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Call for Papers ICLA 2016
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Call for Papers: Group Section Island Fictions and Metaphors in Contemporary Literature

21st World Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association: The Many Languages of Comparative Literature

July 21st – 27th 2016, University of Vienna

 

Island Fictions and Metaphors in Contemporary Literature (Conveners: Katrin Dautel/Kathrin Schödel, University of Malta)

With their apparent self-enclosure, seemingly easy to survey and conquer, as well as a prevalent notion of distance to the ‘known world’, islands have inspired a diverse mythology and have an enduring presence as a distinctive space in the cultural imaginary, with notable differences between a ‘Western’ island discourse and other approaches (Christian Moser). The perceived closure of island spaces – and the closure of their various meanings and interpretations – is counteracted by the spatial qualities of islands: their shores opening up to the horizon and the sea as the ‘other’ of inhabited land (Gilles Deleuze). Reflecting on the linguistic construction of islands thus also leads to reflections on discursive and aesthetic projections and codifications in their fragility and ambiguity, their intrinsic openness towards the ‘other’ and their inherent deconstructive moments. Island fictions and metaphors are exemplary constructions of ambivalent spaces between closure and openness, seclusion and interconnection, centre and periphery, significance and ‘insignificant’ smallness, sameness and otherness. Hence, they provide an important setting in contemporary literature as (fictional) spaces and offer a rich metaphorical potential. The literary construction of islands is often connected to larger topical issues, such as the engagement with postcolonial situations and other structures of socio- or geo-political inequality and exclusion; and, for instance, issues of ecology, the question of limited (economic) growth; themes of travel, migration and intercultural encounters; localisations of utopian concepts. The ‘small world’ of the island opens up broad intertextual and intercultural webs of reference.

The proposed section invites contributions dealing with island fictions and metaphors in contemporary literature of any language, engaging with the issues outlined here as well as further approaches.

Please submit your abstracts, no longer than 2.000 characters (incl. spaces), in English or German, by 31st August 2015 using the online submission form here: https://icla2016.univie.ac.at/group-sections/

Group section number: 17222 - Island Fictions and Metaphors in Contemporary Literature convened by Katrin Dautel and Kathrin Schödel, University of Malta, Department of German.

 

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Call for Papers ICLA 2016
Call for Papers: Island Fictions and Metaphors in Contemporary Literature (ICLA Vienna 2016).

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Last Updated: 16 July 2015

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