Castaways. Discourses of Mastery and Alienation. 23-25 September 2019, Katowice

University of Silesia in Katowice
Faculty of Philology
Institute of English Cultures and Literatures

International Conference
23-25 September 2019, Katowice (Poland)
Castaways. Discourses of Mastery and Alienation


To celebrate the tercentenary of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, we invite propositions for cultural and literary reconsiderations of the themes set forth by the novel which, in a number of ways, both influenced and distorted Western perspectives on the issues of colonization, cultural encounters, environment, empowerment, and lack thereof. More specifically, we propose a rethinking of the theme of the castaway and of, related to it, ideas of alienation and mastery. Defoe’s novel may be a starting point for such considerations, but we also invite proposals that seek to explore the conference’s issues across time from a wide array of perspectives: literary, cultural, sociological and historical. Likewise, the conference opens its space to the approaches `ranging from those exploring cultural and literary perspectives of the past as well as those exploring the issues in contemporary texts and contexts. These may include:

  • imagined islands, imagined cartographies
  • insular discourses of the past of the present
  • insular utopias, ecotopias, dystopias
  • Crusoe / castaway and the Anthropocene
  • cultural roles of castaways and of migrants
  • cultural emigration and discourses of migration
  • literary and cultural discourses of power and mastery
  • discourses of environmental contamination and reformulation
  • alienation and abandonment in literary and cultural discourses
  • isolation, alienation and the spirit of individualism
  • charms and ravages of solitude
  • Robinson Crusoe and beyond. The West and Westernization
  • Robinson Crusoe. Non-western interpretations and revisions
  • the Robinson trilogy (The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Serious Reflections During the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe: With his Vision of the Angelick World): translation, circulation and reception
  • Robinson Crusoe re-written: post 18th-century literary transformations
  • Robinson Crusoe re-made: adaptations (film, games, comics, etc.)
  • Robinson Crusoe re-read: new interpretations and theoretical reflections
  • the Robinsonade

Proposals for papers (of approximately 250 words) should be submitted to Ten adres pocztowy jest chroniony przed spamowaniem. Aby go zobaczyć, konieczne jest włączenie obsługi JavaScript. by 31 March 2019. All proposals will be peer reviewed, and notifications of acceptance will be sent out by 30 April 2019. A selection of papers will be published in a prestigious publishing house or literary journal.

Further details will be provided at a later date and published on the Conference website as soon as they are available.

Organising Commitee:
Prof. dr hab. Ewa Borkowska (Chair)
Dr hab. Agnieszka Adamowicz-Pośpiech
Dr hab. Rafał Borysławski
Dr Tomasz Burzyński
Dr hab. Sławomir Masłoń
Dr hab. Małgorzata Nitka

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