Imagining inclusive communities in European culture
Due to this global difficult moment, we have decided to postpone the dates of paper and panel submissions for the ESCL / SELC 2021 Congress:
– Please submit 300-words abstracts together with a short biography, institutional affiliation (where relevant), and contact details by 30th September 2020 at Esb2021.firstname.lastname@example.org and Esb2021.email@example.com.
– Panel submissions are welcome. The deadline for complete panel proposals, including a short biography, institutional affiliation (where relevant), and contact details, is 15th September 2020. Proposals should be sent to Es2020.firstname.lastname@example.org and Es2020.email@example.com.
Acceptance decisions will be notified by 15th January 2021.
Warmly, and with best wishes for everyone's safety and health,
The ESCL / SELC 2021 Team
20th-century criticism and theory have acquainted us with the ability of fictional narratives to build or strengthen the identity of nations and classes, often at the expense of other communities. Investigations of the ideological significance of fiction as a tool for social cohesion have insistently stressed its tendency to exclude, debase or misrepresent other groups. A question that has been posed less often is, however, how narrative works manage to build inclusive communities. This question seems of great relevance in relation to the modern period, especially to early modern cultural cosmopolitanism (the “republic of letters”), the universalism of the Enlightenment (with its focus on the nature of man), the construction of “imagined communities” in European nation-states, and the skepticism of nationalist ideologies that has marked significant strains of both modernist and post-modern narrative culture. In recent years, moreover, given the ethical and political issues raised by transnational migrations and globalization, the power of fiction as a tool to question or broaden community boundaries has become more and more significant. And it is likely that it will become all the more so in light of recent social and political developments, such as the resurgence of nationalism in the shape of “sovereignism” and protectionist policies, and the crisis of Europe, both as an idea and as a system of institutions.
The concept of inclusiveness is especially relevant today not only in terms of nation and class, but also of race and gender, while strategies of inclusiveness are being explored in various domains, including translation studies, and applied to all kinds of texts (see for example gender-inclusive Bible translations). The concept of crisis translation, widely investigated today, is also relevant in that it relates to how translation and translations, in periods and areas of political and humanitarian crises, mediate between peoples and individuals belonging to different cultural and linguistic communities.
The aim of this conference is to invite reflections on narrative as a tool for the creation of inclusive communities in European culture, with a focus on a broad range of media (literature, both fictional and non-fictional, including translated literature, films, TV series, graphic novels, videogames) and on all periods, from classical antiquity – in which the grounds for communal thinking were established – to the present day, marked by radical attempts to renegotiate communal identities. We invite, moreover, papers and panels on the part played by criticism, theory, and historiography in envisioning inclusive communities and on the role of translation and circulation of narrative works in Europe. We encourage both narratological readings that highlight the formal language of community-building and political and ideological investigations, comparative or focused on specific contexts.
All papers will be included in sessions with four presenters each, so plan to present on your topic for no more than 20 minutes, inclusive of any audio or visual materials.
Acceptance decisions will be notified by 30th October 2020.
Possible topics and areas include, but are not limited to, the following: