Conference Report "Genre and Interpretation"
The first workshop, "Reconsidering Genre Theory and Bakhtin", gave a theoretical background to genre by focussing on Mikhail Bakhtin's concepts, which have greatly influenced genre theory. The researchers in that workshop applied the Bakhtinian theory to a wide range of contexts. LAKSHMI BANDLAMUDI (City University of New York), for instance, tested in her talk "Timeless Philosophies and (Un)timely Interpretations: Bakhtin and Bhartrhari in the Internet Age" the capaciousness of the theories of Bakhtin and Sanskrit philosopher Bhartrhari within the context of the modern-day technological era. LEEORE SCHNAIRSOHN (Princeton University) analysed in his paper "The Poetic Address and the Loophole Addressee" poetry as dialogic discourse by focussing on Bakhtin's concepts of dialogue and loophole which he associated with Ossip Mandelstam's concept of the ideal reader and Paul Celan's idea of the poetic shape. In her paper "Bakhtin's Concept of Subjectivity in his Theory of the Novel and Its Roots in the German Aesthetics and Theory of the Novel" LIISA STEINBY (University of Turku) traced similarities between Bakhtinian subjectivity and Hegel's and Lukács's theories of the novel. Finding application in topics as diverse as German aesthetics and the contemporary internet age, this workshop successfully demonstrated the universal character of Bakhtin's theory and its potential for connections with other approaches. At the same time, further workshops took place which discussed topics such as science fiction and its sub-genres, the medieval Japanese Zuihitsu genre and – in Finnish language – the relationship of literary genres to reading.
At the same time, the relation between genre and narrative identities was discussed in the workshop "Interpreting Life-Stories – Narrative Identities Across Genres". NETTA NAKARI (University of Tampere) investigated the "Transformation of Passion: When Private Becomes Public in Annie Ernaux's Passion simple". She concentrated in her paper on Ernaux's autobiographical novel as an example of the relation of reality and fiction and its consequences for the blurring of the boundary between private and public text forms. Accordingly, Nakari illustrated that autobiographies can be considered a genre at the intersection of fact and fiction. TEEMU MANNINEN (University of Tampere) focussed on the genre of autobiography, as well, in a paper titled "Editing Genre. Interpretation and the Problem of Autobiography in Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella". A concurrent workshop shed light on "Satire, Manippean Satire and Polemics".
The workshop on travel writing was concerned with interpretative strategies specific to travel writing as well as with the defining expectations that are most typical for its distinct sub-genres. TINTTI KLAPURI (University of Turku) presented a paper on "Time and Genre in Anton Chekhov's Documentary Travelogue Sakhalin Island" that illustrated the special generic form of Chekhov's novel which blends scientific and literary discourses. She referred furthermore to the temporal arrangement of the novel and the crucial divide between the narrator's and the exiles' experience of time and place – an arguably central feature of exile literature. In a presentation on "Cold Journeys. Generic Features and Interpretive Analysis of the Arctic Travel Report Around 1900" KAI MARCEL SICKS (University of Giessen) examined Arctic travel reports and their generic rules. One of the main features he pointed to was the double contextualisation of these novels, which can, on the one hand, be considered within the context of other contemporaneous travel reports but, on the other hand, lend themselves to comparisons based on narrative similarities, e.g. novels of World War I. He concluded with the thesis that the strategy of double contextualisation could be a general means of travel writing interpretation. ELISA ANTZ (University of Giessen) analysed "Road Stories" as a typically American and transmedial genre. Defining the American highway as a chronotope in the Bakhtinian sense, she concluded that the generic aspect of chronotopes in Road Stories is closely connected to the structure of the romantic quest. In a talk titled "Travel Writing as Referential Discourse" KAI MIKKONEN (University of Helsinki) discussed the exchanges between and mutual influence of fiction and referential discourse which are relevant for the analysis of travel literature, stating that these exchanges destabilise the plausibility which accounts for the genre of travel writing. The workshop focussed on one main genre in particular and showed its various facets while at the same time keeping track of its common generic rules. Workshops running parallel to this focussed on "Layered Realism" and again on the novel in generic analysis and narrative identities across genres.
