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Longing and Belonging

Longing and Belonging

The 6th Biennial Congress of the European Network for Comparative Literature Studies (ENCLS) 'Longing & Belonging' will take place in Dublin City University and NUI Galway from Monday 24th until Friday 28th August.

Two hundred and fifty speakers from 41 countries will attend the bi coastal event to explore the theme of 'Longing & Belonging'. The notion of belonging has often been examined from the perspective of location and of the politics of relations to space and culture. Literary studies have helped map out and interrogate the representations of topographical belonging, creating new possibilities for interpreting individual and collective images.

The congress provides a European forum for interdisciplinary dialogues about culture, literature and literary studies and to facilitate exchanges of ideas and information among scholars and organisations committed to the study of general and comparative literature, promoting international collaborative research and teaching, generating relevant debates through publications and international conferences, enabling the circulation of students and staff, and generally supporting and internationalising the work of regional, national, cross-national association.

Identities are constructed and contested in a wide variety of contexts. Distinctions between identities, whether cultural or gendered, relate to a sense of belonging to a powerful centre vs an opposite periphery or minority. These distinctions can either strengthen or undermine the perceptions of individuals and groups. Authors and artists have often disrupted claims of cultural or national superiority when grounded in political, racial or geographical specificity. Identities can be refined or transformed across time and space by both global and local events. However, as different literatures have revealed, after a sense of liberation from monolithic political systems, nostalgia can occasionally set in, ideologies having shaped conceptions of self and community. Longing for an idealised past can prove as painful as longing for a promised land, and artists may find themselves in sublimated exilic states while seeking either a new home and new identity or a way to come home to a former identity.

The notions of longing and belonging lend themselves to a comparative exploration through different disciplines, such as: Geocriticism, Diaspora Studies, Migration Studies, Imagology, Myth- and Folklore criticism, (Post-) Colonial Studies; Sexuality Studies, Women’s Studies, Gender Studies, Masculinity Studies; Ekphrasis, Adaptation Studies, Intermedial Studies, Reception and Reader-response Theory, Children Literature; Literature and Anthropology, Literature and Science, Literature and Psychology, Literature and Philosophy, Ethics in/and Literature.

To register for this event, visit encls2015.wordpress.com

The congress is organised by DCU's School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies (SALIS) which has an excellent international reputation in the field of comparative literature and in developing the critical and analytical skills necessary for a full understanding of cultural diversity and intercultural contact.

Whilst comparative literature degrees have been offered all over the world since the late 19th century, DCU was the first Irish university to offer such a degree, through their MA programme. Graduates in arts and humanities subjects now have the opportunity to combine their chosen disciplines in their postgraduate studies. To find out more about the MA in Comparative Literature, visit here.


17th August, 2015
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