International Conference - A Letter in Literature and Culture

Topics and Scope

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.

Responsible for content Nijolė Leonora Kašelionienė.
Updated on: 2014-06-18 14:38