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(Trans)nationalism and (crossing) boundaries – from politic to poetics

CLASH 2018

Submission Date



Poznan, Poland


Since Linda Hutcheon’s seminal words “Let’s just say it. It’s over” referring to postmodernism, it is hardly possible to maintain the status quo of the main postmodern ideas (the negation of objectivity of the real world and truth, the rejection of grand narratives) and believe that they can still stimulate the development of humanities. The shock experienced due to the real threat of terrorism has forced many societies to reject the narration of the West as a place of success, affluence, and commonly shared satisfaction. The challenging of post-theories (postmodernism, postnationalism, postcolonialism) as the concepts incapable of dealing with the twenty-first-century problems has led to a turn towards neorealism (Toth 2010), new realism (Ferraris 2014) or metamodernism (Vermeulen, Akker 2010). Irrespective of the proposed terminology, all these new theories have two things in common: there is an observable partial return to the belief in the real world and grand narratives as well as a growing need for objective truth in times dominated by subjective information and fake-news. Open to discussion remains the question to what extent the noticeable in the last years return to great national narrations or the growing fear of other cultures may be read as a step back to national ideology, understood as an imagined community, popularised in 1980’s by Benedict Anderson.
The incommensurability of the traditional definition of national identity with the dynamically globalizing world has been already pointed out by Zygmunt Bauman in his Strangers at our Door (2016) or Przemysław Czapliński in Poruszona mapa (2016). Therefore, the question arises: is it possible to return to the nineteenth-century belief in objective truth and reality, do we need grand narratives back to revive our lost national identities, is there still a place for boundaries in the seemingly united Europe? Are we still forced to choose between a national and a universal character of phenomena, or is there any other or new way of approaching our objects of study? (Balcerzan 2015). The last but not least, what role should nowadays play humanities with regard to the observable changes? Being certain that the issue of identity oscillating between nationalism and transnationalism, and connected with the notion of a border call for immediate attention, we would like to propose a discussion on the possible meanings of the aforementioned ideas as visible in different disciplines of humanities –going from politics, through social sciences, linguistics, cultural studies, and to literary studies and theory of literature. We are waiting for proposals dealing with the following topics (but not limited to):
National, ethnic, cultural, religious identity
Migration and the image of immigrants in media, literature, culture, society
Diaspora and minorities
Creation and rejection of boundaries – real and imagined
Pro- and anti-immigration discourse
Migration or exile
Linguistic barriers of the migrants
Relations between language and identity
Language(s) of the borderland
The idea of national literature, borderland literature, literature as a way of transgressing borders
Travelling as a notion of crossing borders – travel as a trope, the travelling of motives, genres, literary and cultural influences
Centre vs. Periphery – colonization, post-colonization, de-colonization
National understanding of studies – Polish, English, Spanish, German etc. literary studies, schools, theories
Transnationalism in humanities
The question of borders in the disciplines of humanities, transdisciplinary studies
We are waiting for (300 words) abstracts for 20-minute presentations till 30 September 2018. Please send the abstracts to The proposal should include also a short information about the author: name, surname, affiliation, e-mail address. Abstracts are blind-peer reviewed.
The language of the conference: Polish and English.
Conference fee (covers the cost of conference materials, coffee breaks, planned dinner during the first day of the conference, publication):
300 zł – all other participants
150 zł – PhD and MA students
Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined communities. New York: Verso.
Anderson, Benedict. 1994. „Exodus”, Critical Inquiry. Vol. 20, N. 2., 314-327.
Balcerzan, Edward. 2015. „‘Narodowość’ poetyki – dylematy typologiczne”, Forum Poetyki, Jesień 2015, 6-17.
Bauman, Zygmunt. 2016. Obcy u Naszych Drzwi. Warszawa: PWN.
Czapliński, Przemysław. Poruszona Mapa. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie.
Ferraris, Maurizio. 2014. Manifesto of New Realism. Albany: Suny Press.
Toth, Josh. 2010. The Passing of Postmodernism. Abany: Suny Press.
Vermeulen Timotheus and Robin van den Akker. 2010. “Note on metamodernism”, Journal of Aesthetics and Culture Vol. 2, 2010, 1-12.