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Space and Temporality in Fin-de-Siècle Culture

Friday, September 22, 2000 · Hornungstuen, the Student Union Building · Organisers: Mette Jørgensen & Frits Andersen

At the end of the 19th century intellectual culture described itself as decadent and exhausted. A widespread image of time as repetition and stasis emerged in a well-known figure: The End of History. After the turn of the century this zero point of history was turned into an optimistic avantgarde conception of the future. But this was fulfilled in a form in which the world became conceptualized in predominantly spatial and not temporal terms. This paradoxical and double movement is clear in Apollinaire and Aragon, Virginia Woolf and Joyce, and also determines the conceptual framework for e.g. Erich Auerbach's Mimesis and may be seen as a more general pattern for the period.

The conference wishes to discuss whether the strong influence of the concept of globalization at the turn of the millennium can be illuminated in the light of the space/time turns of the precedent fin de siècle.

10.15-10.30 am Official Welcome and Introduction by Frits Andersen & Mette Jørgensen
10.30-12.00 Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: Why Bergson Privileged Time over Space - and Why We Don't
12.00-1.00 pm Lunch
1.00-2.00 Luiz Costa Lima: A Problematic Couple: Representation and Modern Subject
2.15-3.15 Martin Leer: 'I could not help cherishing my symbolic map': Cartography, Empire and Postcolonial Literature
3.15-3.45 Coffee break
3.45-4.45 Wlad Godzich: Space and Temporality in Thinking: Globalization at the Turn of the Millennnium
4.45-5.00 Closing remarks


Albert Guérard Professor of Literature at Stanford University. Has written numerous books and articles on literary history, historiography and cultural theory. His publiations include, among others, IN 1926 Living at the Edge of Time (1998), Materialities of Communication (ed.,1994), Making Sense in Life and Literature (1992).

Professor of Literature at University of Rio de Janeiro. Has written articles and books on literary history and historiography. His publications include Control of the Imaginary. Reason and Imagination in Modern Times (1988), The Dark Side of Reason (1992) and The limits of Voice (1996).

Associate Professor of Colonial and Postcolonial Literatures in the English department of the University of Copenhagen. He is a graduate of that university and holds a PhD from the University of Queensland, Australia. He has published widely as a translator and critic. His research centres on "literary geography": cartography, landscape, environmental history, time, space and place in relation to literature. He is currently engaged on research projects about the theoretical foundations of literary geography, the cultural trade routes of Empire and an anthology of travel writing by non-European travellers.

Professor of Emergent Literatures, Comparative Literature and European Studies at Université de Genève, Switzerland. Editor of Theory and History of Literature. His books include The Culture of Literacy (1994).

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Updated 21 November by smc. Please mail comments to the web editor at Centre for Cultural Research.