NeMLA 2020: New Sincerity in Contemporary Central and Eastern European Literature

Sanja Ivanov's picture
Call for Papers
March 5, 2020
United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, European History / Studies, Literature, Russian or Soviet History / Studies

This seminar seeks to explore the current literary engagements with sincerity by expanding on the geographic borders of the discourses on the New Sincerity movement. It aims to examine the manifestations of (new) sincerity in literature within and beyond the North American and the post-Soviet contexts—which have received considerable scholarly attention—and in a comparative perspective. What traits of New Sincerity are manifested in literary works from Central and Eastern Europe? How do "minor" and "small" literatures engage with the notions of sincerity, authenticity, truth, and the "real"?
In addition, this seminar will inquire into the changes that the New Sincerity aesthetics might have undergone in more than two decades after David Foster Wallace’s call for writers who are "too sincere," and ready to face "accusations of sentimentality. Melodrama. Credulity," and more than three decades after Dmitrii Prigov proclaimed “New Sincerity" as his own philosophy. That is, it asks: how does contemporary literature from Central and Eastern Europe engage with the changing attitudes towards authenticity, sincerity, trust, irony, and truth at a time of “post-truth” (Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year 2016)?

Other aspects that the proposed papers might explore (but are not limited to) are gender perspectives on New Sincerity in contemporary literature or the relationship between the turn to sincerity and other contemporary turns ("material turn," "emotional turn," etc.). Papers might also use cognitive approaches to sincerity in literature or analyze New Sincerity aesthetics in (graphic) life writing.

Please contact the seminar organizer at if you need additional information.
Please submit abstracts by September 25, 2019 via the following link:

Contact Info: 

Sanja Ivanov, University of Toronto