The Association for European-Jewish Literature Studies (AEJLS) in cooperation with the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp and the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Basel is organizing an international conference entitled “Margins, Borders and Peripheries in Modern European-Jewish Literature.” The conference will take place at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, from 5 to 7 September 2011. It is the third scholarly gathering organized by the AEJLS and is also one of the events celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Antwerp.
The Association for European-Jewish Literature Studies was founded in 2007. It is dedicated to emphasizing literary studies within Jewish Studies and to enhance Jewish topics in European literary scholarship.
The first day of the conference (5th September) is specifically devoted to emerging scholars. It will offer them an opportunity to present work relating to the theme Margins, Borders and Peripheries in Modern European-Jewish Literature and to discuss it with other junior and senior researchers. They are expected to attend the day following the graduate conference, to meet established scholars in the field. This CfP is addressed to emerging researchers who are either approaching graduation or are currently writing a PhD.
Conference description: The promotion of that which resides in the margins has marked the development of literary studies in the latter part of the 20th century. Initially, this focus on the borders of established terrain was motivated by a desire to lend greater visibility and foster the eventual integration of visions, experiences, and modes of expression stemming from those who had been excluded in the past. This endeavor has been increasingly challenged by critical practices that valorize marginality in its own right and resist its eventual recuperation into the mainstream. The shift from attempts to include the outcast to a celebration of marginality as a privileged status changed the emphasis of literary criticism from a polemical focus on victimization and occasional heroic resistance to the focus on possibilities inherent in marginality itself. Recent research on the issue attempts to go beyond this dichotomy in search of alternative forms of interaction between the various locations and hierarchies in the literary and cultural field.
The conference will explore European-Jewish literature originating from or reflecting on geographical and/or conceptual areas at some remove from what is considered central in the European topography. Participants are invited to focus on literatures emerging from countries and linguistic regions on the Eastern, Western, Northern or Southern margins of Europe. In conjunction with this corpus, or independently of it, they may also want to consider “margins, borders and peripheries” in a figural sense and discuss issues related to questions of canon and “minor literatures,” to liminality, hierarchy and the status of minorities, outsiders, and the potential of literature to challenge traditional hegemonic approaches to the order of importance commonly attributed to what is central in a field, be it political, social, cultural or literary.
Presentations are in German or English and should not exceed 15 minutes. A curriculum vitae and abstract should be sent before 30th June 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org