What We Talk About When We Talk About Literature

Thursday, October 22, 2015
6:00pm
1501 International Affairs Building

Please join us for Dubravka Ugrešić's keynote speech entitled “What We Talk About When We Talk About Literature” as part of the two-day conference “Through the Transnational Lenses of Dubravka Ugrešić.”

A literary voice of transplanted and translated subject, Dubravka Ugrešić epitomizes a transnational European writer. Ugrešić lives across different boarders and divisions, between East and West, European North and South, European and not-yet-European spaces within the geography of Europe, as well as between languages (she writes in Croatian, or Croato-Serbian but her texts appear in other languages, such as Dutch or English), participating in the everyday life, cultures, and political processes of two or more nation states. Rather than by her experience of displacement and exile, Ugrešić’s transnational writer’s profile is shaped by the very repertoire of the privileged themes of her writing—questions of identity, gender, memory, and language, feelings of loss and trauma—and, even more so, by her use of the attentive critical language able to swiftly cut through the literary tissue of national canons and cultural myths.

Dubravka Ugrešić has created her novelistic and essayistic oeuvre by problematizing and resisting all forms of repression, whether coming from the politico-ideological, social, cultural, or literary sphere. Posing discomforting questions, pleading with all those voices that have been silenced, negating any functionalization of literature, but also insisting on social responsibility of the writer, the public intellectual, Ugrešić audaciously and uncompromisingly confronts multiple ideological manipulations. This conference aims to critically examine the performative force of Ugrešić’s writing and to further the discussion of its local and global effects. 

Organized by Aleksandar Bošković.

The event is co-sponsored by the East Central European Center and the Slavic Department. It is free and open to the public.