12th International Conference of the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature (EACL): “Influence and Originality in Literary Creation”

Estonian Association of Comparative Literature (EACL), Department of Literature of the University of Tartu
Closing date for submissions: 
30 April, 2017
Event dates: 
01.10.2017 - 04.10.2017
Prof. Jüri Talvet, Chair of World Literature, University of Tartu, Ülikooli 17-403, 51014 Tartu, Estonia, phone/fax 7375350

The 12th International conference of the EACL “Influence and Originality in Literary Creation” is centered on the dynamics of mutual relation of influence and originality in literary creation of the past and the present day, in ”centers” as well as in ”peripheries”, both in the canon of world literature and national literatures. The relationship between literary theory and the practice of literary creation, explicit and implicit poetics, the role of (belletristic) translation and translation theory as vehicles of influences as well as of awakening and enhancing original creative impulses will be discussed.  

The conference papers and academic discussion are expected to provide answers to the following questions:  


- What are the elements and germs of the works that have been, above all, admitted to the (active) canon of world literature and national literatures? Why are some works “sorted out”, to be included in the canon, while others, on the contrary, have been destined to oblivion and obscurity?

- Are there exceptions to the “rule” that all the most important innovations in the form and philosophy of the literary works belonging to the canon of world literature have been created in major linguistic-cultural areas (centers) of the West? Are there cases in which true originality in poetics and in spiritual content has been born relatively free from foreign influences and especially from influences deriving from aesthetic fashions engendered in the West? What are the conditions in which the “edges” (smaller and small literatures) have managed to resist acculturation (being swallowed and assimilated by big centric cultures and their direct influences). 

- On the other hand, what are the outstanding examples in smaller national cultures of creative literary assimilation of “centric” influences, in which a new outstanding originality has emerged from the “edges” and “peripheries”, to acquire (in comparison with “centers”) a totally new meaning and function?

- Is the theory (philosophy) of literature something that acts a priori or a posteriori, as regards primary literary creativity? Or are they possibly simultaneous, for instance in the implicit poetics and philosophy of some of the most outstanding literary works?   

- Are linguistic barriers a factor that favors cultural diversity and dynamics by creating an absolute need of translation and of importing values from outside, or do these barriers, on the contrary, defend authentic national features in smaller literatures or literatures against the destructive impact of the biggest cultural-linguistic areas?

- Are major centric literary traditions self-sufficient, devoid of any need of contact with small and peripheral cultures?  

- Is there any chance, especially in the era of commercial-ideological globalization, for independent theoretical-philosophical thinking to emerge from “peripheries”, or are “edges” and smaller cultures fatally doomed to the status of “intellectual slaves” of centric fashions and ideologies?


We expect our conference participants to share their experience both from centers and peripheries, from the position of big and small literatures, from the West and from the East, in all major areas of literary creativity, fictional prose, drama, poetry, in philosophic-ideological content as well as in formal factors and the confluence (or non-confluence) of both the aspects. 


The main working language of the conference will be English but papers can also be presented in French, Spanish and German.  In the latter cases, a summary of one to two pages in English should be mailed to the organizers by Sept 1, 2017. The summary will be made available to the participants during the conference. There will be no translation of the papers at the conference.

The deadline for submitting the application form, containing the final title of a 20-minute paper and a 200–300 word abstract, is April 30, 2017. 

After your abstract has been approved and you have paid your participation fee, your conference registration is complete. We will then send you as soon as possible an official invitation by e-mail (and if needed, by ordinary air mail) letter. 

Important notice: The number of participants of this conference is limited to 50 people. The registration will be closed once the number of invited participants is full.  

The papers of the conference will be published in monographic issue(s) of the journal of the EACL, Interlitteraria (23, 2018).


The conference fee for participants is 60 Euros (30 Euros for doctoral and master students). It should be transferred to the bank account of the Estonian Association of Comparative Literature (Eesti Võrdleva Kirjandusteaduse Assotsiatsioon) by May 31, 2017.  Please do not forget to mention your name on the transfer data sheet and to add “IAELC16 participation fee”.

The bank data:

Account number:  EE891010102061951002

Account holder:  Eesti Võrdleva Kirjandusteaduse Assotsiatsioon

Name of the bank:  AS SEB Pank

Address of the bank:  Tornimäe 2, 15010, Tallinn


For those needing the Estonian (= Schengen) visa, we will send (by registered mail, to the address shown in your data sheet) an official visa invitation on behalf of the University of Tartu. When applying for the Estonian (Schengen) visa, you should add that official invitation letter to your visa application and to the documents which you submit to the nearest Estonian embassy or consular office. (The data about Estonian embassies and diplomatic representations abroad can be found on the home page of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign affairs:


            It is hoped that the registration fee covers lunches provided for the participants during the conference working days (Oct 2, 3, 4). As a rule, it is expected that the participants themselves pay for their accommodation in Tartu. Only exceptionally, organizers may consider covering, entirely or partly, the accommodation costs of participants who come from countries with hard currency difficulties. Organizers will gladly assist with reservations (the prices at hostels and hotels vary from 30 to 80 Euros per night). 

For conference participants from foreign countries, there will be a guided walking tour in Tartu in the afternoon of the day of arrival. 

 Oct. 1, 2017 is the arrival day of the conference participants. The official opening dinner of the Conference, with the presentation of “Interlitteraria’s” newest issue(s), will take place at the festive Opening of the Conference in the evening of Oct. 2. The full working days of the conference are Oct. 2, 3, 4, 2017. 


Full texts based on the of the conference papers should be submitted by January 31, 2018 for their publication in the monographic issue of the international journal Interlitteraria, 23, 2018. (http://www.tyk.ee/interlitteraria-eeIndexing: Thomson Reuters, ERIH PLUS, Central and Eastern European Online Library (CEEOL), ERIH PLUS; Access: CEEOL (open access); ISSN: 1406-0701).


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