The theme of the conference focuses first and foremost on the maze-like structure of both the urban landscape and the net of relationships within that structure, drawing attention to the ubiquitous feeling of puzzlement that accompanies the journey through the urban labyrinth. It invites the speakers to consider the multiplicity of ways in which the city is imagined in literature, allowing for a vast variety of amazing visions of the urban landscape, but it also proposes a completely opposite type of relationship, in which it is the cityscape that can be read like a dense plot.

Download the CFP (PDF file)


Organized by Canadian Studies Student Circle,
at Canadian Studies Centre, Institute of English Cultures and Literatures,
University of Silesia,
MAY 14TH 2014,  Sosnowiec, Poland



Konferencja Instytutu Kultur i Literatur Anglojęzycznych
Sosnowiec, 22 - 23 listopada 2013 r.
Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach.

Pobierz Call for Papers w formacie PDF (wersja angielskojęzyczna)
Pobierz Call for Papers w formacie PDF (wersja polskojęzyczna)

 W 2013 roku mija pięćdziesiąta rocznica śmierci Johna F. Kennedy'ego. Wydarzenie to, które można nazwać jednym z najbardziej zagadkowych w historii, stało się inspiracją dla konferencji poświęconej kryptohistorycznym dyskursom, tajemniczym historiom i historycznym tajemnicom. Zapewne to właśnie owa aura tajemniczości, która zazwyczaj towarzyszy przeszłości, sprawia, że historia leży w kręgu nieustającego zainteresowania, zarówno ze strony publiki, jak i naukowców. Niewątpliwie popyt na tajemnice nie maleje, zwłaszcza jeśli wziąć pod uwagę niezwykłą popularność różnych teorii spiskowych czy kontrowersje, jakie budzą nowe interpretacje historii. W tym kontekście zatem na szczególną uwagę zasługują teksty historyczne, które skupiają się na tropieniu, odkrywaniu i opisywaniu sekretów, spisków i spekulacji, a także na wyjaśnianiu ich strategii narracyjnych oraz mechanizmów ich powstawania. Zapraszamy do udziału w konferencji i zaprezentowania referatów, które zainspirują i sprowokują dyskusje o tajemnicach, zagadkach i enigmach w różnych historycznych kontekstach.

International American Studies Association Sixth World Congress

America. America . AmeRICA. The Americas. A mythologized New World, oceans apart from the Old, yet not a day younger. America: a projection that first obliterated and then replaced the reality of the dual continent before its existence, rhetorically undone, could be acknowledged. Re-textualized anew before they could be explored and exploited, contemporary Americas have since become a complex palimpsest: the oldest text barely visible from under the plethora others, inscribed upon the erasure of previous ones.

Annual Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures
Szczyrk, 22nd - 24th May, 2013

I tramp the perpetual journey
My signs are a rain-proof coat, good shoes, and a staff cut from the woods,
No friend of mine takes his ease in my chair,
I have no chair, no philosophy,
I lead no man to a dinner-table, library, exchange,
But each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll,
My left hand hooking you round the waist,
My right hand pointing to landscapes of continents and the public road."
Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

From the earliest oral poetry of antiquity to contemporary science-fiction, the notion of the journey has been the ordering factor of narrative. The heroic journey in literature and the focus on the imagery of the rites of passage in human life defined a wealth of texts ranging from Sumerian, Egyptian and Greek epics, the Arthurian Romance, works by Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Pope, Fielding, Coleridge, Whitman, Twain, the Grimm brothers, Joyce, Gilman, Bellow to Pynchon, McCarthy and many other contemporary authors.

Centrum Studiów Kanadyjskich oraz Koło Naukowe Kanadystów ma wielki zaszczyt zaprosić wszystkich studentów oraz pracowników naukowych na konferencję pt. One Coin, Two Sides: Hybridization of Cultures in Canada, która odbędzie się 13-tego maja 2013 roku w Sosnowcu.
Zachęcamy do pobrania CFP.

Annual International Conference of the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures

Ustroń, Poland, 20-23 September 2012

Call For Papers

Download CFP as a PDF file

Although generally resented and deemed unfavourable for individuals, societies and nations, grief, grievance, and grieving, along with a complex list of epithets that could in various situations, under varying circumstances, accompany them – racial grief, political grievance, protracted grieving, chronic grief, traumatic, unresolved grievance – nevertheless occupy a notorious place in culture and its manifestations in literature, art, history, science, or politics.

