Call for Papers - English: Shared Futures Conference ECA

Posted by boo11 at Sep 02, 2019 02:45 PM |
English: Shared Futures 2020 Manchester/Salford June 26-28th 2020 @EngSharedFuture


A dedicated Early Career strand within English: Shared Futures 2020, united around 3 themes

  • Decolonisation
  • Interdisciplinarity
  • Mental Health


We envisage each of the above themes having their own panel, workshop and roundtable, showcasing the work of early career scholars in these vital areas while also providing guidance and support for a new generation of English academics.

We welcome paper proposals for each of the panels outlined below.

We also invite expressions of interest from ECAs who wish to participate in one of the roundtables, as well as nominations for other relevant voices.

Decolonising the Curriculum as an ECA

While PhD students, Teaching Assistants, and early career academics are often some of those teachers keenest to respond to calls to decolonise the university curriculum, they are, conversely, also those with the least power to do so. This panel invites papers from PhDs and ECAs which explore ways of teaching a ‘decolonised curriculum’ as an ECA. This may include:

- New perspectives on teaching specific texts, authors, or periods
- Practical suggestions and strategies for diversifying syllabuses and reading lists
- Discussion of how best to equip PhDs/ECAs to teach about issues such as racism and colonialism sensitively
- Discussion of how to handle problematic language/behaviour in tutorials
- Presentation of example syllabuses (whether implemented or aspirational)
- Consideration of how best to involve students – e.g. at tutorial level (selecting texts, etc) and departmental/institutional level (e.g. pushing for survey courses to be diversified/wider module offering)
- Discussion of how we can ensure that teaching and assessment methods are inclusive
- Personal experiences, encounters, struggles, or successes

Interdisciplinary methodologies

Research in English increasingly borrows tools and knowledge from other humanities disciplines, social sciences and even STEM subjects. Negotiating differing assumptions, methodologies and genres of writing is often challenging, not least because the boundaries
between these disciplines can be rather ‘fuzzy’. Though funding bodies and universities often celebrate the value of interdisciplinary research, the reality for many early-career researchers is that support structures for such work in practice are limited, and it can be difficult to find a home for interdisciplinary research given the organisation of universities and publishing platforms.

This panel is aimed at early-career researchers whose work spans two or more disciplinary areas, offering a space to discuss the challenges raised by interdisciplinarity as well as an opportunity to showcase research that crosses disciplinary boundaries in creative ways.

We would like to solicit abstracts on topics including:
- using quantitative data in English research
- the permeable boundaries between English and history
- the text and the thing: English, book history & material culture
- English and the social sciences
- literature and medical humanities
- ‘mixed’ research methodologies within English (combining e.g. critical theory, historicism, creative writing, life writing)

Mental Health as a Research Area

The mental health crisis in academia has been well documented but it is often Early Career Academics and PhD students who are disproportionately affected. ECA’s and PhD’s often work in the most precarious circumstances, while also taking on large amounts of teaching and pastoral care roles for students without the requisite support networks in place. Amid the volatile marketisation of higher education, with its increasing workloads and demands, discussion around mental health and well being is often lacking. This strand seeks to raise awareness and foster dialogue about ECA and PhD mental health.

We are seeking panellists to explore the relationship between English as a discipline with mental health and would welcome panel proposals on the intersections of subject matter and experience. This may include:
- Experiences of teaching on mental health
- Experiences of researching mental health
- Discussing mental health with students
- How work might influence identity
- Content (trigger) warnings within teaching

Organisers for this strand also welcome roundtable participants willing to address issues such as: Fixed term and hourly paid contracts; Invisible labour; Collegiality and inclusivity; Access; Activism

Submitting a proposal

Each session will last 75 minutes. To join one of our ECA panels please send us a brief description of the paper and which strand it is designed for, along with your name, status (optional), and institution (optional). We also welcome suggestions for roundtable/workshop guests. The total should not exceed 300 words. Please email to by October 13th, 2019.


English: Shared Futures promotes inclusivity & diversity. We encourage representation and participation from under-represented groups, and are proactively working to reduce physical, social, & economic barriers to participation. We aim to develop an environment rooted in equal respect for all.

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