OSL seminar – It’s all about discourse!

OSL seminar – It’s all about discourse!

Discourse analysis in het hedendaagse literatuuronderzoek

19 september – PC Hoofthuis 6.06, 19 oktober – PC Hoofthuis 1.14, 2 november – PC Hoofthuis 1.14, 7 december, PC Hoofthuis 1.14, 25 januari – PC Hoofthuis 4.04
Tijd: 14.00 – 17.00 uur. (m.u.v. 19 september, 15.00 – 18.00 uur)
Organisatie: Marguérite Corporaal (RU) & Marieke Winkler (RU)
Registratie: osl-fgw@uva.nl

Discourse analysis (…) has come to the fore as a research method since the 1970s in a number of humanities and social sciences disciplines including linguistics, literature, sociology, psychology and politics.
(Gabriele Griffin, Research Methods in English Studies, 2005)

Het concept discourse wordt al sinds de jaren ’70 gebruikt in literatuuronderzoek, maar lijkt het laatste decennium een ware opleving door te maken. In hedendaags literatuuronderzoek kan men bijna niet meer om de term heen, maar ook in aanverwante gebieden wordt het concept veelvuldig toegepast, zoals Griffin stelt. Waar spreken we over als we het over discourse hebben? Wat is het theoretisch potentieel van de term? En hoe kan discourse analysis ons helpen in het blootleggen van patronen van taalgebruik, het spreken als activiteit, of de constructie van autoriteit en identiteit in literaire teksten?

Dit zijn de vragen die centraal staan in de reeks ‘It’s all about discourse’. Deelnemers ondernemen een zoektocht naar het concept vanuit historisch oogpunt én nadrukkelijk vanuit het perspectief van hedendaagse toepassingen in geesteswetenschappelijk onderzoek. Discourse analysis gaat uit van de gedachte dat taal geen neutraal medium is maar veeleer een middel dat onze perceptie van de wereld vormt. Die vorming vindt plaats in een hiërarchisch krachtenveld dat tegelijk geconstitueerd wordt door de taal en veranderd kan worden door middel van de taal. Discourse analysis richt zich dan ook primair op het eigenlijke taalgebruik (parole) in plaats van op de algemene taalstructuur (langue). Verschillende sprekers zullen gedurende vijf weken vanuit hun eigen praktijk belichten hoe het denkkader van discourse analysis kan bijdragen aan hedendaags onderzoek naar de relatie tussen literatuur en identiteit, (post)kolonialisme, cultureel geheugen en het literaire bedrijf.

Aan het einde van de reeks hebbende deelnemers een uitgebreid overzicht met betrekking tot de oorsprong van discourse analysis en de ontwikkelingen binnen het denken over en gebruik van deze methodiek. Bovendien kunnen zij een visie formuleren op de mogelijkheden om discourse analysis als een bruikbaar instrumentarium te gebruiken in (het eigen) literatuurwetenschappelijk onderzoek.

Opzet van de cursus

De cursus bestaat uit vijf bijeenkomsten, verdeeld over de periode september 2012-januari 2013. De reeks behandelt in chronologische volgorde de belangrijkste denkers die zich bezig hebben gehouden met theorie rondom het begrip discourse en praktische toepassingen van discourse analysis, waarbij getracht wordt die praktische toepassing zoveel mogelijk te koppelen aan het onderzoek van de deelnemers.

Voor iedere bijeenkomst wordt een gastspreker benaderd die aantoonbare affiniteit heeft met de denker en zijn/haar werk over discourse analysis die in die bijeenkomst centraal staat. De gastsprekers wordt gevraagd de denker te introduceren en diens centrale ideeën toe te lichten. Vervolgens zal de gastspreker het theoretische kader van de betreffende week illustreren door een voorbeeld van een vruchtbare of minder geslaagde toepassing van de discourse analysis in de literatuurwetenschap te geven.

