CFP: Secrecy and community in contemporary narrative in English

Please find below the CFP on the conference  ‘Secrecy and community in contemporary narrative in English’ which we organize at the University of Granada in October 2018.

We would very much like to receive proposals examining the presence of secrecy and  mystery in Irish fiction, so please, get in touch if you are interested.

 

Secrecy and community in contemporary narrative in English

University of Granada, Spain
4th-5th October, 2018
Organized by the Research Project “Secrecy and Community in Contemporary Narrative in English”

This two-day international seminar welcomes proposals about the role of the secret in contemporary narrative in English in order to articulate the relation between the individual and community. Secrecy may adopt different forms, often in dialectical confrontation. It may stand for the essence or substance (purity, sacrifice/violence, the sacred, political conspiracy) upon which the exclusive and excluding character of a community is built. On the other hand, secrecy – manifested as silence, interruption, marginality, alterity or death – may emerge as the space and language of illicit social bonds,  forbidden identities and peripheral voices in the face of normative  and essentialised forms of community and their discursive  codification.
Finally, we also find communities of secrecy that do not  respond to traditional and conventional collective forms based upon  national identity, social class, ethnicity/race, gender or sexuality.  The secret articulates the disembedding from totalitarian communities,  such as the patriarchal state, heteronormative relationships, the  colonial empire, or the ethnically/racially pure nation, and the  emergence of new relationships and spaces of freedom, based on a  secret sharing of love, friendship, or other non-homogenising  communitarian bonds, perpetually open to the difference of the other.

The concept of the secret traverses the communitarian thought of  Jean-Luc Nancy, Maurice Blanchot and Jacques Derrida, the three of  whom have argued against immanent communities, through an  ethico-political gesture that puts the emphasis on collective forms  characterised by irreducible singularity, secrecy and otherness.  Critics and theorists such as Frank Kermode, Matei Calinescu, Derek  Attridge, Nicholas Royle, J. Hillis Miller, Nicolas Abraham and Maria  Torok, or Esther Rashkin have also offered important insights into the  narrative, thematic, ideological, ethical or political role of secrets.

Suggested paper topics may deal with the secret in relation to the  following concepts: the inoperative community (Nancy), tensions  between traditional and elective communities of secret sharers  (Blanchot), cryptonomy and the ‘transgenerational phantom’ (Abraham  and Torok), unconditional secrecy (Derrida), Attridge’s singularity of  literature, the uncanny (Royle), speech acts in literature,  autobiography, trauma, the body, death, ethics.

We welcome proposals dealing with any of these topics and related ones  as articulated in contemporary narrative/fictional texts in English.
Please submit your 400-500 word abstracts by May 1st, 2018 to  secrecyandcommunity@gmail.com. Abstracts should include a short  biographical note. Selected papers will be considered for publication.

Confirmed keynote speakers
Prof. Derek Attridge (University of York, UK)
Prof. Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex, UK)

Conference website: http://secrecyconference.emiweb.es/

Organizing Committee

University of Granada:Mercedes Díaz-Dueñas, Gerardo Rodríguez-Salas,
Pilar Villar-Argáiz

University of Córdoba:María Jesús López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Paula Martín
Salván, María Luisa Pascual Garrido, Juan L. Pérez-de-Luque

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