CFP: [Renaissance] The Genesis of Genre: Early Modern Narratives (11/01/08; ACLA, 3/26-29/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Gerd Bayer

Paper proposals are sought for a seminar on genre and early modern
narrative at the 2009 ACLA conference, to be held March 26-29 at Harvard
University. The conference website is:

When Europe reinvented itself during the Renaissance, intellectual and
artistic traditions travelled more easily across linguistic borders.
Individual national traditions found themselves confronted with new
aesthetic strategies. With reality drastically changing, artists reacted by
redefining the role of local art in an increasingly “global” environment.
What would end up becoming the modern novel, already took shape in the
early modern age. As works by Cervantes, Grimmelshausen, Scudéry, Bunyan,
or Behn show, authors across Europe actively engaged in a redrawing of
genre traditions. M.M. Bakhtin’s argument that “the most intense and
productive life of culture takes place on the boundaries of its individual
areas” provides a starting point for further discussions of the formation
of literary genres at the intersections between local and global literary

This seminar will study the making of the novel-as-genre in the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries. Papers should focus on narratological, formal,
and ideological questions such as: How does early modern prose narrative
anticipate the novel’s various narrative perspectives? What kind of
culturally defined reader does it inscribe? How does it position itself
between realism and imagination? How do questions of identity shape its
authors, readers, and characters? How do developments in poetry and drama
influence prose narratives? To what extent are moments of heteroglossia
present? How do national traditions react to foreign forms?

To submit a proposal, please use the ACLA website at:

For further questions, please do not hesitate to contact Gerd Bayer
(Erlangen University) at

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Received on Tue Sep 23 2008 - 03:19:17 EDT