Values in Literature and the Value of Literature . Call for papers

12−14 September 2012, Helsinki, Finland

Debates on the value of literature have been recurrent in the long
history of literary cultures. The centrality of literature as a cultural
phenomenon has provoked discussions about its value as such as well as
about the values it promotes and the uses it can be put to serve. Even
the very attempts that were made to disengage aesthetic from ethical
values ultimately served to accentuate the debate. But the issues
debated and the answers given are subject to change and we may well ask
how the matter should be seen today. What challenges do our globalised
and multimedialised culture bring to the evaluation of literature? How
do the new ways of reading literature within the academia affect our
evaluations? If, with the advent of new theoretical approaches, a
certain “hermeneutics of suspicion” has made its way into literary
studies, how does it affect our ways of analysing the values
(represented) in literature as well as our views of the value of
literature? And is it also time to re-evaluate our ways of reading and
“to risk alternate forms of aesthetic engagement”, as Rita Felski suggests?

The conference is inspired by recent and forthcoming contributions to
the topic by our keynote speakers and partner institutions (Rita
Felski’s /Uses of Literature/, the volume /Literature and Values/ edited
by Sibylle Baumbach, and Herbert Grabes and Ansgar Nünning in /Giessen
Contributions to the Study of Culture/)./ /We welcome papers/
/addressing issues of the value of literature both in general terms and
focusing on particular texts or historical debates as well as papers
discussing particular works in terms of the representation of values.

The conference is organised by the Finnish Doctoral Programme for
Literary Studies and the Finnish Literary Research Society and belongs
to the conference programme of the International PhDnet Literary and
Cultural Studies network.

* *

*Deadline for abstracts: March 16, 2012**//*

For more information and to submit an abstract: