Final Programme for Multilingualisms in World Literature Conference

Thursday 18 January – Saturday 20 January 2018

SOAS, University of London

Below is the full programme for the Multilingualisms in World Literature Conference, including information about lunchtime events, evening receptions, and conference dinner. Note: No formal registration is required for the additional events, though we will take numbers for catering purposes at a later date. You can download a pdf of the conference programme here.

Details about the dinner as well as directions to all off-campus locations will be provided in the conference pack.

If you have any friends or colleagues who would be interested in attending the conference for any of the three days, please have them register here. There is no need for panellists to register.

For more information please contact: Nora Parr (

University and programme logos

Thursday 18 January

11:00 – Registration and Coffee (College Buildings MB116)

11:15 – Welcome from Conference Organizers Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS) and Jane Hiddleston (Oxford)


Multilingualisms and language borders


11:30 12:45 Chair: Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

Álvaro Marín García (Essex): Multilingualism in the new Spanish novel: The case and influence of Alfaguara reading committees

Dima Ayoub (Middlebury): Resistant Multilingualism in Somaya Ramadan’s Leaves of Narcissus


13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch (SG36)

We make our way over to the SOAS conference suite where Talking Transformations: An exhibition of multilingual translation art is set up ahead of the evening’s performance programme with Manuela Perteghella and Ricarda Vidal (King’s College London)


14:00 – 15:15   Chair: Ross G. Forman (Warwick)

Claire Gallien (Montpellier): Contemporary Literary Production in English and Arabic – Displacing, Rethinking and Reinventing Language, Literature, and Belonging

Flair Shi (Oxford): Positioning the Multilingual Sinophone in the “Chinese”/World Literature Debate


15:15 – 15:30  Coffee Break


15:30 – 17:15 – Chair: Jane Hiddleston (Oxford)

Elisabeth Friis (Lund): Greenlandic Ethnoaesthetics and Trilingualism

Kasia Szymańska (Oxford): Polish Martians Send a Multilingual Postcard Home

Mads Rosendahl Thomsen (Aarhus): The subtle economy of bilingual novels: Achebe, Díaz, Hemon and Xiaolu Guo


17:15 – Reception Wine and nibbles with poetry and exhibit walk-through


18:30 Mother Tongues: Multilingual Identities – Authors Vahni Capildeo and Burhan Sönmez speak on language and identity at Waterstones – with English PEN. (Registration required: Conference panellists do not need to register.)


Friday 19 January

9:30 Coffee (SG36)


Multilingualism and identity


10:00 – 11:15 Chair: Karima Laachir (SOAS)

Siobhan Shilton (Bristol): Identity and ‘Difference’ in El Seed’s Calligraffiti: from Street to Web

Ingy Emara (Misr International): A Multimodal Discourse Analysis of Billboards as a Tool for Shaping Multilingual Identities in Egypt


Seeing, feeling and hearing multilingualisms


11:15 – 12:30 Chair: Siobhán Shilton (U. Bristol)

Dobrochna Futro (Glasgow): Translanguaging Art

Paulo Horta (NYU Abu Dhabi): Visceral realisms: pranks, poetry and pictures in Roberto Bolaño’s fiction


12:30 – 14:30 – Interactive Lunch

Inés Labarta (Lancaster) reads to us from her multilingual novel in progress


14:30 – 15:45  Chair: Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

Xiaofan Amy Li (Kent): The Polyphonic Dance of Poetry: Gao Xingjian's Ballade nocturne and Pascal Quignard's L'Origine de la danse

H-Dirkson Bauman (Gallaudet): The Absurd Poetics of the Hearing: Multilingual Ventriloquism In American Sign Language Performance


15:45 – 16:15 Coffee Break


16:15 – 17:30 Chair: Laura Lonsdale (Oxford)

Karin Nykvist (Lund): From Language to Noise – and Back Again

Khalid Lyamlahy (Oxford): A ‘Boundless Creative Ferocity’: Moroccan Poetry and Visual Art in Dialogue


18:30 Conference Dinner 


Saturday 20 January

9:30  Coffee (SG36)


Revolutionary Multilingualisms


10:00 – 11:45 Chair: Charles Forsdick (U. Liverpool)

Carlos F. Grigsby (Oxford): Thinking in French & Writing in Spanish

Brigitte Rath (Innsbruck): Of mice-bunnies. Speaking non-monolingually in one language

Eva Karpinski (York, Canada): “Qui sont-je?” Multilingual Entanglements of Identity in Üstün Bilgen-Reinart


12:00 – 13:30 – Interactive Lunch

Explore Claire Frampton’s (Ashmolean) exhibition on multilingualism in the museum exhibit


13:30 – 14:45 Chair: Francesca Orsini (SOAS)

Keya Anjaria (SOAS): Multilingual Prose in Ahmet Midhat Efendi’s Felatun Bey and Rakım Efendi

yasser elhariry (Dartmouth): ‘How wonderfully this language falls on the ear’: Postlanguage & Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq’s Leg Over Leg


14:45 – 16:00 Chair: Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

Dominique Jullien (UC Santa Barbara): Artificial languages, multilingualism and dystopias

Ellen Jones (Queen Mary): Me estás pluckeando del closet’: queering language and textual production in Giannina Braschi’s Yo-Yo Boing!


End of Conference Programme


For core group members:

16:00  17:00 Project (core group) meeting with coffee

18:30 Project (core group) dinner


Download or print a pdf of the conference programme.

Tickets are still available for the conference, please register here: