Literature at the Crossroads, May 20, Haifa

full name / name of organization: 
Zoe Beenstock, University of Haifa

Literature at the Crossroads: Knowledge and the Eighteenth Century

The Department of English Language and Literature, University of Haifa

May 20th, 2015

Novels, pornography, dictionaries, reports, and taxonomies – these are all new textual forms that come into being in the eighteenth century. The eighteenth century is unique in organizing and circulating knowledge through a growing number of factual or fictional, scientific, philosophic or literary text forms. This one-day colloquium will explore the possible relations and tensions between literary and non-literary discourses broadly defined in the long eighteenth century, investigate the relationship between different concepts of knowledge, and look at the way in which the new literary and non-literary forms represent, negotiate and communicate knowledge and shape one another.
Thinking beyond the eighteenth century to our own times, we will also address cross-period questions about aspects of knowledge that have their origin in the long eighteenth century and continue to be relevant in the twenty-first century. We would therefore like to discuss whether currently existing conceptions of knowledge can, in relation to the 18th-century, be understood as continuous or divergent. Possible questions to be tackled could therefore be: What elements of early feminism prevail in contemporary feminism? How do modern Gothic films and novels respond to the eighteenth-century concept of Gothic? Can eighteenth-century attacks on the dangers of reading novels be related to the crisis in the humanities in our own period?
This colloquium encourages interdisciplinary perspectives to literature at the crossroads with other discourses.

Keynote speaker: Professor Sandra Heinen, the University of Wuppertal

Please send 250 word abstracts to zoe.beenstock@gmail.com by January 15th, 2015.