International Comparative Conference: National and Postnational Frameworks in European Literature

International Comparative Conference (JPG)Czech and Slovak Association of Comparative Literature and Institute of World Literature SAS invite you to the international comparative conference entitled National and Postnational Frameworks in European Literature.

WHEN: Wednesday 12th – Thursday 13th February 2020

WHERE: Institute of World Literature
Dúbravská cesta 9, Bratislava

Program of the conference: Conference program

The relationship between the national and postnational frameworks in literature and in the formation of identities is one of the key aspects of our times. It is a relationship formed in multi-dimensional socio-political, literary and wider cultural processes. In many areas, these two frameworks come into opposition, although they do not necessarily have to. Shifting the emphasis from the national to the postnational or even the global in culture, seems to copy globalization trends in the economy, where national economies combine into larger units and global networks. Political projects also contribute to the formation of postnational identities, where political power is transferred to transnational bodies. Under the influence of Europe’s political unification over the past decades, some intellectuals have sought to provide a rationale for this project in the field of culture.

Since the 1970s, the discourse about European identity has intensified and at the same time individual national and regional identities have been strengthened. The lack of or the inability to fully embody a European identity is often seen as one of the main obstacles to deeper integration. However, despite symbols such as the common European flag, anthem, etc., many view this concept as questionable or problematic. The German philosopher Jürgen Habermas conceptualized the European Union as a space transcending ethnic identities and characterized it as a postnational constellation. However, in the structures of the European Union, apart from the European Parliament, there are also individual national parliaments. Emphasis is placed on equal communication among all. The European Union is therefore a constellation allowing the co-existence of transnational and national integration principles. These socio-political transformations are variously received in art and literature.

The aim of the conference will be to explore how to think about the national and the postnational in literature and how postnational identities are reflected and constructed in European literatures.