Kafka and the Paradox of the Universal (12-14 of December)

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University of Antwerp
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Kafka and the Paradox of the Universal

Place: University of Antwerp
Date : 12-14 of December
Organizing Committee: Prof. Dr. Vivian Liska; Prof. Dr. Arthur Cools, Drs. Jo Bogaerts, Drs. David Dessin
Keynote speakers : Stanley Corngold, Jean-Michel Rabaté, Rodolphe Gasché, David Suchoff

Jean-Paul Sartre's saying that "Kafka's testimony is all the more universal as it is profoundly singular" is indicative of a key paradox in the 20th century Kafka reception which has wide-reaching implications for our understanding of the interface between literature and philosophy. Kafka is indeed often regarded as the ultimate witness to the human condition in the 20th century and, like Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe in their times, is attributed a universal significance. Yet Kafka's work is also known for expressing the irreducibly singular and unclassifiable. The various conceptions of universality and singularity that underlie these attributions as well as the different guises in which the paradox of their simultaneity appears will be explored in the conference 'Kafka and the Paradox of the Universal'. This topic raises many questions, among them: How should we understand the notions of universality and singularity attributed to Kafka's work? And how can we explain the paradoxical co-occurrence of these attributions?
These and related questions will be considered in a three-day conference at the University of Antwerp on 12, 13, and 14 of December.

We also welcome proposals by graduate and postgraduate scholars.

Please send abstracts before May 31 to jo.bogaerts@ua.ac.be. Abstracts will be reviewed during June and results announced before 15th July.