International Conference - A Letter in Literature and Culture
 

Announcements

LITHUANIAN COMPARATIVE LITERATURE ASSOCIATION,

LITHUANIAN UNIVERSITY OF EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES

 

International Conference

 

THE LETTER IN LITERATURE AND CULTURE

 

September 26–27, 2014

Vilnius, Lithuania

 

 

From the time human beings began to write to one another, the formats and purposes of the letter have evolved and varied. Among other things, letters can be formal and pedantic, informal and emotive, intimate or public, factual or fictional, and written by or directed to persons and collectives.

Ancient Greece and Rome knew the art of letter writing. In the Renaissance, the letter attained also the status of a science taught at European schools and universities, including in the Lithuanian Academy. The Enlightenment became the golden age of letters.

Scholars of language, history, literature, and culture continue to study the different formats of the letter. Letters are eloquent cultural documents of their epochs, and can be researched by means of various methods and theories.

This is the first conference devoted to the letter in Lithuania. We believe that the subject matter of this conference will engage foreign researchers as well, since it invites contemporary philosophical and literary research modes that are or could be engaged in study of the epistolary genre. The rising interest in cultural studies has brought back the author. The author, whose death was announced by structuralism, has been resurrected by feminism and postcolonialism. In recent decades, literary studies showed interest in the so-called peripheral or paraliterature genre such as autobiographies, diaries, and letters.

The emergence and dominance of electronic correspondence, where the letter becomes the email or SMS, raise new questions and methodological challenges to scholars, including with respect to the emergence of a new genre of literature, e-literature, and how it differs from traditional genres.

The suggested themes for the conference extend beyond the development of the epistolary genre and its present situation. There being no surfeit of research on the subject in Lithuania, we suggest various themes which can be adapted according to the participant’s wishes and interests.

 

Suggested Themes

 

  1. Tradition of epistolography in Europe/world. Historical overview of epistolary genre: its stages of development and conditions for its wax and wane.
  2. The letter as a tool for establishing intercultural communication. The role of the letter in different cultures.
  3. Epistolary novels and functions of epistolary elements therein.
  4. Writers’ letters in the corpus of their works. Letters written by famous people as objects of research, yielding insight into biography and creative processes.
  5. The letter as a cultural or textual construction. The role of stereotypes.
  6. The semiotics of the letter.
  7. Letters and femininity.
  8. Transformations of epistolary elements in our digital age: emoticons, attached images, SMS, by contrast to postcards and enclosed photos, drawings, and sketches.
  9. Letters in literature and other types of art (fine arts, theatre, cinema, and etc.). The specifics of the narrative.
Responsible for content Nijolė Leonora Kašelionienė.
Updated on: 2014-06-18 14:54