwell

14 July 2014

J.M. Coetzee’s Disgrace has attracted more published literary criticism than any other work in the history of South African literature. Beginning as the story of a distinguished writer who is invited onto a Truth Commission but declines because he is about to be exposed for sexual misconduct, the novel underwent innumerable changes as it became a trenchant account of South Africa’s deep psycho-sexual history. Drawing on his research into the manuscript material housed at the Ransom Centre of the University of Texas at Austin, Professor David Attwell will discuss the genesis and development of J.M.Coetzee’s Booker prize-winning novel.

Click for further information (in PDF format).

Please note that there is a small fee involved, and that an RSVP is required.

Centre for Open Learning
Kramer Building
UCT Middle Campus

See also:






Autobiography Into Fiction:
J.M.Coetzee's The Life and Times of Michael K

David Atwell

9 July 2014

Beginning as the story of a writer who turns to vigilantism after his house is invaded and vandalized, Michael K underwent innumerable changes before becoming an account of an unconquerable desire for freedom. Drawing on his research into previously unseen manuscript material housed at the Ransom Centre of the University of Texas at Austin, Professor David Attwell will trace the twists and turns of Coetzee’s creative process in producing one of South African literature’s most acclaimed novels.

Click for further information (in PDF format).

Please note that there is a small fee involved, and that an RSVP is required.

Centre for Open Learning
Kramer Building
UCT Middle Campus

See also:






Call for Papers


Travelling Texts: Encounters of Literatures

Institute of English Studies
Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland

13-15 March 2014

Papers are invited for an international conference dedicated to mutual influences and inspirations between authors. The special focus of this conference will be J.M. Coetzee as well as those Central/Eastern European and South African authors with reference to whom his writing (fiction and non-fiction) may be studied.

Bruno Schulz, Zbigniew Herbert, Josef Škvorecký, Milan Kundera, Sándor Márai, Franz Kafka, Rainer Maria Rilke, Günter Grass, Aharon Appelfeld, Osip Mandelstam, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Josif Brodski, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy are among the Central and Eastern European writers who have been of great interest to Coetzee, both as writer and literary critic. Addressing the issues of censorship, oppression, totalitarianism and the role of the writer – all particularly pertinent not only to the countries which were once trapped behind the Iron Curtain, but, despite the geographical distance, to the Republic of South Africa - Coetzee has often turned to Central and Eastern European history, experience and literary works

We shall also welcome comparative papers on questions of intertextuality, influence and thematic convergences in the writings of J.M. Coetzee and South African writers (or writers with a South African background) such as Breyten Breytenbach, Damon Galgut, Nadine Gordimer, Doris Lessing, Alan Paton, Helen Suzman, Ivan Vladislavić and many others.

We also wish to trace other, less conspicuous links between Central and Eastern European literatures and South African writing.

We hope that the conference, thanks to the participants’ expertise in their native literatures, will not only reveal new aspects in the writing of J.M. Coetzee but will also demonstrate the pertinence of his preoccupations as a writer to a variety of cultural, historical and literary contexts.

Following the conference, we plan to publish selected papers (between 4000-6000 words in length) in book form in the Peter Lang series “Text-Meaning-Context: Cracow Studies in English Language, Literature and Culture”.

The conference fee is €130 (130 euros). Proposals for 20-minute presentations should include a brief biographical note with your title and institutional affiliation and a 150-word abstract. They should be submitted by email to travelling.texts@gmail.com by 17 November 2013. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by 25 November.

Organisers: Prof. dr hab. Krystyna Stamirowska, Dr hab. Bożena Kucała, Dr Robert Kusek.

This notice in PDF format.




12 March 2014

10.30 – 11.00
Open seminar discussion:
Tthe biographical turn in Coetzee criticism

11.00 – 11.15

11.15 – 12.15
Kai Easton (SOAS, London)
"Maps and Notebooks: J.M. Coetzee and the Texas Archives"
(Presentation and discussion)

12.15 – 12.30

12.30 – 1.30
Hermann Wittenberg (UWC)
"Between Text and Screen: The Film Adaptations of J.M. Coetzee"
(Presentation and discussion)



T.B. Davie Seminar Room, in the Otto Beit Building



The Narrative Beginnings
of Kafka's In der Strafkolonie
and Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians

Professor Jakob Lothe
Oslo University

26 February 2014
12h30 to 13h30
(arrival from 12h00)

T.B. Davie Seminar Room

Please note the unusual venue and time!


An invitation from Tomasz Wisniewski at the University of Gdansk to contribute to

J.M. Coetzee: Dead Ends and Beyond

a forthcoming collection on Coetzee


The deadline for submissions (complete essays) is 15 February 2014



Ed. Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim and Tomasz Wisniewski

Vol. 5 BETWEEN.POMIEDZY series published by the University of Gdansk Press

Series editors: David Malcolm, Monika Szuba, Tomasz Wisniewski

The volume entitled J.M. Coetzee: Dead Ends and Beyond will focus on various ways in which the novelist halts or destroys the reader's expectations. As Coetzee seems to revel in exposing his narrative form to disruptive, unexpected turns and his fictional worlds as well as their inhabitants to a cul-de-sac syndrome, we would be most of all interested in essays discussing motifs and techniques which help him produce and possibly overcome all kinds of narrative and representational dead ends. We are ready to accept other angles from which to interpret the proposed title of the volume in the context of Coetzee's fiction.

The deadline for complete essays is 15 February 2014. There are no strict regulations concerning its length. It should be a complete argumentation with clearly delineated train of thought (7,000 words but treat this just as a reference point). Reference system as in previous books of the series (Back to the Beckett Text, Poets of the Past. Poets of the Present).


"between.pomiedzy" is a series of publications produced under the aegis of the Textual Studies Research Group of the University of Gdansk and BETWEEN.POMIEDZY. The series contains both themed collections of essays and monographs. Books may be in Polish or in English. Its aim is to make accessible scholarship that addresses important issues in modern and contemporary English-language literature, and also scholarship that deals with substantial theoretical issues that are of interest to specialists in other fields of literary study.

Publications in the "between.pomiedzy" series are particularly focused on form, as conceived in a broad sense, but the series remains open to scholarship that approaches literature in different but complementary ways. The overall name of the series "between.pomiedzy" indicates its commitment to work that looks at texts on the borders between genres and kinds, between historical periods and movements, and between national and linguistic cultures.

For further information, see: http://back2.pl


The series includes the following studies:

1. Samuel Beckett. Tradycja-awangarda., ed. Tomasz Wisniewski (in Polish, 2012);

2. Back to the Beckett Text, ed. Tomasz Wisniewski (in English, 2012);

3. Poeci wspólczesni. Poeci przeszlosci, ed. Monika Szuba and Tomasz Wisniewski (in Polish, 2013);

4. Poets of the Past. Poets of the Present, ed. Monika Szuba and Tomasz Wisniewski (in English, 2013).

Future publications include:

5. Between Page and Stage, ed. Tomasz Wisniewski (in English);

6. J. M. Coetzee: Dead Ends and Beyond, ed. Ludmila Gruszewska-Blaim and Tomasz Wisniewski (in English);

7. Miedzy slowem i rzeczy-wistoscia. Poezja Eliota wobec cielesnosci i W/wcielenia, ed. Jean Ward (in Polish);

8. Czas i wyobraznia. Szkice o prozie Paula Austera, ed. Arkadiusz Misztal (in Polish).

9. Space in Contemporary Scottish Fiction, ed. Monika Szuba (in English).


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