Organized by the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures

Szczyrk, 10-12 May 2012

Call For Papers

Download CFP as a PDF file

It is not without trepidation that the word 'nature' is employed by the majority of postmodern scholars. When used, it is usually followed by an explanation of what the speaker actually designates as nature lest the audience perceives it differently. Naturally, the term in question is a social construct. However, the very fact that it often disguises itself as quite the opposite is what makes it an authoritative ideological nexus. The 'natural' anxiety of esteemed academicians may be understood, therefore, as the fear of exploring the environment where many a beast prowls, and where the benign flowerbeds of aesthetics may hide quagmires of oppression.

Despite the dangers, many intrepid surveyors set forth to blaze trails in this particular wilderness, making it easier for subsequent expeditions to investigate the nature/Nature/natures in detail. Some chose the earthly path, focusing on the territory they travel through. Romanticism saw it as sublime - the turbulent Nature. Marxism believed that labor alters Nature which becomes the "inorganic body" of Man. The converging paths of literature, critical theory, and the land expressed in ecocriticism, have studied the environment both as 'natural' and 'man-made', and brought attention to the ultimate precedence of nature over culture. Some thinkers, however, have moved beyond the act of constructing nature and focused on reasons behind it. Postcolonial theory, gender and minority studies have proven that behind the ostensibly innocuous 'natural order(s)' lurk beasts of coercion, authoritarianism and subjugation.

Scholars are cordially invited to participate in yet another excursion into the land of nature. While particularly encouraged are contributions concerning the subject of the conference, feel free to walk paths less trodden and explore the field in any way you consider natural. Possible topics include:

  • Nature/nature/natures
  • nature as a social construct/contract
  • physis and techne, earth and artifact
  • consumption and destruction
  • nature and the discourses of power
  • ethnocentric and ecocentric
  • nature in cityscape, cityscape in nature
  • ecocriticism and ecology without nature
  • ecology as the new opium for the masses
My Brain by Marina PetroMy Brain by Marina Petro
International Conference

September 22 – 24, 2011
Ustroń, Poland

No one remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
      Thomas Mann
Becoming conscious is of course a sacrilege against nature; it is as though you had robbed the unconscious of something.
      Carl G. Jung

One's own self is well hidden from one's own self; of all mines of treasure, one's own is the last to be dug up.
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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The last 200 years have produced a staggering wealth of writing on the Self, at first mainly belles-lettres, later also non-fiction. Whether we take into consideration the High Romantics, such as E. A. Poe, E. T. A. Hoffman, and P. B. Shelley, pursuing the Self through archetypes of the Self, or George Eliot's fiction of apparently social concern (The Mill on the Floss, Middlemarch), or D. H. Lawrence's and W. Faulkner's narratives, we are confronted with dramas of consciousness. The advent of analytical psychology afforded not only insights into the workings of the literary text, but also pointed to its frequent therapeutic meaning for the author, individual reader, and community. The work of C. G. Jung and S. Gooch, exploring the duality of man and stressing the need to foster a new consciousness by integrating the feminine and the masculine, V. Frankl's doctrine of overcoming the 'tragic triad' (suffering, guilt, and transitoriness) and inner void by affirming Urvertrauen zum Dasein ('the basic trust in Being') in existential acts of the 'will to meaning', provided two frameworks for therapy. Freud's system provided another framework, but what is perhaps as significant, it was admired for two different reasons. H. Hesse admired the clarity of Freud's thinking combined with beauty of language while T. Mann - his literary characteristics: structure and form. This interface of writing and therapy, much as in such famous accounts as Augustine's or Rousseau's Confessions, constitutes an intellectual challenge in that its paradigms of exposure and suppression follow both tangled personal and rhetorical agendas.

Scholars are welcome to submit proposals from a wide range of areas (including literary and cultural studies, sociology, psychology, art, religious studies, and others).

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • writing as therapy/healing/purification
  • writing and reading as autotherapy
  • psychology in art/art in psychology
  • therapeutic functions of participation in high/low culture
  • illness, therapy, and catharsis in film and theatre
  • discourses on the Self/identity/subjectivity
  • writing and suffering/destruction/guilt/transitoriness
  • therapy and the sub/un/conscious
  • acculturation as therapy

Scholars from diverse fields are invited to participate in The Self Industry. Therapy and Fiction, a conference to be held on 22nd - 24th September 2011 in Ustroń, Poland. We expect your presentation abstracts (150-200 words) by 31 March 2011. Should you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us at Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie obsługi JavaScript. .

The organizing committee:

Krzysztof Kowalczyk-Twarowski, Ph.D.
Chair of the Organising Committee

Marta Mamet-Michalkiewicz, Ph.D.
Jarosław Szurman, Ph.D.

