February 28, 2020

Literature conference returns to Louisville for 48th year

By Zoe Watkins —

The 48th Louisville conference on “Literature and Culture since 1900” took place from Feb. 20 through Feb. 22 with various seminars being held throughout the Bingham Humanities Building.

Since its debut, this international event invites people to submit their own literary work along with topics that correlate to literature and culture. Through a rigorous process, select proposals and creative works are grouped together and prepared for a presentation.

Co-Program Coordinator Janna Tajibaeva explained the event focuses on 20th century literature, cultures, cinema and poetry.  Tajibaeva said the event is the longest ongoing conference in the midwest.

“Sometimes people will tell us that it is better to have it on campus than some other institution because it has some academic field. Nowadays, most conferences are held at hotels or convention centers,” Tajibaeva said.

Besides being around for 48 years, another specialty of the conference is that the event expands on a singular subject, said co-program coordinator Brandon Harwood.

“This conference tries to look at the ways that literature and the literary arts, which is a little bit broader, affects cultures and culture affects it. It asks political questions, religious questions. It asks how is it that literature is changing, how is it the way people digest literature is changing,” Harwood said.

He explained the event is forward-thinking and said the value of the conference lies in how it teaches people to look past just reading a good book and to start asking questions such as, “How does this literature piece affect society?”

The conference’s seminars ranged from creative panels that covered fiction, to lectures such as one titled “Nocturnal Variations: Revising the Night in Fiction and Film.”

“Since it’s at a university, it has a homier feel. Most of these people teach at universities, so it feels like they are gathering around and talking about these ideas that they usually teach. So now they get to listen to what other people think about it, dialogue about it and help further their own research,” Harwood said.

The event is semi-annually, so the next conference will be held again in February 2021.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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