Unsettling Territories: Fear in Literature and the Arts. 2nd International Seminar on Literature and Emotions

deadline for submissions: 
January 10, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Centre for Comparative Studies, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Date: April 15, 2024 - Fear in Children's Literature
         April 16, 2024 - Fear in Literature and the Arts
Location: School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon and Online
Keynote Speaker: Joanna Bourke (Birkbeck, University of London)

Within the vast spectrum of the emotional constellation, fear, establishing itself as one of the fundamental emotions of the human condition according to William James's taxonomy, manifests itself through words or silence, transparently or camouflaged, through reactions and phobias, invariably revealing a restless and disturbed soul. From a cultural perspective, its foray into different artistic territories, from literature to cinema and other arts, materialises in multiple diegetic and visual representations that emphasise and problematise its polymorphic nature, projecting fears that consciously or unconsciously haunt the landscapes of Being and Feeling.
From another perspective, fear also takes on a positive dimension for the human condition because, as Hannah Arendt argues, “[it] is an emotion indispensable for survival; it indicates danger, and without this warning sense no living thing could last long” (1977). Thus, fear can trigger mechanisms of courage and unleash acts of bravery that surpass the limits associated with the existence of a fragile and vulnerable being.
This seminar, as part of the project Aesthetics of Memory and Emotions at the Centre for Comparative Studies at the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, aims to revisit these generating and reconstructive territories of unease, questioning, through differentiated reading procedures, their fictional, diegetic, discursive, and aesthetic-literary representations. It also aims to find, intratextually or in inter-artistic dialogue, strategies for (de)constructing fear in the universe of the aesthetics of emotions.
Proposals (up to 300 words) for 20-minute presentations and biographical notes (up to 150 words) of the respective authors should be submitted by January 10, 2024, to the email: labirintosdomalflul@gmail.com.

Working languages: Portuguese and English;

Registration fee: €80 (participants online, guests, and students are exempt).

Thematic Axes (among others):
Fear and conflict;
Fear and power;
The supernatural and/or death;
Fear of or inspired by technology;
Fear and identity;
Fear and terror;
Fear and dystopia in science fiction;
Cowards and survivors;
Fear and creation/fear as a source of creation or inspiration;
Narrative techniques in creating fear;
Representations of fear in the history of literature;
Fear in traditional literature: versions, adaptations, and rewriting of fairy tales;
(De)construction of fear in contemporary children's and youth literature.