Materials for the Theory & Practice of Historical PoeticsPosts RSS Comments RSS

ICLA 2013

AILC-ICLA, Paris, July 18-24, 2013



Our seminar will investigate the 19th and pre-II World War 20th legacy of the field of comparative literature, with particular attention to the intersections between history, anthropology, philosophy, and literary studies.  One particular focus will be on the Russian critical traditions that paved the way, as well as presented alternatives, to Russian formalism.  Several prospective seminar participants are involved in the Historical Poetics Working Group, which focuses on the methodological advances associated with Alexander Veselovsky’s Historical Poetics and the development of this paradigm in the work of Mikhail Bakhtin, Yuri Tynianov, Viktor Shklovsky, and others. In addition to this historically-inflected conception of literary study, we would like to pursue critical exchanges between idealist (Neo-Kantian and phenomenological) philosophy and emerging theories of literary form.

Our intention is to consider these theoretical developments in relation to their Western European contexts and analogues, which may include Jakob Burkhardt’s Kulturgeschichte; the “comparative” disciplines emerging during the period such as comparative mythology, comparative linguistics, and folklore studies; different varieties of formalist methodologies in literature and art history; particular historicist methods associated with Hegelianism and Marxism; and idealist approaches to literary style exemplified by the work of Ernst Curtius and Erich Auerbach.

We also propose to explore the relevance of these paradigms of comparative literary study to how literary-critical comparison should be conceived of, and practiced, today. The central aim of the seminar is thus a critical historiography of literary scholarship, considered in a transnational and inter-disciplinary perspective.

The seminar will include three 1.5 hour sessions, and nine papers:





Salle 16 (Equipped)


Monday, Jul 22, 09:00 – 10:30

Moderator: Ilya Kliger


Galin Tihanov, What is ‘historical’ in ‘Historical Poetics’ and what is ‘world’ in ‘World Literature’?

Igor Shaitanov, The Comparative Method in Historical Poetics

Boris Maslov, Alexander Veselovsky and the Invention of Comparative Poetics


Tuesday, Jul 23, 09:00 – 10:30

Moderator: Kate Holland


Ilya Kliger, The Tragic Pattern in Nineteenth-Century Russian Fiction

Vladislav Prostsevichus, Poetic Law as a Concept: Pushkin vs. Shakespeare

Michael Kunichika, Towards a Nonsynchronic Poetics: Veselovsky, Jakobson, Bakhtin, and the Case of Boris Pil’niak’s “Russia in Flight” (1928)


Wednesday, Jul 24, 09:00 – 10:30

Moderator: Michael Kunichika


Evgeniy Kazartsev, “The Russian Method in Comparative Study of Verse”

Kate Holland, Recovering a Positivist Narratology for the Novel: Andrei Jolles’ “Einfache Formen” and Alexander Veselovsky’s Historical Poetics

Anne Lounsbery, Provincialism, “World Literature,” and Russia

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