IALJS/ACLA -Vancouver - 31 March-3 April 2011

full name / name of organization: 
International Association for Literary Journalism Studies
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Conference theme: "World Literature / Comparative Literature"
Session theme: "Literary Journalism in a Global Context"
Paper abstracts are invited for an International Association for Literary Journalism Studies session on Literary Journalism in a Global Context" at the American Comparative Literature Association annual conference in Vancouver. BC, Canada in March 2011.
Literary journalism –"journalism as literature" – exists in a variety of forms depending on the cultures where it is practiced and is thereby irreducible to a fixed categorization. Albeit acknowledged as an originally and exclusively American genre, nonfiction writing always gained followers across the globe. While the grand reportage in France harks back to Joseph Kessel and Albert Londres, British writers Daniel Defoe and George Orwell were also fervent enthusiasts, just like V.S. Naipaul, Carlos Fuentes or Octavio Paz. Literary journalists are often intrepid travellers who bring cultures in contact in their art. Therefore, a comparative analysis of foreign influences and multicultural variations helps reassess the genre and examine its underlying questions (fact vs. fiction, objectivity vs. subjectivity). This rapprochement serves as a fruitful terrain to explore the traditions of literary journalism and raise the awareness of a global canon rich in local heritages. As a protean genre literary journalism further branches out into subcategories, like gonzo journalism, new new journalism, or littérature du réel and its renewed interest for the fait divers. Crucial is also the role of literary journalists in our virtual, technology-obsessed society. While they used to write from the margin, their subaltern voices are now heard with growing interest as they challenge fast news reporting or churnalism (Davies).
This seminar seeks to investigate the diverse forms, topics, origins, and developments of literary journalism in a comparative perspective. We are particularly interested in papers that discuss literary journalism across cultures and welcome all research methodologies and scholarly approaches. The seminar organizers are David Abrahamson (Northwestern University, U.S.A.) and Rob Alexander (Brock University, Canada)
If interested in participating, please e-mail IALJS contact, Rob Alexander at ralexander@brocku.ca. The submission deadline for paper abstracts is 15 October 2010 (or 1 November 2010 directly via the ACLA website). Submissions by graduate students are encouraged.