Language, Literature, Alternatives

Language, Literature, Alternatives 2021


On behalf of the LLA Organising Committee, it is our pleasure to send you the Call for Papers containing information on the forthcoming international interdisciplinary conference Language, Literature, Alternatives, organized by the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš, which will be held on April 15 and 16, 2021.

We are repeating the Call, already sent in 2019, for the conference that was supposed to take place in April 2020. The situation with the covid-19 pandemic left us then with no alternatives, so the planned conference had to be postponed. However, we rose to the challenge of continuing the tradition of our conferences with the general title Language, Literature,…, so the 2021 event, completely in accordance with its title Language, Literature, Alternatives will have a different, alternative format, and will be organized as an online conference.

For over a decade, our conferences under the encompassing title Language, Literature,... focused not only on the topics that are relevant for linguistic and literary studies, such as meaning, discourse, time, space, theory and context, but also on the socially significant phenomena such as politics, globalization, identity, changes, communication, values and marginalization. Although the conferences have always been thematically coherent, this never meant the uniformity of theoretical and methodological approaches; on the contrary, the aim was to view the given topics from many different, alternative perspectives. In an attempt to support such alternative perspectives, which, especially after experiencing the reactions to the covid-19 phenomenon, have become particularly relevant and vitally necessary, the topic of our conference remains Language, Literature, Alternatives.

In her essay Poetry and Commitment, the poet Adrienne Rich celebrates the power of poetic imagination to open up different vistas: “The imagination’s roads open before us, giving the lie to that slammed and bolted door, that razor-wired fence, that brute dictum ‘There is no alternative’.” Imagination, creativity and the search for alternatives are certainly not only the characteristics of poetry, but of literature in general, as well as of science. In sciences, and in social sciences and humanities in particular, there are paradigm changes, a more or less radical turns, ’pendulum swings’ from the formal and abstract approaches towards the more functional ones, more context dependent or with a broader and more critical social orientation. As the possibility of choice among alternative forms of expression is more than a mere matter of style, so is the possibility of alternative approaches to a linguistic or a literary phenomenon a necessity that provides the better quality of insights. And, as Theodor Adorno says in the collection of essays Minima Moraila: “Quality is decided by the depth at which the work incorporates the alternatives within itself, and so masters them.“

The aim of the conference Language, Literature, Alternatives is to explore and discuss the relationship between language, literature and alternatives within their contexts. This can include the critical examining of various alternative theoretical and methodological approaches in linguistics, literary theory and culture studies, the alternatives that literary works offer to the dominant ideological views of the world, alternatives to literary and language cannons, analyses of alternative literary forms or language constructions, as well as other topics dealing with alternatives in the given disciplines.

The online format of the 2021 conference means that the participants will record their 15-minute presentations, and all the recordings will be available at the conference website starting from April 10, 2021. The conference itself will be held as a video conference, where the participants will give a brief 5-minute summary of their presentation, with the 60-minute discussion per session. The detailed technical guidelines regarding this aspect of the conference will be sent by mid-February, to the colleagues whose abstracts get accepted.

Conference languages are English and Serbian.

We are looking forward to welcoming you in Niš, virtually!

With best regards,

Language, Literature, Alternatives Conference Organising Committee