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Our Uncommon Ground: Modern Languages and Cultures for the 21st Century addresses the pressing ethical imperatives for the study of Modern Languages and Cultures as a diverse and yet coherent discipline in a world which is increasingly –  and acrimoniously – divided.

There has never been a more important time to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective. And yet, Modern Languages continues to struggle with its disciplinary identity; as Michael Worton argued, almost a decade ago, one of the major challenges facing the discipline is a move towards separatism and forms of protectionism, which emerged at the very moment when it is vital that new forms of partnership and collaboration be established. This conference represents an attempt to sketch out the uncommon ground between the many (sub-)disciplines that comprise Modern Languages and Cultures. It offers a platform from which to establish a regular UK-based gathering of the Modern Languages and Cultures research community to promote the productive exchange of ideas across existing subject boundaries.

We are pleased to be joined by a set of distinguished keynote speakers from the UK and beyond.

We welcome participation from colleagues in the broad field of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Programme

10.00-11.00 Registration and Coffee
11.00-11.30 Welcome and Opening Remarks
Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture TheatreProfessor David Cowling, PVC Arts and Humanities, Durham UniversityProfessor Claire O’Malley, PVC Global, Durham UniversityProfessor Janet Stewart, Head of School of Modern Languages and Cultures, Durham University: ‘Our Uncommon Ground’
11.30 – 13.00 Plenary Lecture 1  

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Professor David Bates, UC Berkeley [Chair: Dr Gerald Moore]

13.00-14.15 Lunch
Calman Learning Centre, Derman Christopherson Lecture Theatre
14.15-15.45 Parallel Session 1

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: Andy Byford

OWRI: Cross-Language Dynamics

Parallel Session 2 Engineering Dept, Room E101Chair: Janet StewartPhotographic Practices Parallel Session 3

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Chair: Marcela Cazzoli

Transnational Linguistic Awareness in Modern Languages

Parallel Session 4 Engineering Dept, Room E102Chair: Kerstin OloffEcology and Modern Languages: New Directions and Challenges I
15.45-16.15 Tea Break
16.15-17.45 Parallel Session 6

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: Santiago Fouz-Hernandez / Katrin Wehling

European Film Cultures Before and After Brexit

Parallel Session 7

Engineering Dept, Room E101

Chair: Fusako Innami

The Body, Gesture and Affect

Parallel Session 8

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Chair: Kerstin Oloff

Ecologies and Modern Languages II: Ecologies of Time and Memory in Medieval and Early Modern Culture

17.45-18.00 Pause
18.00-19.30 Plenary Panel 1  

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Open World Research Initiatives Panel: Research Paradigms in Modern Languages. New Developments in the OWRI Projects

  Free evening
9.00-9.30 Coffee
9.30-11.00 Parallel Session 9 

Engineering Dept, Room E101

Chair: Adam Talib

Islam at the Limits of Language – A Roundtable

Parallel Session 10 

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: Santiago Fouz Hernandez

New Approaches to Spanish Cinema Studies

Parallel Session 11 

Engineering Dept, Room E102

Chair: Marcela Cazzoli

Modern Languages, Literature and Translation

Parallel Session 12 

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Chair: William Schaefer

Ecologies and Modern Languages III

11.00-11.30 Coffee Break
11.30-13.00 Plenary Lecture 2 Professor Sharon Kinoshita, UC Santa Cruz [Chair: Luke Sunderland]

Location: Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre, Calman Learning Centre

Marco Polo and the Global Middle Ages

13.00-14.15 Lunch

Calman Learning Centre: Derman Christopherson Lecture Theatre

14.15-15.45 Parallel Session 13 

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: David Bates

The ‘Life’ of the Humanities

Parallel Session 14 

Engineering Dept, Room E101

Chair: Janet Stewart

Exile, Diaspora and Community

Parallel Session 15 

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Chair: Binghan Zheng / Sergey Tyulenev / Marc Schachter

