CALL FOR PAPERS: Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing

CALL FOR PAPERS: Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing
12 November 2018, 10.00pm - 11.00pm
Call for Papers

CFP deadline:  12 November 2018

Conference: 30 - 31 May 2019

This conference is organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women’s Writing (CCWW) in collaboration with the AHRC Open World Research Initiative project ‘Cross-Language Dynamics’. It follows on from an exploratory workshop that was held at the IMLR in March 2018 (‘A New Language - a New Life? Translingual literature by contemporary women writers’). Our aim is to bring together scholars working on translingual women’s writing in a range of language fields, in order to explore the particular richness of texts produced by writers in languages that are not their mother tongues. 

In the current era of mass migration and transnational movement, analysis of translingualism as the mode of expression of this movement is an important area of inquiry. Where static concepts of belonging are questioned and increasingly replaced by hybrid identities and affiliations and by fluid attachments, changing with time, the power of translingual language use and its analysis can become a means to reimagine the identitarian force of language, it can bring to the fore new subjectivities and new forms of community (Kellman, 2000; Yildiz, 2012). Considered in conjunction with questions of gender and power, translingual writing can also reveal powerful ways of conceptualizing emancipatory feminine writing. Beyond concerns of identity formation, furthermore, translingual language use opens up new ways of thinking and of deconstructing established modes of expression through associative cross-language connections.  In so transcending the binaries of language use it is apt to reveal new forms of literary writing.

We are calling for proposals of papers that engage with any of these issues and are particularly interested in research that addresses any of the following issues:

The theoretical base: translingualism, multilingualism, heteroglossia, code-switching in literary writing by women
Translingual writing and gender
Questioning the concept of the mother tongue: cliché or mooring / relationship between language and mothering 
Identity and belonging in translingual texts (multiple / hybrid?)
The relationship between spoken and written language 
Questions of ‘authenticity’ 
Distance as a creative element
Emancipatory potentials of translingual writing
Translingual writing and the concept of authorship
Translingual writing and the literary market 
Questions of translatability

Please send your proposals for papers of 20 mins duration (with a short abstract of your proposed contribution, 200-250 words) to Deirdre Byrnes ( and Godela Weiss-Sussex ( by Monday, 12 November 2018.

This event is organised by the Centre for the Study of Contemporary Women's Writing at the Institute of Modern Languages Research, and the Open World Research Initiative (OWRI) Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community translingual strand. You can find out more about the OWRI project by visiting our website or following us on twitter.


Cathy Collins
020 7862 8738