Transmodern Perspectives on Contemporary Literatures in English#

Dates: 26th-28th April 2017
Venue: Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación, Campus de San Francisco, Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain

Conference organisers: Dr Jessica Aliaga Lavrijsen and Dr José M. Yebra Pertusa, on behalf of the “Contemporary Narratives in English” Research Group.

In collaboration with the Department of English and German Philology and the University Centre of Defence of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) and The Barcelona Knowledge Hub of the Academia Europaea.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers: Prof. Rosa María Rodríguez Magda (Institució Alfons el Magnànim); Dr David Alderson (University of Manchester); Dr Sara Dillon (University of Cambridge); and John Burnside (St Andrew’s University).

Transmodern Perspectives on Contemporary Literatures in English” is a three-day conference, to he held at the University of Zaragoza. It aims at exploring the traces of what has been called “transmodernity” in contemporary literatures in English. Its working hypothesis is that, although still largely unnoticed, there is evidence of a paradigm shift taking place since the 1980s that involves the assimilation and transcendence of Modernity and Postmodernity into what we have provisionally called “Transmodernity”. In order to achieve this aim, we propose to engage in a dialogue with contemporary literary texts, literary theory and cultural studies meant to test the applicability of this concept and its utility as a tool to better understand contemporary trends in literature.

The concept of “transmodernity” has been used by thinkers belonging in different fields. The philosopher Enrique Dussel, for example, describes as transmodern those theories from Third-World cultures that have incorporated the subaltern other. Philosophers of Law such as Marc Luyckx, Ziauddin Sardar or Etienne Le Roy have used the concept to describe those societies that attempt to reconcile progress with respect for cultural differences. And, in the field of architecture, Marcos Novak has used the term to define the liquid architectures existing in cyberspace. The feminist writer and philosopher Rosa María Rodríguez- Magda has used the term “transmodernity” to refer to the dialectical synthesis of modernity and postmodernity that would describe a globalised, rhizomatic, technological society arising in the countries of the First World, characterised by the opposition to otherness while at the same time penetrating and assuming it, trying to transcend the surrounding hyperreal and relativistic closure. Moreover, our contemporary glocalised context begs for the need to harmonise the concept of transmodernity with the current emphasis on local, ethnic, sexual and other differences. According to this new paradigm, postmodernity would be the conclusion or culmination of modernity, and transmodernity would entail a criticism of the two earlier periods from the material, social, and spiritual viewpoints. In a sense, transmodernity is almost an umbrella term that comprehends all that is virtual, transnational, transethnically cosmopolitan, connective, glocal, strategic and transubiquitous, among other things and as such requires re-conceptualisation.

These precedents justify our aim of refining the definition of transmodernity and of employing the transcultural as a provisional research perspective to analyse contemporary works of art.

Please direct any queries to:

Book of abstracts(info)#


Venue: Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación (ICE). Campus San Francisco. Zaragoza

26TH April, Wednesday#

9:00-10:30 Registration

10:30 Welcome speech by the organisers

11:00-12:00 PLENARY
Room: Salón de actos

  • Rosa María Rodríguez Madga “La encrucijada de la Transmodernidad” (The Crossroads of Transmodernity). Chaired and translated by Jessica Aliaga Lavrijsen.

12:00-12:30 Coffee Break

12:30-14:00 PANELS
Room 1: Speculative Fiction. Chaired by Merve Sarikaya.

  • Sidia Fiorato. “Piercing the Core of Transmodernity: Suzanne Collins’ Dystopian Narratives”.
  • Tomasz Dobrogoszcs. “The re-cycling of the planet in contemporary speculative fiction”.
  • Merve Sarikaya-Sen. “Imagining an Alternative World through Speculative Fiction: Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island.

Room 2: Transmodern Space. Chaired by Gerd Bayer.
  • Gerd Bayer. “David Mitchell’s Slade House and the Non-Place of Transmodernism”.
  • Fernando Pérez García. “Psychogeography and Paracosmic Vancouver in Wayde Compton’s The Outer Harbour”.
  • Trevor Westmoreland. “Transmodern Time-space in Don DeLillo’s Zero”.

14:00-16:00 Lunch

16:00-17:30 PANELS
Room 1: Glocal identities. Chaired by Maria Pilar Royo.
  • Cristina Riaño Alonso. “Refugees’ Experiences of Detention in the UK”.
  • Halszka Lélen. “Poetics of Garbage and Fragmentation in John Berger's Fiction.
  • Maria Pilar Royo. “The Creation of a Transcultural Community in Gail Jones's A Guide to Berlin (2015)”.

16:00-17:30 PANELS
Room 2: Transmodern Queer. Chaired by Juanjo Bermudez.
  • Elsa Adán Hernández. “Queering the writing of a diary: Margaret Prior and Selina Dawes’ Palimpsestuous relation”
  • Carmen Laguarta Bueno. “Things Can Always Change: Challenging Homophobia in Ali Smith’s Girl meets boy”
  • Larry Javier Ambion. “Poetics of Gayspeak”.

