SAUTE Conference 2021: Migrations and Contacts

14.05.2021, 09:00 - 15.05.2021, 16:30
English Department, University of Zurich, Plattenstrasse 47, 8032 Zurich

University of Zurich, 14 and 15 May 2021

Download the CFP

The European refugee crisis, the Brexit vote, Trump’s “build the wall” campaign: Over the last decade,public discourse on migration has been increasingly marked by a rhetoric of emergency and threat, as well as calls for a stricter policing of borders and the limitation of mobility. Against this current background, the 2021 SAUTE Conference will allow us to approach the issue of Migrations and Contacts from a historically and culturally comparative perspective. Both the English language and Anglophone literatures provide ample and timely reminders of the crucial role cross-cultural encounters and exchanges have played throughout history – from the invasions of the British Isles through the expansion of the English (later, British) Empire to contemporary multiculturalism in all parts of the Anglophone world, where the English language and English-language literature continue to diversify.

This conference aims to bring together contributions from the fields of linguistics and literary and cultural studies to open up a variety of perspectives on the twin topic of migrations and contacts. In a workshoplike atmosphere, we hope to enable a fruitful exchange between scholars from all career stages who are currently working on thematically related projects. More specifically, we envisage bringing together presentations covering the following areas:

  • language: language contact in the diaspora, language and identity, the emergence of new multiethnic varieties around the world;
  • literature and other media: migrations and contacts as a literary and filmic subject matter – from travelogues and travel films to migrant literature and film; the migration of, and contact between, genres, styles, and texts themselves;
  • theory: transdisciplinary perspectives on travelling concepts and theories.

Sadly, the emergence of Covid-19 has given a new twist to the conference topic. Instead of allowing the pandemic to disrupt our scholarly exchange, however, we still plan to host the conference on site and to welcome participants at the University of Zurich. The conference will be carried out in a scaled-down and hybrid format, in accordance with current health regulations. Physical participation at panels in Zurich will have to be limited. In addition to live panels, we will offer the possibility of attending panels via Zoom (available only to registered participants). Keynote lectures will be delivered remotely, meaning that they can be attended both on site (followed by a live Q&A session) and from home.

Confirmed keynote speakers: Devyani Sharma (Queen Mary University of London) and Tim Cresswell (University of Edinburgh)

Should the pandemic prevent us from meeting face-to-face, we will nevertheless hold the meeting in online form (at the days communicated), in as interactive a fashion as possible.

The deadline for the submission of abstracts (of around 300 words) is the end of January 2021.

Please send your abstracts to: michael.frank(at) and schreier(at)

Contact Person

Prof. Dr. Michael C. Frank

Prof. Dr. Daniel Schreier