(Re)Contextualizing Literary and Cultural History,
Stockholm University, 2–4 September 2010
For the last thirty years or so there have been lively theoretical discussions about the correlation between literature and history, as well as literature and culture. The “cultural turn”, “new historicism”, the “linguistic turn”, as well as other theoretical approaches and aspects have contributed to a growing interest in investigating early modern literature and culture anew. Our conference therefore aims to bring together scholars to (re-)examine the importance of historical perspectives in literary studies, as well as to scrutinize the impact of “cultural studies” on early modern scholarship.
The invention of paper and of the printing press, the growth of the postal system, new techniques in warfare, and the expansion of the world known to the Europeans are some disparate but important developments in early modern Europe that resulted in new and expanded modes for communication as well as commercial, political, and cultural exchange. Renaissance Humanism and the Reformation further contributed to the development of a world that no longer corresponded to the “old” – medieval – world but that had not yet become the “new”, industrialized world. The printing press and the development of a market economy paved the way for a mass market of print material that was consumed by a growing group of bourgeois city dwellers. New types of texts and new genres emerged while medieval texts were adapted and transformed. Other technical inventions affected culture in different ways: the development of optics influenced painting and literature; the development of watercolor and blacklead changed the conditions for painting and writing; the technical improvement of musical instruments enabled more refined music. In a more abstract way, technologies of language – such as rhetoric – and of painting and music – art and music theory – were developed in new ways. As a starting-point, attempts were made to define art and music through the theoretical system of rhetoric, but gradually the theories developed into original systems.
We welcome contributions from various disciplines, particularly inter- and cross-disciplinary studies, but also diachronic investigations that can cast light on various relationships between the past and the present. Papers dealing with the use of new technologies – from the printing press to digitalization– as well as the application of contemporary theories to old textual or visual material are especially welcome.
Papers may focus on these and other related topics:
• Literary and cultural historiography
• Early modern cultural technologies
• Text and context
• (Re-)Writing literary history
• Early modern literature and literary theory
• Early modern art and art theory
• Early modern music and music theory
20 minute papers are welcome. Abstracts of app. 250 words may be submitted by 25 January 2010. Please include your name and affiliation, a short cv and e-mail address in your proposal. Send your proposal to: Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre, Department of Baltic languages, Finnish, and German, Stockholm University –email@example.com
Elisabeth Wåghäll Nivre
Department of Baltic Languages, Finnish, and German
Universitetsvägen 10 E
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