Michel Houellebecq’s Submission

December 31, 2015 – telospress.com

Houellebecq and Huysmans By Ellis Hanson

” […] Houellebecq seems to have mashed together two very different books: one a dreary campus novel about a disillusioned academic who ironically relives the subject of his dissertation, and the other a Swiftian political satire about Islam and the decline of French civilization […]” 


CfP: “The Concepts of Home in the Context of Academe and Academic Fiction,” Kyiv, Ukraine, 17-18 March 2016

Call for Papers

“The Concepts of Home in the Context of Academe and Academic Fiction”

Kyiv, 17-18 March 2016


organised within the framework of the

International Conference in Literary Studies “Poetics of Home/House”

Kyiv National Linguistic University


In which ways does the academia warrant the status of a “second home” for its members? Do the groves of academe function as a safe haven, a sanctuary of classrooms and libraries, a harbor for liberal education, cultural exchange, tradition, and free thought? Can the academia constitute a private microcosm for an expat scholar, conference hopper, or a foreign student? And if it can, as a multicultural space providing a sense of home for representatives of diasporic communities, can it foster dialogue and reduce conflict between societies and countries?

We are looking for explorations of the academia-as-a-home in the short and the long term, in fiction old and new, ranging from Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin to Michel Houellebecq’s Submission.

We invite papers treating these, and related themes, in all genres and sub-genres referred to as academic fiction by British, American, and international writers.

Possible topics (the list is suggestive not exhaustive):

  • The university as a private universe in academic fiction,
  • Intercultural communication in academic fiction,
  • Multiculturalism in academic fiction,
  • Expat scholars, conference hoppers, and foreign students,
  • Exchange and staff mobility programs (Erasmus+, ISEP, Fulbright etc.),
  • University as shelter,
  • At home in the world: cosmopolitanism in academic novels,
  • Surrogate homes abroad: music, food, and literature in academic fiction,
  • Unwilling dislocations and homesickness in academic fiction,
  • Speaking in tongues: language in and of academic fiction,
  • From home to college: university as a rite of passage,
  • The concept of home in academic life writing.

Please send a short abstract (no more than 200 words) and bio by 15 January, 2016 to Marta Lysik at marta.lysik@uwr.edu.pl.

The language of the panel is English.


Christopher J. Yates’ Black Chalk

August 20, 2015 – The Washington Post

‘Black Chalk’ review: A school game turns deadly by Dennis Drabelle

1“A circle of bright college friends who feed on one another’s cleverness and trump one another’s insults until the steady diet of cynicism ends in tragedy — this is the stuff of two fine first novels: Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History” (1992) and, now, Christopher J. Yates’s “Black Chalk.” Yates’s characters are even wittier than Tartt’s, but then, as undergraduates at Oxford University, they would be, wouldn’t they?”  2

Robin Kirman’s Bradstreet Gate

August 4, 2015 – USA Today

Campus novel fizzles out of the ‘Gate’ by Patrick Ryan


“Graduating from the school of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch), Robin Kirman barely ekes out a diploma.

With her debut novel, Bradstreet Gate (** out of four), Kirman has drawn comparisons to Tartt, whose 1992 first outing A Secret History followed a band of Ivy League students enraptured by a charismatic academic. Similarly, Bradstreet excavates the secrets and thorny histories of three Harvard undergrads and their professor, set against the backdrop of a campus murder that muddies their allegiances.”

Ms. Mentor’s New Batch of Recommendations

June 21, 2015 – The Chronicle of Higher Education

Ms. Mentor’s Annual Guide to Academic Novels by Ms. Mentor

Winner: Julie Schumacher’s Dear Committee Members

This Year’s Crop of Academic Novel Nominees

Allen, Shirley S. Academic Body
Barbour, John D. Renunciation: A Novel
Buckner, Bailey. The Well-Meaning Professor: A Novel
Cochran, Les. Costly Affair: Loves, Lies, and Liaisons
Crescent, Tara. The Professor’s Pet (A BDSM Romance Novel)
Curzon, Daniel. Among the Carnivores
Diehl, Lesley A. Murder Is Academic
Dolan, Lian. Elizabeth the First Wife
Edwards, Ruth Dudley. Murdering Americans
Fournet, Stephanie. Fall Semester
Games, Steve. The Naked Professor
Gold, Nora. Fields of Exile
Grossack, Victoria. Academic Assassination
Harrington, Rebecca. Penelope
Houck, C.K. The University
Johns, Isabella. My Hot Teacher (Volume 5)
Karlof, Duronimus. Critical Mass
Kirilenko, Shelley. ABD: An Academic Mystery
Krinsky, Natalie. Chloe Does Yale: A Novel
Lipsyte, Sam. The Ask: A Novel
Lukes, Steven. The Curious Enlightenment of Professor Caritat
Markovic, Matthew. Book Thieves: a ‘college mystery’ novel
Martin, Jason. Voluptua: a novel
Meeks, Brian D. Underwood, Scotch, and Wry
Meeks, Christopher. Love at Absolute Zero
Noble, Robert C. Deception by Design: A Novel of Misconduct in Medical Research
Perkins, Ronald. Tenure to Die For: An Ivory Tower Murder Mystery
Philbrick-DeBrava, Valerie. The Gathering: An Academic Novel
Rader-Day, Lori. The Black Hour
Reardon, Kathleen Kelley. Shadow Campus
Rosenthal, D.W. Purely Academic
Urban, William. Why the Dean Is Dead
White, Lowell Mick. Professed
Woodson, Jon. Endowed: a comic novel

Updated: Higher Ed by Tessa McWatt


September 6, 2015 – The Guardian

Higher Ed by Tessa McWatt review – a thoroughly modern campus novel by Lucy Scholes

March 13, 2015 – The Globe and Mail

Higher Ed injects a dose of diversity into a tale about love, loneliness and the search for belonging by TRILBY KENT

“The campus novel isn’t traditionally notable for its multiculturalism, probably 2because until recent decades many university campuses have been fairly homogenous places. The ivory towers in Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, David Lodge’s Changing Places and Philip Hensher’s King of the Badgers are overwhelmingly white, inside and out. Only in 2005 did Zadie Smith’s On Beauty breathe fresh life into the genre by depicting an academic rivalry complicated by ethnicity, culture and class.”


3“Recounted from the alternating perspectives of Robin, a university professor; Francine, the American administrator who admires him from afar; Robin’s student, Olivia; Olivia’s Guyanese father, Ed; and Katrin, a Polish waitress with whom Robin dreams of starting a new life, the book suffers from some irregularity.”

Updated CfP: Scholars as Fictionists, or On-/Off-Campus Creative Writing & ‘Pictures from an Institution’: Academy Across Time and Media, Parallel Conferences at the University of Gdansk, October 2-4, 2015

