Albert Camus, Our Contemporary?

deadline for submissions: 
September 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Richard Schumaker Northeast Modern Language Association
contact email: 

The present literary reputation of Albert Camus is both fascinating and instructive. It is fascinating because, on the one hand, his work is all but absent from global university curricula; yet, he is one of the most widely read authors on the planet. Who has not read The Stranger or The Myth of Sisyphus?

Moreover, Camus and his work are instructive for many reasons.

Why is such a beloved author not seen as especially important as a subject for study? What is the exact influence of Camus in literature, philosophy, travel writing, and political discourse form country to country? How does the developing world read Camus? What is the reception of Camus in Asia? What are the similarities and differences between Camus reception in France and the rest of the world?

This panel will focus on Camus’ literary status in 2017. We want to look at the relationships between the various aspects of his work—literary, political, and philosophical—and determine his complex influence of the global reading and writing public. Our approach is resolutely global and interdisciplinary: we will look at Camus’ influence in all countries; we will examine his entire oeuvre—literary , political, and philosophical.

.In addition to this framework, questions dealing with his background in Algeria and the representation of the Arab world come to mind:

· How does growing up in North Africa affect Camus style and content?

· Can Camus be compared to other North African writers writing in either French or Arabic?

· What is the nature of Camus’ dialogues and discussions with African writers at various points in his career?

· How is Camus seen today by writers in North Africa?

· What is Camus’ literary influence in North Africa—both in the past and today.

· Does Camus have a coherent position on terrorism? Torture?