LITERARY UNIVERSALS WORKSHOP

Held at The University of Connecticut, Storrs, on 24 May 2019

From the Organizers (Pat Hogan, Severi Luoto, and Arnab Roy): Many thanks to all the participants in this memorable event!

Literary universals include properties and structures ranging, for example, from genre patterns through metaphor and imagery, and from ethical or political themes through formal features of prosody. Technically, literary universals are features of literary works that recur across unrelated literary traditions with greater frequency than would be predicted by chance. Traditions are unrelated if they are distinct in their sources and have not influenced each other through interaction, at least not with respect to the feature under consideration. Thus, early Chinese and early European poetry count as unrelated by this definition, but Latin New Comedy and English Renaissance comedy would not count as unrelated. (For further discussion, see “What Are Literary Universals?“)

Though the study of literary universals was dormant for some time, developments in cognitive and affective science have revived the study of cross-cultural literary patterns, enabling new insights into their nature and origins. Moreover, the study of such patterns holds promise for contributing to our understanding of human cognition and emotion, thus cognitive and affective science themselves.

This one-day workshop will explore topics in the study of literary universals. For information on speakers and topics, please consult the program.

There is no fee to register for the conference. However, since lunch will be provided, we are asking that participants complete the brief registration form before 6 May 2019. (If you don’t register by 6 May, you are still welcome to attend, but we may not have lunch for you.) (Registration is now closed.)

Please note: The on-campus hotel (The Nathan Hale Inn) is by far the most conveniently located for the workshop. However, it will be undergoing renovations during that time and rooms may not be available for all out-of-town participants. It may therefore be necessary for some participants to take a hotel room at some distance from the university. Those staying at hotels other than the Nathan Hale Inn should plan on having their own transportation between the hotel and campus, since public transportation and taxi service are both very limited in the area. Accommodations in the area of UConn include Spring Hill Inn (Storrs), Best Western (Storrs), Rodeway Inn (Willington), and The Tolland Inn.

Directions to the University of Connecticut-Storrs and information on visitor parking may be found at our page on directions and parking. Information on parking is also available at the university’s Parking Services website.