Since 2010

The Liberlit Conference

Conference for the improvement of teaching literature in Japan and beyond

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The 11th Liberlit Conference

June 15th at Seikei University

Liberlit 11 – Saturday, June 15th at Seikei UniversityLiterature Teaching in the Age of A.I.After a hiatus of five years, the Liberlit conference returns to a changed world. Not only has the pandemic re-wired every aspect of human interaction globally, but the meteoric rise of a.i. has led to confusing questions about the nature of what it means to be human. Creativity, originality, truth, and the nature of reality itself all seem more fluid than before. Never have the central questions that the humanities endeavors to address been more pressing.At this time, both as educators and scholars of literature, we face a multitude of new challenges. The theme of this conference is what the teaching of literature means in the age of artificial intelligence.Proposals for individual papers and panels are invited on this theme, although discussions on any aspect of literature and teaching are warmly welcomed. As in previous years, there will also be a Graduate Student Presentation Competition, which has become an important feature of this conference. Please encourage your students to apply!Call for PapersThe Liberlit conference is an ongoing forum for literature teachers and academics - especially those based in Japan to address attitudes and approaches to literary texts in English. The conference seeks to discuss how and why literature should figure in Japanʼs English curriculum.Proposals on topic areas related to the 2024 theme “Literature Teaching in the Age of A.I.” (broadly interpreted) are invited from teachers and researchers wishing to present a paper. Other proposals on topics related to subjects such as the teaching of literature, classroom methodology, or the future of the humanities will also be considered.Those wishing to present should send a title and abstract of 200 words, as well as their current affiliation. Panel proposals are also invited.DEADLINE
The deadline for proposals is midnight on: Friday, March 15th, 2024
Acceptance emails will be sent on or before: April 12th, 2024
Fuhito Endo and Barnaby Ralph
Graduate Student Competition Call for PapersLiberlit 11 will also host a graduate student competition. This offers an excellent opportunity for students who wish to present a paper on their research to a conference audience.CALL FOR PAPERS from graduate students! In addition to the annual conference of teachers and scholars, Liberlit also wishes to offer an international yet Japan-based platform for promising young scholars to showcase and present their research. Liberlit 2024 will continue to feature a session for postgraduate literature students to present twenty-minute papers in English summarizing academic work from their master's or doctorate studies.At the conclusion of the presentation contest, a panel of academic judges will award a prize to the best paper. Proposals on literary research are invited from postgraduate students studying at universities in Japan. Those seeking to enter the Liberlit postgraduate presentation contest should send a title and an abstract of 150 words, as well as the name of their university and student status.DEADLINE
The deadline for proposals is midnight on: Friday, March 15th, 2024
Acceptance emails will be sent on or before: April 12th, 2024
Fuhito Endo and Barnaby Ralph

What is Liberlit?

An annual conference on teaching literature in English in Japan

Join us to share ideas on learning literature in English

Explore new ways of teaching literature, language, and related texts

Engage with panels on the art, craft, and career of teaching literature

Graduate students present in a special forum with feedback and prizes

The liberlit manifesto

established 2010

We believe literature to be an essential element of the English curriculum in Japan, and its vital future presence must be ensured and defended. By ‘literature’, we mean authentic texts that use language in creative and careful ways to tell stories, convey impressions, express original opinions, pose critical questions and demand more than simplistic, pragmatic responses. Those texts could include poetry, novels, plays, movies, songs, TV series, or thoughtful authentic writings on culture, society, or history. Teaching literature always means teaching much more than just language. This conference will address attitudes and approaches to ‘literary’ texts in English.We lament the ongoing ‘dumbing down’ and ‘infantilisation’ of English education in Japan and the consequent marginalization of literature in the curriculum at all levels. Our conviction is that literature offers learners access to the kinds of creative, critical, and non-complacent views of the world that Japanese students sorely need and indeed, in many cases, crave. Literature has the power to engage and motivate second-language learners; its potential for multiple interpretations develops the minds of students who often believe that every question has but one answer, and the authenticity of literary texts respects them as intellectually maturing adults. Eye-opening materials and mind-widening methods should be an integral part of the education process at all levels, but are essential at university level before students go forth to live among the complexities of the ‘real’ world.The conference will explore the idea that it is unkind and disingenuous to deprive students of the marvelously varied, meaningful, and challenging content that only great works of literature and thoughtful authentic writings on culture can offer. It will also explore techniques, methods, and ways that literary texts can foreground the roots of education, liberate English language into maturely creative uses and instigate a freer, bolder expression of original opinions. With your participation, we hope this conference will open up an active and collaborative community of thought, reflection, inquiry and discussion. We hope to make this conference the first step in an ongoing forum in which we can establish how, where, and why literature should rightly figure in Japan’s English curriculum.


Send in a proposal about teaching literature in English after reading the call for papers.

Graduate students

Presentation forum and award for graduate students in literature, English, film, and related fields.


Join us to exchange ideas about teaching literature, film, and related subjects in English.

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