Call for papers

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Popular Culture has long been absent from the syllabus, eschewed by researchers and viewed condescendingly sometimes even by its most adept practitioners. It has come a long way to become the thriving academic discipline it is today. Just as the term Popular Culture describes the widest range of practices, Popular Culture Studies cover the most heterogeneous objects. While this very diversity makes it exciting as a research field, it presents a challenge in terms of methods and approaches. To promote scientific exchanges at international level, Popular Culture Studies need elements of comparability and theorization. The biennial conference of the Royal Irish Academy, hosted by the School of Modern Languages at Queen’s University Belfast, intends to offer a forum for discussion between academics, teaching and researching in the fields of Popular Cultures. It will consider the benefits of studying Popular Cultures in Modern Languages Studies and seek to map current areas of research. It presents a distinctive opportunity to discuss corpora and contrast approaches.

Keynote Speakers

Professor Diana Holmes (Leeds): ‘The Way We Read Now: Popular and Middlebrow Fiction in Twenty-First Century Europe’

Professor Andrea Noble (Durham): ‘Killing and Crying: The Work of the Emotion in Nineteenth Century Mexican Popular Culture’

Topics for discussion include but are not restricted to:

  • Translation and interpretation of Popular Culture
  • Cultural icons and cultural iconicity
  • Popular cultures as media cultures
  • Visual and digital cultures
  • Teaching Popular Cultures in their original language
  • Cultural categories, normativity, canonicity
  • Consensualism, sensationalism and mass appeal
  • Global mainstream cultures and resistance
  • Fetishism, tosh and trash
  • Crime fiction and crime cultures
  • Self-reflexivity and parody
  • Mass education
  • Sport cultures and the body
  • Democratic culture and satire
  • Folk cultures

Papers (to be given in English) are welcome on topics relating to popular cultures in any area of Modern Languages Studies. Postgraduate research students are encouraged to submit proposals.

Please send 200-word proposals by the 1st of October 2013 to the conference organisers:

Dr Tori Holmes, Spanish and Portuguese Studies, QUB :

Dr Dominique Jeannerod, French Studies, QUB :

Dr Federico Pagello, Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, QUB :


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