Sense, Sensibility, and Sensation

Call for Papers

Sense, Sensibility, and Sensation

Szczyrk, May 19-22 2010

The conference is devoted to the category of sensation, which appears in English literature in the second half of the nineteenth century as a form of counter-culture movement directed against the obtaining and commonly accepted realistic conventions in fiction. Our considerations will chiefly concern the specific qualities of sensationalist fictions (conceived as a progeny of Gothic/terror/romantic fiction and a precursor of the detective genre), its generic variants and representatives (individual works and authors), and its subsequent permutations (including e.g., horror/suspense in fiction and film). One of the major cultural connotations of sensationalism to take into account is the problematic connection between late-Victorian “low” sensationalism and eighteenth-century “high” sentimentalism and sensibility (coded as noble openness to sense impressions). The phenomenon of sensational fiction became, in the context of its emergence in the nineteenth century, a pretext to debate the relation, not only between low and high culture, but also between the senses and the intellect. Warmly invited are also contributions that will tackle the connections (but also discontinuities and oppositions) between the philosophically forged meanings of the key terms (e.g., the Lockean definition of sensation) and those new meanings which they acquired (also, have acquired very recently) when employed to describe and critique issues of literary practice and literary theory.

Conference organised by

Małgorzata Nitka
Jacek Mydla

with the help of

Karolina Lebek
Mirosław Droń

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Wydział Filologiczny Uniwersytetu Śląskiego w Katowicach
ul. Gen. S. Grota-Roweckiego 5
41-205 Sosnowiec