Transilvania University’s Faculty of Letters’ Department of Literature and Cultural Studies, together with the Romanian Association of General and Comparative Literature (ALGCR) are welcoming paper and session proposals for its upcoming fourth international conference to be held in Brașov, September 21-22, 2017.
Amnesia and Anamnesis. Contemporary Strategies of Literary and Cultural Histories
Our goal is to aggregate a series of arguments and attempts to relocate literature and its disciplines, especially the history of literature, as forms of expressing and exploring our collective but also individual relationship to the past. While the cultural and artistic role played by memory has been historically and extensively acknowledged, we intend to investigate the importance of forgetfulness and amnesia, both as spontaneous processes or strategic coping, in building identities and providing them with social and political significance. If we opted to speak about amnesia rather than general forgetfulness is because we consider important the difference in the degree of violence that distinguishes them. The connection between amnesia and violence is manifold: amnesia as a result of violence, amnesia as doing violence to the past, and amnesia as way of dealing with the violence of the past (functional amnesia).
On the other hand, we do not think of memory and cultural anamnesis as a hoarding of heritage, but more as a recovery approached from a dynamic perspective, a recovery whose purpose is that of rewriting and reassessing past values rather than exhibit them. The necessity to investigate the means by which the past has been or can be recovered, the requirements of such undertakings, the ways in which the local, national, regional histories of literature have been reconfigured after the post-national re-evaluations of the literary canon are all issues requiring further examination.
Our aim is also to redefine the theoretical instruments employed by cultural and literary histories, starting from the conceptual history as an operative ensemble of dynamic concepts which are/can be temporalized, localised, hallmarked by certain epiphenomena or contextualisation. We attempt to confront our scrutiny of the cultural politics of amnesia and anamnesis with the consecrated oppositions that so far shaped the understanding of literature and the arts, of criticism, philosophy, and ideology, like centre-periphery, canon-marginality, insider-outsider, national-European, or local-global.
Suggested topics / areas of investigation:
- anamnestic literature: memoirs and autobiographical writings, (non-)fiction, rewritings;
- amnesia as literary theme, as historical attitude, as cultural strategy
- what has been forgotten and why – cf. Freud’s ‘the return of the repressed’ and the legacy of this idea;
- global vs. regional histories, concealment-revelation of the centre/margins;
- specificities, regional/ local/ national;
- legitimating stories / histories / grand narratives;
- history of literature and history of culture: ways of writing/ overwriting/ rewriting the past;
- the alterity of the past;
- theoretical concerns of literary and cultural histories; the dynamics of cultural concepts.
Please e-mail your abstracts (up to 300 words, in English) and your affiliation by June 30, 2017 to the following email address: email@example.com
Allowed languages for presentations: English, French.
The conference fee is €50, payable at the registration desk. The fee will cover meals and refreshments. The papers will be published in an indexed conference proceedings.