«Intercultural Poetics. Literary Representations of ‘The Foreign Other’» (International Conference)

University of Minho, CEHUM
Closing date for submissions: 
31 March, 2015
Event dates: 
18.06.2015 - 19.06.2015
E-mail contact: 

Call for Papers

This international conference aims to bring together contributions from experts of various areas of specialization for a joint discussion and analysis of literary texts relating to all periods and genres of literature, which include direct or indirect reference to the Other as Foreign, either by suggesting certain images and representations or even by constituting representative 'imagotypes' of a given people, ethnic group or nation. According to Beller & Leerssen, the image of the Other or "the mental or discursive representation or reputation of a person, group, ethnicity or nation" involves not only "the commonplace nature and intertextual dissemination of certain characterizations" but also "the individual text's strategies of characterization" as well as "the way the text constructs salient features concerning a given nation as 'typical' or 'characteristic' "(Imagology, 2007).

Certain deep structures that are present in regional and national stereotyping, and usually involving the construction of binaries around opposite pairs, such as North / South, strong / weak, central / peripheral, may thus be analysed and systematized, without forgetting the degree of subjectivity involved in the literary representation of another culture by a writer. For this reason, any artistic representation of intercultural relations also involves the construction of an aesthetic image of the cultural confrontation of values and assumptions. Particularly relevant in the current context of globalization and multiculturalism, in which questions of identity, otherness and representation have assumed an increasingly important role in the Social Sciences and Humanities, is the extensive problematization of the aesthetic constructions of self-image and hetero-image. To the traditional images of static or rigid identities, including nationalist identities, authors such as Stuart Hall countered the ideas of a "decentred identity" or of an "identity-relation", which allow a continuous reconfiguration (Representation, 2003). In fact, the process of identity formation and change is constructed precisely through the confrontation with the 'Other', an intercultural encounter made of synergies and frictions, in which the literary text presents itself, and is represented, as a 'dialogue' or as a true space of differences and relationships.


Proposals for papers (in English or Portuguese) with a maximum duration of 20 minutes on one or more of the following possible topics are, therefore, very welcome:

  • Literary language(s) and the discourse of Otherness and Difference in literary histories and/or national literary criticism;
  • Intercultural Poetics in/as academic research: a literary approach to the dialogue between certain cultures;
  • Literary Imagotypes of different nationalities and/or ethnic groups; some persisting myths: construction /deconstruction of literary stereotypes;
  • The 'being' and the 'seeming' foreign: Xenophilia versus xenophobia in the several literatures (admiration, discrimination, pathology, etc.);
  • Cartographies of Otherness: The North and the South, the centre and the peripheries, in the several literatures;
  • The Other in Transit: Images of the tourist and the exilic and migrant other in the various national literatures;
  • The image of the Foreigner: aesthetic and inter-artistic representations, from literature to the Other Arts (cinema, music, painting, etc.);
  • Reading the Other: Literary representations of foreign national literatures and Literary Reception issues;
  • The issues of Gender and Genre in addressing otherness in the various literatures (sexual politics and literary form);
  • Forms of satire, humour and caricature in the literary perception of the Foreign Other;
  • Colonial versus Post-colonial perceptions of the Other and the phenomenon of hybrid cultures and literatures.

Please send individual abstracts (300 words) and/or proposals for thematic panels (500 words), accompanied by a brief biographical note (150 words), in English or Portuguese, to the following email address:


Keynote speakers:

-Lucia Boldrini (Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Goldsmiths College, University of London, Member of the Council of the International Comparative Literature Association, Member of the Editorial Board of Comparative Critical Studies)

-Gabriela Gândara Terenas (Associate Professor of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the New University of Lisbon, Board Member of CETAPS, Director of the Journal of Anglo-Portuguese Studies)



Important Dates:

-Until February 28, 2015 - Submission of proposals

-Until March 31, 2015 – Notification of selected proposals

-Until April 30, 2015 – Registration in the conference website

-Until May 31, 2015 - Submission of the final programme

-18-19 June 2015 – Conference


Publication: A peer reviewed selection of the papers presented at the conference may be published by the organization under a thematic volume.

Registration Fees and Form of Payment: 80 Euros (40 Euros for students); payment will be made at the conference venue; optional: 25 Euros more to attend the Conference dinner on Friday evening.




Scientific Committee: (alphabetical order)

  • Ana Gabriela Macedo (CEHUM- University of Minho)
  • Gabriela Gândara Terenas (CETAPS- Universidade Nova de Lisboa)
  • Glyn Hambrook (Co-Director of the Centre for Transnational and Transcultural Research, University of Wolverhampton, U.K.)
  • Lucia Boldrini (University of London, U.K., ICLA Council)
  • Maria do Carmo Cardoso Mendes (CEHUM- University of Minho)
  • Maria do Rosário Girão Santos (CEHUM- University of Minho)
  • Orlando Grossegesse (CEHUM- University of Minho)
  • Paula Alexandra Guimarães (CEHUM- University of Minho)
  • Reinaldo Francisco Silva (University of Aveiro and CEAUL)
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