IGEL conference

IGEL conference
  • Date

    18-20 July 2024

  • Fee

    € 30-210

From July 18 to 20, 2024, the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature (IGEL) will hold its 20th international conference in Aachen, Germany, 170 km away from Siegen, where the society’s inaugural conference took place in 1987. The broad theme of the conference will be “perspectivity.” Submissions related to this theme will be given priority, but proposals from all areas of the empirical study of literature and media are welcome.

The deadline for submission is 15 January 2024 31 January 2024.


Registration is now open: https://igelsociety.org/igel2024_payment/.

Early bird rates are available until 15th June.

You can renew your IGEL membership now using the button at the top right of the page. If you prefer to pay membership and conference fee together, go to the registration page.

Type of fee Until 15th June After 15th June
Regular IGEL member € 150 € 180
Discounted IGEL member € 100 € 130
Non-member € 230 € 260
Online (IGEL member) free free
Online (non-member) € 30 € 50

IGEL is an inclusive society, which means that fees are lowered for early career researchers and for scholars from economically-disadvantaged countries. If you are eligible and would like to request a lower registration fee, please write to the IGEL treasurer, Marloes Mak: h.m.l.mak[at]tilburguniversity[dot]edu

Donations are welcome from IGEL members who can afford to pay a bit more to support these travel bursaries. If you’d like to donate a sum as part of your registration or membership fee, you can write to the IGEL treasurer and request a receipt.

Keynote Speakers

Berenike Hermann – Bielefeld University
James Carney – The London Interdisciplinary School
Marcello Giovanelli – Aston University, Birmingham


Details of the full porgram will be ready later.

On July 17, the day before the start of the IGEL 2024 conference in Aachen, the Empirical Study of Literature Training Network (ELIT) is holding their closing event. When registering for the conference, please indicate your interest in participating in this event. Participation is free of charge, but seats are limited and will be assigned in the order in which registrations are received. The closing event involves:

  • A mentorship workshop (8:30 – 13:15): Anna Chesnokova (Borys Grinchenko Kyiv Metropolitan University), David Hanauer (Indiana University of Pennsylvania and University of Pittsburgh), Raymond Mar (York University), and Willie van Peer (Ludwig-Maximilians-University), four experienced and admired mentors, put their heads together and reflected on what they wish someone would have told or taught them when they launched into their respective careers. They will each share – and demonstrate – their teaching philosophies and strategies and engage participants in reflecting on theirs.
  • ELIT meeting with the Advisory Board (14:15-15:15): Reports from the work package leaders
  • Roundtable with external stakeholders (15:30-17:00): ELIT PhD students discuss plain the practical/social impact of their research.

The conference dinner will take place in the revolving restaurant Belvedere. The cost is € 35. The Belvedere is about a 25-minute uphill walk from the conference venue. Please notify the organizers if you need assistance in the form of a shuttle service (we cannot guarantee this service but will inquire depending on expressions of interest).


Aachen is a fantastic little city of 250,000 inhabitants. Its history dates back 5000 years and involves having been a Roman spa town and later the seat of Charlemagne in the 8th century. The University and conference venue is a five-minute walk from Aachen’s historic city centre with its famed cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. (E-)bike trips of 15 minutes will take you into Belgium and the Netherlands, and a 3-hour train ride will get you to Paris. You can find more information here.

How to reach Aachen

Aachen is easy to reach by train and airplane, with numerous international hub airports 1-3 hours away, such as Frankfurt (1.5 hrs), Düsseldorf (2 hrs), Brussels (2 hrs), Amsterdam & Paris (3 hrs), etc.


Finding accommodation in Aachen in July can be challenging, so we have blocked hotel rooms in four different price categories. Please book early for the greatest range of options: https://tportal.tomas.travel/aachenkongresse/messe/quicksearch/TUR00020110754996350?lang=en&reset=1

Call for Papers

All spoken presentations will be pre-recorded videos of approximately 20 minutes to be submitted by July 5th, 2024. During the conference sessions, presenters will give a 5-minute summary of their work and 15-20 minutes will be dedicated to Q&A. The Concordance platform will be used for hosting the program, videos, abstracts, posters and online discussions and networking. All paper presentation sessions and keynote presentations will be open for online synchronous participation. You can read more about it here.

Proposals for paper and poster presentations must contain a short introduction, a description of the methods as appropriate, and a brief conclusion.

Paper and Poster Submission Requirements

Submit your proposal via the registration form here. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Name of first author (First, Last and Title) and affiliation
  • Email of corresponding author
  • List co-authors (names and affiliations)
  • Title of presentation
  • Three to five relevant keywords
  • Short description (100 words max; anonymized to allow for blind review)
  • Long abstract (800 words max, references excluded; anonymized to allow for blind review)

We also welcome theoretical papers (as long as they are focused on the field of empirical literary studies) and works in progress. For works in progress, we particularly recommend the poster format.

Symposia Proposals

Besides paper and poster proposals, we are again actively encouraging submissions of symposia proposals.

Format: A symposium includes a minimum of three and a maximum of four speakers. To submit for a symposium, use the following guidelines:

  • Title of symposium
  • Short description of symposium (100 words max)
  • Name (first, last and title) and email address of symposium organizer
  • Three to five relevant keywords
  • A list of speakers (including affiliations)
  • Titles and summaries of each speaker’s contribution (200-300 words, references excluded; anonymized to allow for blind review)

All symposia presentations follow the same format as other paper presentations (pre-recorded presentations on Concordance with synchronous Q&A sessions during the conference).

Acceptance Policies

  • Proposal needs to be relevant to our society’s mandate and members
  • Proposal needs to be of high quality (therefore paper proposals need to be anonymized, so authors cannot be accepted or rejected on name alone)
  • Proposal can be empirical (naturalistic, experimental or computational) or theoretical (but pertaining to the field of empirical literary studies) in nature
  • We will not accept more than one proposal from the same author (the only exception being authors who can clearly show that they are working in two different research areas) → this policy is to prevent senior researchers from dominating the conference
  • We are an inclusive society, which means early career researchers or researchers from economically-disadvantaged countries will not be discriminated against
  • The review process is blind

Submission form

Please send all submissions via this link. Acceptance decisions will be communicated to the authors by 30 March 2024.

Outstanding Student Paper Award

IGEL will continue its tradition of recognizing outstanding student presentations. In order to be considered for the Outstanding Student Paper Award, the first author must be a graduate student, and the student’s supervisor must send a recommendation to igel2024conference [at] proton [dot] me describing the student’s contribution to the research project. First authors should indicate the eligibility of their submission using the provided checkbox during the submission process.


IGEL will provide bursaries of maximum 400 euro for early career researchers with no travel funds. There is a limited number of bursaries available. If you want to know whether you are eligible, please contact Marloes Mak (email: board [at] igelsociety [dot] org). If you are eligible and would like to request a bursary, please write to Marloes Mak (email: board [at] igelsociety [dot] org) before 25 April. Decisions about the bursaries will be communicated on 30 April.

Important Dates

  • Symposium proposals and abstracts submission deadline: 15 January 2024 30 January 2024
  • Acceptances will be sent out on: 30 March 2024
  • Early-bird registration deadline: 15 June 2024
  • Registration deadline: 30 June 2024


The 2024 IGEL conference is organized by the Aachen Center for Cognitive and Empirical Literary Studies (ACCELS) at RWTH Aachen University.


Inquiries concerning the conference can be sent to Paul Sopcak at igel2024conference [at] proton [dot] me