Affirmation of Fundamental Human Values in Literature

deadline for submissions: 
December 30, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
International Conference on Literature in Osijek, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Osijek

Date of the conference: 2 and 3 March 2018

Conference venue: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lorenza Jägera 9, Osijek, Croatia

Deadline for proposals: 30 December 2017

Notification of acceptance by: 15 January 2018

Conference fee: 100 HRK (approx. 15 EUR)

Deadline for paying conference fee: 20 February 2018

Working language: English (and Croatian)

Deadline for submission of papers: 30 May 2018


The affirmation of fundamental human values is an omnipresent intention in art. The affirmation degree of these values has been changing through history, but they have survived until today, which is confirmed primarily by literary works and art as a whole. Readers often (consciously and unconsciously) require from a literary text to affirm their own system of values, or to question it, and strive toward a better one. In the literature of the Western society, this is reflected in the affirmation of the values that were marginalized in certain periods as well as in the most of the 20th century: morality, empathy, love, sacrifice, forgiveness, spiritual growth, honesty, patriotism, etc.

The need for the return of these values appears due to responsibility of literature toward the reader, resulting in the emergence and promotion of thematically optimistic literary works. Such works portray a spectrum of different life situations, such as dealing with problems, conflicts with oneself and/or others, accepting oneself, and relationships with the society. In the end, the heroes learn to cope with what has defined them (childhood, difficulties, life situations, everyday problems, loss, etc.) and reconcile with themselves and the society, which indicates the fundamental message of this kind of literature: life events are meaningful since we learn from them, and every person has their own place in the world that needs to be accepted.

In the 19th and 20th century, literature was marked by an aspiration for direct and indirect social, philosophical, and identity criticism. Fundamental human values have seemingly gone out of fashion, hiding on the margins of high literature, but they have clearly been present in popular and children’s literature. Nonetheless, they still had a large audience at that time, suggesting that the readers continue to feel the need for art that affirms their system of values.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the situation in the mainstream literature as well as in the academic community is changing because of the above emphasized fact that the audience has had enough of art that does not satisfy and enlighten it spiritually, thus the affirmation of fundamental values returns to the focal point of literature and academic community.

We invite young scholars to contribute to the conference by researching the affirmation of fundamental human values in literature, reexamining their perceptions over time, and critically studying the relationships between socio-historical circumstances and given topics. Interdisciplinary research is also welcome; research topics are not limited to one literary period.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

-          Affirmation of fundamental human values in general (humanity, morality, empathy, love, sacrifice, heroism, forgiveness, spirituality, faith, sincerity, tradition, nation, nobleness, tolerance, etc.)

-         Affirmation of fundamental human values and an individual

  • acceptance and development of identity
  • acceptance of life
  • acceptance of death
  • acceptance of physical flaws and illnesses
  • acceptance of life circumstances
  • acceptance of one’s own otherness
  • the right to fundamental human rights

-         Affirmation of fundamental human values and a family/group/community/society

  • acceptance of family members
  • acceptance of a partner
  • acceptance of friends
  • the right to a second chance
  • the right to say “no”
  • integration of minorities/indigenous peoples
  • acceptance of racial/class/religious/ethnic otherness

The application form and more information can be found at: