International conference ‘Secrecy and Community in Contemporary Narrative in English”.
The full programme is available here: http://secrecyconference.emiweb.es/
If you are around, and if you are interested, please join us!
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.
Confirmed keynote speakers
Prof. Derek Attridge (University of York, UK)
Prof. Nicholas Royle (University of Sussex, UK)
Conference website: http://secrecyconference.
University of Granada:Mercedes Díaz-Dueñas, Gerardo Rodríguez-Salas,
University of Córdoba:María Jesús López Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Paula Martín
Salván, María Luisa Pascual Garrido, Juan L. Pérez-de-Luque