Period Shapers in Literary History

Date: 24 May 2018

Venue: Antwerp University, Stadscampus, Hof van Liere, Prentenkabinet - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 ANTWERP (route: UAntwerpen, Stadscampus)

Time: 9:30 AM - 4:45 PM

Organization / co-organization: CHLEL

Short description: Conference organized by the Coordinating Committee for the Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages Series (CHLEL)

Period Shapers in Literary History

Periods in literary history are often rather arbitrary and debatable constructions, usually created in hindsight. Thus, for instance, modernism as a literary period was shaped and reshaped in different ways throughout the past hundred years by various literary critics and thinkers (from Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno to Giorgio Agamben and Alain Badiou), by individual studies (i.e. Edmund Wilson’s Axel’s Castle) and by subsequent developments in literary history: In the last decades of the previous century modernist texts were customarily read through a postmodernist lens, which was itself shaped by some famous critics (Lyotard) and some nearly forgotten ones (Ihab Hassan). The subsequent demise of the term ‘postmodernism’ has, in turn, given rise to numerous concepts and approaches that claim to supersede this late-twentieth-century paradigm: these include altermodernism, hypermodernism, metamodernism, neomodernism, remodernism, transmodernism and post-postmodernism. Behind these (arguably suspect) terminological constructions lies the quest not just for reassessing the present state of literary approaches to modernism, but also for understanding the traces that postmodernism has left on our understanding of the modernist canon.

Obviously, this phenomenon applies not only to literary modernism. Every literary period is shaped and labeled to a large extent by a subsequent movement, sometimes almost single-handedly by one particular thinker or critic or even a single study. The impact of such developments, figures or studies on the construction of literary periods is the focus of this conference.

Entrance fee: Free entrance (lunch/dinner only for speakers)


Contact email:

Contact phone: 03 265 52 43