Overzicht van de bijeenkomsten*

Seminar I (19 september):  The concept of discourse: Bakhtin
Esther Peeren (UvA)

Seminar II (19 oktober):  The concept of discourse: Foucault
Birgit Kaiser (UU)

Seminar III (2 november): Discourse and Psychoanalysis: Kristeva
Hilde Staels (KU Leuven)

Seminar IV (7 december): Discourse and politics: Laclau and Mouffe
Nico Carpentier (VUB)

Seminar V (25 januari): Discourse and stereotypes: Amossy
Pieter Verstraeten (KU Leuven)

*Literatuur wordt nader bekend gemaakt

Cursusvereisten

  • De deelnemers dienen voor aanvang van de bijeenkomsten de literatuur grondig bestudeerd te hebben, zodat zij actief kunnen participeren in een plenaire discussie over de gelezen teksten en centrale thematiek.
  • Per bijeenkomst zullen er twee (of meer, afhankelijk van de groepsgrootte) referenten aangewezen worden die een reactie formuleren of stelling poneren in relatie tot de gelezen teksten.
  • De deelnemers wordt gevraagd voor één van de bijeenkomsten een korte presentatie voor te bereiden waarin het eigen onderzoek gekoppeld wordt aan de stof en invalshoek van de betreffende bijeenkomst. Deze presentatie zal tot verdere groepsdiscussie leiden.
  • De cursus is bedoeld voor RMA-studenten en promovendi. Geïnteresseerden dienen zich van te voren aan te melden, tenminste vóór 1 september 2012, door een mail te sturen naar Marieke Winkler (m.winkler@let.ru.nl)
  • De bijeenkomsten vinden maandelijks plaats op vrijdag aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam (locatie nader bekend te maken).

Seminar – Ontologies of the Present

Ontologies of the Present: Dialectics and Genealogy from Hegel to Agamben

OSL Seminar directed by Bram Ieven en Geertjan de Vugt

When Foucault famously declared Sartre’s Critique of Dialectical Reason the last book of the 19th century the bell for the burial of Hegelian historicism was tolled. Foucault’s turn to Nietzsche and his revitalization of genealogy as critique can only be understood in opposition to the Hegelian dialectic. While the dialectic provides a method in which the singularity of thought is recuperated and placed within a larger ‘whole’ (Hegel) or process of unification (Sartre), genealogy shows us how the origin of certain modes of thinking and discourses are not recuperable within a bigger whole (Foucault) and are in fact shot through by a multiplicity that does not let itself become part of any straightforward process of unification (Deleuze).
            However, both dialectics and genealogy are ways of coming to terms with the double bind one finds oneself inevitably confronted with when dealing with the idea that concepts, ideas and critical notions relate to the historical, political and social circumstances in which they are developed. On the one hand it implies that thinking is coached in its own, singular historical conditions, affected by them and shaped through them. On the other hand it implies that thinking itself also directly reflects on history and its own historicity. The idea that thinking should reflect on its own position, the idea that his is what thinking is about, is what the modern concept of critique is all about. The dialectic and genealogy, then, are two ways in which critique can be defined.          
            This seminar is based on three pillars. Firstly participants will familiarize themselves with the dialectic (Hegel, Kojève, Sartre), it’s criticism (Nietzsche, Deleuze, Bataille), and its persistence (Jameson, Malabou). Secondly we will study genealogy as a critical method by focusing on the work of Foucault and his interpretation of Nietzsche. The development of genealogy as a (alternative) form of critique, it turns out, was conceived of as a direct criticism of Hegel and the dialectical method. Finally we will go into one of todays most prevelant reinterpretations of Foucault, namely that of Agamben’s analysis of paradigms.
            By the end of the seminar participants have a thorough understanding of the concepts vital for an understanding of (French) post-structuralist thought: dialectics and its relevance today, the stakes of a philosophy of difference, genealogical analysis and the archaeology of paradigms.

