[ilds] CFP - SAIT and Société des Anglicistes de l'Enseignement Supérieur

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Sun Jan 30 10:30:10 PST 2011

Hello all,

This isn't a Durrell CFP, but it may be of interest to some here.



The annual conference of the SAIT and Société des Anglicistes de 
l'Enseignement Supérieur (SEAC) will take place in London England at 
Senate House, November 4-5 2011.

Please see the CFP below and send all abstracts to Isabelle Gadoin 
<Isabeluis2 at free.fr> and Catherine Lanone <catherine.lanone at univ-tlse2.fr>.

RUINs in Twentieth-Century British Art and Fiction

As opposed to the Gothic labyrinths of vaults and broken palaces or 
shattered abbeys, in the nineteenth century the picturesque legacy grew 
into a passion for sublime ruins as crystals of time, suffused with 
melancholy pleasure. From Romantic hubris (and the fascination for Troy 
or Pompei) to Turner's luminous visions or Hardy's carved windows and 
stone coffins, ruins offered dwindling points of aesthetic stability as 
well as symptoms of mutability in a changing world stamped by Darwinian 
ruthlessness. This conference proposes to analyze the hybrid function of 
ruins as they shift from sublime metonymies to broken hints of shattered 
times and troubled consciousness, focusing not only on the visual motif 
of ruins but on the function of citation as an attempt to include the 
ruined pieces of bygone art and cultural systems, whether the purpose be 
to "shore fragments" against ruin, as in the case of Modernism, or to 
challenge and deconstruct present exhaustion and past master discourses, 
as in the case of post-modernism. The postmodern emphasis on remains, 
from Ackroyd to Ishiguro or Stoppard, on textual experimentation with 
broken fragments, the function of architecture and visual motifs will be 
of interest, showing that twentieth-century British art and fiction 
revisit ruins not only as the broken pieces of a vanished past, but as 
artificial to begin with. Emphasis on architecture will necessarily 
include cultural context, and moments of acute fragmentation such as the 
Blitz, the British equivalent of the Twin Towers, faultlines leaving not 
only the smell of smouldering remains, but a division between before and 
after, an intense sense of the collapse of ideologies and promises. The 
ultimate negotiation of the bankruptcy of meaning may lead to repetition 
and elegy or parody, or to the intense attempt to create an ephemeral 
art retaining the traces of a glorious past but displacing them, leading 
to brief presences and vanishing points, as residue becomes resistance 
and art articulates waste.

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