Relational Forms V – Capital and the Imagination

Relational Forms V
Capital and the Imagination:
Literature, the Arts, and Modern Finance

5 – 6 November 2020 

an online international conference hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Porto, Portugal

Confirmed keynote speakers:
David Hawkes (Arizona State University) | Margaret Kelleher (University College Dublin)

Second Call for Papers: the conference goes digital!


Due to the present constraints related to the global coronavirus epidemic, the organisers of this conference have decided to make it a digital event.
All active participants will receive certificates, as always at our conferences; and the organisers have consolidated their plans for publication of a selection of papers. But, during the conference itself, delegates will now be expected to deliver their papers and take part in discussions via a free online platform, for which they will only need a computer (ensuring sound and video) and a stable internet connection.
Reflecting these changed conditions, registration fees have been sharply reduced (see below).
The rationale for the conference, however, remains fully valid:
‘Capital and the Imagination’ addresses the manner in which money and its manifestations in thought and experience have impacted the imagination of writers and artists, now as in past centuries, with some of its ultimate creative outcomes closely bound to tensions and perplexities that have shaped modernity and postmodernity.
The conference is grounded on a sharp historical awareness: western cultures were decisively transformed, in their socio-economic makeup as in their imaginative production, by that fundamental historical change from a land economy to a money economy which, with varying chronologies, played out across Europe from the late medieval through the early modern period. In some of its ensuing stages, over more than five centuries, this extended and momentous historical process has witnessed material gains that have benefited smaller or larger communities, but also fostered scenarios of crisis and disaster. Indeed, this conference takes one of those critical moments for its commemorative starting point: it marks the third centenary of the South Sea Bubble (1720), one of the first major financial scandals that proved the extent to which acquisitive dynamics could be mismanaged and bring disaster to its agents – but, above all, to its many victims.
‘Capital and the Imagination’ finds in such developments of the past an impulse and a pretext for considering the manifold ways in which the desires and practices proper to the money economy have shaped current cultures, with a particular emphasis on literature and the arts.

The organisers will welcome proposals for 20-minute papers in English responding to the above. Suggested (merely indicative) topics include:

  • money in fictions of success
  • money in fictions of disaster
  • money and laughter – the angle from satire
  • money, desire, disgust
  • capital and the theatre: comic and tragic conformations
  • cash and crash: staging success and collapse
  • capital, indulgence and decadence
  • making and unmaking money: performing finance – the material and the virtual
  • “living above their means”: representing life in a time of austerity
  • financial tropes in poetry: Mammon and the lyric
  • money, words and images: the intermedial perspective
  • mobile assets: filming finance
  • LIKE-ing it – or not: discourses of money in the social media
  • wealth and the commonwealth: money, politics and the imagination
  • extraordinary renditions: translation and the language of money
  • desires, acquisitive and otherwise: money, sex and the imagination


As indicated by the number in its title, this conference is the fifth in a series of academic events that reflect the ongoing concerns of the eponymous research group (Relational Forms), based at CETAPS (the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies). 

Submissions should be sent by email to
Please, include RF5 in the subject line of your email.
Please organise your proposal into two separate files:

  • a file containing the full title and a 250-300 word description of your paper;
  • a file containing the author’s data: name, affiliation, contact address, paper title and author’s bio-note (150 words).

Please name these two documents as follows:



Deadline for proposals: 31 July 2020
Notification of acceptance: 7 September 2020
Deadline for registration: 15 October 2020

Registration Fee: 40 Euros
Student fee: 20 Euros
Registration details will be posted online in September 2020

More information available later at


Organised by the Relational Forms research area

 Executive Committee:

Rui Carvalho Homem (coord.) | Jorge Almeida e Pinho | Jorge Bastos da Silva | Márcia Lemos | Miguel Ramalhete Gomes


For further queries please contact:

CETAPS – Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto
Via Panorâmica, s/n
4150-564 PORTO

November 5 @ 09:00 — November 6 @ 17:00
09:00 (32h)

– Faculdade de Letras, Univ. do Porto -, Univ. do Porto –

Jorge Almeida e Pinho, Jorge Bastos da Silva, Márcia Lemos, Miguel Ramalhete Gomes, Rui Carvalho Homem