CFP Gertrude Stein 8-10 May 2014

Call for papers

A Valentine To Gertrude Stein:

The Reception of Gertrude Stein in the Arts and Humanities

8 – 10 May 2014

Hosted by the University of Copenhagen, Denmark

and co-organized with Ghent University and Linköping University

As a writer and famous art collector, Gertrude Stein inspired generations of poets and painters; as a cultural icon she inspired feminist and gay activists, and her influence seems to be increasing still. Today, Stein’s impact is felt and recognized across such diverse fields as literature, theatre, film, visual arts, dance, performance, etc.

Because Stein’s influence has manifested itself to a wide extent through artistic appropriations and re-mediations, academic research has had troubles catching up with this diverse, cross-disciplinary reception. In recent years, however, we have seen how artists and scholars working in the crossover field between artistic practice and academic research have increasingly reflected the interdisciplinary reception of Gertrude Stein.

Several large conferences host well-attended panels on Gertrude Stein each year but Stein, in contrast to her modernist peers, has only rarely been the subject of a multiple-day scholarly gathering and thus has not received the same attention and scrutiny as her (male) contemporaries.

This conference will focus on the interdisciplinary reception of Stein among artists and academics, and create a platform for in-depth and extended Stein discussion. The event celebrates the 100th anniversary of the publication of Stein’s seminal poetry collection, Tender Buttons. This book of prose poems is itself an interdisciplinary work of literary still lifes, collage texts obsessed with issues from the visual arts like perspective, visuality, texture, space, materiality and physical objects.

The conference will be located in Copenhagen and reflect the growing Scandinavian interest in Gertrude Stein, while at the same time reaching out to a broader European and US community. During the last decade a community around the Danish Gertrude Stein Society and the Department of Arts and Cultural Studies at the University of Copenhagen has initiated, inspired and supported a number of new translations, readings, presentations as well as stage productions of Stein’s writing, making Copenhagen the perfect site for a conference focused on the exchange between artists and scholars.

In connection with the conference, an artistic program will take place with performances of theatrical and musical pieces based on Stein’s work, as well as readings of Stein’s work and works by poets inspired by Stein.

It is a major goal of the conference to establish a meeting between European and American Stein research. Stein herself made a great point of staging herself as a truly American writer – perhaps even the quintessential American writer. However, her influence on European art and thinking has been substantial, and alongside American academic scholarship, a strong European Stein research community has developed. And of course, her own work was written in a European environment and formed by her first-hand experience of European movements in art and culture.

The aim of this conference is threefold:

We wish to bring together European and American research on Stein, and create a meeting between different generations of researchers.

We wish to focus on the interdisciplinary reception and impact of Stein’s work.

We want to reflect exchanges between theory and practice, i.e. between academic and artistic approaches to Stein’s work.

We are very proud to welcome six keynote speakers, all of whom are distinguished representatives of Gertrude Stein’s diverse and transatlantic reception in the arts as well as humanities:

Marjorie Perloff

Heiner Goebbels

Catharine Stimpson

Isabelle Alfandary

Steven Meyer

and Juliana Spahr


We welcome paper and panel proposals reflecting one or several of these five interdisciplinary perspectives:

Performance in the broadest, cross-disciplinary sense: theatrical, artistic, literary, and social (e.g. performing as a male genius)

Literary thinking: Gertrude Stein and/in philosophy and aesthetic theory

Remediation/re-enactment: Gertrude Stein in modern or contemporary art and literature

Gender, history and politics: biographical and historical approaches to Stein’s life and work

Transatlantic perspectives: Europe and America in Gertrude Stein’s work and the reception of it.

The conference language is English. Proposals are welcome from individuals, and from panels of three or four. We especially welcome panel proposals.

Panel proposals should include the following information:

Title of panel

A summary of the panel topic (300 words)

A summary of each individual contribution (300 words)

Name, address and email contact of individual contributors

Short biography of individual contributors

Individual proposals should include the following information:

Title of paper

Name, address and email of contributor

A summary of the contribution (300 words)

Short biography of the contributor

Refereering of proposals will be conducted by the conference organizers.

Extended deadline:

Please submit proposals to the conference email address by

20 January 2013. Participants will be notified of their acceptance by 14 February 2014.

Conference organizers:

Laura Luise Schultz, Associate Professor, Dept. of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen,

Sarah Posman, Postdoctoral Researcher, FWO, Dept. of Literature, Ghent University, Belgium

Solveig Daugaard, PhD Student, Dept. of Culture and Communication, Linköping University

Tania Ørum, Associate Professor, Dept. of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen

Mette Tranholm, PhD Student, Dept. of Arts and Cultural Studies, University of Copenhagen



Recently, it has been decided that the finals of The EuroVision Song Contest are to take place in Copenhagen at the exact time of the conference. This event, which attracts an audience of more than 20.000 lovers of popular music from all over Europe, will surely provide a lively international atmosphere in the city during the conference, but it unfortunately also puts an extreme pressure on city hotels. We therefore urge all participants to book accommodation as soon as possible. As prices are rising with the demand, we advise you to look for alternatives to traditional hotel accommodation such as or

Please do not hesitate to contact the conference organizers by e-mail for assistance!

Please also consult our homepage:

The conference is supported by

The Carlsberg Foundation

The Danish Council for Independent Research