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Literary Canon Formation as Nation-building in Central and Eastern Europe


Literary Canon Formation as Nation-building in Central and Eastern Europe
(19th to Early 20th Century)
Vilnius, 3-4 May, 2018
Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore
Sharing a common culture is one of the most solid grounds for acquiring a sense of community. During the rise of modern nations, literature had an important role in consolidating national communities and shaping their values, even becoming the medium through which the identity of a national community is formed. Literary works of various genres took part in the collective imagining of national communities. Thus, a constant need in Central and Eastern Europe of the 19th and early 20th century was to define the national literature and form the national literary canon, and it was directly related to the development of national conscience and cultural self-consciousness. The national literary canon, which would be established and promoted by institutions of education, research, criticism and publishing, would function as an important and influential instrument in creating national cultural identity and shaping historical memory.
The conference organisers await paper proposals on the following topics:
· correlation between the national canon and the concept of literature;
· various social and communicational practices (e. g.  school curricula, anthologies, literary criticism and historiography, book publishing, songbooks, encyclopaedic publications, commemoration of writers’ anniversaries, monuments, place-names, iconography, theatrical adaptations, writing of biographies etc.) in respect of canon formation;
· role of the prominent cultural figures and the reading communities of different cultural milieus (universities, schools, manors, salons, cafes etc.) in the formation of national literary canon;
· introducing the position of a national poet;
· representation of various ethnical, social groups and genders in the national literary canon;
· literary canon formation in relation to the standardisation of national language;
· historical narrative established by the national literary canon;
· sharing common cultural heritage in various national literary canons;
· book censorship and literary canon formation;
· contra-canonical initiatives;
· links between canonicity and popularity;
· national literary canon throughout the literary and critical reception;
and other aspects of the formation and transformations of the national literary canon.
We cordially invite: scholars of literary and cultural studies, historians, sociologists, musicologists, art critics, media researchers, scholars in bibliography and all those who are interested in questioning the national literary canon on theoretical or empirical levels.
An abstract (maximum 200 words) should be sent to literarycanon@llti.lt no later than 20 June 2017. Paper acceptance will be confirmed by 5 July 2017.
Conference language: English.
Duration of talk: 20 minutes.
Participation fee: 50 EUR (30 EUR for PhD students; travel and accommodation expenses are not included in the fee).
After the conference, we plan to publish a collection of selected articles.

Organising Committee:
Prof. Benedikts Kalnačs, PhD (University of Latvia, Riga)
Prof. Radosław Okulicz-Kozaryn, PhD (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) 
Assoc. Prof. Brigita Speičytė, PhD (Vilnius University, Vilnius)
Assist. Prof. Aistė Kučinskienė, PhD (Vilnius University, Vilnius)
Assist. Prof. Vaidas Šeferis, PhD (Masaryk University, Brno)
Viktorija Šeina, PhD (Chair of the committee, Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, Vilnius)
Birutė Avižinienė, MA (Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore, Vilnius)


Antakalnio g. 6, LT-10308 Vilnius, Lietuva tel.: 2621943, direk@llti.lt