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Dear colleagues,

This conference is jointly organized by the Department of Theory of Literature at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and the Department of Literary Theory at the Institute of Literature, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

Dates: November 12-13, 2023.

Place: New Conference Hall, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”.

To make a paper proposal, the following shall be required: title, abstract of up to 1800 signs in Bulgarian and in English.

Time: 20 min.

Deadline for submission of proposals and abstracts: 30.09.2023

Email for submission of proposals and abstracts: theory.lit@gmail.com


The place of literature in modern society is subject to debate, although it is clear that in its coexistence with new media such as cinema and video games, literature shall inevitably lose some of its social roles. But in losing something, will it not gain something else? What is the fate of eloquence today? Sociologically speaking, what are the advantages and disadvantages of being well informed about literary classics? And on the other hand, how is the literary canon altered and do we not throw out some rhetorical genres out of it and to the field of the paraliterary – such documents as letters and diaries for example?

The importance of the specific of historical writing in Modernity is great for the modern imagination in general. This writing of history was in constant exchange with the historical novel. Another important area for this conference is that of science fiction and fantasy genres. How does the genre of alternate history relate to historical narrative? With the rise of microhistory, the focus of historical interest changed, and this further questioned the boundaries between literature and history.

There are scholars who would dedicate their efforts to the question of the sources of the literary rather than to its present and future incarnations. Having that in mind, we plan to propose a main character (conceptual persona) of the project of this conference. This is the famous philologist Erich Auerbach, who designates the low preaching style (sermo humilis) as the main source of literary discourse. Through translating and loaning word colocations from this Latin style of speech, literary prose arose. However, it also has many other paraliterary sources. Such a source, for example, are the daily newspapers of the British Enlightenment with regard to the British Enlightenment novel.

Other opportunities for interpreting the conference title are the intersections between literature and folklore, literature and popular music, literature and philosophy; the particular borderline place of some genres in relation to literature, such as that of the Socratic dialogue, highlighted by Mikhail Bakhtin; and many others.



• Literature and other media: social networks, video games, popular music, cinema, comics.

• Paraliterary genres: letters, diaries, biographies, autobiographies, memoirs.

• Autofiction and autobiographical metafiction.

• Alternate history and historical novel.

• Transposition of culture of humor and popular culture into literature.

• Genres beyond the canon: science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thriller, detective novels.

• Canonical/fluid boundaries between literature and paraliterature.