ACLA 2020-Writing without Writing: Fragments and Survivance

Busra Copuroglu's picture
Call for Papers
September 23, 2019
Subject Fields: 

CFP: Seminar Session, ACLA 2020. Chicago,  March 19-22.

Deadline for abstract submissions: September 23, 2019

Since the nineteenth century to the present, fragmentary writing has been widely deployed in literature and philosophy (i.e. Ernst Bloch, Schlegel, Mallarmé, Adorno, Maurice Blanchot, Kafka, Beckett etc.) as a strategy to disrupt the idea of totality by and through writing. Fragmentary writing as an incomplete totality, bears absent voices and traces and alludes to a whole. In its brevity, it reveals an unwritten space, discloses and encloses that which is not present in the text. As Maurice Blanchot in his essay “The Fragment Word” writes: “the fragment supposes an implied designation of something that has previously been or will subsequently be a whole.” Furthermore, Adorno in Aesthetic Theory notes that a literary fragment is constituted by a promise or memory of totalisation and asserts: “the fragment is that part of the totality of the work that opposes totality.” And recently Georges Didi-Huberman in his book Aperçues (2018) compiles fragments of texts in one book, as a whole and reflects on fragments in relation to trace and survivance. He argues, when events, moments and things disappear they leave traces behind, and --by delineating the semantics of the French word survivance (survival, living-on)-- characterizes these traces as a survivance (living-on, survival, afterlife) of a disappearance.  

Thus, by the token of and departing from the reflections above, this seminar invites papers to explore the idea and form of fragmentary writing in tandem with the idea of survivance (living-on, relic, survival). Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:  

-Can we talk about the totality of a fragment without referring to a (spectral) whole that precedes and follows it? Then, in this context, what do we talk about when we talk about totality?  

-Fragment as an incomplete complete 

-Poetics and politics of fragmentary writing  

-Dynamics of detachment and attachment: does fragmentary writing subvert the idea of a whole? 

-Presence of absent space(s) in, around and of fragments 

-The idea of the trace and fragment 

-Survivance and fragments: image, memory and time  

-Fragmented memories: nostalgia and trauma 

-Fragments, stories and philosophy

-Fragmented writing and poetry

Please submit your proposal (max. 300 words) and a short bio. (max. 100 words) through ACLA portal by September 23, 2019:

For any questions, please contact Busra Copuroglu at

Contact Info: 

Busra Copuroglu

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
University College 2210
London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7
Tel: 519-661-3196

Contact Email: