Witnessing the 60s: a decade of change in journalism and literature
Groningen, the Netherlands, 19th & 20th May, 2011
Abstract deadline: 10th February, 2011
Call for Papers
This expert workshop aims to gain insight in the entwined quest of both journalists and literary writers to come to terms with the far-reaching changes that took place roughly between 1960 and 1970. The sixties is shorthand for a ubiquitous social, political and cultural upheaval in the Western world with its culmination point in 1968. The changes were so encompassing and impressive that many considered traditional ways of making sense of the world no longer sufficient; accepted cultural forms suddenly seemed to lose their capacity to interpret reality.
These developments had a strong impact on journalistic and literary practice. Both journalists and literary writers experimented with new forms, thereby stretching the limits of their domains. Several influential journalists turned to literature, which resulted in a form of reporting still famous under the caption ‘New journalism’. Concurrently, certain authors felt they could not ignore the sweeping developments in society, and – finding their usual forms inadequate – turned to journalistic forms of reportage and documentary to satisfy their sociopolitical engagement. Although these journalists and literary authors had similar goals, and were experimenting along the same lines, there was nothing like a clear-cut movement at this time. Writers and journalists alike were discovering by trial-and-error ways to represent the rapidly changing world around them.
Despite the attention that has already been devoted to this period, the intersections between literature and journalism have not been studied extensively. The sociopolitical and cultural changes that occurred in the 1960s have mainly been examined from the perspectives of sociology or political science, and focus primarily on institutional change. Whenever literary journalism in the 1960s is the object of research, scholars devote their attention, for the most part, on the American situation. Compounding this situation is the fact that the changing conventions in journalism and literature are too seldom scrutinized from an interdisciplinary perspective. The workshop, ‘Witnessing the 60s’, aims to address this shortcoming. We wish to study the entwined journalistic and literary quest for adequate forms to represent reality from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, and we invite scholars in the fields of literature, history, and journalism to present their reflections and analyses. We want to consider how the struggle to represent the changing world of the 1960s constituted new norms, and saw journalists and authors alike employ various innovative routines and textual formats.
Papers of an interdisciplinary nature are welcomed. We especially encourage contributions, which centre on the following issues:
- The interdependence of the literary and journalistic discourse in the 1960s
- Comparisons between the developments in the 60s and other moments in time when journalism and literature drew close.
- The positioning strategies of the innovative authors
- The international dispersion of new norms and forms, and the mutual influence between countries.
- Showcases of the manifestation of these literary and journalistic developments in a certain country
- The comparison of similar developments in different countries
Guidelines: Those wishing to participate may submit completed papers, early-stage drafts, works in progress, or abstracts. Please ensure all submissions contain a working abstract (to a maximum of 400 words). Participants are advised that the organizers wish to combine a selection of essays from the workshop into an edited collection.
Deadline: Abstracts, along with full contact information (title, name, affiliation, email), should be submitted to F.Harbers@rug.nl by February 10, 2011. When your proposal is accepted, rough papers (approximately 4000-6000 words) are expected by April 23, 2011.
Date: May 19th - 20th, 2011.
* Wednesday evening the 18th the workshop will host a fairly informal get-together, as participants will no doubt be arriving at different times. The workshop runs Thursday until Friday afternoon (around 14.00). Accommodation will be provided for.
Workshop Coordinators: Frank Harbers, PhD Candidate, Dr. Ilja van den Broek, and Professor Marcel Broersma, Groningen Centre for Journalism Studies, University of Groningen
University of Groningen
P.O. Box 716 - NL-9700 AS Groningen
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