Beyond the Boundary of Translation: Applying Translation to the Studies of Modern Languages and Cultures

15.45-16.15 Tea Break
16.15-17.45 Parallel Session 16 

Engineering Dept, Room E101

Chair: Claudia Nitschke

Moral Emotions in Literature

Parallel Session 18 

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: Charles Burdett

Transnationalizing Modern Languages

Parallel Session 20 

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Co-Chairs: Francisco-J Hernandez Adrián / Marc Botha

Transversalities of Atlantic, Caribbean and Global North/South Studies

17.45 -18.00 Pause
18.00-19.30 Plenary Lecture 3 Alberto Manguel [Chair: Professor Carlo Caruso]

The tears of Isaac: how literary language explains the world to us

Location: Arnold Wolfendale Lecture Theatre, Calman Learning Centre

20.00 Conference Dinner (Castle)
9.00-9.30 Coffee
9.30-11.00 Parallel Session 21 

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

Chair: Gerald Moore

The Digital Episteme and the Future of Cultural Studies

 Parallel Session 22

Engineering Dept, Room E101

Chairs: Barbara Graziosi (Durham) and Carlo Caruso (Siena)

Middle ground or no man’s land? The Classical tradition between Modern Languages and Classics

Parallel Session 23 

Calman Learning Centre, Ken Wade Lecture Theatre

Chair: Dora Osborne

Rethinking the Atlas

 
11.00-11.30 Coffee Break
11.30-13.00  British Academy Plenary Roundtable Does Modern Languages have a disciplinary identity?

Calman Learning Centre, Rosemary Cramp Lecture Theatre

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Distinguished Speakers

As one of the broadest constituencies of its kind in the UK, Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is responding to calls for wishes to bring together a wide spectrum of activities and interests that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. To achieve this, the School is hosting a major conference designed to enable participants to reflect on the state of the discipline and to develop new intellectual agendas.

Alberto Manguel

Alberto Manguel

Distinguished author and Director of the Biblioteca Nacional of Argentina

Sharon Kinoshita

Sharon Kinoshita

Professor of Literature and Co-director of the Center for Mediterranean Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz

David Bates

David Bates

Professor of Rhetoric at Berkeley

Janice Carruthers

Janice Carruthers

Professor of French at Queen’s University Belfast and AHRC Leadership Fellow for Modern Languages

Nigel Vincent

Nigel Vincent

Professor Emeritus at Manchester University and former Vice-President of the British Academy

Neil Kenny

Neil Kenny

Professor of French at Oxford University, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College and Fellow of the British Academy.

Catherine Davies

Catherine Davies

Professor of Hispanic and Latin American Studies at the University of Nottingham and Director of the Institute of Modern Languages Research at the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

Stephen Hutchings

Stephen Hutchings

Professor of Russian Studies at the University of Manchester and Principal Investigator on the AHRC Open World Research Initiative ‘Cross-Language Dynamics: Reshaping Community’

Charles Forsdick

Charles Forsdick

Charles Forsdick is James Barrow Professor of French at the University of Liverpool. Since 2012 he has been the AHRC Theme Leadership Fellow for ‘Translating Cultures’.

Contact Us

Our Uncommon Ground

Postal Address:
School of Modern Languages & Cultures
Durham University
Elvet Riverside
New Elvet
Durham DH1 3JT

General Telephone Enquiries: 
+44 (0) 191-334-2630

Contact Us

Our Uncommon Ground: Modern Languages and Cultures for the 21st Century highlights the pressing ethical imperatives for the study of Modern Languages and Cultures as a diverse and yet coherent discipline in a world which is increasingly – and acrimoniously – divided. There has never been a more important time to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective.

As one of the broadest constituencies of its kind in the UK, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University is pleased to bring together a wide spectrum of research activities and interests that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries both within and well beyond the discipline. This conference provides a platform from which regular meetings of the Modern Languages and Cultures community in the UK can develop.