Symbiosis - A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations


Dr. Chris Gair, Symbiosis

English Literature

School of Critical Studies

University of Glasgow

5 University Gardens


G12 8QQ



Dr. Matthew Scott, Symbiosis

Department of English Literature

University of Reading


P.O. Box 218





Reviews Editor

Dr. Alison Garden

Contact Us

Submission Information



The 12th Biennial Symbiosis Conference, 2019


A Symbiosis and University of Dundee Event

The 12th Biennial Symbiosis Conference, 2019:
A Symbiosis and University of Dundee Event

Venue: University of Dundee, Scotland, UK
Dates: Thursday 11th to Sunday 14th July, 2019



The 12th Biennial Symbiosis Conference will take place at the University of Dundee, Scotland, 11-14 July 2019. As ever, we welcome paper and panel proposals on all areas of Transatlantic literary exchange.

In addition to the general call for papers, there will be three special themes:
• Transatlantic Bicentennials (George Eliot and Herman Melville amongst others)
• Transatlantic Detective Fiction
• Transatlantic Comics


Venue: University of Dundee, Scotland, UK.


Dundee in the spotlight:
Dundee is one of the great powerhouses of comics production, not just in the UK, but internationally. The publisher DC Thomson is at the heart of the city, and many of the top comics creators in Britain began their careers with the company or have been inspired by Dundee’s comics. It is therefore fitting that Dundee hosts annual events that celebrate this legacy, and that the University of Dundee offers courses in Comics Studies at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The University of Dundee is a world leader in Anatomy and Human Identification and hosts the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science. Harnessing this scientific expertise, Dundee now offers a Masters in Creative Writing: Crime Fiction and Forensic Investigation. Scotland has a flourishing crime writing scene with several crime festivals in stunning historic locations celebrating the ‘tartan noir’ phenomenon.
Located on the east coast, Dundee is Scotland’s sunniest city, and one of the easiest to get to. It has a regional airport, but Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are also conveniently close. 90% of Scotland is within 90 minutes’ drive, with famous castles, lochs and golf courses easy to visit even for a daytrip.

Please send proposals to Dr. Aliki Varvogli (, using ‘Symbiosis 2019’ as your subject.

Deadline for proposals: 30 January 2019.



Special Issue of Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations


Transatlantic Franzen


The journal Symbiosis ( invites articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words for a special issue on Transatlantic Jonathan Franzen, to appear in October 2018. While the following list is not prescriptive, articles may, for example, offer comparative analyses of Franzen’s representations of US and European culture; look at Franzen’s incorporation of or allusion to British or other European authors; assess the critical reception of Franzen’s work in Europe (perhaps, comparing this to US responses); or consider whether British or other European authors have published material that engages with or responds to Franzen’s fiction. More ‘general’ comparative pieces, reading Franzen alongside or against contemporary British / European fiction are also welcome. While we welcome essays that discuss European literature not written in English, contributors should provide translations of any passages that they cite. Regardless of the focus, articles should generally seek to articulate the ramifications of transatlanticism for future studies of Franzen’s fiction. Submissions should be double spaced throughout, prepared (initially) to any recognised humanities style sheet, and addressed or sent as email attachments to both the issue’s editors (contact information listed below) by December 1st 2017. Please contact the editors with queries or expressions of interest pertaining to the special issue:

Dr. Sophie Vlacos, University of Glasgow (

Dr. Chris Gair, University of Glasgow (



Symbiosis 20.2 is now available




Robert Morace, Realigning Contemporary Scottish Fiction

Abdulgawad Elnady, A Geocritical Reading of some of Alice Munro’s Short Stories

Lydia G. Fash, Claimed by Britain and America: Irving’s Bestselling Sketch Book

Jonathan Koefoed, Washington Allston, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Epistemology in Transatlantic Transcendentalism

Philip Aherne, ‘the heritage of the public’: Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John McVickar and the Second American Edition of Aids to Reflection

Tara Stubbs, Transatlantic Poetics: “webs of connection” in recent Irish-American Critical Writing



Special Issue of Symbiosis: A Journal of Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations

Transatlanticism's Influence on British Literary Study


Transatlanticism is often credited with enriching, and sometimes even correcting, the study of American literature. By de-emphasising the nation and its perceived coherence and uncovering crosscurrents from the British Isles, Europe, and Africa, transatlanticism seems the opposite of American exceptionalism. How, though, has transatlanticism enriched or challenged the study of British literature? The journal Symbiosis invites articles of 5,000 to 7,000 words for a special issue on this topic, to appear in April 2017. Articles may, for example, analyse new authors, texts, genres, readings, or movements highlighted by the transatlantic context; study the influence of American writing on British writing; study how an encounter with American peoples gives shape to British literary styles or forms; analyse the cultural transmission of American discourses in the British Isles; disentangle (or entangle) the impact on ideas of Englishness of postcolonialism, Irish and Scottish studies, and transatlanticism; assess strategies for teaching transatlanticism; or discuss how the transatlantic puts pressure on period or genre designations within British literary study (like ‘Romantic’ or ‘Victorian’). Regardless of the focus, articles should articulate the ramifications of transatlanticism for future studies of British literature. Submissions should be double spaced throughout, prepared (initially) to any recognised humanities style sheet, and addressed or sent as email attachments to both the guest editors (contact information listed below) by July 1st 2016. Please contact the guest editors with queries pertaining to the special issue.

Stephanie Palmer, Senior Lecturer of English, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK.


Erin Atchison, University of Auckland.




Symbiosis is now on Twitter


Symbiosis is now on Twitter. Follow us at




Symbiosis 19.1 is now available


Designs on a New Aesthetic: The Courtroom Manifestos of Whistler and Wilde

By Julian Hanna


‘If Not in This World in Another, Perhaps?’ The New Man  Question in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South and  Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’ The Silent Partner

By Kristin F. Allukian


Suffrage Caricatures: Henry James’s The Bostonians and the British Popular Press

By Amy Easton-Flake


Transatlantic Bric-à-Brac Hunters: the Pleasures of Antiquing c.1870–1930

By Anne Anderson


Arnold Bennett in America: Cultural Contrasts and Comparisons

By Leslie Powner


Elizabeth Maddock Dillon, New World Drama: The Performative Commons in the Atlantic World, 16491849.

Reviewed by Matthew Pethers





 NEW FEATURE: Colum McCann interviewed by Alison Garden


‘Making it up to tell the truth’: An interview with Colum McCann

Colum McCann is a writer celebrated for his dedication to the international: born in Dublin, in 1965, he now resides in New York City, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Hunter College, after having travelled extensively. His fiction is similarly mobile and he has written about a Romani woman in former Czechoslovakia (Zoli 2006); an Irish man in Mexico and his Mexican wife in Mayo (Songdogs 1995); the Russian ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev (Dancer 2003); the Subway tunnels of New York (This Side of Brightness 1998). Most recently, in TransAltantic (2013), McCann continued the current trend in his work of writing about historical figures, including sections on John Alcock and Teddy Brown, Frederick Douglass and Senator George Mitchell.


Colum McCann’s fiction has won numerous awards, including the Hennessy Award for Irish Literature, the Rooney Prize and a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French government. Let the Great World Spin won the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, the American National Book Award 2009 and the Irish IMPAC prize 2011. In 2013, TransAtlantic was long listed for the Booker Prize and McCann was awarded an honorary doctorate by Queens University Belfast.


See PDF Document Below


An Interview with Colum McCann
Adobe Acrobat document [46.9 KB]
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