Baku Slavic University and the Azerbaijan Comparative Literature Association (AzCLA) have the pleasure of inviting all interested specialists and postgraduate students to take part in an international conference “Comparative Literature and Culture: Prototypes in Recycling Cultures and Cultural Genomes”, to be held at Baku Slavic University from 20-21 April 2017. The conference is part of the “Criteria of National Literature and Culture” project.
The concept of culture, which may seem far-removed from politics, can both unite and divide people, races and countries. The other – the foreign, the unusual, the stereotypical as an alien phenomenon – always prompts interest at the very least and, “if required”, becomes a reason for conflict in politics. This applies to various religious faiths, to languages and customs and models of behaviour. Moreover, it’s well known that many cultures have not simply points of contact, common elements, not only with related cultures (those which scholarship recognizes as related), but prototypes which unites with cultures that are a long way away in time (right back to prehistoric times) and space (right up to different continents), without being limited to the political borders of modern countries.
Confirmed keynote speaker: Sowon Park, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Sowon specializes in British Modernism, Political Fiction, relationship between Literature and other forms of knowledge, in particular Cognitive Neuroscience.
Discussion at the conference is expected to cover the themes below, but are not limited the following:
- How “contemporary” are contemporary cultures and how authentic are they?
- Cultural heritage of deleted from modern-day history ancient people was somehow divided, transformed and branched in a new historical and geographical area. How were ancient, earlier versions of contemporary traditions? What were the predecessors of contemporary traditions and beliefs such as, for example, offering sacrifices?
- How were shaped up-dated alphabets? Are there prototypes for them?
- Words represented symbols in alphabets, and with the acquisition of local features and traditions, are carriers of cultural layers. This conference aims to consider associations between modern words and ancient words if they are transformations, or cultural matrix.
- What were or are the names of the same objects, traditions or phenomena in the different languages of people who share the same faith?
- How has the same cultural element been interpreted and reinterpreted; for example rites or genres, such as khamsa, kitab or nama in literature, marsiya or march in music? How has the development of writing and translation influenced commonality in the formation of many contemporary words?
- We do not exclude consideration of the question of “recycled cultures” in the context of “recycled genomes”. How great a role did natural selection play in the transmission of different elements of cultural heritage? Can we speak of cultural memory as we do of biological memory?
- How can “The Human Genome Project (HGP)” shed light on these issues? How unrelated are these contemporary cultures? Why do differences in culture promote aggression rather than mutual understanding when people have the same physical characteristics?
The “Prototypes in Recycled Cultures and Cultural Genomes” conference offers joint discussion of the interdisciplinary problem of “recycled culture” from different aspects and historical times, including the proto-historic (pre-literate) period, offering, a shared platform to researchers in different academic fields – specialists in literature, linguistics, religion, anthropology, music theory, translation, philosophy, architecture, history, genetics etc.
If you are interested, please send your abstracts (150-200 words max) along with a brief CV to by 25th February 2017.