The Linguistic Legacy in (Bulgarian) Literary Theory


The conference The Linguistic Legacy in (Bulgarian) Literary Theory will take place on 27-29 November 2014 in Sofia University, Sofia, Bulgaria. It is organized by the Sofia University Department of Literary Theory and the Department of Literary Theory at the Institute for Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. It is the third conference in a sequence which began with The Elusive Object of Literary Theory: the Invisible School of Miroslav Yanakiev, Nikola Georgiev and Radosvet Kolarov [November 2012] and Enlightenment versus Ideologeme (Tzvetan Stoyanov, Atanas Natev, Dimitar Avramov) [November 2013]. The ambition of the forthcoming gathering is to be the next step in the anamnesis and re-functionalization of key terms, concepts and thinkers in the field of literary theory both in Bulgaria, where it had a vital role to play, and elsewhere.
The conference sets as its task the foregrounding of the interactions between literary theory and linguistics and the (d)effects of the current separation between the two fields in order to throw new light on the role of generative figures like Ferdinand de Saussure and Gustave Guillaume, on the controversies surrounding the Russian formalists and Mikhail Bakhtin, on the seminal early work of Tzvetan Todorov and Julia Kristeva, on the multifarious influence of Yuri Lotman and the Tartu school, as well as the heterogeneous contribution of Bulgarian linguists (Georgi Gerdzhikov, Krasimir Manchev, Tzanko Mladenov, Yordan Penchev, Miroslav Yanakiev) to Bulgarian literary theory.
This specific perspective is expected to further the exploration carried out by the two previous forums and produce a more complex understanding of the theoretical context in the second half of the 20th century with a view to both the achievements of literary theory and the setbacks, criticisms  and blatant hostilities it has encountered. We believe that revisiting the political implications that literary theory used to have vis-à-vis ideological repression will bring into focus its potential for addressing the challenges that critical thinking faces today. Proposals for individual papers or panel discussions can be submitted at no later than 15.10.2014.

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