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(Archived) International Conference: The Short Story and Short Story Collection in the Modernist Period: Between Theory and Practice

Academia Belgica, Rome, Italy - 12-14 September 2013

Co-organisers: Universiteit Gent – Katholieke Universiteit Leuven – Università di Perugia

Keynote speakers:

  • Adrian Hunter (University of Stirling)

  • Christine Reynier (Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3)

  • Sergio Zatti (Università di Pisa)

The modernist period (1900-1940) is a time when the short story came into its own as an intricate, flexible and highly respected literary genre. Across Europe, writers experimented with the form in ways which have come to shape the short story until the present day. Within the changing publication contexts of the time, moreover, writers also devised new approaches to publish short stories together within a collection, sequence or cycle. In the first half of the twentieth century, finally, several writers and critics also sought to define the short story as a genre and to distinguish its characteristics from both earlier forms of shorter prose and from the novel.

This conference hopes to address all these different guises, debates and contexts of the short story in the modernist period, across different countries and literary traditions. Its primary aim is to reflect on the modern short story and short story collection from a theoretical perspective, but it also seeks to contextualise this theoretical approach through a number of case studies from different literary traditions. By bringing together scholars from these different traditions, the conference also aims to trace cross-references, intertextual links or general influences in a broader comparative perspective.

Proposals are invited for contributions which deal with any of the following: general theory of the modernist short story and the short story collection; relation between the short story and the short story collection in the modernist period; critical and theoretical approaches to the short story in the modernist period; diachronic aspects and relations between forms of short fiction or short story collection in the modernist period and previous and subsequent forms; relation between short story and editorial practices; specific stylistic properties, rhetorical aims or narrative structures of the short story in the modernist period. We further invite contributions on specific authors of short stories in the modernist period, with respect to the possible theoretical approaches listed above, and we also welcome papers with a comparative approach.

The conference is organised by the departments of literary studies of the universities of Ghent, Leuven and Perugia. It will take place in the Academia Belgica in Rome.

The languages of the conference are English and Italian. Papers with a theoretical focus should be presented in English; papers on single authors can be in English or in Italian (20 minutes’ delivery each).

Abstracts are welcome in English (and in Italian only for papers delivered in Italian)

Please submit proposals (max. 300 words) to: and by Sunday 31 March 2013.

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Title of paper and language of paper

  • Name, address and email of contributor

  • Abstract (300 words)

  • Short biography (5 lines) and most relevant bibliography of the contributor

  • OpenEdition Journals