17:30-18:00 Coffee Break

18:00-19:00 PANELS

Room 1: Virtual Transmodernism. Chaired by Colin Clark.

  • Daniela Carpi. “The Virtual World, Transhumanism, Science, Technology and Literature.”
  • Colin Clark. “Halting States- The Transmodern Virtual as cultural Avant Garde in Modern Scottish Fiction”.

Room 2: Transmodern Ethics. Chaired by Barbara Arizti.
  • Jean-Michel Ganteau. “Refracting the Transmodern: Harry Parker’s Anatomy of a Soldier”.
  • Barbara Arizti. "From Egology to Ecology: Elements of the Transmodern in Tim Winton's Eyre".

27th April, Thursday#

9:30-11:00 PANELS
Room 1: Glocal identities. Chaired by Jean-Michel Ganteau.

  • Cruz Bonilla. “Annamalai: A View on the Transmodern Nature of R. K. Narayan's Short Story”.
  • Marisa Pascual Garrido. “Transmodern experience in Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth”
  • Dallel Sarnou. “Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep: A Transmodern Journey of Deserted Femininity”.

Room 2: The Poetics of the Self. Chaired by Monika Kocot.
  • Aitor Ibarrola. “Darling by Richard Rodriguez: A New Form of Spirituality and of Transmodern Relationships”.
  • Monika Kocot. “Poetry of Consciousness: a Transmodern Perspective”.
  • Esther Muñoz Gonzalez. “The Autobiography of My Mother: Looking at the Past with Old Eyes.”

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 PANEL Room 1: Paradigm Shift 1. Chaired by Susana Onega.
  • Susana Onega Jaén. “Oulipian Games, Transpersonality and the Logic of Potentiality in David Mitchell’s Ghostwritten”.
  • Javier Rodríguez Doñate. “The Paroxysm of Exhaustion: The End of the Postmodern Paradigm and the Death of the Author in Will Self’s Dorian: An Imitation (2002)”.

12.30-13:30 PLENARY Room: Salón de actos
  • David Alderson. “Transmodernity, Cultural Materialism and Subcultural Critique”. Chaired by Jose Mari Yebra.

13.30-16:00 Lunch

16:00-17:00 PANELS

Room 1: Transmodern on Screen. Chaired by Marc Amfreville.
  • Marc Amfreville. “Almodovar and Munroe”.
  • Juanjo Bermudez de Castro. “Trans Culture in Contemporary American TV Series”.

Room 2: Terrorism. Chaired by Dolores Herrero.
  • Chiara Battisti. “Don DeLillo’s Falling Man: the New Legal and Political Subjectivity of the Terrorist”
  • Dolores Herrero. “The Aftermath of Terrorism in the Transmodern City as Reflected in Tabish Khair’s How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position.

17:00-17:30 Coffee Break

17:30-18:30 PLENARY Room: Salón de actos
  • John Burnside “I no longer want to know of lyricism that is not liberation” (qt. “Não quero mais saber do lirismo que não é libertação”, Manuel Bandeira). Chaired by Jessica Aliaga Lavrijsen.

20:30 Gala dinner Montal (C/Torre Nueva 29)

28th April, Friday#

10:30-11:30 PANELS

Room 1: Glocal identities 3. Chaired by Beatriz Pérez Zapata.

  • Barbara Pushmann-Nalenz. “In the Narrative Fiction of a Globalised Society There Are No Closed Spaces Any More“.
  • Beatriz Pérez Zapata. “From the glocal to the transnational in Zadie Smith’s work”.

Room 2: Paradigm Shift 2. Chaired by Silvia Martínez.
  • Silvia Martínez Falquina. “Susan Power’s Sacred Wilderness: Native American Fiction and the Transmodern Paradigm”.
  • Violeta Duce “Adichie’s ‘The American Embassy’ and ‘Jumping Monkey Hill’: a Transmodern Response to the Contemporary Cultural Paradigm”.

10:30-11:30 PANELS

Room 1: Transmodern Theatre. Chaired by Peter Neumann.
  • Sibil Izmir. “Theorizing Contemporary Theatre Aesthetics”.
  • Peter Neumann. "Gender Roles: Strategic Simulation or Socially Inscribed Subject Positions? Rodriguez Magda’s Transmodernity vs. Fay Weldon’s Play Action Replay."

Room 2: Glocal identies 2. Chaired by Silvia Pellicer.
  • Javier Álvarez Caballero. "Gender Roles: Strategic Simulation or Socially Inscribed Subject Positions? Rodriguez Magda’s Transmodernity vs. Fay Weldon’s Play Action Replay."
  • Silvia Pellicer. “Crossing Boundaries: A Transmodern Approach to Michelene Wandor’s Short Stories”.

11.30-12:00 Coffee Break

12:00-13:00 PLENARY
Room: Salón de actos
  • Sara Dillon. “Mitchell and Memetics – An Analogue for the Transmodern”. Chaired by Jose Mari Yebra.

13:15 Closing remarks
Room: Salón de actos

13:45 Farewell

Contemporary Narrative in English Research Group#

Download the programme(info) (March 10, 2017)



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