Download CFP as a PDF file


International Conference

Organised by
the Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia
and the Committee on Literature Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences
22 - 25 September 2010
Ustroń, Poland

Call for Papers

Sense, Sensibility, and Sensation

Szczyrk, May 19-22 2010

The conference is devoted to the category of sensation, which appears in English literature in the second half of the nineteenth century as a form of counter-culture movement directed against the obtaining and commonly accepted realistic conventions in fiction. Our considerations will chiefly concern the specific qualities of sensationalist fictions (conceived as a progeny of Gothic/terror/romantic fiction and a precursor of the detective genre), its generic variants and representatives (individual works and authors), and its subsequent permutations (including e.g., horror/suspense in fiction and film). One of the major cultural connotations of sensationalism to take into account is the problematic connection between late-Victorian “low” sensationalism and eighteenth-century “high” sentimentalism and sensibility (coded as noble openness to sense impressions). The phenomenon of sensational fiction became, in the context of its emergence in the nineteenth century, a pretext to debate the relation, not only between low and high culture, but also between the senses and the intellect. Warmly invited are also contributions that will tackle the connections (but also discontinuities and oppositions) between the philosophically forged meanings of the key terms (e.g., the Lockean definition of sensation) and those new meanings which they acquired (also, have acquired very recently) when employed to describe and critique issues of literary practice and literary theory.

Conference organised by

Małgorzata Nitka
Jacek Mydla

with the help of

Karolina Lebek
Mirosław Droń

Call for Papers

The Surplus of Culture: Sense, Common-Sense, Non-Sense 

September 16th-19th, 2009

Ustroń, Poland

This conference is designed as a forum for interdisciplinary dialogue on the cultural and literary aspects of Sense (and meaning, as in philosophy), Common-Sense (and everyday life or the quotidian or just ordinary) and Non-Sense (as in the discourse on the absurd, meaningless, the comical, the funny, etc). Culture and literature have always been most inspiring sites to address the idea of the sens-ical or the sens-uous, the common-sens-ical (ambiguous as the word “sense” can be) and the non-sensical which, from medieval times or the Renaissance to the present, have been ubiquitous in discourse. The conference debates will circle round but will not be limited to the following questions: What knowledge is necessary for the reader to bring to the text to understand its sense/meaning? In what ways may the meaning of the text be regarded as stable (unstable)?  What are full evaluative arguments that assess the works of art, in a broad sense: formal, literary, moral, aesthetic, etc? What is the sense of the work of art as opposed to or concurrent with its meaning? What is the unique sense of the work of art if at all? What is the source of sense?

The (non)sensical will address topsy-turvyness, absurdity, theories of humor, humor and cultural differences, humor and art of translation, riddles, children’s humor, multivalence, word games in literature, the grotesque, parody, satire, the carnivalesque, the effect of nonsense caused by an excess of meaning, etc. What are the forms of nonsense writing in various genres or types of literature such as romantic verse, travel writing, short story, lyric poetry, natural history, journalism, to name a few? Is nonsense funny because it does not make sense, or because of various techniques and devices that are employed in this type of writing?  What is the absurd, the nonsensical and the exaggerated? Why are philosophers and linguists fascinated with nonsense?

Common sense is often juxtaposed with reasoning and rationality; the commonsensical and the rational are defined as “two distinctive features of the common cognitive architecture” (Renee Elio). As Barry Smith puts it,  “Common sense is on the one hand a certain set of processes of natural cognition - of speaking, reasoning, seeing, and so on. On the other hand, common sense is a system of beliefs or the world of objects to which the processes of natural cognition and the corresponding belief-contents standardly relate”. For the Catholic apologist, John Henry Newman, in his Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent, common sense is vital to the Illative Sense, “the power of judging and concluding, when in its perfection.”

The conference debates will address all of the aforementioned issues and many others to inquire into the sense/common-sense (or non-sense) of contemporary literary and cultural studies, whether European, American, Afro-American, Asian, Asian-American, Australian, Caribbean, New Zealander and others, the presentation of which will be most welcome.

We invite a wide range of voices, historical, critical and theoretical papers that will address the above aspects (in a narrow or broad sense of the terms). The conference portions will be inaugurated by plenary lectures followed by papers no more than twenty minutes in length to be presented in concurrent sessions (each session featuring three papers).

Prof. dr. hab. Ewa Borkowska
Institute of English Cultures and Literatures (IECL)
Department of Philology
University of Silesia
ul. Gen. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec
Tel. +48 32 3640 892 (804)

Please forward 300-word abstracts, including title, professional affiliation, addresses (especially e-mail), phone number, and audio-video requirements by April 30, 2009. Electronic submissions are highly encouraged. Papers should be delivered in English.

Send proposals as a MS Word attachment to: Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie obsługi JavaScript.

Download the Call For Papers as a PDF document here

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Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego w Katowicach
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec