The Tower at the End of the World
Conference at The Nordic House in Tórshavn 11-13 May
The Tower at the End of the World
Islands & Literature
The Tower At The End Of The World, will take place at the Nordic House in Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands from the 11th to the 13th of May 2017.
Islands and remote geographical units call for great imaginations. They are open spaces with a magnificent view in every direction. Over the span of few days 12 authors born on islands all around the globe — in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Baltic, Indonesia, Japan etc. — will meet for discussions and readings that explore themes relating to the relationship between the island experience and literature. Joining them will be academics, who have been studying the same things in a scholarly way. At the same time islands and their authors share much in their literature there are also great differences between them dictated by location and history, political and cultural. It is our aim to bring some of those issues to the forefront during our stay in Tórshavn.
Inspired by the Faroese writer William Heinesen (1900-91) the venue for this conference is Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. William Heinesen, who found in his sea-locked microcosmos of a town a platform for a string of novels and short stories that resonate with people from all around the globe. He is a great example of how even the tiniest of islands keep bringing forth authors of world importance.
The Tower at the End of the World is the title of Heinesen's last novel from 1976 indicating the old Amaldus' retirement from the world. While at the same time he is watching and longing for "the Land of Youth" from his "high prison at the edge of the great abyss". With this conference we open the window in the tower by sending Heinesen into orbit once again in order to invite all interested. We hope to build a lasting transarchipelagic network including all who are interested in islands and literature.
We have invited a strong team of writers and mostly literary scholars from across the globe to discuss one of the hottest issues of today which is that of islands. Altogether they will be covering places and perspectives from Tasmania to Greenland, from Caribbean to Japan. In the wake of globalization islands and small places have hit a broad research agenda within all kinds of studies and become a huge theme in todays literature as well. While at the same time islands embody a popular imagination in the general public of the world outside the megacities. The conference will engage with (trans)disciplinary topics connecting literature, geography, and worldmakings. The momentum of islands is a great opportunity to take a look at the simultaneity of the local, national, regional, and the global in todays floating modernity.
In the new era of globalization the world experiences an unprecedented crisscrossing connectedness within and beyond the old imperial waterways and likewise beyond the networks of todays nation states. Transarchipelagic networks are becoming new ways of using the globe, where the old genius loci meets with the present genius globi. 12 writers and 12 scholars will be addressing what the islander Heinesen refers to as different 'grains of sand' from different points of view.
Besides keynote speeches, papersessions, soirees, panel discussions, the conference will offer guided tours in Tórshavn and around the Faroe Islands etc.
Confirmed authors are: Jamaica Kincaid (Antigua/USA), Minae Mizumura (Japan), Robert Alan Jamieson (Shetland Islands/UK), Marcello Fois (Sardinia/Italy), Donna Morrissey (Newfoundland/Canada), Carl Johan Jensen (Faroe Islands), Ulla Lena Lindberg (Åland Islands), Filinto Elisío (Cape Verde), Niviaq Korneliussen (Greenland), Sjón (Iceland), Yoryis Yatromanolakis (Crete/Greece), Laksmi Pamuntjak (Indonesia).
Among the confirmed scholars are David Damrosch, chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard, Pete Hay from the University of Tasmania and Paulette A. Ramsay from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.
Contact project manager Inger Smærup Sørensen for more information.
The Conference has been supported by The Nordic Culture Fund