Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Programme Alteration!

Programme Alteration!!!

We apologize but because of a death in Prof. Bassnett’s family we had to swap the keynote lectures dates, so that:
Prof. BASSNETT’S lecture, originally scheduled for Friday, 20th January, 9:30am, will now take place on THURSDAY, 19TH JANUARY, 2-3PM.
Prof. LANDRY’S and Prof. ROONEY’S lecture, originally scheduled for Thursday, 2-3pm, will now take place on FRIDAY, 20 JANUARY, 10-11AM (please note the change of starting time from 9:30 to 10am). 
In addition, all Friday’s panels but 6a & 6b will be starting 30 or 15 minutes later than originally planned. Please refer to the updated programme below for details.

We sincerely apologize for the last minute changes. Thank you for your understanding.

19th January 2012, Thursday

08:45 - 09:15 Registration (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102, see map below)

09:15 - 09:30 Opening, by Dr Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

09:30 - 11:00 PANEL 1a: “National” Literatures and Their Spaces (Room T101) Chair: Nichola Smalley
                         PANEL 1b: Other Perspectives on Colonization (Room T102) Chair: Rashi Rohatgi

11:00 - 11:30 Coffee 

11:30 - 13:00 PANEL 2a: Poetry and Periphery (Room T101) Chair: Nichola Smalley
                         PANEL 2b: Publishing and Reception (Room T102) Chair: Rebecca Jones 

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch (provided for speakers; attendees are welcome to explore food outlets on campus)

14:00 - 15:00 KEYNOTE LECTURE 1: ‘Cultural Translation and Postcolonialism’, by Prof. Susan Bassnett
(University of Warwick) (Venue: UCL, Wilkins Old Refectory, see map below) Chair: Nichola Smalley
15:00 - 15:30 Coffee (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102, see map below)

15:30 - 17:30 PANEL 3a: Role of the Translator and the Interpreter (Room T101) Chair: Geraldine Brodie
                         PANEL 3b: Ideas in Translation (Room T102) Chair: Dorota Gołuch

6:30pm Conference Dinner (Ciao Bella, 86-90 Lamb's Conduit St, WC1N 3LZ; registration required)

20th January 2012, Friday
10:00 - 11:00 KEYNOTE LECTURE 2: Delineations and Realignments in The Evliya Çelebi Way Project and the Radical Distrust Project ) (Venue: UCL, Darwin B15 Biochemistry LT, see map below) Chair: Dorota Gołuch
‘(Post)Ottoman Rifts in Time: Imperial or Oppositional?’, by Prof. Donna Landry (Kent)
‘(Post)Colonial Residential Boundaries in African Texts and Contexts’, by Prof. Caroline Rooney (Kent)
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102, see map below)
11:30 - 13:30 PANEL 4a: Another Look at Material and Literary Histories (Room T101) Chair: Dorota Gołuch
                         PANEL 4b: Margins and the Mainstream (Room T102) Chair: Rashi Rohatgi
13:30 - 14:15 Lunch
14:15 - 15:45 PANEL 5a: Violence and Representation (Room T101) Chair: Bhavani Esapathi
                         PANEL 5b: Language and Identities (Room T102) Chair: Rebecca DeWald
15:45 - 16:00 Coffee
16:00 - 18:00 PANEL 6a Literary Terms Revisited (Room T101) Chair: Lisa McNally
                         PANEL 6b Travel and Writing (Room T102) Chair: Marlies Gabriele
18:00 Closing Remarks

21th January 2012, Saturday

Related event:
15:00 BCLA Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture 2012, ‘The Balloon of the Mind: Literature and Cognition’, by Prof. Terence Cave (University of Oxford) (Venue: SOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre)
Conference participants are welcome to attend without pre-registering!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Programme and Abstracts!

BCLA/ SOAS Research Students' Society/ UCL 
Comparing Centres, Comparing Peripheries PG Conference
19-21 Jan 2012, UCL and SOAS (Bloomsbury/ Russell Square campus)

19th January 2012, Thursday

8:45 - 9:15 Registration (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102, see a campus map at:

9:15 - 9:30 Opening, Dr Wen-Chin Ouyang (SOAS)

9:30 - 11:00 PANEL 1a: “National” Literatures and Its Spaces (Room T101)
                    PANEL 1b: Other Perspectives on Colonization (Room T102)

11:00 - 11:30 Coffee

11:30 - 1:00 PANEL 2a Poetry and Periphery (Room T101)
                    PANEL 2b Publishing and Reception (Room T102)

1:00 - 2:00 Lunch (provided for speakers, the public are welcome to explore food outlets on campus) 

2:00 - 3:00 Keynote Lecture 1: Delineations and Realignments in The Evliya Çelebi Way Project and the Radical Distrust Project:
- ‘(Post)Ottoman Rifts in Time: Imperial or Oppositional?’, by Prof. Donna Landry (Kent) - ‘(Post)Colonial Residential Boundaries in African Texts and Contexts’, by Prof. Caroline Rooney (Kent) (Venue:
UCL, Wilkins Old Refectory, for directions use the UCL route finder at

3:00 - 3:30 Coffee (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102)

3:30 - 5:30  PANEL 3a Role of the Translator and the Interpreter (Room T101)
                   PANEL 3b Ideas in Translation (Room T102)

6:30pm Conference Dinner

20th January 2012, Friday

9:30 - 10:30 Keynote Lecture 2: ‘Cultural Translation and Postcolonialism’, by Prof. Susan Bassnett (Warwick) (Venue: UCL, Darwin B15 Biochemistry LT, for directions use the UCL route finder at

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee (Venue: SOAS, 21-22 Russell Square, rooms T101 and T102, see a campus map at:

11:00 - 1:00 PANEL 4a Another Look at Material and Literary Histories (Room T101)
                   PANEL 4b Margins and the Mainstream (Room T102)

1:00 - 2:00 Lunch (provided for speakers, the public are welcome to explore food outlets on campus)

2:00 - 3:30  PANEL 5a Violence and Representation (Room T101)
                   PANEL 5b Language and Identities (Room T102)

3:30 - 4:00 Coffee

4:00 - 6:00  PANEL 6a Literary Terms Revisited (Room T101)
                   PANEL 6b Travel and Writing (Room T102)

6:00 Closing Remarks

Related event:
21st January 2012, Saturday, 3 pm: BCLA Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture 2012, ‘The Balloon of the Mind: Literature and Cognition’, by Prof. Terence Cave (University of Oxford) (Venue: SOAS, Khalili Lecture Theatre)
To reserve a place e-mail Penny Brown at

Panel No
Panel title
Abstract title
“National” Literatures and Their Spaces
Writing at the Edge: Guo Xiaolu, Zhou Weihui and the Boundaries of Contemporary Chinese Literature
Foley, Todd William
New York University
“National” Literatures and Their Spaces
Ibrahim al-Koni's Empty Spaces at the Centre of the Literary World
Hine, Alyn Desmond
School of Oriental and African Studies
“National” Literatures and Their Spaces
Deconstructing Nation/State: Intertextuality in Palestinian Novels
Parr, Nora E.H.
School of Oriental and African Studies
Other Perspectives on Colonization
Amharic and the Rest. Multilayered Power Relations in the Literatures of the Horn of Africa
Marzagora, Sara Isabella
School of Oriental and African Studies
Other Perspectives on Colonization
After the Japanese Came and Went: the New City in Korean Cinema
Shin, Ery
University of Oxford
Other Perspectives on Colonization
Colonisation in Reverse: Post-war British Literature, Mass Immigration and the 'Colour Problem'
Whittle, Matthew
University of Manchester
Poetry and Periphery
‘The Poet From the Periphery’: Derek Walcott, Prestige and Literary Centrality
Butchard, Dorothy
University of Edinburgh
Poetry and Periphery
What is at the Centre? Close Versus Distant Reading in Marginalized Poetry
Rohatgi, Rashi
School of Oriental and African Studies
Poetry and Periphery
Centre-Periphery Dynamics in Dance:
The Example of Martha Graham’s Letter to the World
Simonari, Rosella
University of Essex
Publishing and Reception
A Periphery Affair? The Polish Reception of Translated Postcolonial Literature, 1970-1989
Gołuch, Dorota
University College London
Publishing and Reception
Cultural Transfer Across Centres and Peripheries? Explaining the Outstanding Success of an Austrian Writer in China
Höfle, Arnhilt Johanna
School of Advanced Study, University of London
Publishing and Reception
Reconsidering the Role of Semi-Periphery: Strategies of Publishing Foreign Poetry in Post-War Italy
Milani, Mila
University of Manchester
Role of the Translator and the Interpreter
Extraordinary Tales of Originals and Translations: Pseudotranslation in Jorge Luis Borges
DeWald, Rebecca
University of Glasgow
Role of the Translator and the Interpreter
Redefining the role of a Business Negotiation Interpreter
Karanasiou, Panagiota (Penny)
Heriot-Watt University
Role of the Translator and the Interpreter
Moving the Spotlight To the Translators as the Object of Translation Research
Sakamoto, Akiko
Leicester University
Role of the Translator and the Interpreter
Translation as a Path from Periphery to Centre: Margaret Tyler’s The Mirrour of Princely Deedes and Knighthood
Ortiz Salamovich, Alejandra
University of Leeds
Ideas in Translation
Reading Milton in Arabic: Transforming Religio-Cultural Peripheries
Issa, Islam
University of Birmingham
Ideas in Translation
The Function of the Peripheral to Stabilize the Centre Through Ttranslation
Mustafa, Burcin
School of Oriental and African Studies
Ideas in Translation
One Problem Play, Two Measures - Religious Suppression in Two Measure for Measure Translations
Wong, Yan  (Jenny)
University of Glasgow
Another Look at Material and Literary Histories
Comparative Literature and Translation: Robinson Crusoe and Hayy Bin Yaqzan
Baroud, Mahmoud Nayef
Islamic University of Gaza
Another Look at Material and Literary Histories
Questioning Dominant Terminology: A Case Study in Ethiopian Literature
Gnisci, Jacopo
School of Oriental and African Studies
Another Look at Material and Literary Histories
Margins of Material History - The Description of the ‘Benin Bronzes’ in Publications at the Turn of the Century
Husemann, Manuela
University of Plymouth
Another Look at Material and Literary Histories
Brazilian Cannibals in 16th Century Europe and 17th Century Japan
Leca, Radu Alexandra
School of Oriental and African Studies
Margins and the Mainstream
In Search of the ‘Peripheries’ of its Own: Calcutta, Past and Present in Musical Discourse
Basu, Priyanka
School of Oriental and African Studies
Margins and the Mainstream
The Subaltern Speaks: Imagining an Indian Cinematic Renaissance through the eyes of Two Film Protagonists
Devasundaram, Ashvin 
Heriot-Watt University
Margins and the Mainstream
The 'Haves' and 'Have-nots' of the New Age
Esapathi, Bhavani
University of Leeds
Margins and the Mainstream
Exploring the Position of Bestseller Popular Literature in the Western Literary Polysystem
Lamprinou, Artemis
University of Surrey
Violence and Representation
In Small Places, You Can Still Find The World: World Literature and Bearing Witness to This Chaotic World
Charles, Astride
Paris VIII Saint-Denis/Vincennes University
Violence and Representation
The Political Genocide of Cambodia. A Comparative Study
Johnston, Andrew
School of Oriental and African Studies
Violence and Representation
Queer Theory and the Possibilities of the Periphery
McNally, Lisa
University of Oxford
Language and Identities
A Rejection of the Urban Centre? Dialect in the Poetry of William Barnes and Thomas Hardy
Hawkins, Heather
Nottingham Trent University
Language and Identities
Peripheral Centre or Central Periphery: Two Approaches to Modern Scots Translation
Sanderson, Stewart
University of Glasgow
Language and Identities
Repping the Margins: Swedish Rap on the Periphery and at the Centre of Creative Language
Smalley, Nichola
University College London
Literary Terms Revisited
Les Rougon-Macquart and the Family Novel: Emergence and Diffusion of a Literary Genre
Baldini,  Alessio
University of Leeds
Literary Terms Revisited
The Door is Ajar: Facing the ‘Animal’ in the Humanities
Strømmen, Hannah
University of Glasgow
Literary Terms Revisited
Sedimental Time, Peripheral Texts: Towards a Post-historicist Literary Criticism
White, Thomas
University of Glasgow
Literary Terms Revisited
John Cowper Powys: Modernist Peripheries and the Reimagining of Place
Wiseman, Sam
University of Glasgow
Travel and Writing
The Impact of Tristan Tzara and Mario de Andrade, from Moinesti and São Paulo to the Avant-garde: Modernisation and Primitivisation
Zygopoulou, Nefeli
University College London
Travel and Writing
Journeys to the Hinterland: Centres and Peripheries in Twentieth Century Nigerian Travel Writing and its Study
Jones, Rebecca
University of Birmingham
Travel and Writing
Historical Amnesia and the ‘Tourist Gaze’ in the Discourses of the ‘Okinawa Boom’
Kühne, Oliver E.
University of Tübingen
Travel and Writing
Translation as an Exchange Between the Centre and the Periphery: Reading Naguib Mahfouz in the Light of Theodor Adorno and Edward Said
Sazzad, Rehnuma
Nottingham Trent University

