CFP: 'Nabokov and Morality' Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Michael Rodgers
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Two-day Symposium

'Nabokov and Morality'

University of Strathclyde, 5th & 6th May 2011

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Michael Wood (Princeton)

Papers are invited for a two-day symposium at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow on the 5th & 6th May 2011. The event will involve 15-20 speakers over two days and be based on papers/presentations of 20 minutes each plus 10 minutes for questions. Both days will conclude with a roundtable discussion.

Vladimir Nabokov's works seem always to pique our moral interest; elicit personal responses; make us nod our heads in enviable agreement or shake them in disbelief. Nabokovian scholarship, although undeniably meticulous, has sometimes been dominated by the minutiae of his texts. More recent scholarship, however, illustrates that broader moral analyses of Nabokovian fiction can elucidate what can sometimes make his work simultaneously captivating and all but repugnant.

This symposium seeks responses to such morally problematic texts as Lolita (1955), Pnin (1957), and Pale Fire (1962). The symposium aims to situate Nabokov's works in an ethical framework and to allow the sharing of ideas on some of the most contentious and central aspects of his oeuvre.

Possible themes/topics:

Nabokov's morality, amorality, immorality; metaphysics; cruelty/kindness; literary morality; alignment to philosophical figures/systems; the role of the reader; didacticism.

Please submit an abstract of 300 words to by January 4th 2011, ensuring that you provide the following details: your name; title of paper; academic affiliation; email address; 150-word biographical note. Expressions of interest should also be sent to the above email address.

Organiser: Michael Rodgers, University of Strathclyde.