2019 ELLAK International Conference: Nurturing Global Citizens within War and Violence Narratives

deadline for submissions: 
August 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
The English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK)
contact email: 

2019 Call for Papers: The 2019 ELLAK International Conference

“Nurturing Global Citizens within War and Violence Narratives”


- Organized by The English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK)

- Venue: Daejeon Convention Center, Daejeon, Korea

- Date: December 16-18, 2019

- Deadline for submissions: August 15, 2019


The English Language and Literature Association of Korea (ELLAK) is pleased to announce an international conference on “Nurturing Global Citizens within War and Violence Narratives” to be held in Daejeon, South Korea, from December 16 to 18, 2019.

This year’s ELLAK theme was inspired by the current climate of rising nationalism and international hostility around the world, as evidenced in Brexit, Islamophobia, and the Syrian refugee crisis, to name a few of the major crises. With the rise of more fervent nationalistic political movements worldwide, the long shadow of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty looms over many countries and regions. Feelings of frustration have fed bitter resentment, and have, in many cases, erupted into hostility against foreigners, minorities, refugees, immigrants, women, people of differing religion, other races, and in the Korean peninsula; North Korean defectors. These serious social problems have given rise to a need to gauge and contain hostility through liberal education, which is a primary objective of English studies, and to nurture global citizens who can be defined as people who are part of the wider world that show respect their fellow human beings, wherever they live.

The theme of this conference has never been so timely and urgent as it is today, as the Korean Peninsula is undergoing a transitional period from decades of hostility to a new period of peace. Moreover, the appropriateness of the conference host city of Daejeon as the historical site where an act of genocide committed by both sides of South and North at onset of the Korean War in 1950 seems evident. The death toll was estimated to be approximately 6,500. We may ask the following questions ourselves: Why do we wage wars? How to heal the wounds of wars? How to prevent wars?

There are four aspects to consider deeply and critically in this conference: political, psychological, ethical, and pedagogical. First, we will examine what is called war narratives which depict and register violence and trauma. We can talk about Beowulf, The English Patient, and Atonement, from ancient to contemporary. We can include the works by Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Kazuo Ishiguro, from essayist through poet to novelist. This task will consider both political reasons for triggering wars and psychological factors of both victors and victims. A scrutiny at the interface between literature and psychoanalysis will be very fruitful and rewarding.

In order to bring about a stable permanent peace without the threat of war, locally and globally, an ethical dimension needs to be considered seriously. We aim to seek alternatives to the politics of hostility rooted in violence, war, genocide, and exploitative capitalism by sharing ideas and insights with academics from the East Asian area and English speaking countries. We are keen to know the answers to the following questions: What literary works are taught? What teaching methods are used? What pedagogical philosophies are achieved? It is worthwhile to note that what Joseph Brodsky said in his Nobel Prize acceptance speech in 1987: “As a form of moral insurance, at least, literature is much more dependable than a system of beliefs or a philosophical doctrine.”

We believe that literature can have a transformative capacity on humans, evoking the feeling of empathy which Zoe Heller called the “antidote to cruelty”. Literature is widely considered as a viable tool for nurturing well-rounded global citizens. In his acceptance speech of the Nobel Prize for literature in 2017, Kazuo Ishiguro also said, “Good writing and good reading will break down barriers”. This rings true in a time of division and conflict. We seek a great humane vision which enables us to overcome bigotry and denounce what Levinas calls ‘totalistic thinking’. We will explore such philosophical terms as hospitality (Levinas), responsibility (Derrida), and Eingedenken [memory] (Benjamin).

At this critical juncture, ELLAK aims to break down the barriers, whatever they are race, gender, class, and nationality, and build the bridges in order to ensure peace and coexistence by engaging in global citizenship education through English studies.

We invite papers that advance our commitment to ending the politics of fear which disfigures our society, and promote the spirit of cosmopolitanism which celebrates the virtues of hospitality and tolerance. Papers that address any conceivable intersection of literature and psychoanalysis of hatred and violence, or of trauma and recovery, memory and oblivion, brutal power and ethics are welcome.

The 2019 ELLAK conference organizing committee invites scholars, educators, students of all specializing fields, to submit papers that are directly or indirectly connected to the topics we have mentioned.


Topics may include (but are not limited to) the following subjects:

- Literary representation of war, violence, and genocide

- On writing the war narrative

- Holocaust, Anti-semitism

- Psychoanalysis of hatred, trauma, mourning, and recovery

- The ideas and voices of the refugees, the exiles, the defectors

- Responses to arbitrary brutal state power

- Memory and oblivion of traumatic experiences

- Correlation between politics and ethics

- Globalization studies

- Nationalism, multiculturalism, transnational culture studies

- Diaspora studies


To apply for participation, submit your abstract and CV to 2019ellak@gmail.com by August 15, 2019.




Proposals may be submitted for either individual papers or sessions.

• Individual paper proposals should include an abstract of no more than 250 words and a one-page abbreviated CV, along with a short bio.

• Session proposals should include a one-page proposal with a title and topics for a session of three to four presentation papers, along with individual abstracts and short bios.


Delivered in either Korean or English, each presentation will be no longer than 20 minutes, followed by discussions and Q&A sessions.

Graduate students are also welcome to submit proposals and to participate in the conference. All proposals should be sent to the Organizing Committee at 2019ellak@gmail.com by August 15, 2019.

For further inquiry, please contact the Organizing Committee, or visit following website

: http://eng.ellak.or.kr/html/2019_01.asp


Important Dates:

• Deadline for submitting abstracts: August 15, 2019

• Submission of papers for the conference proceedings: October 30, 2019


Registration Fees:

• Standard: 50,000 KRW (USD 50)


Accommodation Information

• Lotte City Hotel Daejeon

• Address: 33, Expo-ro 123beon-gil, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, Korea Lotte City Hotel Daejeon, Korea

• Location & Access: check the website (www.lottehotel.com/daejeon-city)

• Conference Rate: From 120,000 KRW (standard room)


※ Please declare your intention to book a room for how many nights via the ELLAK conference email: 2019ellak@gmail.com.

: Participants of the Conference will be offered standard king-size bed rooms. Please note that Organizing Committee will book the rooms for the Conference participants and the hotel will give you a discount. Please do not book the room directly at the Hotel—in this case you will lose the Discount. The participants are required to pay the room rate individually when checking out of the hotel.


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