Enlightenment in Gdansk

David Brauner writes:

Mid-September in Gdansk. I had visions of icy winds blowing in off the Baltic coast, sombre Communist-era architecture and dreary dockyards. What I found was Mediterranean sunshine, chic seaside cafes and an ‘old town’ full of charm. I was there to give a plenary lecture at an international, interdisciplinary conference attended by cultural historians, pedagogical theorists, sociologists and linguistics researchers, as well as literary scholars. As ever, I was humbled by the authority and eloquence with which non-native speakers delivered papers in English.

Lena Finkle

My own paper – on intertextuality and self-fashioning in Anya Ulinich’s graphic novel, Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel – was very well-received and led to some fascinating conversations about the relationship between linguistic, paralinguistic and visual forms of communication, the overarching theme of the conference. The conference gave me a rare insight into the nature of current debates in other disciplines as well as providing the usual pleasures of making connections with other literary scholars. I left the conference enlightened, in several senses.

About Professor David Brauner:

David’s latest publication is The Edinburgh Companion to Modern Jewish Fiction (2015), a collection of 28 essays that redefines the field of Anglophone Jewish fiction. David co-edited the volume and also contributed an essay on the American Jewish short story, which focuses on the distinctive contribution by four women who have devoted themselves to the short-story form: Grace Paley, Deborah Eisenberg, Edith Pearlman and Myra Goldberg.

Contact David: d.brauner@reading.ac.uk

See his webpages: http://www.reading.ac.uk/english-literature/aboutus/Staff/d-brauner.aspx

About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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