Call for Papers Cultural Literacy in Europe

First International Conference – London, 16-18 April 2015
 ■Deadline for submission of proposals: 31 August 2014
 ■Registration will open on 1 July 2014


This international conference will bring together academics interested in the development of Literary and Cultural Studies (LCS) in Europe and beyond, as well as policymakers at European and national level. The language of the Conference will be English.

First set up in 2007 by the European Science Foundation Standing Committee for the Humanities, Cultural Literacy in Europe ran as an ESF-COST synergy 2009-2012 including international interdisciplinary workshops in four areas of LCS research – Cultural memory, Migration & Translation, Electronic textuality and Biopolitics, biosociality and the body. The initial two outcomes were an ESF-COST Science Policy Briefing, published in January 2013, and a volume, From Literature to Cultural Literacy, coedited by Naomi Segal and Daniela Koleva, published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2014.

No longer restricted to studying manuscripts, printed books or other language based genres in a philological mode, LCS researchers are now concerned rather with four essential conceptual elements, using them to describe, analyse and evaluate what may broadly be called the symbolic dimension of humanity’s relationship with material reality: textuality, rhetoricity, fictionality, and historicity. These concepts both represent crucial structures and processes at work in cultural objects and at the same time offer key techniques for understanding them. Working often together or in comparative engagement, they indicate ways in which all knowledge, all social activity, can be read.


The Steering Committee of the 2015 Conference invites proposals for individual papers and project presentations.

Submission Topics

Proposals should refer to one or more of the following areas:
 ■Current developments and issues in LCS research in any of the four fields: ■Cultural memory;
 ■Migration & Translation;
 ■Digital textuality;
 ■Biopolitics, biosociality and the body.

■How LCS already relates to the social and cultural challenges of 21st-century Europe;
 ■How LCS can continue to do so in the future.

See also additional ideas for topics.

Submission Types
 1.Individual papers — These are academic papers. They will be grouped into parallel sessions: each paper will be 15 minutes long followed by questions. Your abstract must not exceed 750 words (1000 including bibliography).
 2.Project presentations — These are presentations of projects which are successful examples of LCS research with impact on social and cultural challenges. They will be presented in a plenary panel: each presentation will be 10 minutes followed by discussion. Your abstract must not exceed 750 words (1000 including bibliography).

Submission Procedure

Proposals must be submitted by 31 August 2014 on-line. Your abstract must not exceed 750 words (1000 including bibliography).

If you don’t have already one, you will need to create an account (i.e., username and password) in order to file a submission. For each submission, you must upload an abstract and may upload other files as supporting materials (including graphics, multimedia, etc.) after you have completed filling out some demographic data and the abstract field.


A number of Early-Career Bursaries, worth £245 [€300] each, to offset conference expenses, are available, closing date also on 31 August 2014. To be eligible, applicants must have obtained PhD no more than 8 years ago and with successful viva completed by the time of the conference. You do not need to be giving a paper/project presentation at the conference to be considered for a bursary. See details on how to apply.


Cultural Literacy in Europe is endorsed by several partners: ESF, which has funded the project since its inception, the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, hosting the first conference, as well as the Academia Europaea, ALLEA, COST, EADH, ECHIC, ICLA, Sofia University, University of Roehampton and Warwick University’s Connecting Cultures Research Priority Programme. If your institution wants to become a partner, please contact us.

Cultural Literacy in Europe Steering Committee:
 ■Dr Arianna Ciula, University of Roehampton (UK)
 ■Dr Nina Kancewicz-Hoffman, European Science Foundation (FR)
 ■Dr Daniela Koleva, University of Sofia (BG)
 ■Dr Loredana Polezzi, University of Warwick (UK)
 ■Prof Naomi Segal, Birckbeck (UK)