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Workshop: Tropes of Theory

20.10.2023 - 21.10.2023

Organised by Zaal Andronikashvili (Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research) and Susanne Strätling (Freie Universität Berlin/EXC 2020), project Circulations of Theory: Topics, Processes, and Histories of a Globalised Form of Writing, Research Area 4: "Literary Currencies".

Annual workshop of the Research Committee on Literary Theory of the International Comparative Literature Association.

Literary theories maintain a rather ambiguous relationship to literature, meandering between participation and alienation. On the one hand, they attempt to assume a neutral, abstract meta-position, for which the dogma of disinterestedness has been decisive since Kant. On the other hand, literature and literary theory are so intimately entwined that they can hardly be neatly separated. This literariness of theory extends to all theoretical reasoning, even in its sincerest attempts at avoiding any figurativity. The workshop explores the largely uncharted field of tropes in literary theory both historically and systematically.

Programme (download)

Friday, 20 October

10:00 | Welcome

10:15-12:15 | Panel I: Figuring Theory

Chair: Susanne Strätling (Freie Universität Berlin)

Robert Young (New York University): Theory as Trope

Divya Dwivedi (Indian Institute of Technology): Theory and the Trope of Reading

Rok Benčin (Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, ZRC SAZU): The Miracle of Analogy and the Displacement of Concepts

Robert Stockhammer (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Synecdoche and Representative Anecdote (Kenneth Burke) in Theory

12:15 | Lunch

13:30-15:30 | Panel II: Mining the History of Tropology

Chair: Natalya Bekhta (Tampere University)

Amy Li Xiaofan (University College London): Illumination: The Solar Trope in Literary Theory from a Comparative Perspective

Susanne Strätling (Freie Universität Berlin): Poetics as Energetics? Trajectories of Modern Literary Theory

Anne Duprat (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne): Elegance, or: How Stylish Can Literary Theory Be?

Maya Kesrouany (New York University Abu Dhabi): Figural Hauntings in Contemporary Arabic Literary Theory

15:30 | Coffee Break

16:00-17:30 | Panel III: Reading Tropes

Chair: Maya Kesrouany (New York University Abu Dhabi)

Stefan Willer (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin): Ties: Metaphors of Postcritique

Woosung Kang (Seoul National University): Reading Freud Reading: How Blindness Drives Theories

Marco Caracciolo (Ghent University): Tropes for Complexity in Literary Theory

Saturday, 21 October

10:00-11:30 | Panel IV: Politics of Tropes

Chair: Anne Duprat (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne)

Ivana Perica (Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research): Polysemy of 'the Political'

Davide Giuriato (Universität Zürich): Drastic: Breakdown of Tropes? (Jankelevitch, Abbate, Dath)

Zaal Andronikashvili (Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research): Small and Minor: Figures of Minority in the System of World Literature

11:30 | Closing remarks

Time & Location

Oct 20, 2023 - Oct 21, 2023

Leibniz Center for Literary and Cultural Research (ZfL)
Conference Room, 2nd Floor
Pariser Str. 1
10719 Berlin