2nd Global Conference
Future Literature, Future Art: Probing the Boundaries of Criticism
Thursday 30th November - Saturday 2nd December 2006
Call for Papers
This conference aims to take stock of the genealogy of current literary and artistic practices and their critical adjuncts with a view to speculating on future developments in both literature, art and criticism. An inter-disciplinary approach will be adopted so as to provide the basis for dialogue between the various disciplines currently inputting into literary, artistic and critical production.
With respect to literature, the relationship between literature and criticism has undergone radicalisation in the last century. The very clarity of the distinction between the two has become problematic, with various kinds of fusions and blurrings between the two coming to the fore. While many cite the crucial juncture as the Surrealists’ transdisciplinary aesthetic, it is possible to trace the source of the revolution in literature and criticism back to key texts such Lautréamont’s Maldoror and to the Symbolist emphasis on a more conceptual approach to literary production. While, in Germany, Heidegger developed an enigmatic aesthetic through oblique readings of Trakl and Hölderlin amongst others, in France this radicalisation of literary and critical practice was intensified through movements such as Dada, Oulipo and figures such as Bataille, Blanchot, Leiris and Roussel. In the ‘70s, this tendency was developed through the work of Tel Quel. Many of the figures associated with Tel Quel, such as Derrida and Kristeva, have maintained this influence to the present. Meanwhile, the more recent upsurge of interest in Deleuze’s critical work on literature has opened up this problematic to English language texts, such as those of Melville, Lewis Carroll and Scott-Fitzgerald. This also reveals the possibility of reading a different Anglo-American genealogy for our problematic, through figures such as the Beats, De Lillo, Pynchon, Amis and Roth.
With respect to art, similar questions of the status of the art work and conflicting fundamental paradigms apply as in the case of literature. Since Duchamp, the question ‘what is art?’ has become constitutive of art practice in an unprecedented way, linking the diverse movements of Dada, Pop, Fluxus, Minimalism and Conceptual art amongst others. Some see recent art practice as a return to more empirical concerns while others see it as an extension and intensification of the question ‘what is art?’ What links, for example, the work of a Paul McCarthy to a Tracey Emin, if anything? Or Balthus and Bruce Nauman? Can we place under one genre performance art, video art, figurative painting, abstract painting, photography, digital art? Central here are the questions of the relation between postmodern art and modernism and the issue of the lingering influence of Romantic paradigms on art in a supposedly post-Romantic age. This conference attempts to address such questions through a focus on the concept of ‘future art’ and papers are welcome on these and related themes. As Hans Richter said of Dada, ‘our real motive force was not rowdiness for its own sake, or contradiction or revolt in themselves, but the question (basic then, as it is now), ‘where next?’
Papers, workshops, reports, and presentations are invited on any of these other related themes. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday 22nd September 2006. Full draft papers should be submitted by Friday 17th November 2006.
All papers accepted for and presented at this conference will be published in an ISBN eBook. Selected papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be published in a themed hard copy volume.
Papers should be submitted to the organising committee as an email attachment in Word or WordPerfect; abstracts can also be submitted in the body of the email text rather than as an attachment.
Dr Jones Irwin
St Patrick's College
Dr Rob Fisher
Freeland, Oxfordshire OX29 8HR
The conference is part of the ‘Probing the Boundaries’ programme of research projects. It aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore various discussions which are innovative and exciting.
For further details about the project, please visit:
For further details about the conference, please visit:
Dr Rob Fisher
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