Keynote speakers: Prof. Tamara Hundorova, Chair of the Department of
Theory of Literature, Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National
Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Prof. Dirk Uffelmann, Professor of
Slavic Literatures and Cultures, Universität Passau (Germany)
The aim of this workshop is to reconstruct the way that literary figures
are positioned, located, ranked within a hierarchy and subordinated
within contemporary spatial narratives of Central Europe. The region is
not only a space “in-between” (that is, neither East nor West) but it
also represents a physical playground of current political and
ideological struggles. The years 2004 and 2007 are particularly relevant
because although Central and Western Europe were symbolically reunited a
new stress was simultaneously developing on the borders of countries
such as Ukraine, Belarus or Moldova.
We are interested in contemporary narratives that explore the
spatial-temporal dimensions of physical Central European borderline
regions (such as Lower and Upper Lusatia, Lower and Upper Silesia, Těšín
Silesia, Spiš, Masuria, Galicia, or Bukovina) and or that re-consider
the existing frameworks of understanding spatial entities in Central
Europe (such as the former ghetto district in Warsaw). Our aim is to
track how borders in Central Europe have been and continue to be re- and
deconstructed. We will focus on the emancipation of minority groups
(including aspects such as gender, class, sex, age, race, and ethnicity)
within the context of the construction of imagined spaces. Additionally,
we will consider the role of history in such processes, for example the
extent to which macro- and microhistories are being (mis)used to
4 Discussion Panels:
1. Literature and Its New (Old?) Social Role. Politics of Memory
Literature in Central Europe played a vital role in forming national and
ethnic identities, and has been frequently utilized to justify political
- The social and political role of selected literature
- Storage of memory and preserving the past for the future
- Positioning oneself within the established historical discourse (how
and to what extent the con-temporary narratives follow, develop,
reformulate, reject the discourse)
- Memory canon: how it is being reformulated in contemporary literature
2. Idealisation of the (Imagined) Past
By allowing individuals to independently interpret facts, nostalgia
creates another version of history. Nostalgia can also lead to the
transformation of the meaning of widely accepted facts.
- To what extent do nostalgia and idealisation of the past legitimize
- How do the objects of nostalgia (such as pre-war, war, post-war,
communist, post-communist spaces) obtain new meanings?
- Which spatial-temporal phenomena have become new objects of
idealisation in recent times?
The process of forming collective identities can be conceptualized as a
set of negotiations between differently embodied subjects. In recent
years a plethora of rising minority discourses (including ethnic,
national, sexual, gender, religious) against the dominating discourses
can be observed.
- Spatial narratives and counter-discourses as a repetition of the
- Which aspects of the dominating discourses do counter-discourses
- Can the antifeminist backlash be combined with counter-discourses in
4. Different Modes of Voice
We are also interested in formal issues as they also transport meaning
and are able to provide alternative perspectives. Questions such as
nostalgia, memory, or identity appear not only in prose, but are also
prolifically discussed in contemporary literary journalism, drama and art.
- How do narrative tools construct new social imaginaries?
- Do authors develop new forms of narration and expression which exceed
existing genre limits?
- Which roles interact with the potential transgression of genre
- Which new roles play polyphony of narration, silence, grotesque,
parody, or dialogue?
PhD and M.A. students will be given priority to participate in the
workshop. As the focus of our interest is literature, we will primarily
address the representatives of disciplines such as national literature
studies (German, Polish, Czech, Slovakian, Hungarian, Ukrainian,
Romanian philology among others) and comparative literature. However, we
would also be eager to work with the representatives of history,
politics and cultural studies. The participants will be asked to prepare
a short presentation (15-20 min.) that has not been previously
The official start (opening + keynote lecture I + panel I) will take
place in the Friday evening, which will make an immediate start the next
morning (Saturday) possible. For Saturday evening we plan to have a
panel discussion. The last panel and the final discussion are planned
for Sunday morning.
The participation in the workshop is free of charge. The accommodation
(2 nights) and catering in Tübingen for the workshop time is provided by
the workshop organizers.
Please submit a 300-word abstract (+ panel you are interested in) and a
brief bio to <icegworkshop2016 [at] gmail.com> by January 31st, 2016.