Literary Scholars Meet at an International Grand Forum in Tartu
On 23–25 September, the 10th international conference of the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature, titled "National Literature and Comparative Literary Research", shall be held at the Tartu Literature House (Vanemuise 19). Among the issues discussed at the conference is the question of national literature, more specifically, extending the significance of national literature and its research into the international consciousness in order to prevent it from remaining a nation’s “internal matter”.
“The conference affirms the prominence of our university’s comparative and world literature scholars and presents the University of Tartu as a centre of literary research in Eastern Europe, Europe and the world,” said Professor Jüri Talvet, the head of the conference and the Professor of World Literature at the University of Tartu.
The conference stresses the need for broadening the research of comparative literature in universities around the world, promotes overcoming fragmentation in the research of national literatures i.e. studying literary phenomena in an international context, understanding the creative process as well as recognising it as a key factor in inter-cultural and societal intellectual communication. “However difficult these goals might be to achieve, the conference shall encourage literary scholars to continue,” said Talvet.
At the opening of the conference, on 23 September at 8 PM, the newest issue of Interlitteraria (18/1, 2013), the international magazine of the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature, shall be presented at the University of Tartu History Museum. The magazine contains articles on the presentations of the conference.
On September 24 at 4 PM (at the Tartu Literature House), the brand new Estonian volume of the English language anthology of new Baltic poetry, Contemporary Estonian Poetry. A Baltic Anthology (University of New Orleans Press, 2013), shall be presented. The editor of the anthology, the American-Latvian poet and artist Inara Cedrins, will give a speech. The poets represented in the anthology have been asked to recite their creations.
35 literary scholars from all over the world shall take port in the Grand Forum. In addition to a dozen Estonian literary scholars, researchers from Slovakia, Portugal, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Germany, China, Morocco, Luxembourg, England and Poland will give lectures at the conference.
The conference has been organised biennially since 1995; thus, literary scholars have met in Tartu for 20 years already. The main working language of the conference is English; however, some of the speeches are in French, German and Spanish.
Additional information: Jüri Talvet, Professor of World Literature at the University of Tartu, tel.: 737 5350, 555 68050, e-mail: juri.talvet [ät] ut.ee.