Transnational Literature: Conference 2021

The Call for Papers for our November issue has now closed, but we are delighted to be accepting abstracts for our January 2021 Conference.

Transnational Literature and Writing Conference: Follow the Sun, 28th-30th January 2021

We are inviting submissions of abstracts or proposals to Follow the Sun, our inaugural Transnational Literature and Writing Conference. The conference is hosted by TRACE at Bath Spa University. However, the conference has no fixed abode, as it will take place entirely online. The opening event will happen as the day begins in Adelaide, Australia; subsequent events will be programmed to ‘follow the sun’ as the morning travels around the world. Delegates will join in, as the conference passes through their time zone, and watch anything they’ve missed on replay.

The key theme of Follow the Sun is ‘place and displacement’. This was inspired by a phrase used by Aminatta Forna, who will be a keynote speaker at the conference. She said that in 2020, ‘we have seen place displaced’: on the one hand, many of us have become used to meeting online and are able to attend a conference which is untethered to place; on the other, many of us find it increasingly hard to move freely in the physical world as borders are closed and movement is controlled. In one sense, we are able to ‘follow the sun’, in another we are more bound than ever to our localities.

We are inviting abstracts and proposals from scholars and writers in any arts or humanities discipline, whose work engages with literature or writing, and this theme.

This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Literature or Writing exploring freedom to move, or restrictions on movement;
  • Literature or Writing on particular displacements;
  • Literature or Writing which explores connections to place over time;
  • Literature or Writing on surprising or notable connections between places, or between times;
  • Literature or Writing on conceptions of digital space;
  • Literature or Writing on synchronous or asynchronous experiences;
  • Place and time as a challenge of translation;
  • Place and time as an inspiration to writing communities.

Abstracts and proposals will be used to programme three strands of the conference: panel presentations; performances, and writing workshops. All presenters will require internet access to participate and may be asked to pre-record their presentation.

Panel presentations will consist of 20 minute papers of a scholarly/creative-critical nature, plus time for questions.

Performances will group together creative writers of all kinds, giving poets, prose writers and writers of creative nonfiction an opportunity to read their work. Maximum performance length 15 minutes.

Workshops will be 45 minute practical writing sessions; workshop leaders will be able to deliver sessions via Crowdcast or Zoom. 

All Abstracts and proposals should be a maximum of 300 words. Creative writing abstracts should include a link to previously published work and state the amount of time required for the performance. 

Please also supply a 50-word biography. 

Panels will be made up of three speakers, each allocated 20 minutes presentation time. If you wish to propose a full panel, please submit one document with three abstracts.

There will be a fee for the conference, but a proportion of tickets will be offered heavily discounted or free of charge to scholars and writers without financial support for their research.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 14th Oct 2020, noon, British Standard Time.

Please submit your abstract using this Google Form.

Some email addresses are incompatible with Google Forms. If this is the case for you, please download this Alternative to Google Form Follow the Sun Call for Abstracts and send it to: 

The conference is a partnership between TRACE and Paper Nations.

Social Media: #FollowTheSun2021

The Call for Papers for our June 2021 issue will go live in Dec 2020.

Transnational Literature is supported by GALA, TRACE, and JM Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice, to whom we offer our thanks.

The Transnational Journal
The Transnational Journal
The Transnational Journal

The first issue of Transnational Literature was published in November 2008 by the then-Flinders Humanities Research Centre, under the editorship of Dr Gillian Dooley.