Literature and Cultural Identity in European Modernity
An international conference of the Literary Studies Department (University of Bucharest, Faculty of Letters) within the ELICA project framework
March 2-3, 2012
Almost three hundred years ago, the question marking an epoch was “Comment peut-on ętre persan?” In 1721, Montesquieu expresses a problem – identity construction in relation to the Other – that will not lose its relevance throughout the different following historical and ideological contexts. Since in the 20th century the project of a stable, homogenous identity showed its limits, its revival in the form of the “European identity” concept requires a critical analysis before it could be convincingly assumed as a stake of the EU policies.
Since the 1970s, post-structuralism and postmodernism have represented contextualizing frameworks for the changes of perspective within the literary and cultural studies. As a result of phenomena like cultural mixture, migration and the integration imperatives, changes of political regime (1989) in Eastern Europe and in other parts of the world, the impact of media culture and the world wide web on the traditional configuration of knowledge and representation, the need was felt for elaborating new concepts and new systems of reading/translating these experiences that challenge both individual and collective identity.
By employing analytical instruments provided by literary theory and comparative literature, cultural studies and the history of literary ideas, we aim at re-starting a discussion on the relationship between cultural identity and literature in the context of the European modernity. Thus, we have in view a clearer reshaping of the conditions of possibility for a European cultural identity.
The conference is structured on research directions addressing issues such as:
- (Politic and cultural) identity construction theories;
- Local identity and European legitimacy;
- Literary representations of European identity;
- The reading of European cultural spaces (Oriental/ Occidental, central/ peripheral, major culture/ minor culture, etc.);
- National and European literary canon(s);
- Travel literature, literary exiles, migrant writers.
Scientific committee: Mircea Vasilescu, Caius Dobrescu, Elena Ionescu, George Ardelean, Oana Fotache, Magda Răduță (University of Bucharest)
The conference languages are Romanian, English, French, and Italian.
There will be a special section addressed to MA and PhD candidates in literary studies, as well as a roundtable on the status of European literature(s) in the didactic curriculum.
We are expecting paper proposals on these themes (or on related subjects) to be submitted by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposals will be written in English, French, or Italian. Please include also a short bio-bibliographical note.
Deadline for proposals (title + a 2000-character abstract): February 1st, 2012.
A selection of the papers will be published in a collective volume.
Literary Studies Department
University of Bucharest
5 - 7 Edgar Quinet, Bucharest
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