“Kafka at 125” - An International Scholarly Conference in the Research
Triangle of North Carolina, April 3-4, 2009
Keynote Speakers: Roland Reuss, Ritchie Robertson, Walter Sokel, John Zilkoski.
A hundred years after the beginning of Kafka’s literary career, the concerns of a new century call for a fresh look not only at what Kafka has meant to the past ten decades but also at what challenges his writings offer to the decades ahead. We seek papers that address the following questions:
· What have we learned about the context surrounding Kafka’s literary production, and what more can we hope to learn? How does understanding that context affect how we read his stories?
· What are the consequences of new critical editions that offer the general reader unprecedented access to Kafka’s works in their original manuscript form?
· How does our view of Kafka change in response to changes in the priorities and fashions of literary scholarship?
· What are the elements in Kafka’s fiction that are likely to find resonance in the altered historical context of a new millennium?
· How do we compose a complete and coherent account of a personality with so many often contradictory aspects: the writer, the Bohemian Jew, the bachelor son, the would-be celibate, the lover of many women, the lawyer, the frustrated bureaucrat, the successful business executive, the German, the Austrian, the Czech, and the failed novelist who is perhaps the most influential novelist of the twentieth century?
Those wishing to participate in the conference should submit two-page summaries (500 words) of their proposed papers by Aug 15 2008 to Clayton Koelb ([log in to unmask]). Selections will be made and participants informed by Oct 1.
The conference organizers (Ruth Gross, Clayton Koelb, James Rolleston) expect to publish selected papers from the conference in an anthology. The keynote addresses will anchor the volume.