The conference was concluded by a keynote lecture by BO PETTERSSON (University of Helsinki). He discussed the relationship between genre and mimesis by referring to crucial issues that had been repeatedly touched upon over the course of the conference. Emphasising that genre and mimesis are rarely considered in conjunction, Pettersson simultaneously pointed out that literary work is partly defined by the way in which it makes use of mimesis. Pettersson furthermore stressed the ubiquity of mimesis throughout genres, stating that literature had always been anthropomorphising, which means that all fictional action presented or experienced is somehow related to human life. Referring to Brian McHale's lecture, Pettersson explained that science fiction could be regarded as both realist and mimetic. To make fiction believable, it has to be described in imaginative terms. According to Pettersson, realism can only become alive if it is depicted in an imaginative way. He concluded that the manifold relations between genre and mimesis must be studied in their respective contexts and illustrated how genres are based on multiple features, including the central touchstone of mimesis. By referring to several key topics discussed in the previous lectures and workshops, Pettersson provided an elegant conclusion to the entire conference.
Welcome Address: Pirjo Lyytikäinen (University of Helsinki)
Ansgar Nünning (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen): "Genre Theory Matters: Criteria for Defining Genres and a Typology of Historical Novels and other Narrative Genres"
Brian McHale (Ohio State University): "Science Fiction, or, the Most Typical Genre in World Literature"
Vera Nünning (Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg), "The Relevance of Generic Frames for the Interpretation of Novels"
Bo Pettersson (University of Helsinki): "Genre and Mimesis"
Workshop: Reconsidering Genre Theory and Bakhtin
Lakshmi Bandlamudi (City University of New York): "Timeless Philosophies and (Un)timely Interpretations: Bakhtin and Bhartrhari in the Internet Age"
Leeore Schnairsohn (Princeton University): "The Poetic Address and the Loophole Addressee"
Liisa Steinby (University of Turku): "Bakhtin’s Concept of Subjectivity in his Theory of the Novel and Its Roots in the German Aesthetics and Theory of the Novel"
Christian Pauls (Philipps-Universität Marburg): "'Re-draft Be Buggered, Leave as Printed' – Double-Voicing the Poet-Persona in Peter Reading's STET"
George Prokhorov (Kolomna State University): "'Journal of Writer' by F.M. Dostoevsky in The Context of M.M. Bakhtin's Theory of Novel"
Jorge Vaz de Carvalho (University of Lisbon): "The Bildungsroman and the Portuguese Novel. Jorge de Sena's Signs of Fire"
Edward Gieskes (University of South Carolina): "'To Pass the Flowing Stream of Acheron' – Thomas Kyd’s Spanish Tragedy and Generic Change"
Workshop: Mitä merkitystä genrellä on lukijalle?
Leena Kirstinä (Jyväskylän yliopisto): "Draaman narratiivisuuden luennasta ja tulkinnasta – esimerkkinä Hagar Olssonin näytelmä S.O.S. (1928)"
Irma Hirsjärvi (Jyväskylän yliopisto): "Kirjoittamisen ja lukemisen dialektinen suhde"
Kaisa Ahvenjärvi (Jyväskylän yliopisto): "Saamelainen kirjallisuus ja lukija"
Tuija Saresma (Jyväskylän yliopisto): "Haluava lukija ja genrerajat"
Puheenjohtaja: Leena Kirstinä (Jyväskylän yliopisto)
Jasmine Westerlund (Turun yliopisto): "Suomalaiset naistaiteilijaromaanit"
Urpo Kovala (Jyväskylän yliopisto): "Eettisen lukemisen kahdet kasvot"
Anne Riippa (Helsingin yliopisto/l’Université de la Sorbonne Nouvelle): "Albert Camus'n teoksen La Chute Raamattu-luenta"
Workshop: Interpreting Science Fiction and Its Subgenres
Bo Pettersson (University of Helsinki): "Presentation of session: Science Fiction and Genre"
Jari Käkelä (University of Helsinki): "Asimov's Pulp Science Fiction: Convention vs. Invention"
Mika Loponen (University of Helsinki): "The Rise of Post-Pulp: Jack Vance's Dying Earth Series"
Päivi Väätänen (University of Helsinki): "'We know more of what you're capable of than you do': The Alien Point of View in Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis Trilogy"
Workshop: Medieval Japanese Zuihitsu Genre. Thoughts Following the Brush
Miika Pölkki (University of Helsinki): "Formless Form as a Critique of Genre"
Miika Osamitsu (University of Helsinki): "Travel Poetry of Saigyô: Visiting the Buddhist Emptiness"
Aleksi Järvelä (University of Helsinki): "Antigenre and Textual Strategies"
Laeticia Söderman (University of Helsinki): "Religious Literature or Literate Religion: Two Ways of Reading Medieval Buddhist Jottings"
Workshop: Satire, Menippean Satire and Polemics/Satiiri, menippolainen satiiri ja polemiikki
Tiina Käkelä-Puumala (University of Helsinki): "Fake Value, Real Damage: Money and Satiric Subversion in William Gaddis’s J R and Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day"
Anna Hollsten (Helsingin yliopisto): "Parodia ekoretorisena keinona: Eeva Kilven 'Eeva nukkuu viimeistä yötään paratiisissa'"
Maria Laakso (Tampereen yliopisto): "Liikaviisas lyö rahoiksi: Pauli Kohelon Ohessa tilinumeroni satiirisen suomalaisen kansankuvauksen perinteessä"
Jussi Willman (Helsingin yliopisto): "Satiiri ja karnevaali Rabelais’n ja Fischartin teoksissa"
Workshop: The Novel in Generic Analysis
Aino Mäkikalli (University of Turku): "Defining the Novel Genre: Currie, Bakhtin, Lukács and the Temporality of the Novel"
Saija Isomaa (University of Helsinki): "Fowler’s Theory of Genres and Its Application in the Analysis of Finnish 19th Century Realistic Novels"
Hanna Mäkelä (University of Helsinki): "Gospel or Elegy? Narrative Selves and Others in Donna Tartt's The Secret History and Siri Hustvedt's What I Loved"
Robert Vogt (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen): "On the Wrong Track: Misinterpretation as a Textual Strategy"
Laura Lindstedt (University of Helsinki): "The Art of Rumination. Nathalie Sarraute’s You Don’t Love Yourself as a Mono-Dialogue"
Maria Lival-Lindström (Åbo Akademi): "Identifying the Female Bildungsroman"
Lieven Ameel (University of Helsinki): "Helsinki in Finnish Literature at the Turn of the 20th Century – Some Thoughts on Genre and the Imagined City"
Tuomas Juntunen (University of Helsinki): "Waiting for Nothing Significant. The Idea of the Tragic in the Era of Global Capitalism in Juha Seppälä's Novel Yhtiökumppanit"
Workshop: Interpreting Life-Stories – Narrative Identities Across Genres
Netta Nakari (University of Tampere): "Transformation of Passion: When Private Becomes Public in Annie Ernaux’s Passion simple"
Teemu Manninen (University of Tampere): "Editing Genre. Interpretation and the Problem of Autobiography in Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophil and Stella"
Heikki Kujansivu (University of Tampere): "Writing lives – On the Modes of Life Writing in Edmund White and Their Relation to the Construction of Identity"
Marja Rytkönen (University of Tampere): "Narrative Identities in Fiction and Non-Fiction. The Case of Liudmila Petrushevskaia"
Mikko Carlson (University of Turku): "Narrating Homosexual Self: Ethical and Political Potential of the Autobiographical Novels by Christer Kihlman and Hervé Guibert"
Workshop: Layered Realism
Angela Locatelli (Università degli studi di Bergamo): "'I Give You My Word': Tangible Images of Life in Literature"
Riikka Rossi (University of Helsinki): "Between Naturalism and Modernism: Knut Hamsun's The Hunger (1890)"
Merja Polvinen (University of Helsinki): "Fear and Scaffolding: Metafiction and Emotional Reflection in Dave Eggers’s A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius"
Workshop: Travel Writing
Tintti Klapuri (University of Turku): "Time and Genre in Anton Chekhov’s Documentary Travelogue Sakhalin Island"
Kai Marcel Sicks (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen): "Cold Journeys. Generic Features and Interpretive Analysis of the Arctic Travel Report Around 1900"
Elisa Antz (Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen): "Road Stories"
Kai Mikkonen (University of Helsinki): "Travel Writing as Referential Discourse"
© bei den Autorinnen und bei KULT_online/Fotos Laura H. Forsström