LL 1) Dystopian Transformations: Post-Cold War Dystopian Writing by Women
WED, 12:30-13:30, Rector's Hall
Milada FRANKOVÁ (Masaryk University, CZ)
Historically, utopian and dystopian writing seems to have been a primarily male domain. Since the mid-twentieth century a number of women writers have stepped in the realm and contributed to the development of the genre, shifting the mind set from the political and ethical concerns of governance rooted in a particular country or part of the world to trans-national, global human concerns.
The paper will examine the transformations of dystopia from stories of ruinous devastation of people and places by a nuclear war produced by the tensions of the Cold War to post-Cold War ecological dystopia imagining a world after an ecological catastrophe. The trajectory will be traced through four novels spanning the decades since World War II: Angela Carter's Heroes and Villains (1969), Maggie Gee's The Ice People (1998), Doris Lessing's The Story of General Dann and Mara's Daughter, Griot and The Snow Dog (2005) and Jeanette Winterson's The Stone Gods (2007). Within their dystopian worlds, the novelists unmistakably also pursue their usual characteristic agendas and while the fantastic elements that in their other writings always have a liberating, even visionary effect and here participate in the apocalyptic vision, they do not leave the grim stories completely devoid of hope.
LL 2) Tales of Becoming?: Childhood and Adolescence in Contemporary Irish Fiction
THUR, 12:30-13:30, Rector's Hall
Anne FOGARTY (University of College Dublin, IE)
The Irish critic and journalist Fintan O'Toole has recently argued that youth appears to be the comfort zone of Irish fiction. Most of the foundational Irish novels of the twentieth century are coming of age stories that are also abruptly cut off or discontinued, such as James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Edna O'Brien's The Country Girls, and Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy. It is striking that child and adolescent narrators abound in contemporary Irish novels and short stories. Emma Donoghue's Room (2010), Paul Murray's Skippy Dies (2010) and Claire Keegan's Foster (2010) all centre on child or adolescent protagonists whose point of view is severely limited and attenuated. This lecture will examine the nature of the circumscribed and minimalist childhood realities that predominate in recent Irish fiction. It will explore the ways in which these simplified worlds act as a commentary on the corruption of Irish society but will also argue that they posit the imagination as a counterforce by which the world can be thoroughly reconstructed and re-envisaged.
LL 3) "We lively Pictures”: On the Graphics of Early Modern Drama
FRI, 14:30-15:30, BTS
Keir ELAM (University of Bologna, IT)
This paper discusses the dialectic at work between different modes of graphic representation in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century English culture and literature, with particular reference to the drama. The early modern English stage offered a wide range of visual clues, from the painted frons scaenae, to large-scale pictorial props to hand-held pictures, not to mention the ´painted´ players themselves and their colourful costumes. At the same time the discourse of the drama strived to achieve an equally striking iconic status by means of such rhetorical strategies as ekphrasis. Moreover, the issue of painting and other graphic forms (maps, sculpture, illustrated books) is frequently elected as privileged object of dramatic discourse. The sometimes conflicting interaction between rival' graphic modes in the drama takes on powerful ideological implications, staging the fraught politics of visual representation in early modern English society
LL 4) Metaphorical Creativity in Margaret Atwood's Fiction
SAT, 11:30-12:30, Rector's Hall
Maria Teresa GIBERT (Spanish National University of Distance Education, ES)
Today's best-known Canadian fiction writer has explored the whole spectrum of metaphorical language, thus displaying its potential and exposing its inadequacies. In order to draw specific attention to how such language is constructed and might be subverted, Atwood employs the following strategies in her novels and short stories: (1) an unusually high number of explicit comments on metaphor, (2) an extremely original treatment of conventional metaphors (extending them to the point of excess, elaborating on them in unexpected ways, questioning their validity, or joining some of them together into complex composite patterns) to challenge stereotypes and manipulative discourse, and (3) the creation of bizarre, even grotesque metaphors whose extravagance cannot be overlooked and whose deliberate contrivance produces defamiliarizing effects.
Although I am primarily interested in metaphor as a literary device, in my lecture I will try to reflect the exciting new developments in other disciplines which have altered the perception of what is no longer seen as a mere ornamental figure of speech. Rather than moving exclusively within the restrictive limits of one particular theory, I will use the explanatory tools provided by various approaches in an attempt to illuminate the multifaceted phenomenon I will be surveying.
