Specters of the Author: 1st International Seminar on Literature, April 6, 2013, submission deadline: February 22, 2013

full name / name of organization: 
Faculty of Philology, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland
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The fate of the author in the twentieth-century literature and literary criticism is as complex as it is fascinating. Entwined closely with that of the subject, whose capital punishment was pronounced by Ernst Mach in his famous "das Ich ist unrettbar", the path of the author as the sole carrier of meaning in a literary text led finally to his death at the hands of the structuralists, only to direct him back to life in the disillusioning post-modern play. And yet, whatever his position within a text may be, the existence of the author, of the person creating a literary work, is undeniable, even though this presence might not be admitted, remaining merely a spectral manifestation. It is these specters, as well as other forms of authorial presence in literature and literary theory, we would like to focus on during our seminar.

We invite papers to one of the following panels:

  1. (Auto)biography
  2. Disillusion
  3. Inscription
  4. Return of the author?

Papers might focus on (but are not limited to) the following topics:

-     explicit or implicit manifestations of (auto)biographical motifs in the literary text;
-     (auto)biographical plays with the reader;
-     fictive (auto)biographies;
-     interlacement of (auto)biography and literary fiction.

-     authorial presence in the literary text as an element of post-modern disillusioning play;
-     disillusioning literary devices;
-     metafictionality and other metaliterary features;
-     metalayers of literature;
-     unveiling the writing workshop.

-     signature as an act of granting meaning to the literary text;
-     pseudonyms, heteronyms, and other means of concealing/playing with identity;
-     ascribing the text to someone else;
-     topos of the found manuscript;
-     critical reading as an inscription.

Return of the author?
-     authorship/paternity/maternity of a literary text;
-     significance of the author in literary mystifications;
-     return of the author after postmodernism;
-     ethical turn in literature and literary theory;
-     autofiction.


The full papers will be shared on our website before the seminar and discussed during the panels by their authors. There will be no possibility of otherwise presenting the papers.

Submissions should include the paper title; the delegate’s name, address and email; a summary of the proposed paper (300 words); and a short bio (100 words). Also, please indicate in which discussion panel you would like to participate. Please send submissions by 22nd February 2013 to spectersoftheauthor@gmail.com. The conference fee is 150 PLN and includes conference materials, coffee breaks, lunch, and costs of publication.

Important dates:
22 Feb 2013: Abstract submission
25 Feb 2013: Abstract acceptance notification
31 Mar 2013: Full paper submission
6 Apr 2013: Seminar

For more information visit our website:

cfp categories: 
modernist studies