Anti- and Neo-Realism in 20th Century
Project of a Workshop for the AILC-Conference 2003 in
Call for Papers
Since the end of Realism/Naturalism and the triumph of Symbolism the literatures and
arts of Modernism followed an aesthetics and poetics of anti-realism. Of course, there
were many counter-movements and diverse attempts to unite Symbolism and Naturalism (e.g.
Joyce) but the official discourse of the larger part of the 20th century was
clearly dominated by an aesthetics which decried »mimesis« and pleaded for
»abstraction«, »expression«, »surrealism«, »experiment«, or even for a radical
»linguistic turn« (or for »concrete art« respectively). More recently, structuralist
and poststructuralist philosophers and their followers have likewise decreed a »crisis«
(or even the sheer impossibility) of »representation«.
From the end of the 80s, however, one notes in literary texts (esp. in American,
African, European and Asian novels) and in criticism (gender studies, new historicism,
cultural studies) a new (renewed?) interest in realism, representation, social and
cultural contexts and in »littérature engagée«.
The workshop will be open to all questions which concern this struggle between anti-
and neo-realists which has been so crucial for the literatures and arts of the 20th
century. Issues which may be considered include, but are not limited to:
1. An Archaeology of 20th Century Anti-Realism
2. The Ideology of Anti-Realism
3. Neo-Realistic Literature
4. The Ideology of Neo-Realism
5. Alternatives and New Critical Concepts
Those who are interested in participating in the workshop should send a 100-word
abstract to one of the organisers.
Presentations can be given in English or French and should not exceed 20 minutes. The
deadline for proposals is January 31, 2003.