deadline for submissions: 
March 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Maja Milatovic and Dr Stephanie Spoto
contact email: 

-Call for abstracts-

Creating worlds, nuanced characters and emotionally involving the reader, literature holds immense pedagogical potential. Numerous scholars and ELT practitioners have affirmed the pedagogical value of literature as a medium for English language instruction (Hall 2006; 2016; Paran 2007, 2008; Watson and Zyngier 2006). Literature relates diverse experiences and cultural codes, expands worldviews and teaches language as well as culture.  Using literature as a medium of English language instruction has noted positive effects on student motivation and engagement. Evaluating ideas, emotions, plots and considering imaginative worlds is a constructive process for language learners as it increases their understanding of different perspectives along with their grasp of the target language. Geoff Hall’s Literature and language education (2005) clearly articulates numerous theoretical and methodological approaches to utilising literature in English language teaching. Hall’s (2018) recent chapter on ELT and literature further explores and affirms the value of literature and ELT.  Apart from emotional investment, Hall underscores the role of literature in increasing cultural awareness and its pedagogical potential to encourage critical thinking, widen horizons and inspire diverse learners.  Reflecting on the effects of literature, Amos Paran (2008) tellingly points out that “the research indicates that learners who have been exposed to positive experiences with literature, and who are given the opportunity to read literature and respond to it, both benefit linguistically and enjoy the experience” (480).

 When addressing the role of “culture” in English language instruction and literature, it is crucial to critically reflect on English language teaching, its expansion and standardisation in the context of imperialism, colonisation and their ongoing effects. In their discussion of teaching and learning culture, Young, Itesh and Seedhouse (2009) point to the risks associated with essentialist and simplistic articulations of culture which may lead to stereotyping (150). The authors suggest that “an approach to language teaching and learning which mitigates against the stereotyping of difference is likely to be more successful” (152). Furthermore, they advocate a “critical, principled and enquiring approach to culture and cultural difference” (166). The emphasis on inquiry is constructive in this context as it destabilises power relations and elicits critical questions. Whose culture – and therefore – literature is being taught? Which literatures are privileged in ELT and which literatures are erased or marginalised? Which literature is taken as the norm against which ‘other’ literatures are differentiated, homogenised, othered or exoticised?

In a changing globalised environment, literature and ELT gain new meanings and intersections with digital media and the increasing utilisation of educational technologies. In only the last decade, the development of smartphones, video games and computers continues to transform education, curriculum delivery and educational institutions. Meredith J.C. Warren (2016) affirms the potential of technology to engage students, increase interaction and “enter into dialogue with one another” (312) Moreover, Sarah Ficke (2014) suggests that ‘blogging sites, wikis, open-source photo editors, digital mapping tools, online text analysis programs, web publishing platforms like Omeka, and much more make it possible for any professor to design course-appropriate assignments (208-209). Writing on the pedagogical potential of videogames and their interactivity, Trent Hergenrader (2016) articulates them as a “robust, multi-valent text capable of sustaining many different types of readings” (31). The continuous advancements in technology open new possibilities and challenges of learning and teaching in the digital world.

Similarly, technologies have changed and continue to transform literary production and its conceptualisation. Writing on literature in the digital world, Raine Koskimaa (2007) asserts that “it is an important task for basic research in literary studies to recognize how notions of everyday life, changing by the growing role of information and communications technologies, are reflected in literature, and what consequences this has for narratological, semiotic, and cognitive structures in literature” (172). For numerous marginalised authors, the advent of the Internet and social media has made their work more accessible and allowed networking and dissemination opportunities beyond traditional, biased, exclusive, or inaccessible publication venues.

 This edited collection aims to further explore the intersections of digital media, literature and ELT. It seeks a variety of contributions from educators, teachers and ELT practitioners from interdisciplinary pedagogical backgrounds to contribute to the ongoing discussions on innovative pedagogical approaches to literary and language instruction actively using educational technologies. The editors encourage accessibly written, dialogic and innovative chapters oriented towards a practitioner, professional audience interested in the intersections between literary studies, linguistics, pedagogy and educational technologies. Particularly welcomed are contributions from educators working in diverse geographical and cultural contexts; contributions which build on literary studies research and pedagogy to engage with ELT; pedagogical approaches utilising marginalised authors’ work in their literature and language instruction; contributions which situate the debate within current socio-political landscapes and issues; and contributions from secondary schools, pathway programs and language centres (e.g. literacy courses, Foundation programs).

Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

- Digital pedagogy, literature and ELT in the 21st century classroom
- Changing literary landscape, ELT and a diverse curriculum
- ELT, marginalised authors and technology
- ELT, literature and ongoing legacies of colonialism
- New approaches to textuality and student interactivity
- Changing textualities across platforms
- ELT and global inequalities: access to resources and educational technology
- The role of videogames in literature and language teaching and learning
- Using smartphones, apps, and social media in teaching literature and language
- Accessibility, literature and technology in the English language classroom
- Cultural competence and digital media: framing the transformative potential of literature and language learning

A reputable academic publisher has expressed initial interest in this collection.


Please email 300 word abstracts (references excluded from word count) along with a 200 word biography (including your institutional affiliation) in Word.doc format to by 1 March 2019. Full chapters of approximately 6000 words will be expected by 31 October 2019 (provisional).

Please ensure your abstract contains a clear theoretical and practical framing with the intended broad international audience in mind and contains at least 3 indicative scholarly references. Potential contributors are also welcome to get in touch if they have queries or to discuss ideas prior to abstract submission.


Deadline for abstract submission: 1 March 2019

Notification of acceptance: 15 March 2019

Full chapter deadline: 31 October 2019 (provisional deadline)




Ficke, Sarah H. (2014). From Text to Tags: The Digital Humanities in an Introductory Literature Course. CEA Critic, Volume 76, Number 2, 200-210.

Johnstone Young, Tony, Itesh Sachdev & Paul Seedhouse (2009). Teaching and learning culture on English language programmes: a critical review of the recent empirical literature, Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 3:2, 149-169

Koskimaa, Raine (2007). Cybertext Challenge: Teaching literature in the digital world. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, Vol 6(2) 169–185.

Hall, Geoff (2005). Literature in language education (Research and Practice in Applied Linguistics). Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Hall, Geoff (2016). “Using Literature  in ELT”. The Routledge Handbook of English Language Teaching, edited by Graham Hall, Routledge, 456-469.

Hergenrader, Trent (2016). The place of videogames in the digital. Humanities Vo.24, No.1. pp. 29-33.

Paran, Amos (ed.) (2007). Literature in language teaching and learning (Case Studies in TESOL Practice). Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Paran, Amos (2008). The role of literature in instructed foreign language learning and teaching: An evidence-based survey, Language Teaching, 41:4, 465–496.

Warren, Meredith J.C (2016). Teaching with Technology: Using Digital Humanities to Engage Student Learning. Teaching Theology & Religion, Volume 19, Issue 3.

Watson, Greg and Sonia Zyngier (ed) (2006). Literature and stylistics for language learners: Theory and practice. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave MacMillan.


About the editors:

Dr Maja Milatovic is a qualified teacher of English language and literature and holds a Master of Arts and a PhD in literary studies. She has taught in the areas of English language, literature and cultural studies in pathway and tertiary contexts. Her work can be found in the International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives; Leisure Science; The Journal of Feminist Scholarship; Postcolonial Text, and others. Her current research is located at the intersections of digital media, ELT and human rights.

Dr Stephanie Spoto is a lecturer at California State University, Monterey Bay. She holds a PhD in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh (2012). She taught English language classes to immigrants and refugees as part of the Welcome Project in Edinburgh, Scotland, and continues to teach English language learners at CSU Monterey Bay. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Feminist Scholarship, Pacific Coast Philology, among others. Along with Dr. Lena Wanggren and Dr. Maja Milatovic, she recently co-edited International Education, Educational Rights, and Pedagogy as a special issue of International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives. Her current research looks at early modern travel literature, cultural exchange, and theories of national boundaries.