Call for Papers: BACLS-WHN Virtual Conference 2-3 September 2021


Conference organisers: James Peacock and Nick Bentley (Keele University)

The British Association of Contemporary Literary Studies (BACLS) is pleased to invite abstract submissions for its virtual conference, to be held on Thursday 2 September and Friday 3 September 2021. We welcome proposals for individual papers and for three- or four-person panels.

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Understanding the contemporary as a fluid and hybrid “moment,” contemporary literary studies explores works of culture and their relation to the emerging political and social formations of the present. We welcome contributions on topics from across the field of contemporary literary studies, including modern languages, comparative and world literatures, eco-criticism, postcolonial studies, translation studies, linguistics, performance studies, media theory, comics studies, video games studies, adaptation studies, the study of popular music, cultural studies, critical theory, creative and critical studies and digital humanities.

Proposals are welcome on any topics, but the following might serve as prompts for linked themes:

- Futures

- Virtualities and materialities

- Micro and macro geographies

- Inequalities

- Work

- Healing

- Empathy

- Medical Humanities

Presentations will take the form of 15-minute audio or video recordings (with slides, if you wish). If your proposal is accepted, you will be asked to submit your recording no later than 2 weeks before the start of the conference. It will be uploaded to the BACLS website, along with your abstract, so that delegates can listen to it before the conference. On the day of the conference, the panels will consist of live online discussions of the pre-circulated contributions.

BACLS is especially concerned to encourage and enhance representation and participation from minorities, and is proactively working to reduce physical, social, and economic barriers to participation and to develop an environment rooted in a belief of equal respect for all. We strongly encourage panels that reflect the diversity of our field in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and institutional affiliation. All-male panel proposals will not be accepted.

Please send panel proposals of no more than 400 words, and paper abstracts of no more than 250 words, with brief biographical notes (about 50 words per speaker) in Word or PDF format to James Peacock, at The closing date for submissions is Friday 18 June by 5 p.m.