FIRST INTERNATIONAL TZVETAN TODOROV CONFERENCE IN HONOUR OF HIS 65TH BIRTHDAY
‘Tzvetan Todorov and the Future of the Human Sciences’
24–27 June 2004
Bakhtin Centre, University of Sheffield, UK
Tzvetan Todorov, who has gradually emerged as a leading intellectual figure in Europe, has consistently refused enclosure in established disciplines, and has approached human experience from a variety of angles. The clarity of his style and accessibility of his thought enhance the unifying perspective he has adopted within the human sciences. A growing trend in the humanities today consists, precisely, in questioning the boundaries erected between the various disciplines of the human sciences and in addressing the need for research in the humanities to develop in new directions. It is our belief that critical theory should provide the platform for this debate rather than remaining at a ‘theoretical second remove’ and commenting only after the fact. It therefore appears imperative to create a forum for discussion of the works and thought of Tzvetan Todorov in a manner that would bridge the divides between academic disciplines, considering that Todorov is an outstanding exemplar of what has been achieved in overcoming disciplinary boundaries, and of the potential that still remains for doing so.
The conference proposes to assess the position and contribution of Tzvetan Todorov’s thought to the human sciences and to evaluate the potential of his concept of ‘critical humanism’ as an alternative to theory. Therefore, the conference seeks to bring together scholars from various disciplines who engage with Todorov’s work and to foster
cross-disciplinary thought in the humanities (critical theory, literature, history, philosophy, philosophical anthropology, semiotics…) with a view to publishing at least one thematically focused volume of articles.
TZVETAN TODOROV will give a public lecture in the French
Embassy Lecture Series on 26 June 2004 and will participate in a
roundtable with the conference participants on 27 June.
Keynote speakers include:
Stoyan ATANASSOV (University of Sofia) on ‘Todorov or the
Dialogical Self at the Crossroads of Cultures’;
Frances FERGUSON (Johns Hopkins University) on ‘Tzvetan
Todorov on Narratives and Societies’;
Eugene GOODHEART (Brandeis University) on ‘Todorov, Berlin,
Kolakowski and Me’;
Robert ZARETSKY (University of Houston) on ‘Uncommon
Histories: An Evening with Jean-Jacques Rousseau at the Drury
Papers addressing one or more of the following areas will be
cross-disciplinarity as the future of the human sciences
critical humanism: new form of humanism or well-tempered
literature as privileged medium for understanding human
ethical approaches to history
‘exemplary narrative’ as an original contribution to critical
Todorov’s contribution to holocaust studies
Todorov as European intellectual
historical and/or contemporary sources of or influences on
Todorov’s thought (for ex. Rousseau, Constant, Bakhtin, Ferry, …)
crossing cultures: translating Todorov, Todorov in translation, etc.
Papers addressing other issues related to the general aims of the
conference and proposals for panels (see guidelines below) are encouraged.
Papers will be organised in panels of 3 lasting 90 minutes. Each
paper should last 20–25 minutes (maximum) in order to leave adequate time for discussion.
Advance posting of abstracts, or even full papers, on the
conference website is envisaged.
A selection of the papers presented will be considered for
publication in a special issue of The Canadian Review of
Please send 300-word abstracts by e-mail attachment in RTF or
Word format to the email address below by 30 September 2003. Proposals for panels should include title of panel, names and
institutional affiliations of chair and three panellists with abstracts
and name of discussant if appropriate.
Dr Karine Zbinden and Prof. David Shepherd
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)