Cannibal Modernisms

King’s College London Programme in Comparative Literature Annual Graduate Conference,Thursday November 7th and Friday November 8th, 2013

Keynote Speaker: Professor Xudong Zhang, Professor of East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature, New York University.

Cannibal Modernisms will be a two-day confernce exploring the metaphorical implications of cannibalism in relation to literature. Taking as a starting point  poet and polemicist Oswald de Andrade’s Manifesto Antropófago (1928), which uses the metaphor of cannibalism to describe Brazilian artists’ capacity to absorb and reconstruct a dominant European culture, we will expand the scope to encompass a wider investigation of cannibalism as a metaphor for literary practices. Literature as form is one that thrives on autophagy as a means of regeneration; in fact, we could say that literature has always had the capacity to imbibe, reinvent and “make new” even before the advent of modernism codified these terms in ways now familiar. Thinking about literature, and by extension, critique, through the lens of these cannibalistic tendencies offers an array of possible approaches, ranging from-literary, artistic, or theoretical cannibalism as a strategy of political resistance,  recuperation, devouring genres, the text as Corpus,  textual mutilation,  regurgitation and plagiarism, book materiality and decay,  mimicry, “trash” theory,  immanent or absorbed readings,   self-erasure and anonymity, allegories of the human,  the post-human and trans-human conditions, frontiers between self and other, any other topics or metaphors pertaining to theme.

If you would like to attend the conference, please email cannibalmodernisms@gmail.com to register a place, stating whether you would like to attend on one or both days.

Co-organisers: Jane Maxwell and Anne Mulhall

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