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CFP: “Europe in Transition – Ecological, Economic and Political Transformations in the Works of Dickens” Dickens Society sponsored panel at the MLA International Symposium (8/10/2015; 6/23-25/2016)


Dickens Society sponsored panel at the MLA International Symposium: Translating the Humanities
Düsseldorf, Germany, 23–25 June 2016

Symposium Descripton:
"Other Europes: Migrations, Translations, Transformations"

The Modern Language Association of America, the world’s largest professional organization for scholars of literature and language, announces its first conference outside the United States and Canada, organized in collaboration with the Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf. Europe remains a conspicuous part of the global public imagination and a haunting presence in literary and cultural studies across the globe, even as claims for its centrality continue to be challenged from a variety of political and theoretical perspectives. This conference brings together an international group of scholars and engages the paradigms in and through which they work. It seeks to develop ways of thinking that emerge from and address Europe’s evolving political, economic, historical, and philosophical role in a world of ever-shifting migrations, translations, and transformations.

Dickens Society Panel Description:
"Europe in Transition - Ecological, Economic and Political Transformations in the Works of Dickens"

While Victorian writers such as H.G. Wells retrospectively convey the impression that the 19th century was a period of stagnation (with Queen Victoria sitting on it like a paperweight), Dickens's novels clearly prove them to be wrong. Acutely aware of the fact that Europe, and Britain in particular, was undergoing radical transformations, Dickens uses his fiction in order to pinpoint the clash between the 18th-century Europe of conviviality and the new political, economic and ecological issues of his day. Harry Maylie's insinuations in Oliver Twist that the time-honoured hierarchies are nothing but fancies, Mr. Dombey's train ride as a modern mechanised dance of death and violation of nature or the preoccupation of Our Mutual Friend with ideas of waste, pollution and capitalist greed are only three random examples of the fact that Dickens was highly alert both to the "dark ecologies" (Jules Law) and to the rampant economies of his transitional epoch.

15-minute papers are invited that deal with Dickens's representations of change and transition in his work and that show to what extent Dickens was painfully aware of old Europe yielding to the political, economic and ecological pressures of a new era. Paper proposals should include the paper title, a 300-word abstract, the speaker’s institutional affiliation (if any), and a 1-page biography or CV.

Send Proposals to Panel Chair: Professor Norbert Lennartz, Universität Vechta <norbert.lennartz@uni-vechta.de>

Deadline: 10 August 2015

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