Each seminar session takes place on Friday from 2 to 5PM. For each session a special guest speaker will be invited who will be giving a one hour introduction to the theme after which we will do a close reading of the texts under scrutiny. Reading materials will be distributed in advance. Please register by sending an e-mail to: osl-fgw@uva.nl
More information and programme

Literature in/and/of Crisis

OSL Graduate seminar “Literature in/and\of Crisis” 

Introductory course for research masters, 23-25 January 2012
Spuistraat 210, Amsterdam, room 420

Monday – Day 1

Teachers: Sander Bax and Thomas Vaessens

10.00-11.30                           
Contemporary crises in literature and society

  • Marx, W., L’adieu à la literature. Parijs 2005.
  • Judt, T., Reappraisals. Reflections on the forgotten twentieth century. 2009.

11.30-13.30                           
Diagnoses from a cultural historical perspective

Historical crises
In this session we will elaborate on the work of three speakers that will speak at the conference: Saskia Pieterse, Arnold Labrie and Léon Hanssen. We will discuss some of their earlier work. Depending on the number of students, we will ask every student to focus on one or two texts and to prepare three relevant questions that have to do with the way the speakers deal with the notion of crisis. Furthermore, we will ask the students to make an interpretive connection between the theoretical texts and an specific literary text they choose from their own research focus. This have to be small texts (poems, short stories, book chapters) that can be easily spread (via e-mail or Xerox)  In the course of the session every student will have to formulate one fundamental question or statement in relation to each of the presentations. 

13.30-15.00                           
Lunch, Kantine Bungehuis

15.00-17.00
In the afternoon we will try to create a link between the texts we have read this morning and the research plans of the research master students. Depending on the number of students we will ask four / five students to present a research proposal that is linked to the theme of crisis and uses a cultural historical perspective. This proposal will be discussed by the other students and the teachers; it will become the starting point for the essay that the students will be writing for this course.

Tuesday – Second day

Teachers: Sander Bax and Thomas Vaessens

10.00-12.30                          
Contemporary crises
In this second session we will elaborate on the work of three speakers that will speak at the conference: Frans-Willem Korsten, Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens en Willem Schinkel. We will discuss some of their earlier work. Depending on the number of students, we will ask every student to focus on one text and to prepare three relevant questions that have to do with the way the speakers deal with the notion of crisis. Furthermore, we will ask the students to make an interpretive connection between the theoretical text and an specific literary text they choose from their own research focus. This have to be small texts (poems, short stories, book chapters) that can be easily spread (via e-mail or Xerox)  In the course of the session every other student will have to formulate one fundamental question or statement in relation to each of the presentations. 

12.30-14.00                         
Lunch, Kantine Bungehuis 

14.00-16.00
In the afternoon we will try to create a link between the texts we have read this morning and  the research plans of the research master students. Depending on the number of students we will ask four / five students to present a research proposal that is linked to the theme of literature, crisis and capitalism. This proposal will be discussed by the other students and the teachers; it will become the starting point for the essay that the students will be writing for this course.

Wednesday – Third day 

On this day the students are free to work on their essay independently; they try to rewrite their research proposal and think about their methodology, corpus, etc

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OSL SEMINAR
LITERATURE IN/AND\OF CRISIS

January 26-27, 2012 

This year’s OSL Graduate seminar will be devoted to the investigation of the theme “Literature in/and\of Crisis”. Since a couple of years our contemporary World society seems to be in a constant, if not to say permanent, state of crisis. This state of crisis can itself be further dissected into a multiplicity of crises. Whether it concerns the financial markets, global warming, famine and the distribution of food,  the rise of populist politics, or the crisis in the arts and humanities, alarm bells go off as soon as the word “crisis” has been mentioned.  

Nonetheless, the employment of the concept of crisis often goes without any thorough historical or theoretical elaboration or analysis of its meaning. That does not mean however that the application of the concept of crisis is a random one. Therefore it is precisely the aim of this intensive seminar to rethink the notion of crisis. A rethinking which is all the more pertinent as the examples mentioned above confirm. Perhaps crisis and critique have always been of mutual interdependence. And hence there may be a particular and distinguishing role for (literary) criticism in interpreting and understanding crises.

During two days the seminar will investigate questions such as: how do literature and scholarship provide symptomatologies and diagnoses of these crises? Could it be that the concept of crisis has a specific performativity of its own? What kinds of approaches to crises – historical, national and transnational, disciplinary and transdisciplinary – can we discern and develop? If both literature and the humanities offer unique and relevant responses to crises, then how can these responses help to fight the particular crisis that the Humanities have been facing? And how has the notion of crisis developed throughout the last two centuries and what are the consequences for its application today?

Under the guidance of Willem Schinkel (EUR), Arnold Labrie (UM), Léon Hanssen (UvT), Saskia Pieterse (UvA), Liesbeth Eelens (NSOB/EUR), and Thomas Vaessens (UvA) we will be exploring the history as well as the meaning and implications of crisis in/and/through/of literature.

Does Memory Have a History? Part Three: Myth

Does Memory Have a History? Part Three: Myth

Drift 21, Sweelinckzaal, Utrecht, 18 November 2011

Workshop OSL & Onderzoekschool Mediëvistiek

Research Group Transnational Memories (UU) &
Memory: Cultural and Religious Identities (RU)

In October 2008, theNetherlandsGraduateSchoolfor Literary Studies (OSL) andNetherlandsResearchSchoolfor Medieval Studies (Med.) organized their first joint workshop for PhDs, focusing on the concept of cultural memory and its applicability to different historical periods. The goal was to get a discussion going between representatives of different disciplines and historical periods, exploring how the theoretical concept of Cultural Memory could be of use to the study of communities and societies throughout history. A second workshop, devoted to the subject of rewriting, followed in the spring of 2010.

In this third edition of the DMHH-workshop series the focus will be on myth, a concept that is notoriously hard to define, but was nevertheless used repeatedly until quite recently (scholarly amnesia?) and was also the subject of much theoretical reflection. During the workshop we will investigate the analytical potential of ‘myth’ for cultural memory studies and reflect on what has been lost and gained in its erasure as well as potential recovery. We will explore myth’s relation to ‘memory’, ‘history’ and ‘experience’ and inquire into its temporality as it contrasts and intersects with other concepts of time such as historical time and phenomenological time. The focus will be on the ways in which myth functions in cultural memory, discussing its relationship to remembrance and forgetting, to rewriting, politics, and emotions. How does myth function as a figure of memory and of forgetting, and what is its relationship to cultural narratives, to archetypes, and typologies? Should ‘myth’ be understood as a separate temporal mode of cultural memory? Or can we perhaps point out a mythmaking potential in all forms of shared remembrance?

How is myth employed – if at all – by researchers of Classical, Medieval, Early Modern and contemporary culture? In what respects do these approaches resemble or differ from one another and what do they reveal about the transhistorical study of cultural memory? Can we even think of a definition that works’ for everybody, regardless of the historical period or medium under consideration? These are some of the central questions we hope to address in the discussions and presentations structuring the workshop.

Keynote address: prof. dr. Judith Pollmann, leader of the NWO research programme ‘Tales of the Revolt: Memory, Oblivion and Identity in theLow Countries, 1566-1700’.

Participation: Please contact:OSL-fgw@uva.nl.

 

Organisation: Truus van Bueren (Med.), Dennis Kersten (OSL), Liedeke Plate (OSL), Ann Rigney (OSL) & Els Rose (Med.).