Panel 1A: “National” Literatures and Their Spaces

Todd Foley, New York University
As studied in the West, the field of modern Chinese literature has commonly relied upon linguistic unity for its general definition. This has allowed works by authors writing in political exile to be included in one body of Chinese literature, while also allowing some canonizing forces, such as the Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature, to neatly create a literary genealogy that excises all works produced in the PRC under Mao Zedong and “readmits” them after 1976.  How effective, then, is language as a sole categorizing factor, and to what extent should other factors such as gender, nation and geography be taken into consideration?  Furthermore, can one say there is a “center” of contemporary Chinese literature?
In exploring these questions, my paper will examine the works of two contemporary female authors, Zhou Weihui and Guo Xiaolu.  Born in 1973 and growing up in mainland China, both writers have led internationally cosmopolitan lives and written on the fringes of mainland Chinese literature: Zhou’s 1999 Shanghai Baby was banned in the PRC but enjoyed huge international success in translation, while Guo, who now resides in London, wrote her 2007 novel A Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, in English. How do their works destabilize the boundaries of the field of contemporary Chinese literature, either as it is defined linguistically, as literature written in Chinese, or nationally and geographically, as a field of literature whose center is on mainland China and occupied by prominent male writers such as Yu Hua, Mo Yan and Su Tong?
Biographical note
I am a fourth year PhD student in the East Asian Studies department at New York University, with a BA from Oberlin College and a masters degree in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. The dissertation project I am currently proposing centers around animality in contemporary mainland Chinese literature, particularly in the works of Yu Hua, Mo Yan, Jiang Rong and Jia Pingwa. Most recently I have delivered papers on Yu Hua's Brothers at events with the author in Beijing and New York.

Alyn Hine, School of Oriental and African Studies
The Libyan novelist, Ibrahim al-Koni, consistently puts the peripheral space of the Sahara desert and its peoples, amongst them his own Tuareg tribe, at the centre of his novels, thereby inviting the reader to consider what is peripheral and what is central in the Arab world. In fact, al-Koni’s commitment to establishing a voice for the marginalised peoples of the Sahara desert is such that he prefers to be described as a Tuareg rather than a Libyan writer.
This paper will consider how al-Koni uses geographical space in two of his novels, Gold Dust and The Bleeding of the Stone, in order to make a political point about issues of location and belonging in postcolonial Libya. How is a sense of identity assumed by the characters of his novels, is it by attachment to a particular place or by nomadic travelling through the wider landscape?
We will discuss how al-Koni’s use of space is informed by his philosophical conception of human interaction with the environment and how his perception of the Sahara is inextricably linked to his understanding of the Swiss landscape in which he now lives, and the Russian landscape, whose depiction in Russian literature is central to al-Koni’s literary outlook. The paper will then look at what al-Koni’s understanding of place and belonging may bring to the new political complexities brought about by the Libyan revolution and the new sense of national identity therein.
Biographical note
My name is Alyn Hine and I have just submitted my PhD thesis on the Lebanese writer, Mikhail Naimy. My research has focused on the dialogue between Arabic and Russian literatures, looking particularly at the way Naimy interpreted Russian literature in his own literary works. I have presented before on the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society in the Levant, published on the subject of Arabic literary journals in Palestine at the start of the twentieth century, and most recently delivered a paper in Arkansas on the interaction between Russian and Arabic literary criticism.

Nora Parr, School of Oriental and African Studies
Post-colonial, occupied, and fragmented, Palestinian literature is a corpus in the process of re-defining concepts of national identity as it developed under the nation-state paradigm. Intertextual strategies develop voices, counter-voices and symbolic ambiguity within and between works, serving to shatter, and occasionally reassemble notions of a Palestinian self, ideas of gender, family, honour, ethnic-belonging, and national identity.
Looking at contemporary Palestinian author Ibrahim Nasrallah, the paper will discuss elements of intertextuality within the work, then place it in a broader context of Palestinian literature, showing how ideas of and discourse on national identity has developed across the genre. Taking a wider lens, the paper will then look at how the intertextual strategies of Nasrallah and other Palestinian authors are linking Palestinian narratives into a central debate on the nation-state and its relationship to the individual.
As politics leave little choice for Palestinians but to face the realities of nationalism, colonialism and the role of the nation-state in the lives of individuals, Palestinian literature is forced to grapple with what for them are the failed realities of the dominant paradigm.  As world centers passively ponder the ‘death of multiculturalism’, the ‘meaning of Europe’ and ever-shifting demographics in North America, Palestinian literature is heavily engaged with the same questions, and may well be developing new models in response.
Biographical note
Nora Parr is an PhD student at SOAS, where she studies nationalist paradigms and intertextuality in Palestinian literature. Previously she worked as an Editor at Ma’an News Agency in Bethlehem, Palestine. She received her MA from McGill University’s Institute of Islamic Studies.

Panel 1B: Other Perspectives on Colonization

Sara Marzagora, School of Oriental and African Studies
Barber and Furniss have underlined the shortcomings of postcolonial theory when dealing with literatures in African languages. Only a part of African artists is engaged in a postcolonial debate with the former colonial powers. Postcolonial theory mostly ignores a vast literary production in African languages focused on local issues and unconcerned with the theme of colonial legacies. A binary distinction between Western centres and Third World peripheries, like that informing most studies on world literature, hardly accounts for the many forms of internal circulation and local power relationships shaping African societies.
Within the Horn of Africa it is possible to trace the overlapping of various centre-periphery systems, acting mostly outside of any Western discourse or influence. Girmai Negash argues that Ethiopia acts as a colonial power in the area and, equally, Amharic literature acts as the hegemonic centre of scholarly debates. As an effect, both in Ethiopia and Eritrea literary outputs in languages other than Amharic have been obscured. At a country level, Amharic literature has been given strong prominence over other Ethiopian language literatures. At a regional level, Ethiopian literature tends to subsume Eritrean production. At a continental level, Ethiopia has been conceived as a cultural and religious “centre” by diasporic groups such as the Rastafari movement.   
Amharic writers themselves tend to reinforce the idea that Ethiopian culture works as an independent “centre”. Defying postcolonial theories, they patriotically represent the 1936-1941 Italian occupation as a triumph of Ethiopian historical heritage. I will argue that such conception strongly reverberates in the way Ethiopians conceived modernity and related to the Pan-Africanist movement. Ultimately, Ethiopia cannot be considered a-colonial or extra-colonial. 
Biographical note
After a BA and a MA in Modern Humanities and Literary Criticism at the University of Milan, Sara Marzagora specialized in African culture and history at SOAS, with a particular focus on the Horn of Africa. She is now a PhD candidate at the Centre for Cultural Literary and Postcolonial Studies at SOAS, researching how the Italian occupation has been represented in Ethiopia contemporary literature.

Ery Shin, University of Oxford
Today’s South-Korean city is considered a megametropolitan center, overflowing with skyscrapers, lighted billboards, corporate spaces, and cutting-edge technologies.  Yet it also harbors vestiges of the past, evidenced in its Buddhist temples and palaces.  Between such extremes exists an uneasy sense of national identity in relation to the city itself, one associating urbanization with the colonial experience: before the Japanese came, there were no industrialized cities; afterwards, could cities be imagined any differently?  And what about how the Japanese relegated Korea into a peripheral territory in relation to their industrial core(s) back in Japan?  Such questions beg a closer look into the process by which the Korean city evolved from a national center to a site of both socio-political and affective marginalization, then back again, albeit situated in a different techno-cultural landscape.   
Through films such as Angels on the Streets (1941), Straits of Chosun (1943) and Dear Soldier (1944), this paper thus addresses the idea of the post-colonial Korean city as a site of multiple spatial/temporal tensions: (1) fascination with and repulsion towards modernity in Korean colonial films, which identify Korean culture with traditionalism and the opposite with Japan; (2) nostalgia for early 20th-century Korea evinced by current South-Korean filmmakers (not for Japanese rule, of course, but for the “innocence” romantically attributed to Koreans then) offset by the general Korean community’s pride in South Korea’s modernity; (3) post-colonial antagonism between Korea and Japan, the latest twist being Japanese protest over Korea’s “cultural colonization” of Japan through pop music and media.
Biographical note:
Ery Shin is writing a PhD in English literature at the University of Oxford, having obtained her BA in English at Princeton University.  Among her areas of academic interest are modernism, twentieth-century literature, queer literature and theory, gender and sexuality studies, as well as trauma/affect. Her dissertation currently focuses on the queer modernisms of Djuna Barnes, Gertrude Stein, and Virginia Woolf, particularly dealing with theories and representations of loss.

