International Conference on “Beyond the Ruin: Investigating the Fragment in English Studies”
Organised by the Hellenic Association for the Study of English (HASE)
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Department of English Language and Literature
23-25 November 2017
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Apostolos Lampropoulos, Université Bordeaux-Montaigne
Carl Lavery, University of Glasgow.
Jyotsna Singh, Michigan State University.
Julian Wolfreys, University of Portsmouth.
Call for Papers
The ruin and the fragment have enduring, interconnected, yet also distinct legacies, as historical realities, material and/or aesthetic objects, and as categories of thought. The ruin predominantly recalls a classical or distant past, and is valued as a silent yet privileged ground for the reconstruction of the past. On the other hand, the fragment is primarily a conceptual category and a stylistic form, a metonymy of nostalgic wholeness, and a metaphor of and for a modernity that contemplates wholeness as irreversibly lost. In response to historical vicissitudes, the literary and the artistic imagination turned to the fragment in all its forms, as an expression of dislocation, fragmentation, and fragmentariness in modernity. In the wake of the ruin of representation in postmodernism, ruins and fragments may operate as tropes of relatedness and separation, discontinuity and destruction, uniqueness and multiplicity, open-endedness and incompleteness. Whether literal or metaphorical, ruins and fragments bear dualities that are continually recuperated and revisited as they speak of creation and destruction, recovery and silence, memory and forgetting, war and catastrophe, classicism and avant-gardism.
As divisions and conflicting notions about our past and our present are now tokens of our own despair; as quests to restore an illusory wholeness persist; as the tension between the timeless and the crumbling is becoming all the more manifest; as violence and uncertainty are all around us; as ruins make invisible vulnerability visible, this conference invites reflection on the histories, theorisations, and representations of fragments and ruins in Anglophone literatures and cultures.
Possible topics include, but are not restricted to, the following:
- Reception, representations, and the significance of ruins through the ages
- The dialectic between the ruin and the monument
- Fragments and ruins in travel writing
- The ruin as metaphor/metonymy
- Fragments, ruins and incompleteness
- The (un)timeliness of the ruin: silence, erasure, and memory
- Ruins and melancholia
- Fragmented states of consciousness
- Colonial and postcolonial ruins and fragments
- Cultural appropriation, recovery, and/or destruction of ruins
- Narratives of destruction and catastrophe
- Fragments, ruins as palimpsests
- The ruin and/or fragment as spectacle
- Morality, ethics, responsibility, solidarity vis-à-vis the ruin
- The (un)ethics and the politics of material and cultural devastation
- Terrorism as/and the creation of ruins
- Textual fragmentation and contemporary literature
- The fragment in new technologies and the media
The conference will be held at the Main Building of the University of Athens.
The deadline for the submission of proposals for individual 20-minute papers (200-250 words) and of proposals for panel sessions (no longer than 500 words) is March 31st, 2017.
Please send a short biographical note (circa 150 words) together with your proposal.
Prospective panel organisers should also send the panelists’ names, paper titles, and short bio notes for each panelist and their contact details.
Confirmation of acceptance: 30 April 2017.
Proposals should be sent to: email@example.com
Emmanouil Aretoulakis (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Despotopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), email@example.com
Stamatina Dimakopoulou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens),firstname.lastname@example.org
Efterpi Mitsi (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), email@example.com
Conference Website: http://www.beyondtheruin.net.