Shades of Hope in 20th- and 21st Century Literature: the 2nd NEWstories Conference
“I am still alive then. That may come in useful.”
Samuel Beckett, Molloy
The 2nd NEWstories Conference, a Student-Doctoral Conference, planned to be held on 7 March 2020 at the Institute of English Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (Poland), aims to bring together both undergraduate and postgraduate literary scholars to share their experience and research results on all aspects of hope in 20th- and 21st-century literature. It also provides an interdisciplinary platform for those interested in politics, ecology and psychology. Participants are invited to present papers on historical representations of hope and ways of kindling it as well as to discuss what we currently hope for and how we envision it.
Having debated on crisis during the 1st NEWstories conference, we are now shifting the focus to the opposite and, following Anne Frank, we no longer want to “think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains”. Since we have observed that the 20th- and 21st-century literature encompasses various problematic issues – concerning identity, migration or apocalypse, to name but a few – we are now wondering what is on the other side of the coin: how people manage to endure the difficult times, how they tackle obstacles and what they wish for the future. Interested not only in prose but also in drama and poetry, we are seeking to discuss where writers find hope and how they incorporate it into their works.
Of equal importance is readers’ response and the question of ways in which literature can be a source of hope. The scope of interest of our conference ranges from the analyses of 20th- century literature concerned with searching for hope during the two World Wars, the Great Depression and other historical circumstances to examinations of hope in contemporary literature revolving around economy, ecology, globalization, etc. Besides, the metafictional perspective envisioning hope for narrative, authorship and form will be welcomed.
“We do not wish to suggest that all postmodern tendencies are over and done with. But we do believe many of them are taking another shape, and, more importantly, a new sens, a new meaning and direction” contend Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker in “Notes on Metamodernism”. As the second decade of the 21st century is about to close, it is crucial to reflect on how we imagine the coming eight in literature: what tendencies we are leaving behind and what new shapes, meanings and directions should be.
We invite proposals for 20-minute presentations in English by PhD, MA and BA students on 20th- and 21st-century literature dealing with the theme of hope or exemplifying it. Original texts could be written in any language. Abstracts (250-300 words) and a brief biographical note should be sent by 17 January 2020 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Possible topics include but are not limited to the following themes:
- hope and literature (genre / form / style / authorship)
- hope and politics
- hope and economy
- hope and ecology
- hope and nuclear matters
- hope and migration
- hope and technology
- hope and existence
- hope and identity
- hope and values
- hope and communication
- hope and representation.
Plenary speaker: Dr Nonia Williams (University of East Anglia).
There is no conference fee.
We are planning to publish selected papers presented at the conference.
Organizers: mgr Katarzyna Biela (UJ) | mgr Aleksandra Kamińska (UJ) | mgr Alicja Lasak (UJ) mgr Kinga Latała (UJ) | mgr Sabina Sosin (UJ)