Matthew Whittle, University of Manchester
As a means of addressing the disruption to the centre/periphery dynamic caused by decolonisation, my paper will discuss Anthony Burgess’s response to post-war mass immigration to Britain in the novel The Right to an Answer (1960).  Previous analysis of decolonisation has tended to focus on literary accounts by writers from the colonies, arguing that, as Jed Esty states, colonial and ex-colonial authors gave rise to “a distinct phase in the remaking of English culture” due to the fact that “their work participates in the transformation of centre-periphery relations at the end of Empire” (Esty 2004; Sinfield 2004; MacPhee 2011).  Conversely, the response of white British citizens towards what was termed Britain’s ‘colour problem’ is often characterised by the 1958 race riots and Enoch Powell’s 1968 “Rivers of Blood” speech, highlighting the way in which myths and hierarchies regarding racial distinctions which had sustained imperialism were far from being dismantled with decolonisation and were in fact intensified in the imperial centre.
More analysis is required, however, of how white British writers viewed the nation’s diminishing status as the ‘heart of the world’ and the burgeoning multiculturalism of post-war British society.  Emphasising the need for British attitudes towards non-white migrants to change, The Right to an Answer depicts the arrival to England of Mr. Raj, an Anglicised Sri Lankan immigrant searching for a connection between the imperial centre and its peripheries but who discovers a nation which is largely committed to upholding imperial assumptions about race.  Ultimately, Burgess portrays the process of post-war immigration from the colonies as a tragic power struggle which exposes the inter-dependency of imperial power relations as well as offering an early intervention into long-running debates about Britain’s obligation to formerly colonised nations, suggesting that immigration is an inevitable and potentially positive legacy of Empire.  
Biographical note
Matthew Whittle is a PhD student in English and American Studies at the University of Manchester. Matthew’s thesis is entitled ‘“A desire to love England”: National identity, culture and imperialism in post-war responses to the end of Empire’.  As a means of placing post-war fiction from white, British authors at the centre of analysis of the end of Empire and the novel, the thesis pays special attention to (amongst others) Anthony Burgess, Graham Greene and Colin MacInnes. Utilising postcolonial, cultural materialist and Marxist theories as methodological frameworks Matthew’s thesis extends understandings of post-war writing and the consequences of the end of Empire for British culture and identity, revealing how the literature of white, British writers exhibits an early intervention into long-standing debates about mass immigration, Americanisation and the legacy of Empire.

Panel 2A: Poetry and Periphery

Dorothy Butchard, Edinburgh University
In 1985, seven years before Derek Walcott was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, critic Sven Birkerts praised the Caribbean poet by asserting his capacity to reconfigure conventional American/Eurocentric notions of regional literary influence. Classifying Walcott as ‘the outsider, the poet from the periphery’, Birkerts suggested that ‘it may be time to center the compass at his position and draw the circle again’. Despite portraying the poet’s talent as an initiating force for re-appraisal of literary boundaries, Birkerts’ use of a ‘centre-periphery model’ (Brennan) attributes control of such perceptions to an entity beyond the poet, an imagined mass of critical opinion ascribed the power to ‘centre’ a figurative literary ‘compass’. This assumption conceives the global production and dissemination of literature in terms of regions considered more or less endowed with ‘literariness’, a factor which Pascale Casanova defines as an area’s ‘power, prestige, and volume of linguistic and literary capital’. In this paper I will consider the effects and difficulties of valorising the poet’s work in such terms, combining close reading of Walcott’s ‘book-length poem’ Omeros with the theoretical stances of Casanova, Huggan, Brennan and others, to reevaluate the relevance of literary ‘centrality’ and ‘periphery’ to Walcott’s poetry and poetic status.
Biographical note
After receiving my BA from Cambridge University in 2008, I completed a Masters in Literature and Transatlanticism at Edinburgh University in 2010. I am now pursuing my doctoral research at Edinburgh, funded by the AHRC and supervised by Dr Lee Spinks and Dr Andrew Taylor. My research traces the complex patterns of influence in Caribbean poet Derek Walcott’s book-length poem Omeros, focusing on its approach to literary predecessors ‘via’ James Joyce’s Ulysses. This is part of a wider project to examine how authors envision their as-yet unpublished work’s anticipated material form as a means of ascertaining its place in the context of a canonical literary tradition. I also have a strong interest in hypertext and digital literature, particularly the ramifications of new media for established narrative techniques.

Rashi Rohatgi, School of Oriental and African Studies
To move to the centre that which has been considered peripheral, we need to reassess what characterizes the centre. When a poem is marginalized because of its land of origin, is the best way to reintegrate it into the world literary sphere by drawing connections to other, better known poetry- by Damrosch’s distant reading? Or is it by highlighting what this poem has done that makes it unique and worth reading- traditional close reading? This paper takes the example of Mauritian poet Ahbimanyu Unnuth to note that poets themselves can only succeed by both creating something unique and something that is in conversation with the world, and critics should certainly be called to do both as well.
Biographical note
I am a third year PhD student at SOAS, in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures. I hail from the US, and my research interests include translation, comparative and postcolonial literature, religious studies, and the intersection of literary and intellectual history.

Rosella Simonari, University of Essex
Martha Graham’s Letter to the World (1940) is one of her most interesting dance pieces. Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poetry, it does not take a biographical approach, but an introspective one. For this reason, there are two female protagonists, the One Who Dances, who embodies the poet’s creative process and dances the most demanding phrases and the One Who Speaks who represents her more sedate alter ego and speaks lines from Dickinson’s poetry and letters. The other characters are refractions of the poet’s personality and include the Ancestress, who is her Puritan heritage and death. Throughout the performance, the One Who Dances struggles against the Ancestress to overcome her own tension as a woman poet.
In this paper I intend to take a meta-narrative perspective by focusing on three main declinations of the centre-periphery dynamics stemming from the analysis of this work: the first deals with the neglect of Letter in both dance and literary studies which have relegated it at the periphery of what I term Graham Studies; the second is centred on the more general relationship between literature and dance, where the former has definitely much more power with respect to the latter; the third has to do with a more personal question: how has my ‘glocal’ identity as a researcher living and working in a small town in central Italy and studying as distant PhD student in a UK University shaped my research on a North American choreographer and dancer?
Biographical note
Rosella Simonari is a PhD distant student at the University of Essex, UK with a research project on Martha Graham’s Letter to the World. At the same University, in 2006, she gained a Master’s Degree with a thesis on the myth of Carmen in dance. For four years (2003-2007) she has taught the Dance and Mime course at the University of Macerata, Italy. She is a member of the Society for Dance Research in the UK and of AIRDanza (The Italian Association for Dance Research). As dance critic she mainly collaborates with the online website She has presented papers and published essays on Martha Graham, Carmen and Italian dancer and painter Alberto Spadolini. She has two blogs: and

Panel 2B: Publishing and Reception

Dorota Gołuch, University College London
I investigate the Polish reception of postcolonial literature published in Polish translation between 1970 and 1989, with reference to the Polish attitudes towards ‘postcolonial peoples’ discernible from the reception. My premise is that Poland can be seen as a postcolonial country, if one adopts a broad definition of postcolonialism (e.g. Moore, Thompson, Gosk). I then ask about the attitudes of Poles to those originally referred to as ‘postcolonial’, i.e. former overseas subjects of European powers. An analysis of Polish reviews of postcolonial prose, conducted against a theoretical background of postcolonial theory, reveals that the attitudes are marked by superiority predicated on the idea of Poland’s belonging to the Western tradition. Yet, there are signals that the Polish public occasionally identify with the experiences of postcolonial people, which links to a sense of Poland's marginality as a Eastern European country.

I situate this inquiry in the context of the centre-periphery framework that identifies the West as the global centre, pushing ‘the rest’ to the periphery. First, I suggest rejecting this framework by focusing on exchanges between two ‘peripheries’ (i.e. Eastern Europe and postcolonial countries). However, my analysis of the period 1970-89 shows that the two centres of the polarized Cold War world, the West and the Soviet Union, could not be easily bypassed. Rather, they were haunting the peripheral exchanges, remaining frequent points of reference and important loci of power.
Biographical note
Dorota Gołuch is a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant at University College London. Her AHRC funded research project focuses on the Polish translations and reception of postcolonial fiction from the period 1970-2010. She holds an MA in Postcolonial Studies from the University of Kent, and a magister (MA) diploma from the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Poland, where she studied English, literature and translation. She also read postcolonial literature and German at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany. Dorota’s main research interests include Caribbean women’s writing, postcolonial translation and the questions of Eastern European postcoloniality. Her 2009 MA dissertation was published in 2011 as I Rather Dead: A Spivakian Reading of Indo–Caribbean Women’s Narratives; she also published an article on the Polish translation of Chinua Achebe. Currently, Dorota is a postgraduate representative of the British Comparative Literature Association and a web officer of the Postcolonial Studies Association.

Arnhilt Johanna Höfle, School of Advanced Study, University of London
The Austrian writer Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) is among the most read and most extensively discussed foreign-language writers in China. First introduced in the 1920s, the Chinese translations of his works can be traced almost continuously to the rushing book market of today. At the same time, Chinese scholars haven’t grown tired yet of elaborating on his works.
In this paper, I will explore whether and how concepts of centres and peripheries can be fruitfully employed to explain the dynamics of this fascinating case of cultural transfer. By analysing the translated texts as well as the academic discourse surrounding them in the different periods, the reception of Zweig will be reconstructed as closely entangled in a network of cultural transfer. This open and dynamic space is not a harmonic and peaceful platform of exchange. It is significantly hierarchical, driven and structured by incessant power struggles between its centres and peripheries. I will illustrate how Zweig’s literary works passed through various central and peripheral stations, before assuming an either central or peripheral function as translations of foreign literature within the Chinese literary systems.
The example of Zweig’s outstanding success in China therefore demonstrates the inspiring potential of applying the notion of centres and peripheries in order to explain cultural phenomena. It, however, also provokes critical reflexion on a set of issues, such as the definition of central and peripheral categories, the problematic of this clear-cut dichotomy and the potential of considering hybrid spaces in this model of cultural transfer.
Biographical note
Arnhilt Johanna Hoefle is currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Institute of Germanic & Romance Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London (supervisor: Martin Liebscher). She is co-supervised by the Department of China and Inner Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (supervisor: Michel Hockx). Her doctoral research project is dedicated to the translation and reception of Stefan Zweig’s literary works in the Chinese-speaking world. She graduated in German Philology as well as Chinese Studies at the University of Vienna. In the course of her studies she spent one year at the Renmin University of China in Beijing and returned regularly to the Chinese-speaking world for academic purposes. Her research interests include: sociological approaches to translation, theories of cultural transfer, concepts of ‘world literature’, modern and contemporary China, Taiwan and Cross-Strait relations, cultural politics, Austrian literature and the reception of German-language literature worldwide.

Mila Milani, University of Manchester
The paper intends to problematise the use of the centre/periphery model when it is applied to publishing strategies of translation. Specifically, it aims at reconsidering the concept of semi-periphery, by taking as a case-study the foreign poetry series Collezione di poesia, published by Einaudi in post-war Italy. To this end, from a methodological viewpoint, I will draw on the conceptual framework provided by Pierre Bourdieu, in synergy with the core/periphery analysis. Indeed, a Bourdieusian perspective on the exam of the still unpublished correspondence among editors, publishers and translators can help analyse more fruitfully capitals at stake, which in the case of poetry are mainly symbolic. Therefore, I will investigate how these capitals concurred in the definition of both post-war translating space and publishing field, thus unveiling at several levels a centre/periphery dynamics, within which the role of semi-periphery should be stressed. Indeed, after WWII, Italian publishing field appeared spatially divided between a core area, represented by Milan, a struggling semi-periphery, Turin, to which Einaudi belongs, and a more peripheral Southern region. At a further stage, post-war Italian cultural space, within which Einaudi as a system of editors and translators is also located, took a semi-peripheral position within world cultural space. As a mediating semi-periphery, Einaudi thus could undertake a dialogue with both centre and periphery of world cultural space, so that translation as an exchange of symbolic capitals helped not only locate the publisher more centrally within the national publishing field, but also Italian intellectuals within the wider transnational space.
Biographical note
Mila Milani is a 3rd year PhD student in Italian Studies at the University of Manchester (UK), with an AHRC funded research project focused on the publishing strategies of translating poetry in post-war Italy.
She completed with honors her undergraduate degree at the University of Bologna (2006) with a dissertation on the relationship between Soffici and Apollinaire. After working as a publishing intern and a translator in Paris and Luxembourg, in 2009 she completed with distinction her 2-year Master in Comparative Literature in Bologna with a thesis on Cesare Pavese's translation of James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
From 2008 she has presented her research work at various PG conferences held at Dublin, Cork, Oxford, Warwick, St Andrews, Manchester, Trento (Italy) and Paris, and published a couple of academic articles. Her research interests focus on Translation Studies; Comparative Literature; 20th century vanguards.

Panel 3A: Role of the Translator and the Interpreter

Rebecca DeWald, University of Glasgow
The pseudotranslation as peripheral case in translation studies is at the centre of my paper, which will in particular look at the collaborative work of Jorge Luis Borges and Adolfo Bioy Casares in Cuentos breves y extraordinarios (1953).
A pseudotranslation is most commonly defined as an original text ‘frequently taken to be a translation’ (Douglas Robinson). This peripheral genre, because of its marginal position, questions the definitions of “translation” and “original” and therefore the hierarchy between the two. A subordination of one text genre to another is in particular what Borges tries to attack in his texts about translation and his own work as translator. My paper will contrast and compare Cuentos brevesExtraordinary Tales (1971) into English by Anthony Kerrigan, using Borges’ approach to translation studies, but also Foucault’s thoughts on categorization. The book is a collection of short texts, ranging from the second century A.D. to the contemporary 1950s, from “central” (European and US-American) to “marginal” (South American, Arabic and Persian) texts, without discriminating between them. The only criteria for the texts to be included being ‘that they be brief’. This offers a new categorization – a Borgesian turn which inspired Foucault’s The Order of Things -, particularly because it not only includes original texts and translations into Spanish, but also pseudotranslations, originally written by the editors themselves. The relationships between different forms of writing, genres, and geographical centres and peripheries therefore overlap. In addition, the two Argentine writers, by writing pseudotexts in collaboration, also question the predominance of the individual author in their overlooked short anthology. and its translation as
Biographical note
Rebecca DeWald is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow and freelance translator. She graduated from the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, FASK Germersheim, Germany, with a B.A. in Translation and Interpreting Studies, and then studied for an MLitt in Comparative Literature at the University of Glasgow. The focus of her studies lies on the interstices between translation and literary theory, which she addresses in her thesis on the relationship between original text and translation in Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf, and Franz Kafka, through the lens of Walter Benjamin, Intertextuality, and Possible Worlds Theory. She is general editor of eSharp, the University of Glasgow’s postgraduate online journal, and edited the essay collection Bonds and Borders: Identity, Imagination and Transformation in Literature (CSP 2011). She has a forthcoming essay on Borges’s translation of Woolf’s Orlando in Contradictory Woolf: Selected Papers from the Twenty-first Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf.

Redefining the role of a Business Negotiation InterpreterPanagiota (Penny) Karanasiou, Heriot Watt University
While interpreting has been essential for human communication and trade across boundaries since the earliest times, Business Negotiation Interpreting (BNI) has never been seen, examined and analysed as a separate, distinct type of interpretation within the field of Interpreting Studies. Interpreting in business negotiation settings is distinctly different from any other liaison interpreting settings, in different ways, not least in matters of role and ethics. The interpreter in BN settings is an integral, dynamic and substantial part of a meeting, as she manages turn-taking, coordinates dynamics, parts with a team and can eventually affect the whole outcome of the meeting.  The professional survival of the role gives the interpreter the mandate to participate more actively in the meeting proceedings, by correcting, amending or even expressing her opinion. Therefore, the traditional role of the interpreter, which is seen as a ‘code switcher’ or a ‘conduit’, who cannot alter or affect the meaning of the utterance, is challenged. In my research and presentation I am re-examining the role of professional interpreters in business negotiation meetings, as experienced by interpreters and as needed by clients in those settings. By bringing the role of professional interpreters back into the center of our attention, the marginalized dynamics that the interpreter can bring into a meeting come back into light.
Biographical note
Panagiota – Penny Karanasiou is a PhD student in the School of Management and Languages, at Heriot Watt University. Her area of research is the role of interpreters in business negotiation settings. She holds an MA in Bilingual Translation by the University of Westminster, London. President of the Hellenic Association of Qualified Translators & Interpreters since 2003 Business owner and CEO of the Network of Translation Agencies ERMINIA, in Greece. Practicing translator & interpreter.

Akiko Sakamoto, University of Leicester
Translation scholars have traditionally strived to establish norms of translation by studying translated texts (e.g. Toury 1995).  However, the norms governing translation are socially negotiated between different participants, and in this process, the translator has an authoritative role (Chesterman 1997).  It is, thus, crucial for further development of the discipline to examine how the norms are negotiated by translators and other participants in the translation process in the real world. In this regard, the recent “social turn” (e.g. Wolf  2006) in Translation Studies is a much overdue but welcome development, in which translators have finally moved from the periphery to the centre of academic observation.
My PhD research examines professional translators’ narratives to understand how they justify their translational acts, the results of which will be compared with received academic translation theories. Using this research project as an example, I will discuss the significance of studying translators as the main object of investigation, specifically the advantage of using qualitative research methods developed in the social sciences. First, I argue that an examination of narrative accounts of translators enables the researcher to investigate the social aspects of norm negotiation and formation in the real world. Second, I claim that translators’ talks can be analysed as valuable empirical data to test and complement theory. Third, I will illustrate the methodological challenge posed by the use of a qualitative research method and discuss how my research aims to overcome this issue. 
Biographical note
Akiko Sakamoto is a professional translator and a PhD student in Translation Studies at the University of Leicester. Her research interests include translation theory, social studies in translation and the pedagogy of translation. She is currently undertaking doctorate research in translator education, focusing on translators’ discourse. She holds an MA in Theory and Practice of Translation from Middlesex University and is a member of the ITI (the Institute of Translation and Interpreting).

Alejandra Ortiz Salamovich, University of Leeds
This paper explores the dynamics between centres and peripheries in the English translation of sixteenth-century Spanish chivalric romance. Popular in continental Europe, Spanish romances were translated in fewer numbers in England, nonetheless acquiring a place in the Early Modern English book trade. A strong moral and intellectual criticism ran parallel to the romances’ popularity, thus prompting translators to emphasise their work’s value as a mingling of profit and delight. In this context, the question of the genre’s peripheral or central status is both illuminating and problematic, as the categories appear to shift depending on our point of view.
I would like to link this ambiguous setting to that of early modern women in print, through the example of Margaret Tyler’s The Mirrour of Princely Deedes and Knighthood, her translation of Book I of Diego Ortúñez de Calahorra’s Espejo de Príncipes y Cavalleros. In the ‘Epistle to the Reader’, Tyler defines herself as a writer on the periphery of mainstream culture, as much because of her gender as her choice of genre, but in the text itself, Tyler manages to acquire some form of authority by including personal commentary within her generally literal translation. Through an analysis of Tyler’s additions I would like to argue that she uses Spanish romance as a platform to modify a marginal female category by voicing her anxieties in dialogue with the narrative’s central themes of marriage and family.
Biographical note
Alejandra Ortiz Salamovich is a PhD candidate at the University of Leeds. She holds a BA in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics and a Teaching Degree from the Pontificia Universidad Católica. In 2007 she obtained her MA in Medieval English Literature at the University of Leeds. After this, she returned to her home country, Chile, to teach at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in the areas of medieval and children’s literature. Her PhD research deals with the English translation of sixteenth-century Spanish chivalric romance, focusing on The Mirror of Princely Deeds and Knighthood, Palmerin D’Oliva, and Amadis of Gaul.

Panel 3B: Ideas in Translation

Islam Issa, University of Birmingham
This paper analyses how John Milton’s (1608-1674) epic poem Paradise Lost is read in translation by twenty-first-century Arab-Muslim readers. The paper highlights, initially, how mainstream Milton studies centre on how Islam is represented in the poet’s texts - such as representation of the Orient and links with Islamic extremism - while ignoring how Milton is received in the Islamic world. The paper then shows how the translation of Paradise Lost provides a serious challenge to mainstream Arab-Islamic notions of religious orthodoxy, before examining in more detail the response of contemporary Sunni Muslim readers to the Arabic translation of the poem. It is indicated that certain cultural and religious emphases of the text are changed as a result both of the varying accuracy of the translation, and of the translator’s construction of a specific Arab-Muslim target reader. Through these analyses, it is shown that the cultural and theological dimensions of the linguistic translation of Paradise Lost significantly shape and colour the Arab-Muslim reader’s understanding of the poem. An intriguing picture emerges: that is, of a central text in the English literary canon, which, in translation, appears more meaningful to a seemingly peripheral readership.
Biographical note
Islam Issa is a doctoral researcher in the Department of English at the University of Birmingham. His doctoral thesis in English Literature entitled ‘John Milton: An Islamic Reconceptualisation’ aims to break new ground in documenting the reception of Milton's works in the Arabic-Islamic world. Islam has delivered numerous academic papers, including at the British Milton Seminar, and at the Centre for Reformation and Early Modern Studies; this summer, he will be presenting at the International Milton Symposium in Japan. According to the convenor of the British Milton Seminar: ‘Islam’s census and analysis of past and present Arabic translations of Milton’s texts has already added significantly to existing scholarly knowledge in the area’. In 2009, Islam worked as a Research Consultant on Islamic interpretations of Paradise Lost for the renowned BBC ‘Poetry Season’ documentary on John Milton.

