Newsletter: January 2020

Welcome to the January edition of the bimonthly Progressive Connexions Interdisciplinary Life newsletter.


Progressive Connexions will be re-convening in beautiful Prague on March 7-8, for a suite of three exciting conferences. Two are returning topics after wonderful runs last March. Kristine Seitz will be running “Kink,” and Elena Nistor will be running “Humour.” Then, a new addition, is an exciting project run by Sean Moran, “The Art of Being Human, Friendship, Music and Death.” Sean is bringing our interdisciplinary connections to new heights, and it promises to be a wild ride. 

Prague is a favourite city for Progressive Connexions events – we definitely recommend booking out a bit of time for sightseeing while you’re there! If you’re there for the Kink conference, you might be especially interested in the Sex Machines Museum (conveniently located right downtown). If you prefer a slightly less R-rated trip, you might enjoy the Franz Kafka Museum, the Jewish Museum, the gorgeous Prague Castle complex, or taking a free walking tour of all the top attractions. 

If you are attending the March conferences, and want to post about it on social media, use the hashtag #PragueMar2020. You can connect with your fellow conference-goers, and share your excitement with us!

Next, we’ll be kicking off spring in Lisbon on April 3-4 with a set of four conferences – two returning favourites, and two exciting new ones! Our very own Teresa Cutler-Broyles will be putting on “Spaces and Places” after a fantastic run in Bruges last year, and Nate Hinerman will be bringing back “The End-of-Life Experience” for the third time, this time with a special focus on the connections between death, and health care systems, caregivers, and public policy. Then, two brand new conferences – Claudio Zanini will be leading “Global Horror/Local Perspectives,” a conference that focuses specifically on horror from outside North America and Western Europe, and Frances Maranger will be leading “Bad Mothers,” a complement to last year’s “Evil Children” event.

If you’re coming to the April conferences, use the hashtag #Lisbon2020. If you’ve been to Lisbon before, please tell us your favourite spots, activities, and things about the city – we need good intel to pass on to newcomers!


Our last conferences were in December, in Prague… and what a beautiful bunch they were! We ran five conferences – Monsters, Sexual & Gendered Violence, Evil Women, Diasporas, and Migrations – that brought us both a handful of returnees and an exciting array of fresh faces.

Something really special about this set of conferences was the wonderful variety of presentations by NGO representatives and activists. We were proud to welcome representatives from Sagesse Domestic Violence Prevention Society from Canada, the self-defence non-profit El Halev from Israel, and the Bambisanani Partnership that works in the UK and South Africa, among many others. The Bambisanani Partnership even published an article about their founder and chairman’s David Geldart’s time in Prague with us, which you can read here

While Progressive Connexions has its roots in academia, and we love and welcome our academic contributors, it’s important to us that we give space to people from outside the university world, and we were delighted to have so many contributors who are involved in professional and activist projects. Reading through the Prague programmes (posted now on our website), you can see many of the other perspectives from both within and without the academy that we were able to host.


Due to the holiday season, we have decided to extend the deadline for our upcoming conferences in Bratislava! You now have until January 20th to submit proposals for conferences from this set.

We’re running this conference package a little differently – we have nine conferences on the roster, with four and five conferences running back-to-back. 

On July 3rd and 4th, we’ve got conferences on the subjects of:
“Political Evils/The Iron Curtain and its Legacies,” 
“Experiencing Prison,” 
“Nostalgia,” and

We are beyond excited to see the kind of conversations that might crop up in the between-panel coffee breaks. Some common themes, plus the diversity we always seek to bring in, are sure to make for exciting talks.

On the 5th and 6th, we’ll be continuing, with
“Storytelling and the Body,”
“Fashion and Photography,”
“Care,” and
(And yes – proposals about the current situation in the USA are more than welcome.)

Interested in coming? Follow the links for the detailed calls for papers, and get your proposal in to the committee before the 20th! As always, we are especially looking for presentations that break down the boundaries of the traditional academic talk… we do love a good old-fashioned paper, but we also love performances, discussions, workshops, demonstrations – and if you’re not sure whether your idea is a good fit, always feel free to reach out to the organising chair for the conference you’re interested in! They are more than willing to give you some guidance. If you want to reach out or discuss them on social media, use the hashtag #Bratislava2020.

In Our Network…

Progressive Connexions is partnered with Emerald Publishing to work on a series of books that draw on our conference conversations. They’re not just compilations of conference papers – we think hard about how to develop the connections between presentations. Recently, the first of a series, Music and Death, was published

We’re looking forward to many more exciting projects with Emerald Publishing – keep an eye out for the upcoming volume based on last March’s Kink conference. If you have an idea based on a conference you attended, reach out to your organising chair and fellow conference-goers to discuss it.

When she’s not working on the upcoming 2020 conference schedule, our Director of Programmes, Teresa Cutler-Broyles, is researching 1920s Florida and 18th-century Italy for a time travel historical novel, and American Orientalism on the American frontier for an upcoming manuscript. In 2020, her article “Evil as a Metaphysical Condition: Undead Melodrama, AIDS, and the Crime Procedural” will be featured in a volume about supernatural procedural dramas on TV.

Our social media and advertising director, Lorraine Rumson, is editor-in-chief of the literary journal FU Review. They are currently seeking submissions of poetry, prose, or creative nonfiction for their eighth issue, on the subject “Debt.” All kinds of writers from all over the world are encouraged to apply, and there is a prize of 20 euros for all selected writers. Submissions are open until February 15th, and can be sent via the submissions portal here.

Dean Jobb, one of our event leaders and nonfiction writing instructor at the University of King’s College, Canada, has recently had a featured article on a New York Public Library exhibit of J. D. Salinger memorabilia in the Washington Independent Review of Books. Dean’s monthly “Stranger than Fiction” true crime column, which has been published online in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine since 2018, will begin appearing in the magazine’s print edition in May.

Our Network Director, Rob Fisher, when asked what he is currently working on, said, “I’m following Pinky and the Brain. What are we doing tonight Brain? Why, the same thing we do every night, Pinky: taking over the world!”

We want YOU!

Have you done something exciting with a project you brought to a Progressive Connexions conference? Brought it to another conference? Expanded it into a publication, lecture, or new project? Want to have it featured in the newsletter? Email so she can share it with our network!

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