Call for Beat Papers

January 10, 2015

Université Libre de BruxellesThe next EBSN (European Beat Studies Network) Conference is in Brussels in October. I attended a conference at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in 2011 and Franca Bellarsi is a warm and capable host and fine scholar. It would be good to have other US Beat poets attend this event.

Call for Papers

4th Annual Meeting of the European Beat Studies Network (EBSN)

28-31 October 2015, Université Libre de Bruxelles


Papers are invited for the 4th Annual Meeting of the European Beat Studies Network. In keeping with the inclusive spirit of the EBSN, we are open to submissions of scholarly papers, panels, and roundtables, as well as artistic/creative dialogues and performances devoted to any aspect of the Beat Generation. 

Since the EBSN meeting in Brussels shortly follows the 60th anniversary of the landmark public reading of the first section of “Howl” at the Six Gallery on 13 October 1955, we also wish to celebrate and re-assess the combined energies unleashed by the figure of Allen Ginsberg, the poetics of “Howl,” and the alternative spirit of San Francisco as driving forces within the Beat Generation and its legacy today. 

Besides proposals exploring other topics, we therefore especially welcome submissions focusing on any these three lines of flight:

Revisiting Ginsberg and “Howl” at 60: In the light of new critical paradigms and more recent waves of experimentalism, how do we, six decades later, re-appraise “Howl” and Ginsberg’s poetry in general?  How should Ginsberg’s relationship to less well-studied figures within the Beat circle or within other (trans)national avant-gardes be re-assessed?  In 2015, how may appreciation of Ginsberg as a literary, political, and spiritual experimenter vary in different places and cultures? 

San Francisco as a New Frontier of Beat experimentalism: Across all artistic media, what West Coast figures do we need to bring into greater focus and visibility within Beat scholarship? What remains of the Beat counterculture in the Bay Area of the digital age?  To what extent does contemporary West Coast experimentalism in poetry and art preserve, transform, or downright reject the legacy of the Beats?

Cross-fertilizations between East and West: How did Beat experimentalism on the West Coast both collide and blend in with Beat avant-garde practices on the East Coast?  How do the Beats and their San Francisco years correlate with countercultural developments eastwards in Europe and westwards in Asia?  Today, how do we (re)read the role played by the Beats in the dialogue between Eastern and Western philosophies/spiritualities? 

Please send abstracts of 250 words and a short bio to Franca Bellarsi at by 1 March 2015. Inquiries can be addressed to Franca Bellarsi (, Polina Mackay (, or to Oliver Harris (


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