Burcin Mustafa, School of Oriental and African Studies
In the realm of international relations the transference of information between nations is a vital apparatus of statecraft. Translation is not only a key component in this process but it also presents an intersection in which the function of information and events can be orientated to support conflicting political narratives. For example, during the build up to NATO’s intervention into Libya, speeches given by Gaddafi were translated and presented in such a manner that they legitimized the very narratives they opposed. This adds another dimension to the centre versus peripheral paradigm, thus this paper’s main thesis is that through the translation process the periphery rather than opposing narratives that dominate the centre can be used to stabilize them. This not only challenges the notion that translation is a mechanized, value free activity but also suggests that within the realm of political discourse, translations are primarily ‘ethically responsible’ to the objectives of the dominant political power. In addition to the translations of Gaddafi’s speeches, these assertions will be demonstrated by drawing on Bassnett’s (2005) study on the translation of ‘terrorist literature’. Furthermore a theoretical model will be presented to answer the question alluded to by Bassnett: what are the means by which a state sanctioned narrative can influence the reorientation of individual translations?
Biographical note
In 2008 Burcin Mustafa graduated from the University of Westminster with a Bachelor's degree in the Arabic language and international relations. His desire to develop practical skills in Arabic – English translation and to acquire a theoretical basis of the process led him to undertake a MA in the theory and practice of Translation at SOAS, which he recently has completed. He is currently undertaking a PhD programme at SOAS researching the way the translation process is used to affect the political field in the realm of international relations.

Yan (Jenny) Wong, University of Glasgow
Theatre translation is one of the least studied areas in the discipline of translation. Yet it is also one of the most complex and dynamic that deserves more scholarly attention. Political and religious issues within a drama are often the subject of manipulation and re-writing in order to conform to the predominant ideology and socio-cultural conditions. In China, from the late Qing period to the contemporary Communist era, Christian references in Shakespearean works are often marginalised, if not lost, at the receiving end. When religious material in an English play embedded in a Christian culture is translated on stage in an atheist culture, how is religiosity marginalized through a cultural filter weaved by directors and translators? This paper presents two case studies of the treatment of Christian references in a Shakespeare problem play – Measure for Measure staged in China and Taiwan. Using an interdisciplinary approach, I explore the socio-cultural conditions, cognitive conditions and situational conditions that give rise to the present treatment of religiosity in translated play texts. Interviews with directors and translators show that drama translation players consistently suppress religiosity contrary to their theology. The role of translators and directors in subverting or transforming the religious material is discussed, as well as the relationship between their translation strategies and their hermeneutical processes.
Biographical note
Jenny Wong teaches translation and applied ethics at Beijing Normal University – Hong Kong Baptist University, United International College. Professionally trained in areas of commercial and media translation, her research interests lie in the study of Bible and English literature which grew out of her two postgraduate degrees: MA in Translating and Interpreting (Newcastle, UK) and MA in Christian Studies (CUHK). She is the founder of SELBL (, a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong that promotes English Bible to two-thirds world countries. Her most recently published translation is Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg.

Panel 4A: Another Look at Material and Literary Histories

Mahmoud Baroud, Islamic University of Gaza
The motif of the castaway living and philosophising for years on a desert island is one which has captured the imagination of various writers in many cultures and literatures and over a very long period of time. Literary historians and critics in the West are most familiar with the famous example of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and the many versions and variations it spawned over the following three centuries, including in recent years works by Michel Tournier, J. M. Coetzee, William Golding and Derek Walcott. However, little attention has been paid to some of the antecedents of Defoe’s great novel, especially those from other cultures like the remarkable Hayy Bin Yaqzan (Alive, Son of Awake) by the12th –century Arab Muslim philosopher and physician Muhammad Bin Tufayl who lived in Spain. Due to its profound influence on  European thought and philosophy, Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Bin Yaqzan was translated into no less than eight languages (Hebrew, Latin, Dutch, English, French, Russian, German, and Spanish), as well as into Persian and the other major languages of the Islamic world. This paper is an attempt to provide a critical account of some of the aforementioned translations, especially the English and Latin versions and their dissemination to Europe. Accordingly, this comparative study seeks to prove that English readers of the eighteenth century had access to four English translations of the Hayy Bin Yaqzan, the fact which lends credence to the view of some critics that Hayy Bin Yaqzan was a model and a possible source of influence for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), just as the real-life castaway Alexander Selkirk was.
Biographical note

Mahmoud Baroud is an assistant professor of English and Comparative literature in the Department of English, Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine. He obtained his Ph.D (2009) in comparative literature from the University of Exeter. The title of his doctoral thesis is "The Philosopher Castaway from Medieval Andalusia to Modern Europe: A Comparative Study of Ibn Tufayl's Hayy Bin Yaqzan and Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe." His monograph will be published soon by the I. B. Tauris academic studies in London as: The Shipwrecked Sailor in Arabic and Western Literature: Ibn Tufayl and his Influence on European Writers. He also has two papers in progress for publication titled, "The Status of Comparative Literature in the Arab World" and "Different Translations of Ibn Tufayl's Hayy Bin Yaqzan and their Transfer to Europe." He has recently been offered a full- time job at the University of Sydney, Australia. But due to familial reasons he decided, for the time being, to return back home.

Jacopo Gnisci, School of Oriental and African Studies
The theological disagreements that arose during the council of Chalcedon (451), particularly within the sphere of Christology, eventually led to what is generally regarded by historians as the first major schism in the history of Christianity. It is customary to divide the factions that emerged from this schism into two main parties: the Chalcedonians and the non-Chalcedonians.
The exponents of the non-Chalcedonian faction were mostly members of the Eastern Orthodox Churches. Following the schism, the doctrine of these churches was labelled, by their adversaries rather than by themselves, as Monophysite. This definition was employed in a derogatory sense, as it implied a tendency towards Eutychianism. It was also rather reductive, for the non-Chalcedonian universe encompassed a number of different theological positions, the complexity of which could not be expressed by one term alone.
Throughout the course of history, the West has continued to label all Eastern Orthodox Churches as Monophysite, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the term is still employed by most Western scholars. By focusing solely on the Church of Ethiopia, a non-Chalcedonian church, as a case study, this paper questions the use of the term Monophysite, asserting that the definition Miaphysite would be more appropriate. In doing so, it discusses the importance of understanding and employing indigenous literature, both past and present, to determine whether or not we can adopt Western categories to describe certain aspects of non-Western cultures. Furthermore, the paper underscores the importance of incorporating peripheral scholarly contributions in our research, particularly when they come from areas that we are focusing on. In fact, the use of the term Monophysite has already been criticized by several contemporary Ethiopian scholars, but their arguments have gone unheeded in the West. 

Biographical note
Jacopo Gnisci is a PhD researcher at the School of Oriental and African Studies. His current research is centred on Ethiopian art and theology. He holds a MA degree in the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, from the University of East Anglia, as well as a BA in History and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage, obtained from the University of Rome. He has travelled extensively to Ethiopia and has won several awards for his research. He currently works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the School of Oriental and African Studies and as Assistant Curator for the Ben Uri Museum of Jewish Art.

Manuela Husemann, University of Plymouth
The British and German public never had a particularly positive image of the Benin Kingdom in West Africa and its supposedly ‘fetish worshipping’ citizens. But after the ‘massacre’ of a British expedition in January 1897 and the following punitive expedition in February 1897 the Beni were seen as blood thirsty savages. The discovery of the so-called ‘Benin Bronzes’ in the aftermath of the Punitive Expedition therefore puzzled ethnographic museums, scientific publications and the public press in Europe.
This paper will examine the reception history of the Bronzes in British and German writings during the period 1897-1920 when they came into the collections of the British Museum in London and the Völkerkundemuseum in Berlin. This project presents a triangle of centres and peripheries that stand in different relationship to one another. While, as the culture in which the Bronzes were made Benin is the centre of their production and their interpretation, Britain as the centre of the British Empire and Germany as the centre of ethnological research, each pushing the others to the periphery and sometimes even treating them as their subjects.
These different centre-periphery relationships are visible in the way British and German contemporary publications described and illustrated Benin culture and the ‘Benin Bronzes.’ My paper will point out the British and German attitude towards the Beni and how the find of the Bronzes challenged this attitude.
Biographical note
I successfully completed my Bachelor degree in Art History at the University of Plymouth in 2011. Since then my research interest lies in the material history of African art in Europe, concentrating for my Master of Research at the University of Plymouth on the representation of the Beni and the ‘Benin Bronzes’ in German and British museums, scientific publications and the popular press.

Radu Alexandra Leca, School of Oriental and African Studies
In my paper I will follow the transmission of a visual trope depicting Brazilian cannibals from accounts of travelers to Brazil in the 16th century to world maps and popular tales in 17th century Japan. The image of tribesmen roasting human limbs over a fire in 16th century sources (such as Theodore de Bry's woodcut illustrations to the captivity of Hans Staden among Tupi indians) provided the iconography for depictions of «Brazilian» people on Japanese world maps, such Hayashi Jizaemon's 1671 «Bankoku sozu». This iconography was then included in scroll illustrations to scene from the popular tale «The drunken ogre» (Shuten doji), in which the ogre is roasting human limbs for a feast in his mountain mansion lair.
In following this iconographic transfer I will compare the ways in which cannibalism was used in the process of defining a peripheric Other, in both 16th century Europe and 17th century Japan. The peripheric location of Brazil in both the European and Japanese worldviews was accompanied by the depiction of its inhabitants as the cannibal Other: the topological and ontological conjoined in the construction of a marginal alterity against which European ad Japanese culture could define a self-identity. I will therefore analyze both this process of identity-construction both in its universal characteristics and in its culturally-specific variations.
Biographical Note 

After studying Japanese language in University of Bucharest and Osaka University of Foreign Studies, Radu Leca completed a four year Japanese literature course in Kanazawa University. His graduation thesis addressed relationships between text and image in the depiction of imaginary islands in 16-17th century Japanese popular tales. A masters degree in History of Art at SOAS allowed him to expand his research to include cartographic depictions of the Island of Women, an exclusively feminine space drawn in the south of Japan. He analysed the role of these depictions in the nation-building process of the period.
His current doctoral research at SOAS focuses on depictions of women as figures of alterity. He examines the relationship between feminine imagery and liminal spaces, taking as example the newly established licensed prostitution quarters. This enables him to reconsider the significance of feminine imagery in the emergent ukiyo-e genre of late 17th century Japan.

Panel 4B: Margins and the Mainstream

Priyanka Basu, School of Oriental and African Studies
The history of music in Calcutta/Bengal has been one that is constantly in need for asserting the ‘Bengali’ identity. In the process of this identification with the ‘sanctioned’ discourse of music, evident in the hegemony of institutionalized Tagore-centric music, one needs to take into account the ‘transgressive’, ‘comic’ and ‘popular’ genres of musical performances that have been ‘othered’ both in the colonial and post-colonial attempts at writing a history of music. In this process of marginalization, however, the ‘comic’ in the music has meandered into several other forms that have found expressions in genres ranging from the Bengali band to the commercial Bengali film music. This paper aims to look at the category of the Bengali band named Chandrabindoo that revives the ‘comic’ in the much forgotten late eighteenth-early nineteenth forms of ‘popular’ music in the form of a critique of the contemporary socio-political events. Chandrabindoo songs, employing much of the repertoire of the earlier indigenous forms and catering to a section of the ‘educated’ masses, re-live the post-modernist’s celebratory spirit of difference resembling the ‘everyday’ intensified into festivals in the colonial milieu. On the other hand, the commercial popular of contemporary Bengali film music, much appealing to the masses in general in its celebrations of ‘sexuality’, is bracketed as the ‘vulgar’ ‘other’ in relation to the central discourse. The paper, thus, attempts to problematize the strict binaries of the centre and periphery vis-à-vis the ‘continuities’, ‘discontinuities’ and ‘merging’ of musical genres and their contexts in the Bengali music scenario.
Biographical note
Priyanka Basu is an MPhil/PhD student at the Department of the Languages and Cultures of South Asia, SOAS, UK on a Felix Scholarship. She has been awarded an MPhil degree for her dissertation on From the Profane to the Proscenium: Re-Reading the Early Farces of Colonial Bengal by the Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She has worked as a Research Associate with the Asian Heritage Foundation in New Delhi and taught as guest-lecturer in Bethune College, Calcutta. She has presented papers at several national and international conferences and seminars and has a number of publications to her credit.

Ashvin Immanuel Devasundaram, Heriot-Watt University
A new wave of independent films is revolutionising Indian cinema. These films are hybrid in form, urban in theme, with a raison d’etre of challenging Bollywood’s dominant positioning as the centre of art and culture in India. Bollywood- as the cynosure of Indian cinema, juxtaposed with its growing global appeal has appropriated the role of homogenising cultural signifier. This paper analyses the ongoing metamorphosis in Indian Cinema, spearheaded by a transitional movement of new independent films from periphery towards centre. This study comparatively analyses primary characters in two recent Indian films- ‘Gandu’ and ‘Peepli Live’. The protagonists in both films are embodiments of the subaltern-society’s alienated and marginalised. Although both characters are central to the plot, their peripheral positioning in the Indian societal interstices of reality bears potent contradictions. Even within the dénouement of both films, the subaltern is left in a state of anomie. This paper addresses a growing Indian cinematic empowerment of the subaltern voice, and its struggle for representative space in Bollywood’s hegemonic centring. It also interrogates the subaltern movement (represented by new independent Indian cinema) towards interfusion with an authoritarian stream of representation (as epitomised by Bollywood), albeit by working within existing norms and structures of the dominant discourse. (Spivak 1988) (Lipsitz 1994) This micro-level study informs the larger global movement of Bollywood films towards the Hollywood centre. It demarcates areas for future research in this regard, and provides a prescient, contemporary insight into the concurrent repositioning in India’s cinematic ascendancy.
Biographical note
Ashvin has a Master’s Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Bedfordshire. His dissertation topic was ‘The Role of the Media in developing a British South-Asian Youth Subculture’. He has worked as a Documentary Filmmaker with Channel 4 in the UK. During this time, he produced and directed a short film ‘Crossing the Bridge’ (about a Gurkha WWII veteran) which was screened at BAFTA, in London. Ashvin has conducted Film Analysis, World Cinema and Documentary Filmmaking workshops around India and in the UAE. In 2011, Ashvin started a PhD at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

Bhavani Esapathi, University of Leeds
This paper explores the ideas of centre and periphery within digital spaces specific to an Indian context where the emergence of technological segregation has grown immensely over the past decade. It also draws a comparison between how the present technological trembles are distinct from that of other nations, however briefly. Drawing on from the concept of Digital Natives who are over 1.2 billion in the world at the moment, the unique situation in India needs to be highlighted. The ‘Haves’ and ‘Have-nots’ will now have to be understood in terms of access and accessibility as the currency in our technological world. The paper culminates by reflecting on how the digital age participates in the demarcation between the “haves” and “have-nots” through these centres and peripheries that are no longer separate from digital spaces and thus cannot be termed as non-digital but an intricate ongoing dialogue that is sustaining these centres and peripheries consequently the divide between the new age haves and have-nots.
Biographical note
Academic background: BA Journalism, Psychology and English Literature from Christ University, India and MA Cultural Studies from the University of Leeds, UK.
Area of research: Digital Natives, Digital spaces and their philosophical implications. Studying the nature of technological innovation on par with cultural evolution. 

Artemis Lamprinou, University of Surrey
Bestseller popular literature has often been criticised for its lack of ‘quality’ and dismissed as “marginal literature” (Escarpit 1966:46) or as offering only instances of “light reading” (Bloom 2002:49). Its differentiation from the prestigious canon is often based on some publishers’ and researchers’ misconception that a book’s appeal to a wider readership and its artistic value, or what Bourdieu (1993:75) calls a work’s “economic” and “symbolic capital”, are mutually exclusive. However, referring to a peripheral bestseller popular literature and a central canon is both simplistic and inaccurate. Seeing literature as one big polysystem (Even-Zohar 1990) with multiple centres and peripheries could help us understand the complexity of the interrelations between the symbolic and economic elements at play during the production and translation of literary texts and, thus, further explore the status of these texts.
This paper aims to consider the position(s) of bestseller popular literature in the western literary polysystem. First, through a brief diachronic study of bestseller popular literature, the paper will consider its symbolic capital, while also presenting the importance of its economic capital for the western book markets and the study of the canon. Secondly, switching into a more synchronic focus, the paper will discuss the translation of 21st century bestseller popular romances from British English into Greek based on the concept of translation norms (Toury 1995, Schäffner 1999). This discussion will help to suggest the importance of bestseller popular literature in the contact between cultures and its potential effect on cultural dynamics. The combination of the above points will, arguably, provide a problematisation regarding the academic study of bestseller popular literature.
Biographical note
I am a PhD student at the University of Surrey. I have a background in literature and linguistics, and have also studied French to Greek and English to Greek translation. My current research combines translation studies, literature, linguistics and psychology. The focus of the PhD is the effect of cultural/textual norms on the linguistic communication of emotions in bestseller romances translated from English into Greek during the 21st century. Moreover, I am a member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Romance (IASPR).

Panel 5A: Violence and Representation

Astride Veronique Charles, Paris VIII Saint-Denis/Vincennes University
This paper will provide theoretical background to a larger project that attempts to compare the novel The Farming of Bones by Edwidge Danticat and the memoir N’aie pas peur de savoir by Yolande Mukagasana. The project looks at the literary approach of these two women authors in addressing the notion of recovery after an ethnocide in addition to the questions and issues raised concerning memory and national identity in the wake of a communal devastation.
The former takes place around the 1937 massacre on the border that divides Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and the latter is the sequel publication to the author’s testimonial account of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Both texts address mass death in francophone regions.
More than the geo-political similarities, anchoring these two texts in this project is French literary criticism; namely, littérature engagée as refashioned by Theodor W. Adorno and tout-monde or chaos-monde as articulated by Édouard Glissant. In this paper, I will show how these two literary approaches together provide a critical framework on how to analyze literary texts in comparison to socio-political writings and writings outside the national canon of literature. Concurrently, these criticisms reclaim the potential of literary aesthetics to revise the language used to address and illustrate a problematic. Specifically, this critical vantage point will aid when looking at the confluences of a historical novel and a testimonial memoir as these texts narrate a social trauma and its aftermath.
Biographical note
Astride Véronique Charles is a graduate student in Comparative Literature at Paris VIII Saint-Denis/Vincennes, France. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Afro-American Studies and Philosophy from Smith College, United States.

Andrew Johnston, School of Oriental and African Studies
The notion that I wish to prescribe is that there was a great deal of individualistic agency, endorsed by perpetrators of violence and mass murder, in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge socialist revolutionary transformation. Such agency was afforded, albeit indirectly, to the perpetrators by a state that was itself violent, disorganised and unclear of its own prescription of what constituted an enemy of the state. Such unclear definitions combined with the state violence led to the astronomically high levels of violence experienced in Cambodia at all levels of society. As genocidal murder is not a Cambodian phenomena, one of my research’s main focus is to place Cambodia within an international framework (particular within that of the literature) and ascertain the degree to which agency was afforded to Cambodian perpetrators in relation to those perpetrators of the Nazi and Stalinist experiences of Germany and the Soviet Union respectively.
Within Cambodia itself, in order to analyse the extent to which agency was implemented and the potential cause of its source, I intend to compare and contrast two detention centres in Cambodia; the first centre was controlled by state party members and primarily used for the ‘more dangerous’ class enemies, and the second centre will hopefully serve my research as a microcosm for, at least the majority of, other peripheral centres of detention. Within the analysis I wish to assess the extent to which the further one moves in geographical and ideological proximity from the centre, towards the periphery, the greater one’s agency was exerted and implemented in one’s ‘work’ (dependent upon the distance from the nucleus of command). My method of research will first be to derive a set of frameworks and schools of thought from the literature and then insert my primary findings, obtained from interviews, archival data and oral history narratives, within said frameworks.     
Biographical note
I have completed my undergraduate and taught postgraduate degrees at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) (‘BA Japanese and Economics’ and ‘MA Pacific Asian studies’), and am currently enrolled there as a postgraduate research student. The focus of my research is primarily that of the Political Genocide that occurred in Cambodia during the 1970’s, more specifically conducting a comparative research study between the central detention centre (S-21), located in Phnom Penh, and a peripheral district security centre (Sector 35), located in Kampot. I am analysing the extent to which perpetrators of violence strayed from state policy in the two locations. I am a 24 year old British citizen who has spent many years in the Japanese education system, namely in Tokyo and Sapporo. 

Lisa McNally, University of Oxford
In her essay “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading”, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick institutes a divide between strong (paranoid) and weak (reparative) reading. That is, between a mode of reading central to and typically favoured within academic practice and one that is not. Sedgwick is not, however, comfortable with this divide; she alerts us to the potential of traditionally peripheral operations, arguing that they accomplish “important phenomenological and theoretical tasks”. Sedgwick begs us to rethink academic practice and to favour that traditionally considered as weak or peripheral; more generally, too, queer theory asks that we privilege that which has traditionally been marginalized. 
However, this is not as simple as it sounds. The summary I just offered is a “strong” reading of Sedgwick’s essay. Accordingly, it suffers from a “tautology” which is for Sedgwick inherent in all strong reading. I just claimed that Sedgwick privileges weak reading. Yet if we too eagerly propose a weak reading as “better” than the strong one, it, thanks to the very logic it would contest, “wins”; it becomes strong.
Sedgwick acknowledges this risk. The peripheral moment she seeks is fragile and fleeting; it is all too easily converted into the strong or the central. A weak theory is, and must somehow remain, weak by virtue of its dependence upon a strong one. My paper will ask how, in both Sedgwick’s work and in queer theory more generally, we might negotiate this complex demand.
Biographical note
Having recently completed her DPhil, entitled “Reading Theories and Telling Stories in Contemporary Fiction”, at St Catherine’s College, University of Oxford, Lisa continues to work and to teach in Oxford. She has published articles on David Mitchell, Ali Smith and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. 

Panel 5B: Language and Identities

Heather Hawkins, Nottingham Trent University
Poetry, when written in dialect, seemingly rejects the standard language of the urban centre in favour of rural, peripheral culture. Such rejection however, is not automatically subversive towards the colonizing centre, sometimes maintaining the position of the centre as the absolute and the periphery as its inferior other.
In this paper I discuss the uses of dialect in the poetry of   William Barnes and Thomas Hardy. I argue that the overtly dialectal approach of the older poet, Barnes, reinforces the pastoral and bypasses the urban centre. In doing so, Barnes’s readership is restricted and he is destined to remain a regionalist poet. In contrast, I propose that Hardy fuses standard English and dialect in his work. I consider the implications of Hardy’s linguistic hybridity for an understanding of the role of language in postcolonial cultures. I identify dialect in Hardy’s poetry as a linguistic continuum, which neither bypasses nor directly confronts the cultural norms of the centre. Rather, it proposes new postcolonial identities which destabilize the perceptions of non-mutable identities of the absolute and other, as defined by the colonizer.
I conclude that the work of both poets reflects the evolving evaluation of class identities throughout the nineteenth century. Barnes’s dialect poetry upholds the cultural and linguistic disparity between urban and rural literature, thereby reinforcing the status quo decreed by the colonizer. In contrast, linguistic hybridity in Hardy’s work embraces both rural and urban cultures to produce a subversive literature which asserts the validity of all languages and indentities.
Biographical note
I am a third year English Research Degree Student at Nottingham Trent University, UK. I am currently researching dialect, metre and form in the poetry of Thomas Hardy. I also undertake regular academic work for The Thomas Hardy Association, of St Andrew’s University (formerly of Yale University). I contribute regularly to their on-line bibliography or Checklist of works on Thomas Hardy, and am also director of the association’s Course Syllabi Webpage.

Stewart Sanderson, University of Glasgow
Literary translation is a well known enabling strategy for writers working in resurgent or peripheral traditions, typically involving the refashioning of undeniably prestigious, canonical texts in a new linguistic or stylistic medium. In a Scottish context, probably the most celebrated example of this is Gavin Douglas’ (ca.1474-1522) Scots version of Virgil’s Aeneid. Douglas’ translation is indeed a key historical example of a centrally valued prestige text being refashioned in a vernacular language. Four centuries later, we find translation as an integral component of a different cultural ‘Renaissance’ – Scottish twentieth century rather than European. This paper therefore intends to explore issues of periphery and centrality through a case study of two twentieth century poets who translated Villon into Scots, Tom Scott and William J Tait.
Scott, I will argue, was primarily concerned with establishing a Scottish ideological centrality in opposition to the colonial power, London. This is reflected in the highly medieval nature of his language, which reflects his desire to return to the unified independent nation he perceived as having existed before the Reformation. In this he accepts as ideology the so-called constructed Scottish critical tradition recently criticised by Douglas Gifford and Gerry Carruthers, which emphasised a resurgent Lowland centrality as a political goal. Tait’s peripheral Shetlandic background and language provide a useful comparison, given Simon Hall’s recent arguments regarding the archipelago and the unity of Scottish literature. That both poets translated Villon allows a direct parallel of their approaches to linguistic and political periphery in a highly specific context.
Biographical note
My name is Stewart Sanderson and I was born in Glasgow in 1990. I'm currently working on my MPhil by research in Scottish Literature at Glasgow University. I graduated from SOAS this year with 2:1 Hons in Ancient Near Eastern Studies. I am a published poet in both Scots and English and my work has appeared or will be appearing in The Literateur, Other Poetry, Erbacce, The Interpreter's House and Bow Wow Wow Shop. I'm also beginning to contribute more frequently to Lallans, the magazine of the Scots Language Society. They were also kind enough to highly commend one of my translations from the Babylonian in their 2011 Sangschaw Prize.

Nichola Smalley, University College London
This paper will discuss the influence of Swedish rappers The Latin Kings on a number of Swedish authors and poets, and more specifically, on these writers’ use of language. The paper argues that in Sweden, rap as a medium is at once peripheral to the ‘cultural establishment’ and influential. It argues that rap is central to the recent accession of multiethnic suburban slang onto the nation’s bookshelves, stages and cinema screens.
Many critically-acclaimed authors and poets (including Alejandro Leiva Wenger and Johannes Anyuru) have cited the influence of The Latin Kings and their rap contemporaries on their own work. But how does rap occupy this simultaneously marginal and central position, and why might this be interesting to scholars of literature, translation and cultural studies?
This paper attempts to answer this question by analysing the processes involved when a mode of spoken language is used creatively, both by rappers and by writers working in more conventional literary forms. Is an act of translation is involved? What is the cultural significance of such processes in these different spheres?
Biographical note
Nichola Smalley is a PhD student at UCL, researching translation strategies for Swedish literary texts that draw on slang and non-standard language. She has written on the role of UK Grime and Swedish hiphop rappers in disseminating contemporary urban vernaculars, as well as on the Swedish media's reception of the first generation of 'second-generation immigrant' writers, and on representations of the high-rise in film. She has also written a number of reviews and articles for Swedish Book Review, and worked extensively as a commercial translator from Swedish to English.

Panel 6A: Literary Terms Revisited

Alessio Baldini, University of Leeds
In this paper, I would like to explore the emergence and diffusion of the family novel as a literary genre, by focusing both on the theory of the novel and the history European literature. With his twenty-novel cycle Les Rougon-Macquart. Historie naturelle et sociale d'une famille sous le Second Empire (1871-1893), Zola establishes the family novel's basic narrative pattern: the telling of the story of a single family, whose members belong to different generations. However, it is only with authors who were influenced by him that the genealogical narrative pattern was condensed into a single sustained narrative, thus enabling the Familienroman to emerge as a literary genre in its own right.
By investigating the emergence and diffusion of the family novel, I will shed light on the complexities of centre/periphery relations in literary tradition. I will argue that although originating in French naturalism, the family novel was not merely imitated in other peripheral literary contexts. On the contrary, an innovative European literary koine emerged as a result of those transformations. Noticeably, the “new approaches” to Zola as developed by Chevrel, Hamon, Bagueley, Chevrel, Thompson, Pellini, Nelson seem to support this view.
Biographical note
Alessio Baldini (PhD University of Siena, 2009) is a second year Postgraduate Research Student in Italian Studies at the SMLC of the University of Leeds. His research project focuses on the family novel as a literary genre in late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe.

Hannah M. Strømmen, University of Glasgow
What, or perhaps rather, who is at the heart of the humanities? The centrality of the ‘human’ to research in the humanities is indisputable, across disciplines as stylistically, conceptually and structurally diverse as English, History, Philosophy, Theology and Anthropology, to mention only a few. But what exactly ‘being human’ signifies is far from stable or lodged in ontological certainty. Most research in the humanities grapples in some way with human experience and how to order, understand or elucidate it; with the idea of ‘human nature’, ‘humanity’, even a ‘common, shared humanity’; human rights, inhumane histories, and inter-human relationships. What, then, might it mean to open the door – academically – to the animal? Is there a space for the study of animals within disciplines so wholly dedicated to anthropocentric pursuits? And does such work present a threat; a destabilisation of the very grounds of epistemological conception on the ‘human’ as central subject?
I would like to present a few issues raised in my research on the ‘animal’ in Theology and Religious studies, and how this work might fit into the Humanities in a larger sense, by reflecting on two short scenes in which Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Derrida experience encounters with particular animals. What is at stake here is precisely the possibility of facing the animal who is and has always been at the margins of Western intellectual thought; our conception of the ‘human’ as central subject, and the future of the Humanities as a centre for groundbreaking research.
Biographical note
I have just this autumn started my PhD in Theology and Religious studies at the University of Glasgow, after an MA in Critical Theory at the University of Sussex where I worked under the supervision of Professor Nicholas Royle predominantly on Jacques Derrida, and a BA in English Literature – also at Sussex. My PhD is situated somewhere between Critical Theory and Biblical studies, in looking at conceptions of the 'animal' in Philosophy/Continental Thought (with a particular focus on Derrida's work) in relation to animal figures in Biblical texts. My readings of these ancient Biblical texts are very much informed by Derrida's writings on the 'animal' and follow in his footsteps in attempting to rethink hierarchical structures of human/animal/divine, so entrenched in Western philosophical thought, as well as in contemporary attitudes towards animals more generally speaking.

