CFP: "Connecting the dots": Conceptualising "Trace" in the Nexus of Novels and Readers' Sensory Imaginings, Workshop 24-26 Sept. 2020

Monika Class's picture
Call for Papers
February 8, 2020
Subject Fields: 
British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies

International Workshop, Department of English, University of Mainz, Germany
24-26, September 2020


You are invited to submit a proposal for a culturally situated paper that develops the concept of trace for the reception of anglophone novels at the intersection of memory, emotion, and materiality in a specific literary period and location (preferably between ca. 1688 and 1927).

This workshop investigates the interaction between trace and novel reading as facets of interpretive processes actively engaging the recipient in creative acts of sensory imagination. Just like our detection and pursuit of footprints in the sand or blood drops in the snow entails the combined effort of visual and haptic input, reading novels attentively involves intertwining certain cues with sensory perception, imaginings, and memories. As such, the concept of trace opens a host of conceptualisations and investigative opportunities in relation to readers' visceral interaction with novels.

The main objective of this workshop is to unravel and theorise the complexity of trace within the framework of hermeneutic phenomenology as a relational concept uniting dualities such as materiality and impermanence, intentionality and coincidence, as well as presence and absence.

We invite contributions from interdisciplinary research in reader reception and aesthetics, literary and narrative theory, and cultural studies, especially concerning the history of the novel and reading. Key theoretical interests include experientality, intermediality, analogue remediation, materiality, (inter-)sensoriality, hermeneutics of suspicion, postcritical reading, homo interpres, eco-criticism and environmental humanities, and medical humanities.

Abstract submission: Please submit your abstract for a 30-minute presentation (no more than 250 words) and a brief biography (max. 100 words) to .

Deadline for submission is 8 February 2020.





Contact Info: 
Dr. Monika Class 
Junior Professor
Department of English and Linguistics
Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany


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