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NEWstories: Shades of hope in 20th- and 21st-century literature

Date: 07.03.2020
Place: JU Institute of English Studies, al. Mickiewicza 9b
Organiser: JU Institute of English Studies
NEWstories: Shades of hope in 20th- and 21st-century literature

The 2nd NEWstories Conference aims to bring together both undergraduate and postgraduate literary scholars to share their experience and research results on all aspects of hope in 20th- and 21st-century literature.

Participants are invited to present papers on historical representations of hope and ways of kindling it as well as to discuss what we currently hope for and how we envision it. Having debated on crisis during the 1st NEWstories conference, the organisers are now shifting the focus to the opposite and, following Anne Frank, no longer want to “think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains”. Having observed that the 20th- and 21st-century literature encompasses various problematic issues – concerning identity, migration or apocalypse, to name but a few – it is interesting to look at the other side of the coin:
how people manage to endure the difficult times, how they tackle obstacles, and what they wish for the future. Interested not only in prose but also in drama and poetry, the organisers are seeking to discuss where writers find hope and how they make the way for it in their works. Of equal importance is readers’ response and the question of ways in which literature can be a source of hope.

The scope of interest of the conference ranges from the analyses of 20th-century literature concerned with searching for hope during the two World Wars, the Great Depression and other historical circumstances to examinations of hope in contemporary literature revolving around economy, ecology, globalization, etc. Besides, the metafictional perspective envisioning hope for narrative, authorship and form will be welcomed.

The abstract submission deadline is 17 January 2020. For more information for prospective participants, visit the conference website.

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