CfP E. M. Forster – Shaping the Space of Culture

Call for Papers

E. M. Forster – Shaping the Space of Culture

7 June 2021

International E. M. Forster Society
University of Warsaw
University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Prof. Claire Monk (de Montfort University)
Prof David Scourfield (Maynooth University)

We would like to invite you to an international conference on the life and works of E. M. Forster, the first on-line forum to be organised by the International E. M. Forster Society. The idea to organize the meeting of Forster scholars and fans on the 51st anniversary of Forster’s death and the 11th anniversary of the funding of the Society, originated partially from the cancellation of the Cambridge anniversary conference which was to be held in April 2020 (awaited by many of us so anxiously) and partially from the desire expressed by several members of IEMFS to meet and share the ideas despite the circumstances and against the odds.

The title of the conference calls for yet another evaluation of the presence of Forster and his oeuvre in the world of culture. The word ‘space’, a commodious term, in the title of our conference is to reflect, in the first place,  a vast array of angles in which Forster and his works, both literary and non-literary ones, can be approached. But above all the notion of the space of culture is to underline the multicutural and multidimentional character of Forster’s works and ideas. In his novels, shorts stories, lectures, or radio broadcasts, the writer created the space which is a meeting point of various fields of human activities, a construct allowing for interdisciplinary collaboration. His narratives feature many voices, many geographies, and many cultures. Space, thus, can stand for numerous notions and can accommodate for scholarly discussions enclosing different subjects and areas of knowledge. As for the other word from the tile, equally important, ‘shaping’, it also has a double-layered meaning. On the one hand, it refers to Forster’s creativity, his way of shaping fictional worlds and, in turn, the way his writing  became a part of Modernist culture. On the other hand, ‘shaping’ is to express the importance of Forsterian element in the present-day culture, its ceaseless influence on the thinking and writing of others.

Subsequently, we would like to enquire into the rich and complex worlds created by Forster a century ago and to see how his works, and the values he stood for within British and world culture(s) got recontextualized in the 21st century. We are also interested in the responses in literature, arts, social history his writings continuously generate half a century after his demise. We are, therefore, keen on considering all possible aspects of Forster’s oeuvre and life, as perceived by various theories, methodologies, and schools. Consequently, the discussions concerning contemporary receptions of the writer as well as the extent to which and the way in which different cultures influence the shaping of our perception of Forster nowadays are welcome, too.  

The conference is free and it will take place on June 7th, 2021 on Zoom approximately from 1 to 7 p.m. CET. The conference itself will include keynote lectures and discussions on submitted papers/presentations (specific form of the discussion will depend on the number of submissions). The presentations/papers themselves will be made available in two forms – the participants may record them on video and we will put these videos on a special YouTube channel, or send them in written form (Word files, preferably) and we will upload them to a cloud. All participants will receive links to the submitted papers and presentations. It is possible to participate in the conference without a paper but you have to register in order to receive the links.

Proposals for a 20 minute long presentation or a paper up to 6000 words should consist of a 150 word abstract and a short biographical note including your academic affiliation (if available), they should be sent to the following address Proposals are welcome until March 1st  2021 – the authors of the accepted papers will be notified within a month of the acceptance. The submissions should be made by May 21st 2021 although we will greatly appreciate it if they are sent in earlier to give other participants as much time as possible to watch or read them.

We intend to publish a reviewed collection of essays following the conference as a special issue of the Polish Journal of English Studies (issue 7.2/2021). The journal is available online (from the web page and through several data bases) and the special issue will also be available in print. We will expect submissions by July 15th 2021 in order to publish the issue by the end of 2021. If you intend to submit your paper, please check the information for contributors at:

All further details will be available from the website of the Society and on Facebook.

Facebook users may also consider following our page or joining the group of our Society to get the latest updates as soon as possible.

If you would like to join the Society, please, go to this page.

We are looking to meeting you on-line, thanks to and through the Machine!

The Committee of the Machine
Dr Anna Kwiatkowska, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn
Prof. Krzysztof Fordoński, University of Warsaw
Dr Dorota Gładkowska, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn

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