World Literature Studies 1/2018 “Frontier Orientalism in Central and East European Literatures” – call for contributions

Editors: Charles Sabatos (, Yeditepe University, Istanbul; Róbert Gáfrik (, Institute of World Literature, Bratislava

The purpose of this issue of WLS will be to explore the phenomenon of frontier orientalism in the literatures of Central and Eastern Europe. We welcome contributions from literary historians and theorists, as well as those in related disciplines. Other than its obvious differences from Said’s colonizing Orientalism, how does frontier orientalism contribute to the formulation of “imagined communities,” both national and transnational, in the region? Submissions may cover any time period and all “borderland zones” between Europe and the East (primarily between the Habsburg and Ottoman empires, but including other imperial frontiers, i.e. Russian/Caucasian, as well.) We prefer that authors include some consideration of the term “frontier orientalism” as it has been developed in the articles below, or elsewhere.

We invite authors to send an abstract of around 250 words to the editors (both addresses above) by May 31, 2017. Authors will be notified about the acceptance of their abstracts by the end of June and final papers will be due by October 15, 2017.

Read more about the call here


Journal World Literature Studies 4/2016: Transcultural Icons of East-Central Europe


Cultural icons arise from symbolic practices and refer to widely circulating literary products or particularly visible artefacts of “high art” and popular culture. Iconicity possesses strong emotive potential as it relates to particular places, figures, actors, and the narratives consolidated within them. This issue traces the emergence, perpetuation, transposition, and mobility of cultural icons within the East-Central European artistic – and especially literary – field in an interdisciplinary frame of references and in an extended time period, spanning a mythical folkloric past to modernity and the most contemporary era.

International conference in Bratislava: Johan Huizinga and Central/East-Central Europe

huizingaInternational conference organized by Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Goethe Institut Bratislava, Ambassade van het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in Slowakije.

WHEN: Thursday 24th and Friday 25th November 2016
WHERE: Goethe Institut, Panenská 33, Bratislava
LANGUAGES: German and English




24th November 2016 (Thursday)
9.30 Opening by Richard van Rijssen, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Slovakia
9.45 Anton van der Lem (Leiden): Johan Huizinga and Europe
10.15 Wessel Krul (Groningen): Johan Huizinga on historical change
10.45 Annette Wunschel (Wien/Berlin): Mitteleuropa im Briefwechsel von J. Huizinga
Discussion, lunch
13.30 Thomas Macho (Wien): Huizingas Wien
14.00 Christian Krumm (Duisburg-Essen): Too close to be wrong. Too different to be accepted – Johan Huizinga and German science illustrated by the example of Oswald Spengler
Discussion, coffee break
15.00 Willem Otterspeer (Leiden): Johan Huizinga and Leo Spitzer: the notion of Stimmung revisited
15.30 Ivan Gerát (Bratislava): Johan Huizinga and Max Dvořák – key concepts of image interpretation around 1918

25th November 2016 (Friday)
9.30 Geertjan de Vugt (Amsterdam): Ludic warfare: Huizinga’s Auseinandersetzung with Carl Schmitt
10.00 Léon Hanssen (Tilburg): Johan Huizinga and Georg Lukács
11.00 Olga Sidorova (Ekaterinburg): Johan Huizinga and Yuri Lotman: typological convergence of ideas and approaches
11.30 Halina Mielicka-Pawłowska (Kielce): Entertainment in communist and postcommunist Poland
Discussion, lunch
13.30 Tamás Balogh (Budapest): “Cséˮ about “Eˮ
14.00 Wilken Engelbrecht (Olomouc): Johan Huizinga in Czechia
14.30 Adam Bžoch (Bratislava): Johan Huizinga in Slovakia
Discussion and closing statement

Huizinga Conference Programme (pdf)

New Volume of the World Literature Studies

2 Vol. 8 (25) 2016
Magic Realism in Central European Literatures


This issue maps possible filiations between magical realism and central European literatures. The authors of the issue focus predominantly on Slovak but also Hungarian, Czech, and Romanian literature. They try to encompass several sources of “magic realism” in the central European cultural milieu. Individual articles show that in addition to the influence of significant works of world literature classified within magic realism, local inspirations and own narrative traditions play an important role in the domestication of magic-realism strategies. It can thus be claimed that several original authorial, national or “areal” models of magic-realistic narratives have emerged in central Europe.


