Sc[Arti] Reflections on the remnant between selection and divergence

deadline for submissions: 
June 25, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Doctorate in Linguistic, Literary and Intercultural Studies in European and extra-European Perspectives of the University of Milan

 The Doctorate in Linguistic, Literary and Intercultural Studies in European and extra-European Perspectives of the University of Milan is pleased to announce the organization of the Sc[Arti] conference to be held at the University of Milan on 7, 8 and 9 November 2018.  Flotsam does not exist in itself: there are no concepts nor entities that intrinsically possess this connotation. Rather, "flotsam" is the residue of a selection process based on shared convictions and conventions, which takes place in time and space according to individual and community dynamics. "Flotsam" is all that exceeds or deviates from what is considered the norm, canon, tradition; the attribution of a negative symbolic value generally follows. How does this process occur? What causes and justifies a shift from the norm? How then is,  then, this remnant represented?With these perspectives Sc[Arti] intends to explore the various meanings – not exclusively unfavorable – that flotsam underlies. In a wide range of meanings in continuum between presumed positive and negative poles, unexpected developments are revealed. Thus, flotsam can become a resource, a starting point towards new possibilities of observation and decoding of reality. To explore the potential of the theme, Sc[Arti] develops transversely, according to a multidisciplinary approach, which involves the following research areas:    

 1.  Literary: Distancing itself from the notion of flotsam as a deviation from the norm of language, at the basis of formalist-structuralist aesthetics, the literary theme of Sc[Arti] considers flotsam as a physical or cultural residue and is interested in its literary representation and its fruitfulness. for critical interpretation. Therefore, the following themes are proposed:
  • Residuality, recovery or oblivion of cultural, literary, aesthetic, memorial flotsam;
  • Literary works that depict the remnant: obsolete reality, environmental literature, it narratives, thing theory, etc;
  • Selection processes related to censorship, self-censorship and translation related to literary productions;
  • Author flotsam: study of variants, annotations, para-texts, and posthumous editions;
  • Flotsam in the canon: selection processes of the canon (authors and texts), relationships between genres and literatures (national, minor, world), forming and canonization of genres;
  • Intermedia flotsam. 

2.  Cultural: The cultural theme of the conference proposes the consideration of flotsam in relation to categories of people, held to be different from the norm, and as the outcome of practices of occlusion or censorship. Starting from cultural studies and critical discourse analysis, the cultural theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Processes for the construction of the identity of ‘flotsam’, also in relation to the I-other relationship, according to a positive-negative scheme;
  • Role of political and media tides in the spreading and consolidation of socio-cultural stigmatisation;
  • Discourse practices and representations related to disability (physical and mental), to gender, to homelessness, to ethnic minorities, to migrants and to both prison and mental confinement;
  • Processes or strategies of limitation and occlusion, censorship, negotiation of ‘flotsam’.
  • Presence/creation of communities of "human flotsam" - online and in the real world - and their representation in time and space in the different text typologies;
  • Artistic, cultural, cinematographic, literary and theatrical strategies and practices consciously implemented by supposed "human flotsam".

 3.  Linguistic: The goal of Sc[Arti] is to emphasise the phenomenon of flotsam in language in all its manifestations. Linguistic flotsam is the result of a process of selection and exclusion with implications for uses and linguistic practices at the social level. The theme can be articulated from an overview that studies the relationship between language and society, or focus on the observation of details of linguistic phenomena and signification.  The linguistic theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Analysis of subaltern linguistic codes (slang, pidgin, dialect etc.) connected to sociolinguistic variables;
  • Contamination and plurilingualism: contact situations, processes of decay and issues of linguistic prestige;
  • Language policy aimed at protecting and safeguarding languages, regional varieties and/or disadvantaged dialects;
  • Legitimization and delegitimization of minority languages in specific fields;
  • Processes of creating and removing taboos relating to specific semantic spheres;
  • Linguistic creativity around specific communicative practices (e.g. swear words).

 4. Didactics: In a society that presents contexts considered as flotsam of the ordinary, one perceives the necessity to let didactic action enter these "grey areas". The methodologies and approaches are adapted and reinvented with the unique goal of conveying knowledge by addressing any condition. Sc[Arti] proposes to explore didactic action, invisible yet constant, which takes place in learning contexts that can be considered as "alternative", not identifiable with scholastic or academic learning in the traditional sense. The didactics theme of Sc[Arti] seeks to investigate the following:

  • Applicability of methodologies and teaching approaches within alternative learning contexts;
  • Proposals for educational activities aimed at alternative contexts, with a particular attention to for activities related to language teaching and the teaching of literature in L2;
  • Personal experiences of teaching in alternative contexts that are constituted as methodological-practical contributions of action in the field;
  • Ordinary context of learning and alternative contexts in dialogue: possible ways of conjunction and mutual enrichment.
  • Proposals of a transversal nature or those pertaining to two or more themes are welcome.

  Contribution proposals Participation is open to all PhD students in the humanities, and to those who completed their PhD within the last three years. Those wishing to make a submission are kindly requested to send us an abstract of 300 words, with max. 6 references, to AND by June 25, 2018.In the document, necessarily in pdf format, the following should be included: the title of your paper, reference theme, keywords, name, surname, and email address of the author (or authors); short biographical note indicating University affiliation and research areas (100 words).Proposals in different languages will be accepted, as long as they have integrative support in either Italian and/or English.  Dates to remember Deadline for the presentation of abstracts: 25 June 2018. Notification of acceptance: 30 July 2018Registration by: 30 September 2018Conference: 7, 8, 9 November 2018  Registration procedure Details for the registration procedure will be communicated after notification of acceptance. There is no registration fee.  Conference Location The conference will be held at the University of Milan at the following locations:
  • via Festa del Perdono 7, Milano — M3 Missori;
  • piazza Indro Montanelli 1, Sesto S. Giovanni (MI) — M1 Sesto Marelli. 

 Conference proceedings publication A peer-reviewed selection of papers will be published in a publication with ISBN.  Scientific Committee  Maria Vittoria Calvi, Marco Castellari, Paola Maria Cotta Ramusino, Marie Christine Jullion, Elena Landone, Bettina Marta Rosa Mottura, Francesca Orestano, Nicoletta Vallorani.    Organizing Committee  Marina Agnelli, Lucia Berti, Chiara Bertulessi, Camilla Binasco, Nicolò Calpestrati, Serena Cappellini, Silvia Vincenza D’Orazio, Kirsten Jane Lawson, Tatsiana Maiko, Beatrice Moja, Elena Ogliari, Valentina Paleari.  For further information, please contact Site: