This Symposium aims to bring together scholars both from the Middle East and the global community. The Symposium is focused around the idea of novelty and interdisciplinary approaches to ‘The New’ – in literature, theory, culture, law and related fields. Across two days scholars will explore related themes, concepts and practices of ‘The New’ in a series of related and inter-connected conversations, speeches and panels. The current global crisis has resulted in financial stagnation and dwindling production as the specter of recession haunts the international economy. Yet ironically this economic crisis is matched by exuberance in the artistic and literary fields of production, which overflow with new experiments and innovations.
Both art and literature have been explicating and heralding many of capitalism’s difficulties and ailments, long before the market data confirmed a collapse. Literature, literary criticism and literary theory, have long been involved in ideological and aesthetic repudiation of hegemonic social forms that were embraced as orthodoxy only two or three decades ago. The politics of unbridled market-capitalism so recently discredited as unsustainable at the very least have long been rejected by writers and critics, who sought new discourses and visions, long before the G8 or the hastily formed G20 searched for one.
This symposium aims to bring together scholars from the region and the wider Arab world with international scholars to study the new literature of the Arab world and elsewhere. The ‘new’ does not merely transform traditional genres; the internet has given rise to a proliferation of new discourses which urgently require theoretical inquiry. This other space or the other of literature has produced new writings and hybrid genres situated between the virtual and the material, the novel and the blog; between national languages and global ones. We seek to elucidate the features of this new literature, to investigate its directions, and chart its poetics and aesthetics. Our main question is: does the ‘new’ imply a more fundamental break than the periodic alterations determined by the ongoing imperative of stylistic innovation?
Keynote speakers include Professor David Damrosch, Harvard University and Professor Sabry Hafez, SOAS and Qatar University.
Please send a 250-word abstract by December 1, 2009 to Moneera Al-Ghadeer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chair, Department of English Literature and Linguistics
College of Arts and Sciences
University of Qatar
P.O. Box 2713
Doha-Qatar Email: email@example.com
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