Call for Papers
Writers and critics have in recent years hailed for a “return” of realism to the literary arena with revised notions of what constitutes realist representation to take account of the experiences that are unique to our new era, e.g. “speculative realism”, “metonymic realism”, “ecocritical realism”, and “quantum realism”, to name just a few. Indeed, realism has never been away from the academic limelight despite its accused naivety in aspiring to represent reality objectively, unabashed interpellation of readers into dominant ideologies or a symptom of the waning of affect in late capitalism. Admittedly, the critical attention tends to gravitate towards the dazzling and kaleidoscopic arrays of experiments on literary forms and styles; but as far as writers are concerned, they seem to be more committed to discovering and representing the real world as spearheaded by the 19th century realists and intent upon breaking beyond the boundaries of bourgeois everyday life and the Paris-London geographical axis. Realism was a nineteenth-century literary movement, a “period-concept,” but at the same time “a recurrent mode…of representing human life and experience in literature” in M. H. Abrams’s definition. The “return” of realism in our current era, therefore, speaks not so much to the resurrection of a literary caput mortuum as to a refreshed awareness that the narration of any story is inevitably also the documentation of the history of which one is an integral part, the memory that one lives by, and the world where one is situated, particularly in a time defined by restlessness and adversity. Testimony to the relevance of such key terms to the individual existence is the 2022 Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded to Annie Ernaux who “uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory.”
Invited Speakers
Concurrent Sessions
History, Memory and Identity
Literature and Society
Theories of Realism
Chinese Realist Literature
Studies of Realism Across the Boundaries
Narrative and Emotion
Ethical Criticism and Classical Works