LL 5) Bipolar Romanticism
TUE, 17:00-18:00, Rector's Hall
David DUFF (University of Aberdeen, UK)
Fascination with what Wordsworth calls 'the fluxes and refluxes of the mind' is a hallmark of Romantic literature, and writers of the time specialise in the depiction of shifting emotional states, typically an oscillation between two opposite extremes. This lecture explores the great Romantic contraries of joy and dejection, and the alternations of enthusiasm and scepticism conceptualised as 'Romantic irony', relating these historically to the experience of French Revolution but also medically to the psychiatric condition now known as bipolarity, symptoms of which can be discerned in individual writers and in the psychological disposition of the Romantic movement as a whole. The most revealing cases are authors and works which do not simply manifest this syndrome but seek to diagnose and treat it, an example being Percy Bysshe Shelley's Laon and Cythna; or, The Revolution of the Golden City, an 'experiment on the temper of the public mind' which confronts the psychopathology of the post-war 'age of despair' and uses the resources of poetic language and form to try to remedy it. Partly set in nineteenth-century Constantinople and designed to exploit the contemporary fashion for Oriental tales, Shelley's revolutionary romance is a monument of bipolar Romanticism which probes the complex historical and cultural forces that shape the troubled spirit of the age, and makes a massively ambitious if ultimately unsuccessful attempt to alter it.
LL 6) What Happens to Hamlet? Shakespeare, Psychoanalysis, and Africa -A Case Study in Reading
WED, 12:30-13:30, BTS
Tobias DÖRING (LMU, DE)
For a long time, hermeneutics formed a framework for the field of literary studies. But with the rise of theory, the hermeneutic paradigm has often been dismissed by critical moves "against interpretation” (Sontag). "If theory is work, as Culler argues (The Literary in Theory, 2007), that principally "migrates out of the field in which it originates and is used in other fields as a framework of rethinking broad questions”, then such transfers should lie at the heart of what we do in theory-informed readings, also questioning the strategies by which such readings may take place and gain authority. To do this is we could look at readings which have themselves migrated out of the field in which they once originated into quite different areas where different cultural assumptions hold, so that their premises must now be tried and tested in new circumstances. My paper will explore a Hamlet reading of the 1930s, dislocated to South Africa, where the interpretative models prevailing at the time in Shakespeare studies, especially Freudian analysis, cannot be taken for granted. To trace the ambiguities in Wulf Sachs' hybrid text Black Hamlet, then, will offer us a chance to explore the cultural prerequisites and theoretical consequences of what we may, or may not, do in literary studies.
LC 1) Globalizing Trauma Theory
SAT, 11:30-12:30, BTS
Stef CRAPS (Ghent University, BE)
Despite a stated commitment to cross-cultural solidarity, trauma theoryan area of cultural investigation that emerged out of the "ethical turn” affecting the humanities in the 1990sis marked by a Eurocentric, monocultural bias. In this lecture, I take issue with the tendency of the founding texts of the field to marginalize or ignore traumatic experiences of non-Western or minority groups, and to take for granted the universal validity of definitions of trauma and recovery that have developed out of the history of Western modernity. Moreover, I question the assumption that a modernist aesthetic of fragmentation and aporia is uniquely suited to the task of bearing witness to trauma, and criticize the neglect of the connections between metropolitan and non-Western or minority traumas. I contend that the suffering engendered by colonialism needs to be acknowledged more fully, on its own terms, in its own terms, and in relation to traumatic First World histories if trauma theory is to have any hope of redeeming its promise of cross-cultural ethical engagement.
LC 2) The Shade of the Balkans and Its English Translation and Reception
WED, 12:30-13:30, Demir Demirgil
Tatyana STOICHEVA (University of Sofia, BG)
The Shade of Balkans was a translation into English of a collection of Bulgarian folk songs and proverbs which was published in London in 1904. The paper will discuss the translators' strategy and the translation itself keeping in mind Slaveikov's strict requirements as they were described in Henry Bernard's Preface. I assume that Slaveikov wanted to inscribe Bulgarian folklore within the cultural framework of the west in order that it would be ranged among the highest spiritual values of humanity. Through the recognition Bulgarian cultural identity would also get a prominent place on the world map.
