Erich Auerbach’s "Mimesis"—The Representation of Reality in Western Literature—was published in 1945 and had a tremendous influence in the middle part of the 20th century. Using a method of textual analysis to establish continuities from Homer to Virginia Woolf, Auerbach has been read by virtually every serious student of literature for seventy years now. Because of the scope and density of the book it is somewhat difficult to ready examine and evaluate Mimesis. This panel will examine Mimesis from two angles. First, we will study and reflect the overarching themes of this magisterial book. Second, we will look at his individual textual analyses to probe their validity and relevance in 2016.
world literatures and indigenous studies
NeMLA Convention, Baltimore (23-26/03/2017)
In her study of L. M. Montgomery (1874-1942) in the “Extraordinary Canadians” series, Canadian author Jane Urquhart invokes comparisons of L. M. Montgomery’s life and work to that of her near-contemporary American peers, Edith Wharton (1862-1937), Willa Cather (1873-1947), and Mary Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930), among others. While the transatlantic connection among women writers is receiving increasing critical attention, the literary relationships among American and Canadian women writers offer a relatively recent area for scholarly explorations of the influences and alignments crossing North America.
Approximately thirty sessions for the November 11-13, 2016 Pasadena, California PAMLA Conference are still in need of a paper or two. To propose to one of these open sessions (see a partial list below) go here: http://www.pamla.org/2016/topic-areas . These open sessions will be open until August 5, or the session fills, whichever comes first.
The aim of this roundtable is to present possible guidelines and book selections for a hypothetical undergraduate course in “Novels of the Holocaust.” The panel will be resolutely international and open to books originally published in any language. As this roundtable is sponsored by NeMLA’s comparative literature director, participants are not obliged to use or refer to English translations if they wish to use original texts. The course that might be called the “target course” may be for any undergraduate level and for any country.
While this is roundtable is meant to follow the interests of its participants and not impose any institutional rigidities, seven particular themes or questions seem especially important.
Since 1945, Berlin has become a cultural Weltstadt in many ways; this panel would like to focus on three of them. First, the contemporary situation of Berlin in reunified Germany serves as a lens for the flow of people, ideas, rinfluences between Europe and the rest of the world. Second, from 1945-1989, most of the tensions of the Cold War converged in Berlin. Third, for both of these reasons, today a large number of films, novels, and TV programs are set in Berlin, thus making it a privileged place of cultural representation. The purpose of this panel is to study all three of these situations from an international and comparative point of view.
The present literary reputation of Albert Camus is both fascinating and instructive. It is fascinating because, on the one hand, his work is all but absent from global university curricula; yet, he is one of the most widely read authors on the planet. Who has not read The Stranger or The Myth of Sisyphus?
Moreover, Camus and his work are instructive for many reasons.
World War I marked one of the great turning points in the political, social, and cultural history of Europe and the world. This panel explores the lived, daily experience of this war by looking at five different forms. Presenters can address these forms in isolation or show the relationships between them.
First, presenters may analyze and evaluate the experience of the Great War through its literary texts, diaries, or journals. Presenters are encouraged to choose a single passage or two in order to explore the concrete experience of the war. The texts may focus on soldiers, civilians or both. Any text—on the fronts or at home—are suitable for this panel.
In his lifetime, Nietzsche referred to over 150 nineteenth-century writers in both his published writings and Nachlaß. Nietzsche’s use of nineteenth-century fiction and poetry ranges from somewhat nonchalant to extremely systematic. Indeed, the cornerstone of his “Advent of European Nihilism” in the late 1880s is the decline or decadence of literature during Nietzsche’s lifetime.
The panel attempts to focus on passages, individual novels or poems, and complete bodies of work in order to assess Nietzsche’s use of these texts in his philosophical project.
Heidegger and the Western Literary Tradition.
This panel will investigate the complex relationships between the work of Martin Heidegger and Western literature from the Greeks until the 20th century. Three distinct questions or areas of investigation will be treated:
• How did Heidegger use a specific writer in one or more of his philosophical writings?
• How does Heidegger’s use of a given writer relate to our current understanding of the works and themes of this writer?
• Are there thematic points of contact between Heidegger’s work and literary authors that Heidegger may not have mentioned? Can we point out specific limitations that might result from Heidegger’s philosophical methodology?
Lifewriting Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies (AMS Press) seeks reviews of recent publications, including autobiographies, memoirs, letters, and so on. Word length: 1000-1500 words. Citation style: Chicago, 16th edition (author/date). Deadline for submission: December 1st, 2016. Expected publication of volume 6: 2017. Please get in touch with short proposals and questions.