UCLA European Languages and Transcultural Studies 3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference: Speculative Futurities, Past and Present

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
UCLA Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies

UCLA European Languages and Transcultural Studies
3rd Annual Graduate Student Conference

Speculative Futurities, Past and Present

November 13-14, 2023


The graduate students of the Department of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles are inviting submissions to the third annual ELTS Graduate Student Conference. Our keynote speakers will be Prof. Lydie Moudileno (University of Southern California) and Prof. David Bates (University of California, Berkeley).


Amir Eshel’s Futurity suggests that literary representations of the past are not only key to understanding our present, but they also allow us to set the stage for the future, to improve our understanding of its stakes. Our conference expands on this mode of thinking by reconsidering the ways in which time and space have been and are currently imagined in connection to the European continent and its transnational legacies. What does it mean to speculate on and envision “futurity,” or the lack thereof? Who holds the keys to imagining, conceptualizing, and identifying the future, and who is seen as even having one? 


We are seeking abstracts for 20-minute presentations that will explore these themes through any theoretical and disciplinary approach connected to Francophone, Italophone, Germanophone, and Scandinavian cultures. We hope to host an array of interpretations on both cultural and literary productions. We also welcome multimedia formats. From medieval reinterpretations of the impending apocalypse to Mallarmé’s throw of the dice and beyond, we encourage a variety of critical angles on speculative futurities.  


To this end, we are especially interested in receiving abstracts related to (but not limited to) these thematic areas:

  • Futurisms

  • Speculative globalities 

  • Temporalities and/or the future perfect

  • Utopias, dystopias, and the “unprecedented”

  • Fugitivity, (self-)emancipation, and future freedoms

  • Digital humanities, innovation, and technologies 

  • Medical humanities, reproductive futurity, and “progress”

  • Gender, sexuality, and feminisms of the future

  • Environmental humanities and ecocriticism 

  • Prognostication and horoscopes

  • Aesthetics of the future

  • Science fiction, speculative writing, and the “what if”


Applicants are invited to submit a 250-word abstract of their conference paper by May 15, 2023 to eltsgradstudentconference@humnet.ucla.edu. Please note that this conference will be held in person at the UCLA campus. There may be possibilities for limited travel stipends for presenters.