Strolls Across paper. Celebrating the 140th Birth Anniversary of Robert Walser

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
University of Opole and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland)
contact email: 



Opole (Poland), October 22 – 24, 2018            


Conference organized by the University of Opole and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland). Venue: University of Opole (Upper Silesia, Poland), with events held in the (Walserian) Dambrau castle.


Conference Committee: Prof. Adrian Gleń, Prof. Jacek Gutorow, Prof. Daniel Pietrek (Opole), and Prof. Łukasz Musiał (Poznań).


That Robert Walser’s literary oeuvre belongs to the European Modernist tradition is beyond dispute. However, his writings are not modernist in an obvious sense. Rather, they could be viewed as offering a certain view of modernism – the one informed by Walser’s preoccupations with things naïve, trivial and local. Walser, a German-speaking Swiss writer whose unhappy life is reflected in distorted ways in his hyperrealistic and at the same time surreal novels and sketches, is perceived nowadays as one of the central figures of the European literary scene of the first decades of the XX century. Praised by Kafka and Musil (among others), he led a life of internal exile haunted by dreams of disappearance, the latter manifested in his recently decoded microscripts, dazzling if somewhat eccentric literary feasts. It’s fair to say that Walser’s work is like a continent yet to be discovered – if not in terms of translations, then surely in terms of the ambiguities and interpretive potential of his texts.


On Robert Walser’s 140th birth anniversary, the University of Opole and the Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań wish to celebrate the man and his work, his influence, legacy and contemporary status. Our venue is the city of Opole, in Poland’s Upper Silesia, just ten miles west of Dąbrowa Niemodlińska, or Dambrau (its German name), with its famous, now partly ruined, castle where Walser found employment as a butler. We hope that this academic occasion will help us see the writer in new perspectives, and indeed with new eyes.


Although the conference is addressed mainly to Polish-speaking scholars, critics and translators, we would be happy to consider proposals in English or German. All presented texts will be considered for publication in a monograph. The conference fee is 100 euros and covers coffee/tea, special dinner and all printing costs.


Please send 200-word abstracts for 20-minute papers along with a short bio to (Prof. Jacek Gutorow) by May 31st, 2018.