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September 19, 2012

CFP Conference: Snippets, splinters, shreds, shards: The Fragment in Russian Culture

Deadline: January 15, 2013

Slavics Without Borders, a Graduate Student Colloquium at the University of Pennsylvania, is pleased to announce our Spring 2013 interdisciplinary conference. Entitled "Snippets, splinters, shreds, shards: The Fragment in Russian Culture," it will take place at the University of Pennsylvania on March 22nd, 2013, and feature Professor Devin Fore of Princeton University as keynote speaker.

Russian literature is famous for its monumental grand narratives: from The Primary Chronicle to War and Peace to The Gulag Archipelago, Russian works have often tended toward the epic. Yet each of these masterworks, far from being monolithic and complete, is actually fragmentary in its own way: for instance, The Primary Chronicle, which claims to document Russian history from the beginning of time, is by its very nature both all-encompassing and unfinishable.

Mindful of Europe’s rich history of the literary fragment – from Schlegel’s Athenäum to Benjamin’s Arcades Project to Blanchot and Derrida on the aphorism – our conference investigates the fragment as a formally and affectively multivalent object. What does a fragment ask of its producers, and how does it affect viewers or readers? How does the “synthetic” or intentional fragment (like Lermontov’s A Hero of Our Time or Boris and Arkadii Strugatsky’s Definitely Maybe) differ from the fragment born of a creative crisis (Gogol’s Dead Souls or his planned but never-written Triumphant Tale), or the one forged in difficult political or social circumstances, as were many 20th century camp memoirs – and what can we make of fragments that span two or more of these categories, like Lermontov’s “Shtoss”? What types of fragments demand completion, continuation, or reconstruction? How have media-historical developments, such as the advent of montage in film or the invention of the internet, affected the creation, dissemination, and reception of fragments?

Papers from any disciplinary setting – whether literary or cinema studies, philosophy, media studies, or art history – are welcome, but all proposals should engage with Russian culture on some level. We invite graduate student submissions treating topics including, but not limited to:

· the fragment as remnant (e.g., debris from a disaster) and as an inchoate form
· the fragment and its relationship to time – is it residue of past time, or evidence of time’s constant motion?
· fragments in film: close-ups, montage, narrative fragmentation
· the fragment as an easily displaced object; fragmentation as a figure of diaspora and exile
· the fragmented or fractured self
· the fragment in architecture: ancient ruins and incomplete projects
· the fragment in modernism: immediately pre- and post-revolutionary notions of Russian fragmentariness
· the fragment in new media: comment boards, blogging, mashups, and other fragmentary phenomena of the cyberuniverse
· the quoted fragment: traditions of excerpting and citation
· the fragment in music
· aphorisms, theses, and other fragmentary forms
· collections of fragments: literary anthologies, police files and surveillance tapes, art exhibits

Please send your 250-300 word abstract in the body of an email with “Fragment conference submission” in the subject heading to Maya Vinokour and Pavel Khazanov at slavicswithoutborders@gmail.com by January 15, 2013. Submissions should include the paper title, author’s name, affiliation, and email address.

Posted by juliahla at September 19, 2012 11:43 AM