Call For Proposals
Parallel International Conferences, University of Gdańsk
Scholars as Fictionists, or On-/Off-Campus Creative Writing
Literaturoznawca literatem: Artystyczne kreacje profesorów humanistyki
2 – 4 October 2015
                                          (conference languages: English, Polish)
Conference Focus
For humanities professors whose publications include works of fiction, collections of poetry, (screen)plays or comicbooks, the involvement in scholarship and education runs parallel to the process of creative writing preformed beyond campus and treated as pastime and/or another vocation. As scholars-fictionists and their literary works are discussed mainly in the context of dominant cultural and literary trends, the role of the university in their fiction-making is rarely given serious consideration. Given that literary achievement of university professors is distinguished by academicity (i.e. their expertise in histories and theories of literature, familiarity with the higher education system and academic publishing standards, etc.), the conference aims to provide a platform for discussion of interdependencies resulting from various forms of academic and artistic creativity. The conference will also focus on the future of creative/screenplay writing courses introduced into syllabi in a number of Polish universities.
We are inviting proposals for presentations and workshops addressing one of the following themes:
Theme 1 (language: English) On-/Off-Campus Creative Writing
·         Academic topoi, quests and quandaries in the novels of humanities professors and acclaimed English-language writers/writers in translation, e.g. Peter Ackroyd, John Barth, Malcolm Bradbury, A.S. Byatt, J.M. Coetzee, Joanne Dobson, Umberto Eco, John Gardner, William H. Gass, Rebecca Goldstein, Carolyn Heilbrun (Amanda Cross), Maxine Hong Kingston, David Lodge, Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Powers, Adam Roberts, Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith.
·         Theorizing and/vs. Writing Selves; Or Academic Life-Writing (autobiography, bibliomemoirs, etc.)
·         Poets- and writers-in-residence in film and fiction.
·         Creative/screenplay writing courses: theory and practice.
Theme 2 (language: Polish) ‘Między literami’: literackie kreacje polskich profesorów[‘Between Letters’: Polish Academics as Fictionists]
Polish Faculties of Humanities are havens for poets and prose writers (the Faculty of Languages, University of Gdańsk, being a prime example) whose success in literature is often overshadowed by their academic status. To redress this imbalance, we are inviting proposals for papers or workshops discussing literary works published by Polish academics, e.g. Stefan Chwin, Julia Fiedorczuk, Izabela Filipiak, Jacek Gutorow, Inga Iwasiów, Jerzy Jarniewicz, Paweł Huelle, Olga Kubińska, Jerzy Limon, David Malcolm, Stanisław Modrzewski, Kazimierz Nowosielski, Tadeusz Pióro, Tadeusz Sławek, Andrzej Sosnowski, Jerzy Szyłak, ks. Alfred Marek Wierzbicki, Andrzej Zgorzelski.
ROUND TABLE  (language: Polish; participants: academics-published writers)
‘Między literami’: pisanie prozą [‘Between Letters’: Writing (on) Fiction]
ROUND TABLE  (language: Polish; participants: academics-published poets)
‘Między literami’: pisanie (o) poezji [‘Between Letters’: Writing (on) Poetry]
Organizing Committee:
Ludmiła Gruszewska Blaim (University of Gdańsk)
Marta Koval (University of Gdańsk)
Maja Wojdyło (University of Gdańsk , conference secretary)
Abstracts (300 words) should be sent to gdanskconference2015@gmail.com by March31, 2015.
Please remember to identify the title of the conference for which you are applying. Notification of acceptance will be sent by April 7, 2015.
Conference  Fee
Due to EU directives, no conference fee will be charged.
The publication of selected conference papers is planned.
‘Pictures From an Institution’: Academy Across Time and Media
2 – 4 October 2015
                                                 (conference language: English)
Conference Focus
Scholars, scholarship and institutions of higher learning have constantly attracted attention of fictionists. Idealized or satirized representations of the academy in literature and culture of previous epochs provided twentieth- and twenty first-century writers and filmmakers with convenient models, from which to depart. As in the last decades, academics, especially humanities professors, have been forcefully encouraged to redefine their role by forming more flexible / ‘flexible’ attitudes towards teaching and research, their changing position in society has caused much comment in the mass media and found its reflection in literature and cinema. The main objective of the conference will be to discuss and compare textual—mainly literary and filmic—representations of the institution depicted as a nest of the (intellectually) Other. We are inviting proposals for presentations and workshops addressing one of the following themes:
·         Academics vs. society in literatures of earlier epochs.
·         Humanities in the age of the networked society.
·         Scholars vs. hard scientists: A war story.
·         Institutional/personal crisis points as reflected in the academic (mystery) novel.
·         Utopic/dystopic moments on campus: Visions of the brave new world in arts and the mass media.
·         Screening the Ivory Tower: The Academy in Film Adaptations
ROUND TABLE  (language: English; participants: campus novel writers)
Campus Novel in the Making
Organizing Committee:
Ludmiła Gruszewska Blaim (University of Gdańsk)
Marta Koval (University of Gdańsk)
Wojciech Klepuszewski (Koszalin University of Technology)
 Marta J. Łysik (University of Wrocław, conference secretary)
Abstracts (300 words) should be sent to gdanskconference2015@gmail.com by March31, 2015.
Please remember to identify the title of the conference for which you are applying. Notification of acceptance will be sent by April 7, 2015.
Conference  Fee
Due to EU directives, no conference fee will be charged.
The publication of selected conference papers is planned.
Website: http://fil.ug.edu.pl/dzialalnosc_naukowa/konferencje/zapowiedzi_konferencji