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(Expired) Call for Papers | Latin America and East Central Europe: Comparisons, Bridges, Entanglements

Conference, 26 October – 28 October 2022.

Deadline for abstract: 15 February 2022

News from Nov 17, 2021

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Organisation: Agnieszka Hudzik (Freie Universität Berlin), Jorge Estrada (Maria Sibylla Merian Centre Conviviality-Inequality in Latin America), Patricia Gwozdz (Universität Potsdam), and Joanna Moszczynska (Universität Regensburg)

This conference welcomes discussions on the literary entanglements between Latin America and East-Central Europe from the 20th century to the present. Bringing together these two culturally and linguistically diverse regions is unusual but not accidental: what connects them is the critical examination of terms such as “post-imperial”, “marginal” or “peripheral” in cultural expressions and theory production.

Milan Kundera – a close friend of Carlos Fuentes and other Latin American writers during his exile in Paris – reflects, for example, on the proximity between Latin American and East-Central European literatures. Kundera’s understanding of “Central Europe” hinges on a contrast with Russia and should be thought of in the context of the Iron Curtain. However, the connection between these geopolitical and geopoetic spaces is more than a political declaration and can be interpreted as an aesthetic manifesto. It points towards a more complex field and opens up a comparative perspective on transcultural links between transatlantic literatures.

The conference follows these connections and explores literary-historical intersections, poetological relations as well as similarities in the theory produced by both regions and their competing communities. These literatures evolve from their position in the historically and theoretically constructed space of the periphery. They negotiate aesthetic and epistemological topics and, with their positionality in mind, critically constitute affinities, whilst attempting to redefine World Literature by being included among its ranks. The conference’s task is to examine how these relations are explained and expanded in academic disciplines ranging from literary theory and history to cultural studies.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • Translation and cultural diffusion: What actors – writers, translators, publishers, and cultural institutions – have participated in literary-cultural exchanges and what role do these exchanges play in literary texts?
  • Theoretical considerations: How can the interconnections between Latin America and East-Central Europe be described in terms of literary and cultural theory?
  • Documents of cultural contact illustrated by travel literature, documentary film and documentary photography: What (mental) images of Latin America in East-Central Europe and vice versa are conveyed by them?
  • Aesthetic-poetological connections, circulation and transformation: What literary genres and currents circulated between the two regions?
  • The sociopolitical engagement of literary and artistic practitioners, social imaginaries in motion: How are political upheavals, injustice, power, violence, and everyday life represented under socialism and authoritarian dictatorships?
  • Literary Communities: What dialogues and competing discourses have emerged between the two regions? How can the concept of community be reconceptualised in light of peripheral elective affinities and how does this community deal with the activities of the “centre”?

Proposals should be submitted to tagung2022laoste@gmail.com in the form of an abstract (max. 300 words) by February 15. There will be a conference volume to be published in 2023. Travel and accommodation will be covered for the invited participants.

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