Places and Non-Places of English

full name / name of organization: 
Robert Appelbaum, Uppsala University, Sweden

12th Nordic Conference of English Studies
Places and Non-places of English

Plenary Speakers:
Jorie Graham, Harvard University
Andrew Hadfield, Sussex University
Marianne Hundt, University of Zurich
Bruce Robbins, Columbia University

The theme of this conference is, in part, 'The Places of English', the way in which the study of English language, literature, history and society is embedded in place, embedded even in a longing for place, and the way in which the object of study is embedded and addressed to place as well. But the theme is also, in part, 'The Non-places of English', referring to a concept first introduced by French anthropologist Marc Augé. A non-place is a space of transience: an airport lounge, a motorway, a supermarket. These are the spaces of 'super-modernity', and though they are not devoid of meaning for the people who use them, the meanings are not 'anthropological'. They lack anchoring in history, locality and identity. Perhaps virtual communities are non-places in Augé's sense as well. And the English language, as the major world-language today, the language of cosmopolitanism, of world-wide travel, diplomacy, commerce and information dissemination, has in some respects acquired the status of a 'non-anthropological' system, a language of non-places, or even a language without a place.

Submissions are invited on linguistic, historical, cultural or literary topics in any area of English Studies, with particular encouragement of papers addressing some aspect of the 'Places and Non-Places of English'.

Proposals for individual papers and for three-paper sessions are both invited. For individual papers (20 minutes), please submit a cv and an abstract of up to 300 words. For three-paper sessions, please submit an abstract of the session topic up to 500 words and along with cvs and abstracts from all participants.

The deadline is being re-extended to May 1 2013.

Conference website: