2nd Symposium on Nineteenth-Century Literature: Family Plots (December 7, 2017)

deadline for submissions: 
October 31, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
University of Lisbon School of Arts and Humanities
contact email: 

After a first meeting dedicated to Brazilian author Machado de Assis, the second “Symposium on Nineteenth-Century Literature” will be focusing on family as one of the most preeminent topics of nineteenth-century fiction, across different nationalities, cultures and authorial aesthetics. This broader scope will allow us to inquire into the role of family as a site of convergence and tension, where the concepts of individual and community, intimate and social, familiar and foreign are brought together both to meet and to challenge each other. Thus, we propose to look at “family plots” in two ways: on the one hand, trying to understand how the idea of family became a central object of narrative in literary works of the 1800s, and, on the other hand, analyzing the means through which fictional families are not only based on fundamental plotting devices, but also deploy those same devices – in the manner of planning, intrigue, or artifice – to construe and interpret themselves and the social world they purport to represent.


Topics may include, but are not limited to:

-          Testaments, inheritance and legacy;

-          Family curses and family ties;

-          Marriage, divorce, widowhood, adultery;

-          Gender and family roles;

-          Bildungsroman;

-          Childhood, adolescence and old age;

-          Retelling, rewriting and remediating family;

-          Domesticity and material culture;

-          Orphanhood and adoption;

-          Family, the state and the law;

-          Family history, tradition and rituals;

-          Funeral practices, grieving and mourning;

-          Film, photography and representations of family across visual media.


Scholars and researchers from all related academic fields wishing to submit a proposal for a paper presentation of 20 minutes (max.) are required to provide their name and affiliation, title, short abstract (250-300 words) and short biography (100-150 words) to the following email address: rialcec@gmail.com. The symposium will be held in English.


Submission deadline: Tuesday 31 October 2017

Participants will be notified by Monday 6 November 2017

Registration fee for participants: 20€

Certificate of attendance: 10€

Open to the public.


Confirmed keynote speakers:

Maia McAleavey (Boston College)

Sophie Gilmartin (University of London)



Amândio Reis (Universidade de Lisboa)

Inês Robalo (Universidade de Lisboa)

Project RIAL; CEC – Centre for Comparative Studies


Scientific committee:

Ângela Fernandes (Universidade de Lisboa)

Fernanda Mota Alves (Universidade de Lisboa)

Fernando Guerreiro (Universidade de Lisboa)

Gabriel Magalhães (Universidade da Beira Interior)