Call for Papers 11th International ESPRit Conference

Periodicals and Belonging

Time and venue: 27-29 June 2023, Leeds School of Arts, Leeds Beckett University, UK

The 11th International ESPRit conference will be held in Leeds, UK, on the theme of Periodicals and Belonging. This fruitful and timely theme is designed to encourage discussions and collaborations on the ways that ideas, emotions, declarations and imaginings, of belonging or not belonging, manifest in relation to periodical production and reception. 

The notion of belonging to a family, a local culture, a national, regional and international group, or a diaspora, including a host of cultural and political ideas, is intrinsic to periodical studies, as is research on communities of authors/contributors, readers, literature and the arts, history, cultural history, linguistics, sociology and memory studies amongst other disciplines. Constitutive to belonging, is the notion of not belonging, and as such, we are interested in exploring themes of exclusion, forms of othering, racialisation, agonism and conflict. 

The conference aims to further problematise concepts of association and organisation such as communities (e.g. ‘imagined communities’, ‘interpretive communities’), groups etc., to periodical readerships; enquire into notions of belonging as oppression (periodical policing of boundaries, identities or stereotypes); the use of belonging in marketing/advertising of periodicals, and the role of labour in periodical production (e.g., staff who belong loyally to one publication versus freelance journalists who sell their labour to many titles). Lastly, the conference will consider periodicals as visual and material objects that belong to certain places and spaces (e.g., when used as props or symbols by artists, photographers, film directors and others, or in dentists’ waiting rooms), as well as in circulation and movement across geopolitical locations and chronological periods. 

We are particularly interested in exploring:

  • Periodical groups and communities (diasporas; artistic; literary; feminist; LGBTQ/H; and, or ethnic groups/cultures; language variants (dialects and sociolects, slang, etc); children; youth; subcultures; identities; academic fields; social, political and professional communities)  
  • Periodical communities of readers (explored through case studies and/or specifics and/or theoretically), including genres, formats, classifications or hierarchies; in relation to geography and geopolitics (local, regional national, European, ‘Western’, 'other', residents, indigenous, host, exiles, expatriates, colonisers and colonised, migrants and refugees whilst simultaneously interrogate notions of home, homeland, Heimat and terroir, mobility and [im]mobility).

The conference is hosted by the Leeds School of Arts, Leeds Beckett University, in partnership with the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. We aim for linguistic inclusiveness by welcoming multilingual presentations with primary material in the original language accompanied by a translation into English.

We welcome proposals from researchers at all career stages. Proposals of around 250 words (references not included) for 20-minute papers and a short CV (no more than 200 words) should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for abstracts is 31 January 2023.

We also welcome proposals for joint panels of three papers, and for round tables or other formats. Please include a brief rationale for the panel or round table along with an abstract and CV for each presenter.

Ahead of the main conference, a Postgraduate Workshop will be held. The Call for Papers for this training workshop can be found here.

ESPRit 2023 Organising Committee: 

Dr Mary Ikoniadou, Leeds School of Arts This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Andrew Hobbs, UCLan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dr Annemarie McAllister, UCLan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

ESPRit 2023 Scientific Committee

Prof. Fionnuala Dillane, University College Dublin

Prof. Brian Maidment, Liverpool John Moores University

Prof. James Mussell, University of Leeds 

Prof. Simon Morris, Leeds Beckett University

Dr. Nora Ramtke, Ruhr University Bochum