LC 3) Double Anatomy in English Renaissance Tragedy
THUR, 12:30-13:30, BTS
Attila KISS (University of Szeged, HU)
Much critical literature has focused recently on the interrelationship between the body and violence on the early modern English stage. The performance-oriented semiotic approaches have explicated how the representational logic of the English Renaissance emblematic theater gave rise to various techniques that thematized the problems and antagonisms of the constitution of early modern subjectivity. The postsemiotic scrutiny of these techniques has revealed that the violence and transgression which concentrated upon the dissected human body on the Tudor and Stuart stage did not merely function to satisfy the appetite of a contemporary public that demanded gory entertainment in the public theater. The staging of dissection and violence participated in a general epistemological effort of early modern culture to address those territories of knowledge that had formerly been hidden from public discourses, and the human body, formerly the temple of divine secrets and the model of universal harmony, was undoubtedly one of the most intriguing of such territories. The skin of the human body became understood as a general metaphor of the new frontier that started to be tested in an early modern expansive inwardness.
From The Spanish Tragedy to Titus Andronicus to The Revenger's Tragedy or The Broken Heart, we are witnessing an all-embracing dissection and mapping of both the mental and physical, psychic and corporeal constitution of the subject. The attempts to penetrate the surface of things, to get beyond the skin of appearance are operational in these dramas within the framework of a double anatomy, a twofold expansive inwardness which connects the early modern and the postmodern on the two respective ends of the period of modernity. My lecture will investigate the agency of this double anatomy in early modern English tragedy.
LC 4) Beyond the Reach of Memory: Territories of Oblivion
FRI, 14:30-15:30, Rector's Hall
Frances J. WILKINSON (Università degli Studi di Napoli, IT)
What is entailed in literary, artistic and filmic mappings of dementia? How do writers and artists negotiate their journeys beyond the limits of an identity identified' by the ability to remember, uncovering elliptic, metamorphic varieties of existence, multiple temporalities, disjointed perceptions of space? Writing of dementia opens representation to different syntaxes and structures, transcribing absence, but also complex and often self-reflexive forms of presence. In their endeavour to salvage dementia's forgotten lives, authors confront their own memories, sense of identity and life to come.
How do dementia and the Holocaust interact in writings by Lisa Appignanesi and Elie Wiesel? What dynamics of looking, listening and relating are implied in Pandora's Box, a film by Yesim Ustaoglu, or in Michael Ignatieff's Scar Tissue, Tahar Ben Jelloun's Sur ma mère, or Donatella Di Pietrantonio's Mia madre era un fiume?
Is there a poetics of dementia? In About Alzheimer, Vanessa Woods translates her grandmother's "disjointed and disrhythmic” speech into video images. Losing words, the protagonist of Lee Chang-dong's Poetry seeks to make poems. While Tony Harrison and Finuala Dowling represent Alzheimer's in verse, in Nicola Gardini's autobiographical novel his father's broken utterances aid the son to understand the workings of poetic language.
LC 5) Which Way to the Border?: Los Angeles in Contemporary Cinema
TUE, 17:00-18:00, BTS
Celestino DELEYTO (University of Zaragoza, ES)
From the city's beginnings as a Spanish settlement, the presence of Hispanic people in Los Angeles has been constant throughout its history and a central ingredient of its complex and ever-changing identity. In recent decades, this presence has grown exponentially to the extent that at the moment more than half of its population is of Hispanic origin. The visitor to the city can notice this presence everywhere, from high and popular culture and artistic manifestations to place names and the sounds of the Spanish language everywhere. The Hollywood industry, which continues to dominate world cinema, is based in LA and very much part of its social and urban fabric, and yet, to this day, filmic representations coming from the dream factory have shown a curious blindness to its racial and ethnic hybridity and, more specifically, to the presence of Hispanic people in its everyday stories. By looking at some examples of recent films about LA, I propose to explore the reasons for this blindness and consequent distortion in the representations offered by mainstream cinema's of its own hometown.
LLA 1) Language Variation in Diasporic Texts
THUR, 12:30-13:30, Demir Demirgil
Catherine PAULIN (Universite de Franche-Comté, FR)
Language variation and inventedness and inventive writing are used to (re)invent reality, overcome social, political or grammatical unrest in diasporic texts that represent the Nigerian Civil War: Ken Saro Wiwa, Sozaboy. A Novel in rotten English. (1994), Chinua Achebe, Girls at War (1972). Language variation operates in opposite directions: in a mimetic tendency to represent a sociolinguistic situation or as a deviation to shift away from standard language. Linguistic « markedness » variably signals subjectification, a quest for identity or alienation. It embraces the intrinsic contradiction in language that is both a source of freedom and a set of constraints. Flouting of the norms produces effects of meaning that are actualized by grammatical or pragmatic errors', linguistic coinages, loanwords, weird English' derived from nonnative English, hybridity to express the diasporic culture and the dialogic mind that speaks it. A close study of linguistic markers (lexical and grammatical coinages, loanwords, rhythm and structures, pidginised language ) will enable me to show that a new form of intersubjectivity between the utterer and the reader emerges. The linguistic and semiostylistic analysis aims at showing that linguistic alienation and disalienation, the tension between shared norms and linguistic creativity reveal that identity and alterity, analogy and anomaly are part of the process of subjectification.
LLA 2) Bridging Across Discourse Communities: Language in Knowledge Dissemination
TUES, 17:00-18:00, Demir Demirgil
Marina BONDI (Universita degli Studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia, IT)
The current proliferation of specialized knowledge highlights the importance of disseminating expert knowledge to readers characterized by different levels (and domains) of expertise, ranging from lay-people, to students of the discipline or experts from other fields, The international nature of most discourse communities also suggests keeping in mind how the cultural dimension of variation may influence discourse, in a world where knowledge is increasingly less compartmentalized. Many of the strategies identified in popularizing discourse are also discussed in current descriptive work on English as a Lingua Franca as typical of intercultural communication. Knowledge dissemination (KD) can be seen as an example of "inter-discourse communication”, i.e. communication that cuts across the boundaries of discourse communities characterized by different types of knowledge. Combining the tools of discourse analysis and corpus linguistics, the talk will explore the textual processes and rhetorical structures of KD genres in an intercultural perspective, looking at the less explored field of the humanities. Convergences and divergences between historical texts addressing different kinds of audiences will be studied in terms of distinctive phraseology and semantic sequences, as well as of analogical procedures, reformulations and markers of recontextualizing, with their genre-specific forms and functions.
LLA 3) Quality Assurance Mechanisms in Higher Education: The Role of English for Internationalization
WED, 12:30-13:30, Ibrahim Bodur
Anca GREERE (Babes-Bolyai University, RO)
The European Higher Education Area is declaratively first and foremost an environment for quality educational endeavours. The internationalization process has as its main objectives the accessibility and attractiveness of higher education in Europe for a recruitment pool of potential students from outside Europe. In this respect, development of quality assurance and quality enhancement mechanisms is of vital importance. Questions arise as to how internationalization is conducted in institutions throughout Europe, what further steps need to be taken to ensure quality teaching and learning experiences and at what costs.
The lecture draws on a number of European projects that have looked at the process of internationalization of the European Higher Education Area (SPEAQ, LANQUA, ELC-SIGs). Not surprisingly, English is reported as being the most favoured language of internationalization. Management and teaching staff as well as students increasingly adopt English as the lingua franca of the academic world. But does English really work? Is there sufficient awareness of language-related issues in specialized content education? What are the attitudes of key players and stakeholders regarding integration of language for content education? These questions will be addressed by exemplifying from research conducted at European level and at national Romanian level.
LLA 4) Analyzing Text Types by Using Empirical Methodologies: An Experiment with Some Genres in the Recent History of the English Language
FRI, 14:30-15:30, Demir Demirgil
Javier PÉREZ-GUERRA (University of Vigo, ES)
This corpus-driven study analyses word order and information in a number of constituents (verb phrases, noun phrases, adjective phrases) in speech-based text types, and aims to determine whether variation exists or not as far as linguistic complexity and information structuring are concerned. The data will be retrieved from historical corpora containing Modern and Contemporary texts.
LLA 5) Voices from the Past: Explorations into Early Speech-Related Texts
SAT, 11:30-12:30, Demir Demirgil
Merja KYTÖ (Uppsala University, SE)
The question of what the 'spoken' language of the past was like is as intriguing as it is difficult to answer: for periods before the advent of speech recording technology, we have only written evidence of past spoken interaction. Accordingly, it is to written texts which convey glimpses of past speech that scholars have turned, very much in conjunction with the increase in interest in variationist study, historical pragmatics and corpus linguistics methodology. The voices in early speech-related texts are not always easy to distinguish as there is a mediator, a scribe, between the authentic speech event and its written form.
In this paper, issues in the study of speech-related texts are surveyed, and the availability and status of these texts for research on past speech assessed. Special attention will be paid to what we can say about a genre that has been neglected to a great extent so far, that of witness depositions. This genre is one, par excellence, to convey voices of past speakers in various forms such as direct speech and third-person narratives. The paper aims to show that witness depositions and other forms of early courtroom language provide exciting material for the study of topics such as genre characteristics, speech presentation, and regional patterns of linguistic usage.