Call for Papers

Transitional Nabokov
A two day international conference to be held at the Rothermere American
Institute, Oxford University, UK on 6th-7th July 2007.
Plenary Speakers:
Michael Wood (Princeton)
Alexander Dolinin (University of Madison-Wisconsin)
"Across the dark sky of exile, Sirin passed . . . like a meteor, and
disappeared, leaving nothing much else behind him than a vague sense of
uneasiness." (Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory).
As numerous critical attempts have been made to locate Nabokov and his works within particular aesthetic, cultural and historical formations, or to propose definitive interpretative readings of his works, we
propose a conference dedicated to exploring the critical possibilities offered by approaching Nabokov through the notion of transition. We wish then to bring the "American" and "Russian" Nabokovs into conversation, considering ways in which the writer's works shuttle between cultural
and aesthetic positions. This is an opportunity to address questions relating to temporal and historical change, as well as fluidity, ambivalence and undecidability in Nabokov's work. Despite the writer's own professed affinity to various absolutes (his "strong opinions"), there are many opportunities for reading Nabokov as operating between
categories of various kinds, and engaging with various forms of transition.
Paper proposals are invited which engage with notions of transition within Nabokov's work and within Nabokov studies as a whole. Among possible topics, participants may wish to consider the following:
-- transitions occurring across languages, cultures, and continents
-- transitions between literary forms (novel, biography, drama, poetry, short story)
-- transitions between Nabokov's aesthetic approach
-- transitions within the history and practice of reading Nabokov, and of Nabokov scholarship
-- transition as metamorphosis, either as thematic concern or structural principle
-- Britain and France as locations of cultural and geographical transition for Nabokov
-- the transition of Nabokovian aesthetics and literary practices into contemporary fiction
We welcome proposals from all academics with an interest in Nabokov, whether from English, Russian, American, French or comparative literature departments. Doctoral students as well as more established
academics are warmly invited to submit proposals. The conference will be an international event, and, in keeping with its aims, wishes to include scholars from numerous geographical and critical locations.
Registration is free, and will include a conference dinner for all speakers. There will be paying accommodation available in St Anthony's College, Oxford. Please direct any enquiries to the organizers, Duncan White and Will Norman, at
Please send abstracts of approximately 200 words, and a brief biog / CV
to us by email to The deadline for submissions is 8 March 2007.

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