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Ergebnisanzeige "Universality of literature and Universals in Literature: Spread Your Love "
RessourcentypCall for Papers
TitelUniversality of literature and Universals in Literature: Spread Your Love
BeschreibungUniversality of literature and Universals in Literature:
Spread Your Love
International Conference,
Ljubljana, November 26th & 27th, 2015.

Organization: Slovenian Comparative Literature Association, University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Arts)

Love, as a fundamental human experience, has always been a part of the literary discourse. Since the beginnings of written culture, all periods, styles and genres have thematized love in its various incarnations. Literature seems to be a place predestined to negotiate love. The semantics of love could be determined as a set of culturally passed down standardizations for feeling, thinking, acting and speaking, structuring the love life.

To be embedded within a particular cultural tradition and within a specific socio-historical context appears to be crucial for an identification of an utterance, a sense, or an act as belonging to the coding of love. As a consequence, the motif of love shows a variety of implications and characteristics in different social and cultural contexts. There are at least three different levels:

1) The social conceptualization of love,
2) the literary thematizing of love and
3) their literary-historical evaluation.

However, the coding of love features specific developmental dynamics and thus it is never completely compatible with the contextual factors that seem to determine its nature. On the one hand, this is – according to Roland Barthes – founded in an increasing individualization of the love discourse. On the other hand, this inconsistency is due to the continual vagueness of love as a feeling. It is this inconsistency or uncertainty that seems to be a constitutive marker of the (literary) love discourse. Under these circumstances, the question arises whether the literary discourse of love features universal structures beyond its historical, social and cultural dependence:
1) Society’s concepts of love often make ahistorical claims – regardless of their metaphysical, anthropological, psychological, cognitive and biological justification.
2) The literary thematizations of love seem to have at least one thing in common, namely the weakening of social norms (cf. Luhmann).
3) Historical literature reviews of the love theme create, at least from a hermeneutic perspective, the illusion of universality.

In modern times, it can be stated that the traditional love semantics and its numerous underlying cultural, historical and sociological factors are in decline. However, it is the extreme individualization (modernization and individualization theory; cf. Beck & Giddens) that seems to be decisive.
Nevertheless, this decline does not mean the end of collective ideas of love; rather, it stimulates a radical duplication and volatilization of the ideas of love and the possibilities to speak about it.
The lack of clear and binding semantics might possibly contribute to the normalizing notions of love. Is any attempt to speak about love solipsistic? Then again, under the influence of a (post-)modern lack of meaning, love is stylized as a new myth, which stands for a crossing of borders between the individual and collective desire.
However, this conference’s theme is not “love,” but love as part of literary discourses. Thus, we do not ask what love is, but how it is negotiated in literary discourse in the broadest sense. Put another way: historical and ahistorical perspectives appear to collide in literary discourses of love. On the one hand, these discourses address love in its dependence on values, norms and conventions of different epochs; on the other – and if one follows Roland Barthes – they have established a universal language of love.
The following questions are of interest:
- What predestines the literary discourse for reflections on and representations of love?
- What is the function of the love theme or love motif in literary discourses?
- In what way is the literary thematization of love dependent on or independent from historical and cultural contexts?
- Do universal structures and methods exist in literary discourses of love? How do they connect with the universal structures of the love theme or love motif?
- How do literary-historical and epistemological self-reflections impact the universality and particularity of the problem presented?
- Has postmodern literature parted with traditional love concepts (e.g., romantic, platonic, conjugal love), or do these concepts undergo new interpretations?
- How has the literary love discourse changed under the influence of current ethical, philosophical, metaphysical, anthropological, biological, cognitivist, hermeneutic and other discourses?
- Is there a Eurocentric concept of love and if there is, can it be distinguished from other conceptualizations?

The working languages at the conference will be English. Colloquium presentations should not exceed twenty minutes. You are invited to send a paper proposal to Špela Virant and Andrea Leskovec (,
Please send the title of your presentation and a short abstract (250 words) until the 15.06.2015.
The extended conference contributions will be published in a special issue of Primerjalna književnost, our peer reviewed journal of comparative literature studies.

Quelle der BeschreibungInformation des Anbieters
VeranstaltungsortLjubljana, Slowenien
PersonName: Andrea Leskovec, Špela Virant 
Funktion: Organisation 
KontaktdatenName/Institution: Andrea Leskovec, Špela Virant, Faculty of Arts 
Strasse/Postfach: Aškerčeva 2 
Postleitzahl: 1000 
Stadt: Ljubljana 
Internetadresse: www.ff.uni-lj.s 
Ediert von  H-Germanistik
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