Since 2013, the English Department of the Faculty of Philology has organised an international biennial academic event known as CELLS (Conference on English Language and Literary Studies). Setting as their goal the creation of an international forum that would allow the exchange of ideas and experience in the fields related to English studies, the organisers have focused specifically on such interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary issues and themes as are at the centre of interest of scholars working in the fields of literature, culture, linguistics, translation studies and applied linguistics. CELLS is organised in association with foreign partners, attesting to the organisers’ eagerness to collaborate and network.
Titled Going against the Grain – Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Language, Literature and Culture, the first CELLS hosted as its plenary speakers Terry Eagleton (Lancaster University, UK), Geoffrey K. Pullum (Brown University, USA & University of Edinburgh, UK) and László I. Komlósi (University of Pécz, Hungary). It was organised in collaboration with the Department of English and Creative Writing, Faculty of Design, Arts and Humanities, De Montfort University, UK, and it took place between June 6-8, 2013.
The second CELLS was held under the title Remaking Tradition – Present-day Perspectives on Language, Literature and Culture, with plenary speakers Wim Van Mierlo (University of London, UK), John Frederick Bailyn (State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA) and Dijana Jelača (St. John’s University, New York, USA). It was organised in association with the Institute of English Studies, University of London, UK, and held on 12 and 13 June 2015.
Transcending Borders and Binaries: New Insights into Language, Literature, and Culture was the title of the third CELLS conference, with Timothy Petete (University of Central Oklahoma, USA), Ryszard W. Wolny (University of Opole, Poland) and Biljana Čubrović (University of Belgrade, Serbia) as plenary speakers. It was organised in collaboration with the University of Central Oklahoma, USA, and the University of Opole, Poland, and it took place on 9 and 10 June 2017.
The 4th International Conference on English Language and Literary Studies (CELLS) was organised on 9-10 September 2019, featuring the topic entitled BEYOND HERMENEUTICS: Challenging Traditional Approaches to Literary and Language Studies and further contributing to promoting English Studies at the University of Banja Luka. The participants were welcomed by Prof. Petar Penda, PhD, Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Zeljka Babic, PhD, Vice-Dean for International Cooperation, and Dr Emir Muhic, Assistant Professor, Head of the Department. During the two-day conference, the audience enjoyed the plenary addresses given by Mr Sascha Bru, PhD, of the University of Leuven (Belgium), Prof. Predrag Novakov, PhD, of the University of Novi Sad (Republic of Serbia), and Mr Franco Moretti, PhD, of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) respectively. Apart from the plenary addresses, several panels were organised, featuring around forty papers in total [programme] and providing all the participants with an opportunity for networking. At the same time, the conference strengthened the processes of internationalisation of the English Department itself, and, subsequently, the University of Banja Luka. The next CELLS is scheduled for the year 2021.
Since 29 May 2015, CELLS has been officially listed as an academic conference by the Academic Conference Classification and Categorisation Committee of the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Srpska.