Archives par mot-clé : literature studies

Call for papers : International conference “Games & Literature – On the literaricity, research, collection, and archiving of computer games” (German Literature Archive Marbach)

International interdisciplinary conference “Games & Literature. On the literaricity, research, collection, and archiving of computer games”

28–30 June 2023

German Literature Archive Marbach (DLA)

Deadline for proposals : January 31, 2023

Organized by Birgit Wollgarten and Marie Limbourg

In cooperation with: European Federation of Game Archives, Museums and Preservation Projects (EFGAMP e.V.), DIGAREC – Digital Games Research Center of the University of Potsdam, the Computer Games Museum Berlin, and the Foundation for Digital Games Culture

Call for papers

DLA Marbach and Computer Games

In addition to collecting literature in its commonly understood forms, the German Literature Archive Marbach (DLA) also archives and collects computer games as a medial form of literature. The aim of the DLA in doing so is to engage with literature in all its mediality. The substantive reasons for this decision are numerous, but, fundamentally, computer games have long been part of our cultural memory, which must be archived appropriately and examined in relation to established cultural forms. The fact that computer games are discussed in the feature pages of the major daily newspapers, that the German Federal Government awards the German Computer Game Prize, and that computer games are officially recognized as a cultural asset by the Cultural Council is due, among other things, to the work of museums such as the New York Museum of Modern Arts, the Computer Game Museum Berlin, and the Karlsruhe Centre for Art and Media (ZKM).

As an archive for literature, the DLA has been dealing with hybrid forms of literature for some years now, for literature is not only created and produced between two book covers, but also on the computer, as “born-digital” literature. Within the framework of the “Netzliteratur” project (2013–2017), the DLA has done pioneering work on the systematic analysis and documentation of the creation, playback, performance and mirroring environment of games in line with defined standards. This work is being continued in various projects at the DLA, but a larger international, interdisciplinary conference is needed to further discuss and advance these endeavours with regard to questions of collection and archiving as well as research. To this end, we invite literary scholars, archivists, librarians, as well as researchers in Games Studies, Media and Communication Studies, and game designers to Marbach.

The “literaricity” of computer games and the collection mandate of a literature archive

The planned conference will encompass various aspects of researching literature and computer games, as well as collecting, archiving, and exhibiting them.

Although the intersections, as well as the differences, between literature and computer games have frequently been addressed in the last two to three decades, a systemization of these approaches and a research-led development of a catalogue of criteria for a kind of “literacity” of computer games have only rarely been attempted. Thus, one of the questions to be asked in the context of this conference is which relevance criteria are to be given special consideration in a computer game collection in a literature archive. For just as not every book is relevant to the collection mandate of the DLA, not every computer game will be included in the collection. For this special collection in the DLA, an interdisciplinary research discussion is still needed to define collection criteria. First significant selection criteria – which are, however, yet to be discussed further – are, for example, the special handling of text and language in a game, in a broader sense than simply through literary objects (such as diaries, manuscripts, libraries, etc.) in the game. Furthermore, we do not wish to ask (as has become the practice in Game Studies) whether computer games are narrative, but rather in what way they are so. In addition to adaptations of literary works, games with reception traces that can be linked to authors and literary works certainly belong in a literature archive.

Subsequently, the criteria according to which computer games are classified must be clarified, as must the metadata used to list them in the library catalogue. A further challenge is the selection of the accompanying material that is to be archived alongside the game to which it is connected. Possibly there is a game developer’s private library, equivalent to an author’s private library, that needs to be consulted by researchers. And what forms of reception of computer games should the archive and library at the DLA take into account? Numerous activities of gaming culture seem relevant here, for example the staging of a computer game in a Let’s Play; the players and their interaction with and reception of computer games must, with greater urgency, become the subject of research and archives. But even the digital archive has its limits – the goal is never the ‘total archive’ – yet it remains to be determined how social media, for example, is to be collected and archived.

The analysis instruments

But what definition of text can we use, as a literature archive, with which to approach computer games? The media shift in literature not only calls the concept of text and literature into question, it also repeatedly demands that analytical methods and instruments be expanded and revised. How can computer games be adequately described in such contexts? It is often not enough simply to ‘apply’ established literary terms to computer games – when the aim is to describe computer games in their status as literary forms. These considerations are preceded by the question of what the specific literary narrative of computer games looks like.

The technologies of archiving and accessibility

In addition to these questions of content, the technical preservation of games and archiving strategies also currently pose challenges. For example, how do we deal with obsolete hardware and software? How can the interaction with recipients, players, be guaranteed at a technical and a curatorial level? How can and should computer games be stored for research in the long term? And finally, institutions are faced with various legal problems: For example, which licences for software and operating systems are to be obtained?

Key topics

We invite researchers at all career stages to submit contributions. Based on the key topics outlined above, contributions in the following areas are of particular interest:

  1. Before computer games: Playful and medial forms of literaricity / grey areas of narration
  2. Media shift: Book and game
  3. Storytelling – Text – Code. Narrative techniques in computer games
  4. Describing, researching, and exhibiting computer games as an aesthetic experience
  5. Collecting and archiving software objects

We are pleased to welcome our keynote speakers Espen Aarseth, Réne Bauer, Astrid Ensslin and Beat Suter. In addition, Lena Falkenhagen will moderate the Game Culture Quartet (organized by the Foundation for Digital Games Culture) at the DLA Marbach.

Short abstracts (300 words in German or English) for 30-minute papers should be submitted together with a brief CV and a selected publications list by 31 January 2023.

● Please submit your abstract and CV by uploading them to this portal.

● The conference will be conducted in English.

