The Beauty of Convention: VIII International Conference on English Language and Literary Studies

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Faculty of Philosophy, University of Montenegro
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The Beauty of Convention

Eight International Conference on English Language and Literary Studies

October 4-6, 2012
Cetinje, Montenegro

We invite scholars to join us in the consideration of the intriguing issue of the place of convention in the post-postmodern world. Addressing the beauty of convention should not be assessed as an attempt of recapitulation of established values (as, luckily, in language and literature, there are not absolute beauties that serve everyone and always); it is also not only the draw of the centre that the alternative, or avant-garde, or simply odd, has always experienced in its attempt to pose itself as a valid art (or other) material; least of all is it a standard, or an average, a set of rules or absolute necessities, or lack of imagination, desire to conform or play it safe by sticking to what has always worked that we would promote. But it is most of all an attempt (in a format of the new millennium revisit) at an aesthetic appreciation of a form as a keeper of meaning and at an ethical post-cynical meta-discourse on human dependence on symbolic interaction and generic conventions. Therefore, we tend to look more into the artificial, invented, the optional side of the term's ambiguity (as Nelson Goodman defines it, cf. 1989, p. 80).

Here are some of the questions we may address:

What is beauty (truth and good) by virtue of convention?
How convention generates beauty?
How does it happen that a convention acquires a normative force?
What is the logic of situation (literary, linguistic, social, historical, psychological, biological) that leads to the arbitrary conventions?
How alternative conventions are made?
What is inertia and what real joy or belief that ensures the stability of convention?
Is there a natural correctness that enables the stability of convention?
How convention determines linguistic meanings – and can it do so?
Can interpretation avoid convention (as intention, preference, and expectation)?

Our keynote lecture will be Dr. Theo Van Alst, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies, assistant dean of Yale College and director of the Native American Cultural Center.

Our venue will be the National Library of Montenegro, placed in our cultural capital – Cetinje. All the participants will be accommodated in Cetinje's historically famous Grand Hotel.

Your proposals, containing an abstract no longer than 300 words, with up to 10 key words, a short CV should be sent to Marija Knežević ( or Aleksandra Nikčević Batrićević (

The deadline for applications is June 15, 2012.

For the Organizing Committee,
Marija Knežević and Aleksandra Nikčević Batrićević