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Form’s Matter: The Social History of Literary Form


27 April 2018

Responsable de l'activité

Florence Hazrat


Dr Florence Hazrat, Unige

Patrick Jones (UNIGE), Assistant in Modern English Literature (1850-1950)


Professor Angela Leighton (Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Cambridge)

Dr Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (Lecturer in Early Modern English Literature, Kings College London)




In the past five years, there has been a growing stream of scholarly publications on literary form, combining an awareness of historical circumstances with adept analysis of aesthetic choices. This one-day event will provide a forum to consolidate recent work on literary form, not only asking questions about how the shape of literature bears on its content, but also raising more fundamental concerns about the place literature assumes in social and political life. The form of a piece of writing - whether it be genre, rhyme, or repetition, for example - is interesting in and of itself, but it receives the power of a social agent when it influences how people think and speak, or, in reverse, when it develops out of a particular way of perceiving the world. Does a preference for dashes indicate a certain kind of cognition? Do brackets crowd around sentences in specific political situations that need careful hedging of words? This event will ask whether forms matter, examining the purpose of literary form, and what form social and political matters take in literary writing.

This event aims to gather together some of the leading scholars in the current movement of form in literature, while also providing a space for doctoral students to present and discuss their research. In its broad approach spanning several literary periods and genres, the event will be useful to all CUSO members regardless of their previous knowledge on forms in literature.


Université de Genève



Deadline for registration 20.04.2018
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