The Work of Literature
The seminar is part of the Ph.D. courses offered to doctoral students at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Oslo. It is organized in co-operation with the French-Norwegian Centre of Social Sciences and Humanities (CFN) in Paris, the Ph.D. programme for Literature and Classics (LIK) and CULTRANS. What is the work of literature? By posing this question, we primarily want to explore the particularity (or relative generality) of literary texts. The idea of literature as a special kind of discourse, a notion which is hardly much older than 200 years, has been theoretically challenged in a number of ways in recent decades. It is no longer possible to take inherited notions of ’literariness’ for granted. We nevertheless want to reflect on the state of the field, on what it may be that still makes literary texts merit a special kind of attention. What are the boundaries between literature and other art forms, or, perhaps more poignantly, other discourses, such as the political? What distinguishes literary works from non-literary works? What are the functions of literature? How important is fictionality to our notions of the literary? Is the literary merely a way of reading? What is it that literature can achieve, i.e., in different ways from other discourses? To what extent can literature do things in the world, in addition to describing it, and what may these actions be? To what extent does literature promote ideology, to what extent does it subvert it?
The ambiguity of the seminar title also opens up for other questions. What may be the boundaries of the literary work itself? What is it that constitutes the literary? Our ambition is to address the question of the literary from a number of different perspectives, combining institutional (sociological) and text-external approaches with more text-internal or text-focused ones. We welcome papers on texts written both before and after the establishment of a modern paradigm of literature, as well as more theoretical papers.
We hope this seminar will appeal to all ph.d. students who in one way or other relate to literary texts, and that it may be a good opportunity for trying out more or less central concerns in your dissertations, or, and as well as, for developing greater self-reflexivity as scholars of literature.
We are privileged in being joined by four eminent keynote speakers and commentators for your papers: Derek Attridge (York University), Sophie Vasset (Université Diderot Paris), Anne Simonin (IRICE, Université de Paris), and Peter D. McDonald (Oxford University).
Wednesday 24 October, SALLE 3
- 10h00 – 10h45 Opening and introductions: Bjarne Rogan (Director of the CFN), HelgeJordheim (CULTRANS) and Tore Rem (LIK)
- 10h45 – 11h30 Plenary: Anne Simonin, ‘The Negative Literature : Why Did Some Books Go Unpublished During WWII ?’
- 11h30 – 11h45 Coffee
- 11h45 - 12h55 Julie Sandberg Kleiva, ‘Surrealist Literariness and Myth in René Char’s Artine’Teresa Pepe, ’Is Blogging Literature?’
- 13h00 -14h00 Lunch
- 14h00 - 15h30 Anne Lind, ‘Representations of Women in the Icelandic Sagas’ Mads B. Claudi, ‘The Instance of Utterance as a Marker of Literariness’
- 15h30 - 16h00 Coffee
- 16h00-16h45 Plenary: Derek Attridge: ‘Literature, Criticism, and Unpredictable Value’
Thursday 25 October, SALLE 3
- 10h00 -10h45 Plenary: Peter D. McDonald, ‘The Critic as Censor’
- 10h45 – 11h00 Coffee
- 11h00 – 13h00 Dana Ryan Lande, ‘Lyric Narrative, Peripheral Existence, and Political Rhetoric: Nadine Gordimer’s ”Homage” Helene Grønlien, ‘From ”kunstlitteratur” to ”skjønnlitteratur”’ Arild Michel Bakken, ‘Limited Action: Mallarmé and Literary Subversion of Ideology’
- 13h00 -14h00 Lunch
- 14h00 – 14h45 Plenary: Sophie Vasset, ‘Stories of survival: Daniel Defoe's Work and the Boundaries of Fiction’
- 14h45 – 15h15 Coffee
- 15h15-17h15 Audun Renolen Aasbø, ‘Literary Allusions in Non-Literary Contexts’ Nicolas Pottier Casado, ‘What Is the Work of Literature?’ Ranah Issa, ‘The Bible and the Literary Canon’
Friday 26 October, SALLE 3
- 10h00 -11h20 Bjørn Ivar Fyksen, ‘Class Conflicts in the Work of Alf Prøysen’ Line Joranger, ‘Foucault’s Poetical Conceptions in “Dream and Existence”’
- 11h20-11h35 Coffee
- 11h35-12h15 Solveig Brandal, ‘The Bookseller of Kabul’
- 12h15 – 13h00 Summing up. General discussion.
- 13h00 -14h00 Lunch