CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY IN LITERATURE AND FILM

16th – 18th MAY 2017 LEÓN (SPAIN)


CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY  IN LITERATURE AND FILM


Universidad de León (Spain)
16th – 18th  MAY   2017

Modernity is rooted in the success of capitalism and the rise of the middle class during the Industrial Revolution along with the advances in science and technology in the second half of the 19th century. This period brought about an unprecedented sense of optimism and confidence in the future. Scientific and technological innovations in physics, medicine, biology and social sciences led to a general faith in the individual’s capacity to generate social progress and develop solutions for society’s flaws. Simultaneously, different trains of thought, far from the optimistic view of practical realism, warned of the negative impact of the excesses of industrialization: poverty, crime, racism, clashes of values and social unrest on a grand scale permeated the overgrown, urban spaces that threatened the stability of the recently initiated Modern Era. Realism and Naturalism in the 19th and Modernism and Postmodernism in the 20th centuries depicted the hard lives of those common people that would never enjoy the rewards of industrial prosperity.
In the 21st century, global capitalism and the rampant sophistication in technology continue to conjure up the same expectations and fears of previous periods, taking us back to the dichotomies of the pre-modern decades. The abundance that comes from technological progress, along with the troubling growth of concentrated wealth and inequality, have led to an increase in social inequalities, horrific human rights abuses, wars and genocide, environmental disasters, international terrorism and all types of violence and abuses which are devastating the lives of millions of people.
This conference takes up the challenge to provide visions and critical examinations of the role of the new literary humanities in diagnosing the tectonic shift that threatens global human existence and the consequences of this threat for the future. Significant works of our century attempt to propagate the knowledge of a reality that remains outside the channels of mass communications, and is often censored by the mainstream media. We welcome papers that consider how literature and film are portraying and responding to the new forces—political, scientific, technological, etc.—that contribute to the perpetuation of crimes against humanity.

 A variety of perspectives will be welcome in this conference although we encourage taking a broad perspective instead of focusing on specific works.

Topics may include:

  1. Art as a means to propagate knowledge and understanding of the flow of global events.
  2. Cultural diversity and cultural dialogue in the arts
  3. The evolution of genres and subgenres dealing with social issues in both literature and film.
  4. The accommodation of detective fiction— and crime fiction in general—to the representation of the growing, transnational nature of globalized crime: drug trafficking, organ harvesting and human trafficking, smuggling of migrants, cybercrimes, environmental crimes, etc.
  5. In a world of instantaneity, the danger of forgetting and the role of literature and films as repositories of cultural memory.
  6. The ideological positions that artists take to evaluate specific social circumstances.
  7. The role of art and the danger of demonizing cultures, spaces and identities, social status, gender, migration, etc.
  8. How literature and films of the twenty-first century imagine alternatives to our most pressing social concerns.

ORGANIZATION

María José Álvarez Maurín

Directora

Dpto. Filología Moderna Universidad de León Tfno. +34 987291094

Email: mjalvm@unileon.es

Elena Bandín Fuertes

Secretaria

Dpto. de Filología Moderna Universidad de León

Email: elena.bandin@unileon.es

Miriam López Santos

Directora

Dpto. de Filología Hispánica y Clásica Universidad de León

Email: miriam.lopez@unileon.es

Carmen Pérez Díez

Secretaria

Dpto. de Filología Moderna Universidad de León

Email: mcperd@unileon.es

Silvia Ramos

Tesorera

Dpto. de Filología Moderna Universidad de León

Email: srams@unileon.es

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