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(Archived) Call for Papers: Borders, Intersections and identity in the Contemporary Short Story in English

Faculty of Philology, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain – 23-24 May 2019
Submission deadline: 1 March 2019


Borders, Intersections and Identity in the Contemporary Short Story in English is a conference organised by the Research Project Intersections: Gender and Identity in the Short Fiction of Contemporary British Women Writers (FEDER/AEI – FEM2017-83084- P) and the Research Group Discourse and Identity (GRC2015/002, GI_1924) in affiliation with the ENSFR (European Network for Short Fiction Research).

Keynote speakers

Isabel Carrera Suárez (U of Oviedo, Spain)

Anne Fogarty (U College Dublin, Ireland)

Paul March-Russell (U of Kent, United Kingdom)


The modern short story has been described as a liminal and hybrid form, a combination of different genres (Achilles and Bergmann 2015). Such hybridity and formal indeterminacy often account for the difficulty in explaining the genre’s specificity with regards to other narrative forms to the extent that brevity stands out as its sole identifiable defining feature. However, it could be argued that the genres shortness determines a set of other characterological, thematic, pragmatic and material aspects that distinguish the short story from other literary genres (Korte 2003; Drewery 2011; Achilles and Bergmann 2015; Cox 2015). Building on previous criticism of the short story (most notably, Frank OConnor and Clare Hanson), Adrian Hunter affirmed that the short narrative form is particularly suited to the representation of liminal or problematized identities” (2007:138). Departing from these premises, this conference will address how the short story has been used to articulate the migrant subjects predicament as an intersection of identity categories and interacting vectors such as gender, race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexuality, nationality, age and (dis)ability, among others. We welcome approaches to the short story in English that elucidate the ways in which the short narrative form functions as a medium for the articulation of these identitary elements and how the tensions deriving from their disparity and friction are negotiated, repressed or simply ignored.

Expected proposals

Papers may explore, but are not limited to, the following issues:

* Gender and genre intersections

* Intersections of gender, class and ethnicity in the contemporary short story

* The postcolonial short story as a vehicle of resistance

* Multicultural, transnational and transcultural short-story writing

* Cosmopolitanism and nationalism in contemporary short-story writing

* Borders and border-crossing in the contemporary short story

* Migration and mobility in the contemporary short story

* The short story and immediate topicality: from the ongoing refugee crisis to the post-Brexit referendum

* Other intersections: nature and environment, human-nonhuman, human-machine, human-animal, etc.

We also welcome papers from other areas of literary studies, cultural studies (including cinema and television), philosophy, psychology, theology, communication, history and history of art.

Although we expect most proposals to be individual, panel proposals of three closely related papers will also be considered.


* Achilles, Jochen and Ina Bergmann, eds. 2015. Liminality and the Short Story: Boundary Crossings in American, Canadian, and British Writing. New York: Routledge.

* Cox, Ailsa. 2015. New Waves of Interest: Womens Short Story Writers in the Late Twentieth Century”, in British Women Short Story Writers: The New Woman to Now, edited by Emma Young and James Bailey, Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP, 114-132.

* Drewery, Claire. 2011. Modernist Short Fiction by Women: The Liminal in Katherine Mansfield, Dorothy Richardson, May Sinclair and Virginia Woolf. Farnham: Ashgate.

* Hunter, Adrian. 2007. The Cambridge Introduction to the Short Story in English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

* Korte, Barbara. 2003. The Short Story in Britain: A Historical Sketch and Anthology. Tübingen and Basel: A. Francke.

How to Submit

250 to 300-word proposals should be sent to with a brief bio-note of 50 to 100 words by 1 March 2019.

Notification of acceptance will occur by 10 March 2019.

Revised versions of selected papers will be published in a special issue of the Journal of the Short Story in English.


Early-bird Registration (before 15 April, 2019):

* General Fee: 120 €

* Reduced Fee (undergraduate and graduate students): 90€

Late Registration (16 April to 15 May):

*General Fee: 150€

* Reduced Fee (undergraduate and graduate students): 120€

Registration includes conference materials, coffee breaks and lunch for 23 and 24 May, 2019.

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