“Theorizing Chance,” the 2021 workshop of the AILC/ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory, is going to be revisited in the framework of the 2022 congress of ALEA, titled “Figures du hasard / Figures of Chance.” Chaired by Anne Duprat and Alexandre Gefen, the new installment of the workshop will take place on 9 June 2022 in Paris (54 bd Raspail, Salle B1-01). For the link to remote participation, please email Louise Dehondt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The organizers of the forthcoming congress of the ICLA have announced that the congress is going to be held in a hybrid format. This includes the workshop of the ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory. Any further updates will be available on the congress website.
This year’s workshop of the AILC/ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory will be held as part of the twenty-third triennial congress of the AILC/ICLA, which will take place from 24–29 July in Tbilisi. Titled “Theorizing Marginality,” the workshop will be hosted by the Ivane Javakhisvhili Tbilisi State University and the Shota Rustaveli Institute of Georgian Literature. The program is forthcoming on this site.
Divya Dwivedi, member of the ICLA theory committee, is the editor of Virality of Evil: Philosophy in the Time of a Pandemic. The volume, published with Rowman & Littlefield, invites us to revaluate the notion of evil, valorizing it as perhaps the only notion through which philosophy can reflect on the pandemic. This is a collective meditation that takes a plural approach to the sufferings of different parts of the world, deploying a stance dedicated to place and specificity. Their distinct contributions arise from multiple traditions, with voices from within and beyond the so-called Western canon.
Here is a selection of studies published by current and former members of the ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory in 2021:
Zaal Andronikashvili, “The Multilingualism of National Literatures: The Georgian-German Author Giwi Margwelaschwili (1927–2020),” German Quarterly 94.3: 375–77;
Raphaël Baroni, “Of Mice as Men: A Transmedial Perspective on Fictionality,” Narrative 29.1: 91–113;
Rok Benčin, “Distant Immediacy: Badiou and Rancière on May ’68 and Its Consequences,” European Review 29.6: 714–24;
Vladimir Biti (co-ed. w. Joep Leerssen and Vivian Liska), The Idea of Europe: The Clash of Projections (Leiden: Brill);
Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen, With Bodies: Narrative Theory and Embodied Cognition (Columbus: The Ohio State UP);
Michel Chaouli et al. (ed.), Poetic Critique: Encounters with Art and Literature (Berlin: De Gruyter);
Anne Duprat (et. al.), “Routes into Realism,” in Landscapes of Realism: Rethinking Literary Realism in Comparative Perspectives. Vol. 1, ed. Dirk Göttsche, Rosa Mucignat, and Robert Weninger (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), 103–90;
Divya Dwivedi (and Shaj Mohan), “The Community of the Forsaken: A Response to Agamben and Nancy,” in Coronavirus, Psychoanalysis, and Philosophy, ed. Fernando Castrillón and Thomas Marchevsky (London: Routledge), 31–34;
Pier Paolo Frassinelli, “Joburg without Joburg: The Black South African Romcom,” Social Dynamics 47.1: 37–52;
Alexandre Gefen, L’idée de littérature : de l’art pour l’art aux écritures d’intervention (Paris: Èditions Corti);
Jernej Habjan (ed.), May 68 at Fifty: Politics and Literature (= Interventions 23.3);
Péter Hajdu, “Mór Jókai’s Asian Utopia(s),” World Literature Studies 13.2: 56–68;
Hermann Herlinghaus, “Octavio Paz, Carlos Castaneda y la búsqueda de otra dimensión de la realidad,” iMex 10.1: 91–106;
Eva Horn, “Tipping Points: The Anthropocene and Covid-19,” in Pandemics, Politics, and Society, ed. Gerard Delanty (Berlin: De Gruyter), 123–38;
Marko Juvan, “Literature, Theory and Politics of the Long ’68,” European Review 29.6: 738–51;
Ulrike Kistner, “Translation as Metaphor and as Task: Vicissitudes of Translation between Freud, Laplanche, and Benjamin,” Philosophy Today 65.1: 125–43;
Renate Lachmann, “Wahn, Aber-Witz und Scharfsinn,” in Wahn, Witz und Wirklichkeit: Poetik und Episteme des Wahns vor 1800, ed. Nina Nowakowski and Mireille Schnyder (Leiden: Brill), 171–206;
Françoise Lavocat, “Portals of Fiction,” in Fictionality, Factuality, and Reflexivity Across Discourses and Media, ed. Erika Fülöp (Berlin: De Gruyter), 70–87;
Joep Leerssen (ed.), Parnell and His Times (Cambridge: Cambridge UP);
Ruth Ronen, “Aesthetic Community,” Dialogue 60.2: 319–36;
Tiphaine Samoyault (w. Marielle Macé and Philippe Roger), “L’agonistique du traduire,” Critique 886: 237–50;
Monika Schmitz-Emans, “The Book as Reading Machine and as Black Box,” in Refresh the Book, ed. Viola Hildebrand-Schat, Katarzyna Bazarnik, and Christoph Benjamin Schulz (Leiden: Brill), 71–91;
Robert Stockhammer, Reisen zwischen Abenteuer und Rasterung (Leiden: Brill);
Susanne Strätling, The Hand at Work: The Poetics of Poiesis in the Russian Avant-Garde, trans. Alexandra Berlina (Brighton, MA: Academic Studies P);
Galin Tihanov, “Exilic Inscriptions: Migration and the Resistance to (World) Theory,” differences 32.1: 126–49;
Dominique Vaugeois (co-ed. w. Sylvain Dreyer), La critique d’art à l’écran (tome 2) : filmer la littérature (Villeneuve d’Ascq: Presses Universitaires du Septentrion);
Elisabeth Weber (w. Jennifer Ballengee and David Kelman), “Literature, the Humanities, and Political Action: A Conversation with Elisabeth Weber,” in Trauma and Literature in an Age of Globalization, ed. Jennifer Ballengee and David Kelman (New York: Routledge), 157–78;
Stefan Willer, “‘Ahndungsvolle Beleuchtungʼ. Funktionen des Wetters in Goethes Herrmann und Dorothea,” in Verfahren literarischer Wetterdarstellung, ed. Urs Büttner and Michael Gamper (Berlin: De Gruyter), 69–88;
Robert J. C. Young, “May 1968: Anticolonial Revolution for a Decolonial Future,” Interventions 23.3: 432–47;
John Zilcosky, The Language of Trauma: War and Technology in Hoffmann, Freud, and Kafka (Toronto: U of Toronto P).
Divya Dwivedi, member of the ICLA theory committee, and Jérôme Lèbre, Shaj Mohan, Maël Montévil, and François Warin have organized the conference Jean-Luc Nancy : Anastasis de la pensée / Anastasis of Thinking. The conference is to take place from January 22–24 at Centre Pompidou, the ENS (both in Paris), and online. It will be a three-day celebration of Jean-Luc Nancy with the reading of texts by his friends, films about him, musical performances, and discussions exploring the themes which concerned Nancy throughout his life, including body, touch, world, sense, community, democracy, value, poetry, cinema, the arts, religion, technology, death, and time. Registration is required here.
Robert Stockhammer, Former and Honorary President of the ICLA Theory Committee, authored the book Reisen zwischen Abenteuer und Rasterung: mit James Cook und Herman Melville im Pazifik (Travel between Adventure and Resolution: In the Pacific with James Cook and Herman Melville). Published by Brill, Stockhammer’s book discusses the relation between adventure and resolution, noting that any clear delimitation should be met with doubt, just as Adventure Island and Resolution Island are joined by Doubtfull Island in James Cook’s cartography. Cook’s second voyage around the world (1772–75) and Herman Melville’s anti-Cookian Pacific voyage (1841–44) are approached with the help of texts as different as logbooks and novels.
ICLA theory committee member Alexandre Gefen is the author of L’idée de littérature : de l’art pour l’art aux écritures d’intervention (The Idea of Literature: From Art for Art’s Sake to Writing as Intervention). Published with Èditions Corti, the book argues that literature is an idea rather than anything possessing an essence. The book presents the history of this idea, from the appearance of the word and the birth of the concept in the early nineteenth century to their surprising metamorphoses in our time.
Alexandre Gefen, member of the ICLA theory committee, has co-edited, with Anne Dujin, the July-August 2021 issue of Esprit, titled Politiques de la littérature (The Many Politics of Literature). Organized into three thematic sections, “The Democracy of Letters,” “Literary Engagements,” and “The Question of Forms,” the issue includes articles by Jacques-Yves Bellay, François Bon, Sylvie Bressler, François Crémieux, Nicolas Léger, Michel Murat, Jean-Claude Pinson, Gisèle Sapiro, Felwine Sarr, Alice Zeniter, Cécilia Suzzoni, as well as the editors.
John Zilcosky, Former and Honorary President of the ICLA theory committee, is the author of The Language of Trauma: War and Technology in Hoffmann, Freud, and Kafka. Published by University of Toronto Press, the book makes the case that E.T.A. Hoffmann, Sigmund Freud, and Franz Kafka managed to find the language of trauma by, paradoxically, not attempting to name the trauma conclusively and instead allowing their writing to mimic the experience itself. Just as the victims’ symptoms seemed not to correspond to a physical cause, the writers’ words did not connect directly to the objects of the world. Zilcosky argues that this linguistic skepticism emerged together with the medical inability to name the experience of trauma.