National Forum for English Studies 2023 – Call for papers

The 12th National Forum for English Studies will take place on 26-28 April 2023, at Mälardalen University, Västerås, Sweden.

Background, aim and scope

In the current state of the world, with its challenges, threats and upheavals, be they of a military, political, cultural, economic, health- or climate-related nature, it is more important than ever to emphasize the need for relation-building and the capacity of language, not least English, to connect communities and overcome divisions and challenges. We therefore specifically invite proposals for talks and activities that address the communicative and unifying potential of English, including the teaching and learning of it. That said, the Forum remains open to all kinds of topics and perspectives falling within – or being of relevance to – English Studies in Sweden and beyond.

At the Forum, teachers and researchers are welcome to raise and discuss issues and questions, challenges and solutions, projects and findings regarding the study, promotion and use of English – from linguistic, literary, culture-and-society or pedagogical perspectives, including fruitful combinations of perspectives. This can be done in the form of classic research presentations, workshops, or inspirational accounts of professional/pedagogical development projects, experiments, strategies and solutions – in short, anything of interest to professionals in the field of English Studies in Sweden.

Keynote talks

Three internationally renowned scholars have kindly agreed to give keynote talks at the Forum: Bo G Ekelund (Stockholm University), Fiona Farr (University of Limerick), and Tom Morton (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid). More information about them and their talks will be provided on the National Forum website.

Discussion sessions

In line with the ambition and scope sketched above, and following a certain tradition from earlier National Forums, we also intend to arrange for a number of discussion sessions, where specific categories of academics (such as doctoral students, lecturers and senior lecturers, and full professors) and/or special-interest groups (such as degree project supervisors and examiners, directors of study and program coordinators, or literature teachers) can come together to ventilate shared concerns. Suggestions in this regard, including proposals for organizing and chairing a discussion forum, are therefore welcome, too.

Invitation to submit proposals

Individual papers: 20-minute presentations followed by 5 minutes of questions and discussion. Abstracts should not exceed 250 words, excluding the title of the talk, author name(s), affiliations, email addresses, reference list, and 3-5 keywords.

Panels: 90-minute sessions based on 3-4 thematically related papers and leaving room for joint discussion. Abstracts should include the rationale for the session as well as the abstracts for the individual contributions, not exceeding 1000 words in total (excluding the title of the panel, author names, affiliations, email addresses, reference lists, and 3-5 keywords).

Workshops: 60- or 90-minute sessions with instruction and active participation. Proposals should not exceed 250 words, excluding the title of the workshop, organizer name(s), affiliations, email addresses, and 3-5 keywords.

Discussion sessions: 60- or 90-minute sessions for the discussion of a specific topic or concern regarding English Studies in Sweden and/or among a defined group of participants. Proposals should include a rationale for the session but not exceed 250 words, excluding the title, organizer name(s), affiliations, email addresses, and optional keywords.

Deadlines and additional information

The deadline for submitting proposals for contributions will be 15 January 2023. A response can be expected within the subsequent weeks. The deadline for early-bird registration will be 28 February 2023.

Additional information about the keynote speakers, abstract submissions, other important deadlines, registration, the program and more will be made available on the Forum website.

Inquiries can be sent to the following Forum email address: nationalforum2023@mdu.se

Call for Papers on ‘Language Practices in English Classrooms – from Primary School to Higher’

The guest editors of a special issue in the journal Languages invite contributions on ‘Language Practices in English Classrooms – from Primary School to Higher’. Languages is an international, multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed open access journal; APCs will be waived for articles published in the issue. This issue will be edited by Pia Sundqvist, Erica Sandlund, Marie Källkvist, & Henrik Gyllstad.

Potential contributors should submit a word document with a title, a 300-word abstract, and a 50-word bio (for each author) to the Editorial Office (languages@mdpi.com) by 1 June, 2021.

National Forum for English Studies 2021

The English Department at Södertörn University will host the National Forum for English Studies nest year. The Forum will take place on 21-23 April 2021 on the Södertörn University campus, about 20 minutes south of Stockholm city centre. The theme for the Forum is, ‘Rethinking English Studies’:

In a global context of rising nationalism and populism, of closing borders and faltering supranational arrangements, what is the role reserved for English? Following Brexit, are we to expect a shift in the symbolic status of the language and its culture at a European and national level? What can English Studies as an academic field offer society in this context? As the intellectual and professional expectations of students of English change, how is our discipline to rethink its purpose and future? This National Forum will offer an opportunity for teachers and researchers in linguistics, literature and pedagogy to reflect on these and other questions of relevance to the study of English in Sweden today.

The confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Robert Eaglestone, Professor of Contemporary Literature and Thought at the Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Elizabeth Peterson, Associate Professor of English Philology at the Department of Languages, University of Helsinki.
  • Pia Sundquist, Associate Professor of English Language Education at the Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo.

Titles and abstracts for the keynote lectures and a call for papers, panels, and workshops relevant to the Forum theme, the keynote lectures, or English studies will be announced in August. Information will be sent by mail, and regular updates will also be available on the 2021 Forum website.


The Uses of Aesthetics 12–14 September, 2019

The Uses of Aesthetics, 12–14 September, 2019, Karlstad University, Sweden

An international interdisciplinary conference organized by the research group for culture studies KuFo (Kulturvetenskapliga forskargruppen) in celebration of KuFo’s ten-year anniversary.

At least since the Kantian conceptualization of the aesthetic object as being purposive without a purpose, and of aesthetic judgment as one of disinterested interest, art has been associated with a certain kind of uselessness. Nevertheless, since aesthetic objects, expressions, and practices always emerge, take place in, and travel across cultural and material contexts, they affect their surroundings, influence those contexts, and make a difference. If inherently “useless” in a Kantian sense, works of art and aesthetic expressions and practices may nevertheless be put to all kinds of uses. In other words, these objects, expressions and practices respond to a particular situation, whether this is established at the moment of articulation or that of reception. The history of the arts may thus be considered as the production of a vast cultural archive of objects and aesthetic expressions that are not only preserved but always available for new uses. Such an archive provides us with an infinite supply of possibilities for practices of re-purposing and re-negotiation.

One way to operationalize the cultural archive is through transactions renegotiating different aesthetic objects and expressions through assigning values. Art has always had a difficult relation to values, in the many senses of the word. On the one hand, art is thought to manifest eternal and universal values and the inherently good; on the other hand, art is considered a space for the transgression of norms and the destruction of values. While aesthetic values are often articulated in stark contrast to functional ends, the consumption of use value and the crass prices of the marketplace, artworks have also been used as manifestations of political action, and as objects for economic investment and speculation. Whereas works of art may be accumulated in centralized collections for the public good (in museums) or personal profit (in private collections), performative practices where economic and cultural values are destroyed may constitute aesthetically valuable happenings in themselves.

We welcome papers and presentations by scholars exploring the uses, values and rethinking of the aesthetic in different fields such as (but not limited to):

  • Cultural studies
  • Art and visual studies
  • Media and film studies
  • Performance studies
  • Literary studies
  • Race and whiteness studies
  • Postcolonial studies
  • Intercultural studies
  • Environmental studies
  • Gender and masculinity studies
  • Religious studies
  • Historical studies

Please send proposals for 20-minute papers or presentations to aesthetics@kau.se by 15 April 2019. Proposals should be no longer than 250 words. We look forward to receiving your proposal.

Panel call: Photography and the method of art. Please send proposals for 20-minute papers or presentations to staffan.lofving@kau.se by 15 April 2019. Proposals should be no longer than 250 words. See the panel abstract here.