BACLS-WHN 2023 Conference

British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies What Happens Now 2023 Conference.jpg

Call for Papers: British Association for Contemporary Literary Studies – What Happens Now Conference (BACLS-WHN)

6th September 2023 Old Gymnasium Building University of Birmingham, UK and 8th September 2023 online


We invite contributions to the BACLS ‘What Happens Now’ conference. This year we are trying a different format: one day will be in-situ only and one day will be online only.

Understanding the contemporary as a fluid and diverse ‘moment’, contemporary literary studies explores cultural and creative works and their relation to the emerging political and social formations of the present.

We welcome contributions on topics from across the field of contemporary literary studies, including modern languages, comparative and world literatures, eco-criticism, postcolonial, migration and critical refugee studies, literary urban studies, disabilities studies, gender studies, translation studies, linguistics, performance studies, publishing studies, contemporary book history, media theory, comics studies, video games studies, adaptation studies, the study of popular music, cultural studies, critical theory, critical-creative practice, medical humanities, and digital humanities.

We welcome submissions for presentations other than traditional, academic research papers: these might include performances and readings, or submissions related to aspects of professional development and pedagogical issues.

BACLS is especially concerned to encourage and enhance representation and participation from minorities, and is proactively working to reduce physical, social, and economic barriers to participation and to develop an environment rooted in a belief of equal respect for all. We strongly encourage and will give preference to panels that reflect the diversity of our field in terms of all protected characteristics and institutional affiliations.

Please upload panel proposals of no more than 600 words, and abstracts for 20-minute papers of no more than 250 words, with brief biographical notes (about 50 words) to by 26th May 2023. The form also includes a section where you can indicate a preference for presenting in situ or online, or if you are happy with either option.

To attend BACLS-WHN you will need to register as a member of BACLS. You do not need to be a member to submit a panel, paper, or workshop proposal. Please note we are experiencing issues with renewing/purchasing memberships - bear with us while we address these. In the meantime, do get in touch with our Membership Secretary, Julia Ditter (, to register your interest in joining BACLS or in renewing your lapsed membership.

BACLS will make some travel bursaries available: please indicate on the Google form whether you would like to apply for one.