101 Years of Ostranenie, Slavic Studies Conference
Following the lead of the 2016 Slavic Studies Conference held in Padua and Venice, we propose to further the discussion of Slavic Studies among young scholars by hosting a new meeting at the University of Genoa. This second edition of the conference, directed at doctoral students and recent PhDs (whose degrees have been completed within the last 4 years), will be devoted to the topic of ostranenie.
In 1916, the Russian Formalist Viktor Shklovskу drafted the essay “Art as Technique” (Iskusstvo kak priem), which outlined the concept of ostranenie, or “defamiliarisation”, for the first time. “As perception becomes habitual,” he argued, “it becomes automatic” and we cease to perceive what we already know: “Habitualization devours works, clothes, furniture” and even life itself when lived “unconsciously”. But Art “exists that one may recover the sensation of life” – and the “technique of art” is therefore “to make objects ‘unfamiliar’” because therein lies art itself: “the process of perception is an aesthetic end in itself and must be prolonged.” Drawing examples from Tolstoy (e.g. the horse’s point of view in “Kholstomer”, the opera in War and Peace), Shklovsky argues that writers should “defamiliarize” or “make strange” well-known objects or events by describing them as if seen or experienced for the first time. One hundred and one years have now passed since the writing of “Art as Technique” and ostranenie has become widespread in literary study and analysis around the world. This conference offers an occasion to reflect upon the modernity of Shklovsky’s concept and assess its legacy.
We invite paper proposals relating to any of the following general topics:
ostranenie in literature
ostranenie in the visual arts
ostranenie and language
ostranenie and history
The official languages of the conference will be Italian and English.
Please send your proposals as a pdf attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals should include your name, university, academic status, and the title of your paper. Papers should not exceed 20 minutes in length.
The deadline for abstract submissions is May 30, 2017. Notification of acceptance will take place June 15, 2017.
The Organizing Committee
Martina Morabito, Natalia Osis, Daniele Franzoni