Past event

New Directions: When Literature Meets Politics School of Modern Languages Research Seminar

Can literature change the world? Historical and contemporary attempts to control its content and availability suggest that it can. But opinions have long been divided on whether it should, and on the nature and stakes of political activism through literature. From the nineteenth-century slogan ‘art for art's sake', to the Existentialist idea of littérature engagée, the relationship between literature and politics has been a source of friction as well as inspiration for writers and critics. This ‘New Directions' session will bring together scholars working at the interface of literature and politics — in French, German, and Spanish — from the nineteenth century to the present day.

The speakers and talks are:

Dr Claudia Marqués-Martin (U of Glasgow): Crossing Sides: The Work(s) of Regina García During and After the Spanish Civil War

Dr Joseph Twist (UCD): Shared Vulnerability, but not Shared Victimhood in Esther Dischereit's ‘Klagelieder': Literature as Proto-Politics

Dr Sarah Gubbins (U of St Andrews): Challenging Censorship in Gérard de Nerval's Les Faux Saulniers