Central European Authors--April 7-10, 2011--New Brunswick, NJ
In "The Curtain: An Essay in Seven Parts," Milan Kundera observes that Central Europe is rarely perceived as an important region in Europe. Indeed, he attests that the nations that create Central Europe 'have never been masters of either their own destinies or their borders.' As such, the countries that form Central Europe have been viewed as extensions of thriving European countries, such as Germany. Yet, the subordination of Central European countries to either Western or Eastern European nations has had drastic impacts on the writers that emerged from this region, as they have been forced to write in non-native languages, have endured political oppression, and weathered several political upheavals.
This panel seeks to analyze whether or not writers from Central European nations have been allowed to have a national literary identity. While a work by Dostoyevsky can definitively be labeled as "Russian Literature" are the works of Franz Kafka or Milan Kundera definitively Czech Literature? Or do the countries whose languages they adopt (Germany, France) envelop them into their own literary canons? Papers that discuss minority literature, transnational literature, or textual politics would be ideal, although papers on individual Central European authors such as Franz Kafka, Milan Kundera, Bohumil Hrabal and Robert Musil would also be considered.
Please send abstracts of 250-300 words to Emily Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org by September 30, 2010. Please include your name, email address, affiliation, and A/V needs (if any).