UPDATE: [Religion] Identity and Form in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature

full name / name of organization: 
Ana Maria Sanchez-Arce

Extended deadline to 30th January 2009

Identity and Form in Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Literature
Sheffield Hallam University, UK ~ 3rd-4th July 2009


Identity in its many forms has become a touchstone in literary criticism
and scholarship, whether in relation to gender, ethnicity, disability,
nationality, race or sexuality. In many ways, this is a welcome
development which has helped challenge notions of literary canonicity and
value. However, in recent years there have been increasing calls to
reassess the relationship between identity and form in literary studies.
These have sometimes, but not always, been shaped as anti-theory
arguments. New Formalists in the US and New Aestheticists in the UK have
advocated an informed return to studying form; traditional identity-
centered critics have reacted by accusing those who dare to question
their agendas of being conservative and reactionary.

Main speakers will include:
Professor Thomas Docherty (University of Warwick)
Dr Stuart Murray (University of Leeds)

The aim of the conference is to provide a forum to discuss:
ï'§ the role of literary form in literature and the rise of
alternative literary canons
ï'§ the emergence of authenticity as a way of evaluating literature
ï'§ the growing (or renewed) tension between (New) Formalist and
identity-centered approaches
ï'§ the desirability/undesirability of establishing boundaries
between cultural studies and literary studies
ï'§ the ways in which writers play up to or by-pass ideas of identity
ï'§ the impact of identity-studies in the production, reception and
marketing of twentieth- and twenty-first century literature
ï'§ the impact of a return to form on the academy's engagement with
and/or commitment to identity-politics
ï'§ the interrelations between individual and collective politics in
the evaluation of literary works

We encourage papers that address one or more of these issues from any
critical perspective with reference to 20th and 21st century literature
in English. The conference welcomes papers on poets and novelists who
engage with these questions and/or whose work has been interpreted in
terms of identity. These may include Martin Amis, Carol Ann Duffy,
Geoffrey Hill, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jackie Kay, A.L. Kennedy, Hanif Kureishi,
Mark Haddon, Andrea Levy, Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra, V.S. Naipaul,
Salman Rushdie, Jo Shapcott, Ali Smith, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, and
Jeanette Winterson. This list is by no means exhaustive.

Please send abstracts of 300 words and a brief biographical note (2-3
sentences) to Dr Rebecca Mallett and Dr Ana María Sánchez-Arce at:
identityandform_at_shu.ac.uk. Deadline: 30th January 2009

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Received on Sun Jan 18 2009 - 07:49:49 EST