De OSL 10 miljoen Euro Conferentie

Let’s Think Big

De OSL 10 miljoen Euro Conferentie

Amsterdam, vrijdag 4 november 2011

In tijden van schaarste is het verleidelijk om vanuit beperkingen en onmogelijkheden te denken. Maar wat gebeurt er wanneer we de zaken eens omdraaien? Wat zouden we doen wanneer we in de gelegenheid waren fors in de toekomst van ons vak te investeren? Op vrijdag 4 november 2010 organiseert de Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies OSL een expert meeting rondom deze laatste vraag. Vijf sprekers hebben een denkbeeldige zak met geld gekregen. In korte presentaties zullen zij vertellen hoe ze hun 10 miljoen Euro gaan uitgeven en hoe ze het vakgebied een duurzame impuls denken te geven. Hun fantasieën, dromen en perspectieven vormen het uitgangspunt van een open discussie – door sprekers en overige deelnemers – over de toekomst van ons vak.

De OSL 10 miljoen Euro Conferentie is meer dan een gedachtenspel met (in tijden van bezuinigingen) licht perverse trekken. De conferentie is georganiseerd vanuit de overtuiging dat het noodzakelijk is vanuit inhoudelijke ambities na te denken over een gedeelde onderzoeksagenda voor de literatuurwetenschap. Welke literatuurwetenschappelijke ambities zullen de samenleving aanspreken? Hoe en op welk niveau creëren we samenhang in onze veelzijdige vakbeoefening? Hoe vergoten we de schaal van ons onderzoek?

Directie en adviesraad van OSL nodigen u van harte uit op

Vrijdag 4 november
15.00 – 17.00 uur
PC Hoofthuis, zaal 1.04. Spuistraat 134, Amsterdam

De sprekers:

  • Odile Heynders (Universiteit Tilburg)
  • Liesbeth Korthals Altes (Universiteit Groningen)
  • Kiene Brillenburg (Universiteit Utrecht)
  • Jan Baetens (KU Leuven)
  • Frans Ruiter (Universiteit Utrecht)

Presentaties en debat zullen worden gemodereerd door Thomas Vaessens (Universiteit van Amsterdam), directeur OSL.

De OSL 10 miljoen Euro Conferentie maakt deel uit van een uitgebreider dagprogramma

  • 12.00 – 15.00 – Promovendi bijeenkomst

Let’s Think Big

  • 15.00 uur Ontvangst
  • 15.15 uur Presentaties
  • 16.30 uur Discussie
  • 17.30 uur Borrel

Achtergrond
Er zijn dingen waarover alle in Nederland werkzame literatuurwetenschappers het roerend eens zijn. We vinden allemaal dat we als vakgemeenschap beter zichtbaar zouden moeten zijn en duidelijker onderscheidend. Ook zeggen we allemaal dat het hoog tijd is dat we succesvoller worden bij het verwerven van onderzoeksmiddelen. We willen de kloof dichten tussen ‘letterkunde’ en ‘literatuurwetenschap’. En we hebben behoefte aan een open academische infrastructuur, waarin we ons onderzoek en onze aanvragen kunnen verbeteren en waarin we onze PhD- en RMA-studenten kunnen stimuleren en uitdagen.

De voornaamste verantwoordelijkheid van de Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies (OSL) ligt bij de training en begeleiding van promovendi en studenten uit de literatuurwetenschappelijke RMA-programma’s. Daarnaast hebben directie en adviesraad van de OSL de uitgesproken ambitie om de OSL ook een platform te laten zijn voor debat en uitwisseling van visies en standpunten in het veld. De onderzoekschool zou een platform moeten zijn waarop strategische allianties worden gesmeed, waar posities en formuleringen kunnen worden aangescherpt, waar – over de grenzen van de verschillende campussen heen –collega’s kunnen worden geconsulteerd. Het is belangrijk dat we ons als discipline goed organiseren en dat we naar buiten treden als een slagvaardige en in veel opzichten eensgezinde academische gemeenschap.

Om het proces van disciplinaire bonding te bevorderen, en om het constructieve en positieve denken in de literatuurwetenschappelijke vakgemeenschap verder te stimuleren, organiseert OSL deze expert meeting op 4 november a.s.

Deleuze Seminar

GRADUATE SEMINAR on GILLES DELEUZE and CULTURAL STUDIES

Academic year 2011-2012, Tuesday afternoons, 14.00-17.00, Location: Stijlkamer van Ravensteijn, Kromme Nieuwe Gracht 80, Utrecht University.
Organised by the OSL (Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies) with the Centre for the Humanities at Utrecht University
Chaired by Professor Rosi Braidotti (Utrecht University) and Professor Anneke Smelik (Radboud University Nijmegen)

The seminar consists of six sessions in English which will run throughout the academic year 2011-12 in Utrecht. Research masters and PhD students, as well as staff members, are welcome to participate. Students can get credits for their participation by attending regularly and writing a final paper. Each session of the three-hour seminar will consist of an in-depth reading of a text by Gilles Deleuze (with or without Felix Guattari), sometimes alongside secondary texts by other theorists or philosophers. This year the theme will be Deleuze’s ‘aesthetics’ from the angle of cultural studies. A Thousand Plateaus will be the guideline reference text throughout the seminar.

Participants are expected to acquire the literature themselves, but wherever possible we will make pdf files available.

PROGRAMME
27 September, 2011: Introduction
Rosi Braidotti: “Approaching Deleuze’s texts: methodological insights”.

Please note: this is an introductory class for new participants; people who have attended the seminar in the past few years may want to skip this session, or come prepared to make their own contribution.

Reading material:
G. Deleuze, Negotiations (New York, Columbia University Press, 1995):
Section on : “On A Thousand Plateaus” pp. 25-34;
Extracts from C.V. Boundas (ed) The Deleuze Reader (New York, Columbia University Press, 1993): “Rhizome versus Tree” pp. 27-38 ; “A Theory of the Other”, pp. 59-68 ; “Language; Major and Minor”, pp. 145-151; “Minor Literature; Kafka”, pp. 152-164; “Nomad art” pp 165-172.

11 October, 2011: TBA
Guest seminar with Prof. Gregg Lambert (Syracuse University,USA)
Reading material:
G. Deleuze, Proust and Signs, chapter on “The Image of Thought”
G. Deleuze & F. Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus. The first chapter, “Rhizome”.
Gregg Lambert is the Director of the Centre for the Humanities at Syracuse University and the author of Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? (New York and London: Continuum Books, January 2007); The Return of the Baroque in Modern Culture (New York and London: Continuum Books, January 2005); The Non-Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze (New York and London, Continuum Books, 2002).

29 November, 2011: Performance Studies
Guest seminar with Prof. Maaike Bleeker (Utrecht University)
Reading material: (to be announced)

7 February, 2012: Fashion Studies
Anneke Smelik will discuss the possibilities of using deleuzian concepts for the study of fashion.
Reading material: Texts from The Fold, ATP and the Cinema Books.

13 March, 2012: TBA
Guest seminar with dr Birgit Kaiser (UtrechtUniversity)
Reading material: (to be announced).

24 April, 2012: On Music
Rosi Braidotti will discuss the notion of the ‘ritournelle’( the refrain)
Readingmaterial: ATP

OTHER RELEVANT EVENTS

Public Lecture by Prof. Michael Hardt (Duke University, USA)
Thursday 26 January, 10:30 – 12:00
Title: “What to Do in a Crisis”.
Place: Utrecht University, Drift 21: room 0.05/Sweelinckzaal
Abstract: The lecture will take as point of departure some of the forms of resistance that have emerged in the current economic crisis, such as the defense of labor union rights inWisconsin and the occupations ofMadrid’s Puerta del sol and Athen’sSyntagma Square in Spring 2011. The ultimate goal is to recognize some of the ways that it is changing what it means to be ‘the Left’.
This lecture is part of the Intensive Programme of the Utrecht School of Critical Theory on “Risk Societies and Cosmopolitanism.
Michael Hardt is a political philosopher and literary theorist currently based at Duke University, North Carolina. His most famous works were written in collaboration with Antonio Negri: Empire (2000); Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004) and Commonwealth. Michael Hardt is also the author of Gilles Deleuze: An Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1993) and The Jameson Reader (with Kathi Weeks, 2000).

National Symposium on Deleuze Scholarship:
“Lines of Flight in the Lowlands”

May 15, 2012. Conveners: Rosi Braidotti and Rick Dolphijn
The purpose of this study day is to assess the state of current Deleuze scholarship in our region, with strong emphasis on new directions of study and new generations of scholars. One session will be dedicated to the topic of ‘geo-philosophy and globalisation’; another session will be open and subject to a call for papers. Short papers will be presented with ample space reserved for discussion.
Invited speaker: to be announced.

 

Hermes Summerschool: Literature and Intervention

HERMES seminar 2012
Literature and Intervention: The Relevance of Literature in a Changing World

Amsterdam, June 11-15, 2012
Annual International Post-Graduate Seminar in collaboration with the HERMES Consortium for Literary and Cultural Studies.

Key note speaker:

Over the last decades, the study of literature has changed drastically. These changes are the result of (inter)disciplinary developments as well as the consequence of societal changes.

The increasing interdisciplinarity of literary studies, to begin with, has brought literary scholars into an intense discussion with philosophy, aesthetic theory, cultural sociology, political theory, popular culture studies, et cetera. As a result, literary scholars of today study a wide variety of cultural phenomena.

Furthermore, literary theorists and sociologists have charted a number of socio-cultural developments that have had quite an impact on the work of writers, readers and literary professionals. One can think of the diversification of culture (high vs. low, new media, ethnicity…), the increase in cultural production, the loss of humanist ideals, the growing dominance of information technologies, the (assumed) vanishing of print culture, and so on. Literary culture, in other words, is changing rapidly and drastically.

These (and other) academic and socio-cultural transformations seem to undermine, or at least transform, the ways in which researchers used to think of literature and literary culture. The paradox is that they, by doing so, contribute to the renewed topicality of very basic, but crucial questions, such as: What is literature? What is literary experience? How is literature perceived, discussed, viewed, structured? Where, how and why do people have an interest in literature? How is literature transformed by the changing society of today, and how can literature transform society? The impact and relevance of literature and literary studies, in other words, are on the agenda again.

The Hermes 2012 seminar invites participants to reflect on the impact of and interventions by literature – from any historical era – in the context of the cultural and political transformations of our time. Participants are encouraged to address these issues by exploring notions as literary impact and literary intervention from a wide variety of approaches. Issues to be discussed might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Ethical, political, public interventions by literary authors
  • Literature and commitment
  • Relevance of analyzing author X in historical era Y
  • Responsibility and literary research
  • Impact of literature in the public sphere
  • Beyond postmodern relativism?
  • Didactic or therapeutic aspects of literature
  • Specific relevance (or lack thereof) of particular genres, discourses, and media
  • Diachronic perspectives on the relevance of literature

Call for Papers

If you are interested in participating, please send a proposal for a paper of max. 300 words and a biographical note of max 150 words, to the OSL office at OSL-fgw@uva.nl before March16th 2012. Note: the HERMES seminar is open to PhD students associated with one of the participating research schools and universities.

The Hermes Consortium is a collaboration of:

  • Faculty of Arts and Humanities at University College London
  • Giessener Graduiertenzentrum Kulturwissenschaften of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Faculty of Humanities at Aarhus University
  • Faculty of Arts at the University of Leuven University
  • Centro de Estudos Comparatistas (Faculdade de Letras) at the University of Lisbon
  • Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
  • The Netherlands Research School for Literary Studies
  • Stanford University
  • The University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • University of Bologna

 More information: http://hermes.au.dk

Dr. Gaston Franssen (staff member OSL)
Dr. Eloe Kingma (managing director OSL)
Prof. dr. Thomas Vaessens (academic director OSL)