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Appel Conference "Tales of War : Expressions of Conflict and Reconciliation", University of Bucharest, 2–4 June, 2011.

The English Department of the University of Bucharest invites proposals for the Literature and Cultural Studies section of its 13th Annual Conference "Tales of War : Expressions of Conflict and Reconciliation".

Conflict, as well as versions of antagonistic and paradoxical affinities in war-related, real and fictional situations, are at the centre of current preoccupations of critical theory, literature, visual arts, the media, historical and political discourse and at the centre of ontological concern for the contemporary world. As a phenomenological issue, as the privileged subject matter of cultural debates, historiography, theology, philosophy, interpretation strategies and anthropological research the problematic of war appears to illustrate and confirm, beyond Eliade’s “terror of history” or Ricoeur’s “hermeneutics of suspicion”, the correlatives of subjectivity, as well as a richly connotative “existential heritage” of the “fallable man”. As (remembered ?) pastness, as the counter-possibility of freedom, as an account of empathy with the Other, as illustrative of a “limit situation”, as a set of empirical appearances or a utopian pact, as a figure of (repetitive) mortality or a marker of identity, warfare remains an issue of signification comprehensible through a series of disconcerting aporias, a category of both active and meditative attitude related to the “primordial conflict” and at the same time to the affirmation of hope for a time of both memorial and prophetic war-free “ideal history”.
The aim of the conference is to explore and highlight modalities through which expressions, representations or perceptions of “warfare”, as well as contemporary interpretative approaches to the development, resolution or effects of conflict deal with the significance of antagonism in various cultural and historical contexts and contribute to the comprehension and redefinition of the authorial message.

Suggested topics :
Visions and connotations of warfare
War – myths, symbolism, iconography
War as allegory and metaphor
Representations of conflict
War and psychoanalysis
War between reality and fiction
The space of war
War and temporality
Wartime affinities
War narratives
War protagonists
War and peace
The political and historical discourse of war
War and memory
War and identity

It is anticipated that participants will adopt a variety of approaches, including examinations of individual works in various genres and media, comparative, transcultural and interdisciplinary studies, and discussions of theoretical issues.
Presentations should be in English, and will be allocated 20 minutes each, plus 10 minutes for discussion. Prospective participants are invited to submit abstracts of up to 200 words (including a list of keywords) in Word format, with an indication of their institutional affiliation, and a telephone number and e-mail address at which they can be contacted. Proposals for panel discussions (to be organized by the participant) will also considered.
A selection of papers will be published in University of Bucharest Review (listed on EBSCO, CEEOL and Ulrichsweb).
Conference fee : 50 euro or equivalent in Romanian Lei The fee is payable in cash on registration, and covers the opening reception, conference materials, and refreshments during the conference.

Deadline for proposals : 15 February 2011. Please send proposals (and enquiries) to litcultstbucharest@gmail.com

Conference organizers
Prof. Irina Pană
Dr James Brown

The Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
Str. Pitar Mos 7-13, Bucharest, Romania

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