Current Position :Home > News > Conference > CALL FOR PAPERS ICLA 2016 Association Internationale de Litt¨¦rature Compar¨¦e/ International Comparative Literature Association XXIst Congress, July 21 ¨C July 27, 2016 University of Vienna, Austria

CALL FOR PAPERS ICLA 2016 Association Internationale de Litt¨¦rature Compar¨¦e/ International Comparative Literature Association XXIst Congress, July 21 ¨C July 27, 2016 University of Vienna, Austria


The many languages of comparative literature

The comparison of literary texts from different cultural spheres and in different languages was at the origin of comparative literature. Even after comparatist paradigms have changed and developed, and after comparative criticism has expanded considerably, the crossing of borders between languages is still essential to the discipline.

For the first time, the theme of a congress organized by the International Comparative Literature Association will be "language" – language in all its meanings and embedded in various contexts: as a "national" idiom, the basis of literary texts: as source-language and target-language in literary translation: as the set of languages forming "world literature" in its literary manifestation (and as the canon of languages that "world literature" is actually concentrating on). And language – both written and spoken – is not just the self-evident medium of all the objects of comparative literature, but also the indispensable meta-language of scientific discourse and literary terminology. The multilingualism of comparative literature is both a challenge and an opportunity: from its beginnings, the polymorphous diversity of world literature has constituted the attraction and wider reach of comparatist reading; on the other hand, even the most accomplished polyglot comparatist can master only a relatively small range of languages. This fact conditions the discourse more than might be apparent in a scholarly culture increasingly influenced by the English language.

The congress will also focus on language in its broadest sense: the usage of language by social and ethnic groups as vectors of literature, the language of themes and discourses, language as a literary subject, language as the expression of central problems and ideas negotiated in the various literatures of the world, and even in its metaphorical sense, as "languages" of styles and forms. As an infinite code with constant need for decryption, the international sign system of literature perpetually reproduces the myth of the confusion of tongues and sets new tasks to multilingual humanity in coming to terms with literature and its criticism.




The arts as universal code

Languages of form and genre
Languages of style
Language in the 2nd degree – quotation, intertextuality and metareference
Comparing the arts: art as a universal language
Language and literature – general semiotics
Different media, different expressions


Language – The essence of world literature

The Tower of Babel: myths about language
Languages as a literary topic
Languages of the world – languages of world literature – world language?
Nation and language
"Translational" literature
"Major" vs. "minor" languages
The comparison of languages – one origin of literary comparatism
Expressing regionalism
The language of power – the language of resistance
Literary translation: histories, methods, markets


Many cultures, many idioms

Language and culture
Cultural images and their linguistic representation
The language of the "others"
Language and identity
Multilingualism as a traditional phenomenon
Multilingualism as a contemporary phenomenon
Multilingualism – problem or opportunity
Who is speaking? Comparatism and the social sciences
Hybridity and comparatism
Crossing cultural borders


The language of thematics

How to speak about themes? Terminology of Thematics
Meaning – interpreting texts in a comparatist framework
The renaissance of metaphor studies
Language of the sexes – languages of gender
The languages of emotion
The language of concern – international ecocriticism


Comparatists at work – professional communication

The knowledge of literary criticism and its various codes
The evaluation of literature – the language of criticism
Comparatism as a verbal procedure – how to compare with words?
Speaking about: The metadiscourse of literary historiography
Digital humanities
Analytical philosophy and logic in the critical discourse
Spoken and written discourse
The multilingual library of comparative literature
The comparatist’s dictionary: International terminology



Individual proposals may be submitted for congress sessions (one session = 3 papers = 90 min.).

All the topics presented above may be considered as suggestions for further elaboration. Congress sessions will be organized according to the number and variety of proposals. In general, two types of proposals are possible:

1) individual proposals for papers to be presented in congress sessions,

2) proposals to organize group sections.

1) Individual proposals may be submitted for congress sessions. They will be assessed by an international committee and, if accepted, assigned to a particular congress session.

2) Individuals may also submit proposals for group sections (such as seminars, workshops, round tables). If the group section is accepted, the group section applicant will independently invite individuals to submit proposals and participate in these group sections. Group section applicants will chair their respective groups. Large group sections may require several meetings, scheduled by the congress organization, possibly on different days.

Individual proposal submission due (congress sessions):    August 31, 2015
Acceptance notice due: December 31, 2015
Group section proposal submission due: May 31, 2015
Group section acceptance notice due: June 30, 2015
Individual proposal submission due (group sections) August 31, 2015
Acceptance notice due:    December 31, 2015

Proposals must be written in English, German, or French.

Please submit your proposals online via the ICLA 2016 website



ICLA fees:    
Early bird fee 170 € until February 29, 2016
Regular fee 190 € until May 31, 2016
Early bird fee student 65 € until February 29, 2016
Regular fee student 95 €   until May 31, 2016
On-site registration 200 €  
On-site student fee 100 €  
Accompanying person 100 €  

Please register online via the registration form on the website

Registration will be open from June 1, 2015 until May 31, 2016. All registrations made after this point will be considered on-site registrations.

Due to the significant currency fluctuations in the past year, congress fees must be paid in Euros. We would like to draw your attention to the currently favourable exchange rate of the US dollar.

Registered participants may take part in the complete ICLA 2016 scientific programme. Official congress languages are English, French, and German.



The congress will take place in the Main Building or nearby buildings of Vienna University. The registration and information desk will be situated in the entrance hall of the Main Building, which is also the location for coffee breaks.


[email protected]

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