Tom White, University of Glasgow
This paper will be concerned primarily with the relationship between periodisation and the ‘Centres and margins of the past, as seen today’. The recent turn towards what has tentatively been called ‘post-historicism’ has raised a number of issues regarding how texts of particular periods can be read with both an appropriate sense of their historicity and an appreciation of the potential value of a literary history that foregrounds a postmodern ‘co-presence’ of literary works across time.
Drawing on both recent formulations of post-historicism and Bruno Latour’s concept of ‘sedimental time’, this paper will seek to dilate some of the theoretical and methodological considerations raised by my MPhil Thesis ‘Artifact as Text: The Layout of Chaucer’s Tale of Sir Thopas from Manuscript to Print’. In particular, considerations as to how the reading of medieval texts in their manuscript forms can be brought into dialogue with contemporary literature whilst remaining sufficiently rigorous in its explorations of specific literary contexts and material considerations. Can we read the heterogeneous manuscript realisations of The Canterbury Tales in comparison to works like B.S. Johnson’s The Unfortunates, for example? Through such examples I will explore how post-historicism may enable a partial rethinking of literary history in which the retrospective centers and peripheries established by periodisation are elided in favour of what Tara Williams has called ‘enchanted historicism’, a theoretically rigorous and interdisciplinary literary history that ‘would always anticipate a new vista of multiplicities to be just over the critical horizon’ (‘Enchanted Historicism’,
Biographical note
My name is Tom White; I am currently undertaking an MPhil in Medieval Literature in the English Language Dept. at the University of Glasgow, in which I am examining the manuscript layout of certain sections of The Canterbury Tales. My main area of interest is the multitextual and rhizomatic nature of medieval literature in its heterogeneous manuscript contexts, particularly in relation to works such as the Tales and Piers Plowman that are presented to contemporary readers as possessing a perhaps overstated sense of textual coherence. I am also interested in how aspects of cultural theory, such as Derrida's notion of the parergon and aspects of the recent speculative realism movement, can be applied to the study of medieval texts in their manuscript contexts.

Sam Wisemann, University of Glasgow
This paper will discuss the extent to which John Cowper Powys’ novels of the late 1920s and early 1930s forward conceptual, aesthetic and thematic reimaginings of Somerset and Dorset in the period – regions, by virtue of their cultural and geographical distance from the metropolitan centres of London, New York and Paris, considered peripheral to literary modernism. Powys’ work, I will argue, is deeply influenced by his experiences of that metropolitan world, and more generally by his self-imposed exile in the US in the period when the “Wessex novels” – Wolf Solent (1929), A Glastonbury Romance (1933) and Weymouth Sands (1934) – were written. As such, these novels shed light on the creative possibilities of a literary approach that uses the perspective of an artistic and cultural “centre” – metropolitan modernity – to re-examine a region and culture ordinarily considered, within that schema, to be peripheral. More generally, they also highlight the fertile imaginative possibilities of distance, both cultural and geographical. Powys’ labyrinthine recreations of the landscapes of his home in these novels have themselves always been considered peripheral to the modernist canon. While this partly reflects Powys’ own suspicion of certain modernist impulses, such as the drive to create ruptures with the past, it can also be seen as a result of the ways in which his focus on rural life problematises the narratives of metropolitan modernism. Ultimately, I argue, Powys’ work challenges accepted understandings of centre-periphery relations within modernist studies, both in terms of literary form and content.
Biographical note
I'm a third-year AHRC-funded English Literature Ph.D student at the University of Glasgow, looking at modernism and place, with specific emphasis on D.H. Lawrence, John Cowper Powys, Mary Butts and Virginia Woolf. Much of my research focuses on the dynamic between rural spaces considered peripheral to modernism, and the movement's metropolitan centres. I am also investigating the relevance of the writers in question to ecocriticism, although the exploration of those themes will be beyond the scope of the conference paper.

Panel 6B: Travel and Writing

Maria-Nefeli Zygopoulou, University College London
In my research I am posing that question by comparing the complex identities of Tristan Tzara and Mario de Andrade. The Romanian Jewish poet that became a central figure in the European avant-garde of the twenties shares identity peculiarities with the Brazilian poet with the indigenous, African and Portuguese roots.
Since Tzara moved from Romania to Zurich, he became an influential figure for the avant-garde circles with the creation of Dadaism. He dedicated his post-Dada years in defending the anti-fascist fight in Spain; participating in the French resistance and later he was active for campaigns securing independence in many African countries. Despite that, fellow artists often attacked him for his origin.
Mario de Andrade at the beginning of the Antropofago movement (1928) in his native São Paulo, he supported the idea of cannibalising foreign ideas to produce Brazilian cultural products. Later, when he became independent of the movement and he travelled in the interior of Brazil, he recorded his thoughts about the extreme differences of his country in his travelogue O Turista Aprendiz.
Both writers were drawn by native cultures and French Symbolist poetry, anthropology and ethnology. They adapted native songs and poems from Amazonia, Africa and Oceania. By studying foreign works Mario de Andrade penetrated the Brazilian Portuguese language. On the other hand, Tristan Tzara preferred expressing himself in French following the tradition of Renaissance scholars that despite their origin were writing in Latin. Many questions are born out of that comparison regarding what is postcolonial and what not. 
Biographical note
My studies begun in Film, where I concentrated on postcolonial studies and the modernist cinema of Iran, Palestinian and Israeli cinematic narratives and the cinema of South America. My postgraduate studies were in Comparative Literature since I was interested in narratives and my main topic of interest continues to be poetry and prose of modernism’s avant-garde in Europe and also modernism in the Middle East and South America. Currently, I am studying for a PhD in the Centre for Intercultural studies in UCL. I am looking at Mario de Andrade, examining whether it is possible to read him as a non-postcolonial writer. By comparing him with Tristan Tzara, I intend to show that peripheries and centres are challenged. 

Rebecca Jones, University of Birmingham
This paper considers some of centre-periphery dynamics that have emerged in my research into twentieth century Nigerian travel writing in Yoruba and English. Theory and criticism of travel writing, particularly that influenced by postcolonial theory, has often seen travel writing as the West – as the centre – representing the rest of the world – as periphery – to itself. In this paper I draw on close readings of early twentieth century Nigerian travel writing to challenge this centre-periphery paradigm, arguing that these travel writers had entirely different conceptions of where the centre and peripheries lay, usually bypassing the so-called colonial centre altogether. Though they were embroiled in – and often highly critical of – the colonial context, they were far more interested in local networks, in the relationship between Lagos and the Yoruba-speaking hinterland or the rest of Nigeria, than in their relationship with the colonial ‘centre’. In addition, I argue that research into travel writing must now place non-Western theories of travel writing at its centre, rather than seeing them as peripheral oddities. I look as an example at the Yoruba narrative form ìtàn and the ideas about history, narrative and travel encapsulated within it. I conclude by looking at the academic practice which has relegated both such theories and Nigerian travel writing to the periphery, thinking about the problematic centrality of English-language texts and archives, and those available in the West, to literary and post-colonial research.
Biographical note
Rebecca Jones is an AHRC-funded PhD candidate at the University of Birmingham, where she is researching twentieth and twenty-first century Nigerian travel writing in Yoruba and English. 

Oliver Kühne, University of Tübingen
Until 2009, the Japanese media were flooded by the highest waves of the so called ‘Okinawa boom’. However, if one attempts to paint a picture of how mainland Japanese media and most of mainland Japanese people perceived Okinawa to be, one would find stereotypical paradise images not unlike those of Bali or Hawai’i: tropical islands with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and untouched nature, where happiness (kōfuku) and healing (iyashi) await the visitors. Taking Okinawa as an example for those touristic paradise imaginations that entirely obscure social and political problems, one needs to understand the history of these images/stereotypes and the underlying (conscious or unconscious) ‘neo-imperial gaze’. What are the analogies between a contemporary ‘tourist gaze’ and an historically evident ‘colonial gaze’? Is there really no trace of negotiating the past and present problems between Japanese visitors and Okinawan inhabitants?  I will analyse the writing of YOSHIMOTO Banana (*1964) who also contributed to the multimedia discourse about happiness and healing in Japan, focusing on her travel diary entitled “Nankurunaku, nai” [What will be will NOT be]. In doing so, I will draw comparison with the travel literature of other Japanese authors like IKEZAWA Natsuki (*1945) or NAKAMURA Kiyoshi (*1958) after introducing ‘imperially gazing’ movies of NAKAE Yūji (*1960) and magazines like the Okinawa sutairu which celebrated and reinforced a carefree and easy consumable Okinawa myth. Finally, I will focus on the question how these pictures are perceived by Okinawan people and how the Okinawan media are responding to these stereotypes. 
Biographical note
Oliver E. Kühne, born 1981 in Münster (Germany) studied Japanese Studies, Art History and Economics at the Heidelberg University, University of Trier and Tōkyō Gakugei University (JASSO scholarship holder). He also carried out filed research at the Myōshinji Temple and completed language courses in Kyōto. After an additional stay of 6 months in the U.K. he graduated from the University of Trier  in autumn 2010 with a Master’s thesis on postcolonial Okinawan literature and media. Since 2011, he has been a member of the interdisciplinary graduate school “Sacred Texts” at the University of Tübingen, where he is also a recipient of a PhD scholarship (LGF). His research is supervised by Professor Klaus Antoni. The PhD thesis is tentatively entitled: “Religion as an ‘indigenous’ symbol of identity? Literary production on Okinawa in a postmodern East Asian and Pacific context”.  He is planning a research visit at the University of the Ryukyus on Okinawa and at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyōto in 2012.

Rehnuma Sazzad, Nottingham Trent University
Unlike the previous presentations, my paper does not directly bring in the question of the post-colonial, or for that matter, post-modern, in examining the centre-periphery dynamics. However, like the previous ones, mine also argues that the geographical notion of the centre and the periphery is arbitrary, since the writers we discuss cross boundaries through the travel of their ideas expounded in the writings. From this perspective of travel and writing, I present an exchange of thought between a prominent philosopher from the imaginary centre, Adorno, and a Nobel Laureate novelist from the supposed periphery, Mahfouz. I argue that the novelist who was firmly rooted to his home culture lived the life of an outsider all along. Just as Adorno chose to be ‘out of place’ both in America and his post-return Germany because of his critical distance from the societal systems, Mahfouz became a ‘nay-sayer’ to his home culture. Mahfouz thus appears as a metaphorical exile in his own homeland through his disapproval of the uncanny masquerading as home. He writes to achieve a shelter from his profound alienation in an authoritarian state. Thus, Adorno’s idea of ‘writing as home’ for an intellectual disowning a homeland is echoed in Mahfouz, who is unsurprisingly considered to be ‘the novelist-philosopher of Cairo’. Indeed, Mahfouz employs his thoughts ‘as a means of preventing personal disintegration’, which has a humanist aspect that Said borrows from Adorno. Through upholding the Adorninan model of homelessness, therefore, Mahfouz becomes a Saidian ‘exile’ for whom ‘the entire world is a foreign land’. Mahfouz represents Said’s ‘exilic’ ethos, which emphasises that an intellectual’s existence lies beyond the boundary of the centre and the periphery. Simply put, Mahfouz’s writing reflects and refracts the humanist ideals shared by Adorno and Said, which challenges our vision of belonging.
Biographical note
I am in the final year of my PhD in literary and cultural studies at Nottingham Trent University under Professor Patrick Williams’ supervision. In 2004, I achieved an MA in English Studies from Manchester University. In 2003, I completed an MA in English Literature from Dhaka University, Bangladesh. I have published in prominent journals and presented at prestigious forums on Said and the Middle Eastern and Arab-American intellectuals I am researching on. I love to see myself as a Said enthusiast!