EBSN 10th Annual Conference

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
European Beat Studies Network
contact email: 

We invite proposals for the Tenth Anniversary Conference of the EBSN, which will take place via the online Zoom meetings platform, October 29-31 2021.

Deadline for abstracts: February 15, 2021. Notifications by April 15, 2021. Please submit abstracts to Conference Administrator Raven See at rsee11@elmira.edu 

Beat Studies is a vibrant field of academic and creative inquiry, growing scholarship recognizes this fact, but pressing questions remain. What is Beat? The transnational turn shows the Beat project exceeded just Kerouac-Ginsberg-Burroughs. While the Beat Generation seems predominantly an American phenomenon, might we speak of the emergence of a wider cross-cultural Beat-bohemian poetics? Some definitions of the “Beat Generation” appear too all encompassing; and one can question whether Beat scholars are choosing breadth at the expense of depth. What might more serious and sustained transatlantic and transnational discussions tell us about the present state of Beat Studies, and potential ways forward? Beat Studies is often overlooked in relation to other current fields of cultural analysis, in that case where do, or should, the Beats ‘fit’? The Beats were largely dismissive of academia, so should Beat Studies even exist as an established academic field, or should it exist outside the academy? Might scholars make more efforts to engage with non-institutional and creative/artistic approaches?

While the direction of Beat Studies is the source of passionate discussion and debate, it is clear that the Beats still matter, given climate crises, Covid-19, and the rise of populism. Therefore, to mark ten years of successful conferences, discussion, and creative and academic research, the EBSN welcomes papers on the present and future of Beat Studies.

The formal session format will be moderated seminars, where presenters have 10 minutes to present their work, followed by a group discussion between presenters and attendees. We welcome not only individual papers and full seminar/panel proposals but also alternative suggestions to the standard conference panel format that take into account the possibilities of the online format, including but not limited to panels, seminars, workshops, informal talks, discussion groups and/or other semi- or fully creative individual or group contributions.We strongly encourage creative submissions of all kinds that relate to the larger Beat phenomenon, and are open to discussions from prospective performers regarding what is possible online.

Organizers: Estíbaliz Encarnación-Pinedo, Benjamin J. Heal, Chad Weidner

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

Aesthetic practices
Beats and other Bohemian movements
The Beat canon
Beat culture as a global phenomenon
Beat ownership
The Beat project
Biographical encounters
Cinematic ventures
Civil disobedience and free expression
Culture and power
Cultural confrontations and appropriations
Cultural mythology
Decolonial deliberations
Documentaries and interviews
Environmental considerations
Europe as a Beat location
Gender and identity
Geography and movement
The gritty underground
International Beats
Life-writing and the Beats
Limits in Beat studies
Linguistic discoveries
Material questions
Musical connections
Publication histories
Re-defining the Beats
Teaching the Beats
Theatre and media
Theory and criticism
Transcultural Beats
Transnational aspects of Beat culture
Travel and the Flâneur
Uncovered histories
Women of the Beat Generation