Literary Imaginary and the Poetics of Truth
An Academic Conference presented by the Arizona State University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Project Humanities, Babeş-Bolyai University and RCINY
Continuing and enlarging the academic collaboration supported by RCINY, this conference will bring together at Arizona State University six reputed academics from Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Corin Braga, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Stefan Borbely, Doru Pop, Cornel Vilcu and Horea Poenar will join ASU Professor Ileana Orlich to explore different approaches to the specific competences of Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies today.
Presiding: Ruxandra Cesereanu, Babeş-Bolyai University; Ileana Orlich, Arizona State University
Speakers: Corin Braga, Ruxandra Cesereanu, Ştefan Borbely, Doru Pop, Cornel Vilcu and Horea Poenar, Babeş-Bolyai University
What might be the specific competences of Comparative Literature (Comparatism) today? Comparatism’s distinctive features are encapsulated in the defining condition of “travel and research.” Cognitive and epistemological journeys have an unquestionable advantage, which resides in manifold points of reference, comparisons, translational perspectives and methodologies, shifting and replenishing ideas, and broad overviews.
The scope and competences specific to Comparative Literature encompass the connections, relationships and influences among and between cultures, epochs, literary trends and genres, and areas of study. If in its original form this philological field had a rather narrow and factual dimension and context, focusing on the study of actual influences (translations, imitations, imports of themes and forms, etc.), its current definitions show that Comparative Literature has acquired an altogether different dimension, by adding typological to genealogical studies and a new mode of circulation that engages not only the elliptical space created between the source and its receiving cultures but also a global perspective. This means that the goal of Comparatism is to research and identify the invariants, in other words, the cultural archetypes, myths, themes, symbols, recurrent characters and spaces which pass from one culture to another and whose existence transcends the limiting boundaries of an epoch or study area.
Modernity’s purist obsession, its desire to isolate social, psychological, historical, or aesthetic “specificities,” permitted only a configuration of structures within a specialized field, possibly allowing for the construction of bridges and walkways to adjacent areas. Today Comparatism proposes to devise ingenious and challenging structures that bring together traditionally separate academic disciplines (mythology and the history of religions, classical and medieval studies, history, sociology and psychology, varied periods of literary history, etc.). Moreover, Comparatism relies on heterogeneous sources, of various types and functions, in a rapidly changing world. In this fascinating mix of possibilities and options lies the multi- and trans-disciplinary shaping force of Comparative Literature.
(Corin Braga, Comparative Literature and its competences: A Rationale)
Videos from the Conference:
Doru Pop, "Reading Literature through Cinematic Devices: Peter Esterhazy's 'She Loves Me'"
Thursday, February 16, 2012: Noon-1:15 p.m.
Guest speaker Doru Pop is an associate professor in the Faculty of Theater and Television at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania.
Horia Poenar, The Life of Fiction: Hemingway's Literary Continuity
Friday, February 27, 2012: Noon-2 p.m.
Guest speaker Horia-Favius Poenar is a lecturer in the Department of World and Comparative Literature at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj, Romania.