Writing Literary Worlds in a Foreign Language, seminar on 24 September 2021

Programme published

Writing Literary Worlds in a Foreign Language, seminar on 24 September, 2021, 9 am to 6 pm

Participation in the seminar

(CfP: click here)

Morning presentations (9.00-12.30) can only be followed via Zoom.
Afternoon presentations (14.00-18.00) can either be followed on site (in praesentia) at Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40, 3rd floor) - lecture hall 6, or via Zoom.

However, the number of participants in Metsätalo is limited.

Attendees are requested to register by 21 September 2021 via the following e-form: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/113328/lomake.html or by sending a message to <enrico.garavelli@helsinki.fi>.

Registered participants will receive a Zoom link and a password on September 23, 2021.  

Programme of the seminar

Call for Papers


- Zu dir, zu dir, gunàika,
Vo cercando il mio ben,
En la isla de Jamaica,
Du soir jusqu’au matin!
(Italo Calvino, Il barone rampante)

Why do writers decide at some point of their life, more or less freely, to use a language other than their own as a tool for their art? How do they hybridize their own native language using different languages, dialects, dead or artificial languages, in the most varied way, from code mixing to pastiche? What are the challenges literary multilingualism poses for translators?

One of the research group CoCoLaC's aims is to compare different languages and cultures from a contrastive perspective: comparing structures, discursive strategies, rhetorical styles, ways of representing the world, narratives.

The CoCoLaC group will organize a seminar on the theme Writing Literary Worlds in a Foreign Language on 24 September 2021.

Our seminar will discuss the literary production of non-native speakers/writers.

The subject lends itself to being analysed according to different methodologies: from the phenomena of linguistic interference to stylistic deviance, from the cross-cultural pragmatic clashes to the emergence of cultural stereotypes (and its literary deconstruction), from the practices of bilingualism and multilingualism up to the aesthetics of literary multilingualism.

However, special attention should be paid to literary / dramaturgical / critical production written by nonnative speakers living in geographical areas where the language in question is not locally dominant (e.g. adrama written in German by a  Swedish writer living in Finland).

Here are some potential topics related to the seminar’s main theme:

  • Forms and purposes of Literary Multilingualism
  • Translingual Writers
  • Literary productions in dead or artificial languages (Latin, Interlingua, Esperanto and so on)
  • Multilingual Literatures of Migration
  • Foreignization as a translation strategy and re-translations
  • Problems in critical editions of multilingual literary texts

The languages of the seminar are primarily French, German, Italian and Spanish (the ‘official’ languages of CoCoLaC). Abstracts / PowerPoints presentations are to be prepared in English. However, papers in English, Finnish and Swedish are accepted as well.

There is no restriction about the languages under study.

All researchers working on the subject are invited to present a paper, not exceeding 20-25 minutes.
You are kindly asked to send us by e-mail the title of your presentation and a short abstract by 31st March
2020. Information about the acceptance of the proposal will be sent to all by 12th April 2020.

The organizing committee
Enrico Garavelli     Christian Rink      Begoña Sanromán Vilas      Elina Suomela-Härmä