● Accommodation and travel costs will be reimbursed.


Dîlan Canan Çakir – Research Associate MWW – German Literature Archive Marbach

Anna Kinder – Head of Research – German Literature Archive Marbach

Continuer la lecture de Call for papers : International conference “Games & Literature – On the literaricity, research, collection, and archiving of computer games” (German Literature Archive Marbach)

Parution: Rebuilding Story Worlds The Obscure Cities by Schuiten and Peeters, Jan Baetens

Rebuilding Story Worlds

The Obscure Cities by Schuiten and Peeters

by Jan Baetens


About This Book

A collaboration between Belgian artist François Schuiten and French writer Benoît Peeters, The Obscure Cities is one of the few comics series to achieve massive popularity while remaining highly experimental in form and content. Set in a parallel world, full of architecturally distinctive city-states, The Obscure Cities also represents one of the most impressive pieces of world-building in any form of literature.
Rebuilding Story Worlds offers the first full-length study of this seminal series, exploring both the artistic traditions from which it emerges and the innovative ways it plays with genre, gender, and urban space. Comics scholar Jan Baetens examines how Schuiten’s work as an architectural designer informs the series’ concerns with the preservation of historic buildings. He also includes an original interview with Peeters, which reveals how poststructuralist critical theory influenced their construction of a rhizomatic fictional world, one which has made space for fan contributions through the Alta Plana website.
Synthesizing cutting-edge approaches from both literary and visual studies, Rebuilding Story Worlds will give readers a new appreciation for both the aesthetic ingenuity of The Obscure Cities and its nuanced conception of politics.

Continuer la lecture de Parution: Rebuilding Story Worlds The Obscure Cities by Schuiten and Peeters, Jan Baetens

Captivity and Culpability: The Disciplining Subject in the Literary and Cultural Imagination

Captivity and Culpability: The Disciplining Subject in the Literary and Cultural Imagination

14 December 2012, 10:00 – 15 December 2012 18:00

Organised by: Human Rights Consortium
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Venue: The Senate Room (Senate House, First Floor)
Venue Details: South Block of Senate House, Ground Floor


Societies often have ambiguous and even conflicting attitudes towards state institutions that fulfil normalising, reformatory, punitive or disciplinary functions. This unease is frequently represented in an ambivalence or a hostility not only towards those disciplined or incarcerated but also, and perhaps paradoxically, towards the agents of those institutions, e.g. state incarcerators, the police, interrogators, soldiers, counterterrorist agents, or staff in mental hospitals. These figures tend to be conceptualised and represented in simplistic and often reductively negative terms. This demonisation reflects an unease towards institutions that are understood to be at once socially and politically necessary and saturated with threatening potential.

Connected to this is a complex social attitude towards state violence. At the same time as societies sanction it, figures such as executioners, torturers, and concentration camp guards are frequently despised. For this reason, while severe state violence is sometimes deemed to have situational or conditional necessity, expedience, or legitimacy, it often must also seek to conceal or disguise its own extreme nature as violence. Much as those perpetrating acts of state-sanctioned violence are disavowed, the violence itself is also surrounded by an apparent uncomfortable double standard.

This conference aims to interrogate literary, filmic, popular cultural and artistic representations of the agents of those institutions, specifically in terms of guilt and culpability. Why, for example, can we observe a tendency to hold at a cautious distance the disciplining subject whilst accepting (or even celebrating) the institutions they represent as socially and politically necessary? Why, when the actions of such agents become extreme, transgressive or criminal, is there a tendency to pathologise such actions in terms of individual perversity – as the actions of ‘bad apples’ – and thereby transfer culpability from the institution to the individual subject, rather than explaining such actions in systemic, structural or institutional terms?

Please see the Call for Papers

The conference is organised by Alex Adams (Newcastle University) and Cornelia Wächter (University of Paderborn, Bielefeld University) in cooperation with the Institute of English Studies (University of London) and the Human Rights Consortium (University of London). Please email 200-300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers to and by Sunday, 19th August 2012.

Huxley’s Brave New World and its Legacies

Huxley’s Brave New World and its Legacies

Friday 12 October 2012

Institute of English Studies, London University

When Brave New World first appeared in 1932 it caused a sensation. It was obvious that Aldous Huxley was intent on testing the boundaries of propriety (sailing especially close to the wind in terms of sexual and religious obscenity), but what kind of novel had he published? A satire, like his earlier novels; a horrified warning of things to come, or a vision of how things might be, for better or for worse, following a number of scientific, political and social adjustments to the Britain of his day?

While the novel’s title has become embedded in the English language as a catchword for anything that is far-fetched, faddish, futuristic or forbidding, the possible meanings Brave New World have only proliferated over the past eighty years and its relevance to our own world has only increased with time. Certainly, the novel’s significance for our own concerns with eugenics, globalisation, dystopias, urbanisation, population issues, technological innovation, authoritarianism, anarchism, educational theory, mass society, liberty, control, Americanisation, constructions of culture, and the ongoing crisis of capitalism, could not be more obvious. Proposed papers that are keyed to any of these categories are encouraged, but we also look forward to receiving proposals that engage with any of Brave New World’s historical contexts, contemporary resonances and manifold legacies.

Please send proposals of up to 300 words for 20-minute papers to by 15 June 2012.

The School of Advanced Study is part of the central University of London. The School takes its responsibility to visitors with special needs very seriously and will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to its facilities in order to accommodate the needs of such visitors. If you have a particular requirement, please feel free to discuss it confidentially with the organiser in advance of the event taking place.

Enquiries: Events Officer, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU; tel +44 (0) 207 664 4859; Email: