Friday 6 March 2009, University of Tampere

The School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies at the University of Tampere invites students and scholars all over Finland to submit abstracts for presentations at "The Grotesque and the Unnatural", a symposium set up by English philology. The one-day event features a much anticipated keynote lecture from Dr Alex Warwick (University of Westminster, UK) who has published extensively in the field of nineteenth century studies, particularly the fin de siècle, and her recent work includes studies on Oscar Wilde, representations of Jack the Ripper, and the Victorian imagination in general.

The symposium focuses on a common theme named in the title: How are ideas of the "grotesque" and the "unnatural" manifested in literary materials and visual representations from different ages, and how can these concepts be approached as phenomena of a particularly linguistic nature? What is the significance of this kind of work, and in what ways does it enhance our critical understanding? The initiative explores questions such as these and seeks to attract responses from a wide variety of theoretical angles:

 ? the horrifying, mysterious, abnormal, or subversive in literature
 ? horror, mystery, gothic, and sci-fi literatures as generic fictions
 ? studying the form of strange or broken bodies and natures
 ? the grotesque and the unnatural as aesthetic experience (and vice versa)
 ? the grotesque and the unnatural as linguistic discourse (and vice versa)
 ? tradition and change of the concepts in and as translation

This call for papers appeals to students and scholars across the disciplinary borders in search of fresh views on the theme regardless of the language of research, methodology, or theoretical bias. We welcome thinkers from all schools of thought ranging from cultural, gender, race, and identity studies to narrative and historical studies, rhetoric and aesthetics, philosophy of language, as well as translation, grammar and linguistics. The umbrella theme is wide enough to cover each approach, and bring together many current theoretical interests, but it is also specific enough to provide sustained focus for the common effort.

Whether you are a member of the staff, postgraduate student, or a graduate student with an eye for future research, send in a 300-word abstract by 23 Jan 2009 (decisions of acceptance are released by 2 Feb). Also provide an idea on how the paper relates to your general research interests. The first language of the event is English but with demand other alternatives may be available.

contact persons:   
Jarkko Toikkanen (jarkko.toikkanen (at), English philology
Markku Salmela (markku.salmela (at), English philology
(please cc both)