Subject: CFP: Literary
Experiments--Revised Conference Dates (8/15/09;
From: Christoph Zeller
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Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, March 26-28,
"Literary Experiments: Media | Art | Texts 1950-2010"
Experiments in art and literature surfaced as new ways of artistic
expression during a period of political restoration after World War
II. Reminiscent of historic avant-garde movements, writing shifted
from storytelling to depicting the very elements of writing itself.
Experimental practices in literature and art reached a peak when newly
developed technology (video, computers) and a variety of media (TV,
radio, performance, music, etc.) were converted into works of art
during the 1960s. As a result, the visual quality of poetry, the
textual structure of pictures, the performative aspects of letters,
the musical and rhythmic characteristics of words increasingly emerged
and allowed for new dimensions of aesthetic experience.
Alluding to Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, to French poets Mallarmé
and Apollinaire, to American writers Gertrude Stein and E. E. Cummings
and many others, new artistic movements developed around the globe at
nearly the same time and with similar intentions. Writers and artists
from Brazil, Japan, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, France, the
U.S., Austria, Switzerland, and Germany recognized their aesthetic
similarities during the late 1950s, created networks, and joined
forces. In particular, German and Austrian cities such as Stuttgart,
Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Cologne, Vienna, and Graz served as meeting
points and laboratories for aesthetic ideas. This conference will
focus on the sustaining impact of these centers and their artistic
protagonists. Works of art as well as correspondences, meetings,
exhibitions, festivals, and manifestos will serve as material for
scholarly investigations that will show the influence of visual and
concrete poetry, concept art, Nouveau Réalisme, Fluxus, and many
other neo-avangardist movements on literature and art until the
This conference will examine the international interaction of literary
experiments in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland:
- What are the transcultural features of artistic
movements during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s?
- What are the specific aesthetic attributes of
- Which intertextual/intermedial references dominate
their works of art?
- How do these movements define the experimental
status of their artworks?
- How does language serve as a link or a divider in
artworks of that time?
- What historical conditions led to the emergence of
neo-avant-garde movements and literary experiments?
- How did literary experiments change over time?
- What can be described as 'experimental' writing in
Furthermore, the conference will focus on inter- and transmedial
aspects of literary experiments:
- How does literature transform into other media,
other media into literature?
- Which non-literary artworks draw on literary
- Which literary structures are prevalent in
- How does language relate to the 'language' of
- How do techniques of collage and montage initiate
new genres in art and literature?
Papers should be geared towards these questions and discuss genres and
media with an experimental focus. Subjects may include (but are not
limited to) concrete and visual poetry, experimental prose and theater
plays, radio plays, video art, film, paintings, photography, graphic
design, typography, performance art, happening, dance, music, and
digital literature. Artistic movements include the Viennese and the
Stuttgart Group, Viennese Actionism, Lettrism, Spatialism, Nouveau
Realism, Fluxus, Noigandres, etc. Artists include A. + H. de Campos,
I. + P. Garnier, H. Kamimura, B. Grögerová, J. Hir_al, E.
Williams, J. Mac Low, W. Burroughs, F. O'Hara, E. Gomringer, E. Jandl,
F. Mayröcker, H. Heissenbüttel, R. Döhl, F. Mon, L. Harig, D.
Rot, D. Spoerri, H. C. Artmann, O. Wiener, E. Jelinek, H. Gappmayr, O.
Pastior, and other writers/artist of the present.
Paper proposals of no more than 300 words in English
or German and a short bio may be sent to Christoph
Deadline: August 15, 2009.
Selected papers are planned to be
Director of Graduate Studies
Dept. of Germanic & Slavic Languages
Vanderbilt University, Furman 011
Nashville, TN 37235-1567
615. 322 2821