A Conference with Jay David Bolter: Interdisciplinary Play and Interplay in the Postdigital Age

The Institute of World Literature of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the Department of Philosophy and Applied Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Trnava invite you to the international conference

Interdisciplinary play and interplay in the postdigital age
October 5-6, 2016, Bratislava, Slovakia

Keynote speaker: Jay David Bolter (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)

In the Western civilization, there seems to be no doubt about the significance of modern technology in natural, technical, and empirical sciences. However, the potential of technology is also reflected in the humanities and social sciences, making these disciplines more flexible and able to syncretically merge various textual, visual, and auditory input, augmented or mixed reality. One of the few excellent examples of successfully combining these dimensions are the longstanding efforts, research and projects of Jay David Bolter (Turing’s Man, Writing Space, Remediation, co-creator of the program Storyspace).

On the other hand, the increasing focus on the importance of technology is often at the cost of adequate and consequential evaluation of its real potential, if not at the cost of precisely specifying the core of the humanities.

The conference Interdisciplinary Play and Interplay in the Postdigital Age will focus on play and interplay of modern technology in the arts, humanities, and natural and empirical sciences. Despite the obvious differences in methodology, there is a partial overlap. Just as air travel has diminished the distances between countries and cultures, the postdigital age is diminishing the distances between the humanities and natural sciences, between theory and practice, between individual disciplines and different media. In the natural sciences, the increasing volume of data and context complexity calls for ever more careful interpretation. On the other hand, the subject matter of the humanities – text, code, and other semiotic systems – has never been more suitable for analysis using exact methods and universal theories.
How is this new space reflected in contemporary humanities and non-humanities? How does technology change and restructure their frames of interpretation and methodology of knowing, acting, and creating? What are the new layers of interdisciplinary interplay?

In this context, the conference is open to contributions from a wide range of topics including:
• new media and augmented reality,
• multimodal literature, multimodal discourse,
• speculative realism, object oriented ontology,
• speculative aesthetics,
• visual versus visible/invisible,
• computer games,
• new anthropomorphism,
• transhumanism,
• digital humanities,
• interpreting digital data in research – bad interpretation, falsification
• new methods of medical diagnostics

Organizing committee:

Bogumiła Suwara Ph.D.
Jana Tomašovičová Ph.D.
Mariusz Pisarski Ph.D.
Krištof Anetta MSc.

The conference is organized and funded within the VEGA grant Hypermedia artifact in the postdigital age.

You can send the application form to until June 30, 2016. The organizers will contact you by July 15, informing you about whether your abstract was accepted and how to pay the conference fee. The main presenters will have 60 minutes for their presentation including discussion, the other presenters 30 minutes, poster presentations are limited to 4 minutes. Presentations in English, German, Polish, Czech, and Slovak are welcome. The conference fee is 50 €.

Download the application form here.

Postcolonial Europe? Essays on Post-Communist Literatures and Cultures

gafrik-post-europeThe collective monograph Postcolonial Europe? Essays on Post-Communist Literatures and Cultures analyzes post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe through the paradigm of postcoloniality. Based on the assumption that both Western and Soviet imperialism emerged from European modernity, the book is a contribution to the development of a global postcolonial discourse based on a more extensive and nuanced geohistorical comparativism. Together the studies map the rich terrain of contemporary East-Central European creative writing and visual art.

Call for Contribution for thematic issue: Magic Realism in Central European Literatures

Magic realism in literature is perceived as a movement, tendency or type of modern fiction of Latin American origin. Scholarly reflection of this complex phenomenon, variously represented in individual national literatures, agrees that it merges two ways of seeing and  depicting, two systems of representation: Enlightenment-rational („realist“) and supernatural-mythical („magic“).

This thematic issue of the journal WLS proposes to map possible affiliations with magic realism in Central European literatures. We are interested in scholarly recognition of the appropriation of significant works of world literature and in analyses of inspirations that rediscovered the „magical“ in narrative traditions of own literature, or induced the formation of idiosyncratic authorial, national or „area“ models of magic-realist narration.

for more information click here