English Shared Futures | A major conference across the discipline

An academic conference with a festival feel English: Shared Futures is the largest event for academics in English literature, language and creative writing. Call for proposals will be open until October, 15th 


Celebrating and exploring the intellectual strength, diversity, and creativity of English language, literature, and creative writing in the UK and across the world are the main focus and interests of this conference that will be celebrated in Manchester/Salford from June 26th to June 28th, 2020.

Following the great success of the first English: Shared Futures conference in Newcastle in 2017, our Brittish colleagues are delighted to invite proposals from other colleagues in the UK, Europe and around the world for the second conference.  They are looking for panels and papers on all areas and periods of English literary studies, language studies and creative writing. Approaches may cover:

  • new research from any area of the discipline, including practice-based research/practice as research;
  • learning, teaching and pedagogy;
  • aspects of professionalization (including precarity, mental health, employability, recruitment, gender and BAME imbalance).

For ESF 2020, we are especially interested in panels on:

  • inequalities: working-class literature, language and creative writing; regional differences; access to literature and social capital;
  • literature, language, creativity and music;
  • ‘applied’ English: how English language, literature and creative writing work in the world beyond universities and address local, national and global challenges;
  • refugees and displacement;
  • translation;
  • publishing and book history;
  • children’s literature.

In addition, as 2020 sees 75th anniversary of the 5th Pan African Congress on what is now Manchester Metropolitan University campus, panels which discuss the following areas are also welcomed:

  • issues around decolonization, broadly understood, including decolonizing the profession and curriculum;
  • writing and social justice;
  • W. E. B. du Bois;
  • migrancy and borders.

Panels that bring together colleagues from language, literature and creative writing and/or unite colleagues from Higher, Further and secondary education and/or mix colleagues from different career stages will be especially welcomed.

English: Shared Futures

English: Shared Futures promotes inclusivity and diversity. It encourages representation and participation from under-represented groups, and is proactively working to reduce physical, social, and economic barriers to participation. Its aim is to develop an environment rooted in equal respect for all.

In addition to the conventional three-papers-in-a-panel, the event is also keen to explore alternative forms of engagement, such as shared readings; pop-up workshops; zine-making; staged conversations; master-classes; salons; roundtables; interviews; dialogues; ‘research in progress’ sessions; ‘in situ’ events around Manchester; and any other new and rigorous scholarly approaches you may want to propose.

The conference aims to attract 750 attendees to Manchester/Salford. As in ESF2017, there will be a mentoring scheme; a strand of panels for, and organised by, early career academics; plenaries from English language, literature and creative writing; salons; sessions organised by learned societies; attendance by major academic publishers and small presses; workshops on digital skills and technologies; panels on writing grant applications; sessions for Heads and colleagues at all career stages.

Submitting a proposal

Each session will last 75 minutes. Your application must include the name, status, and institution (where applicable) of each speaker, and a brief description of the paper or panel/session’s focus and objectives. It must not exceed 600 words. Please email to EnglishSharedFutures@englishassociation.ac.uk by October 13th, 2019. Please feel free to use the English: Shared Futures Facebook page and tweet @EngSharedFuture to find potential partners for sessio


English: Shared Futures 2020 is organised by The English Association, University English, the National Association of Writers in Education, the Institute of English Studies, and the National Association for the Teaching of English, and is hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester, and the University of Salford.

Official Website


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