UST hosts Int’l Confab on Ethical Literary Criticism; Arriola delivers plenary on Critical Media Studies

In the spirit of promoting international academic exchange and encouraging scholarly collaboration in the field of literary and cultural criticism, the Office of the Scholar-in-Residence/UNITAS Office, in cooperation with the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Research Center for Culture, Arts and Humanities and the Department of Literature, hosted an international conference on Ethical Literary Criticism held at the UST Buenaventura G. Paredes, O.P. Building, George S.K. Ty Function Hall from  April 27 to 28, 2019.

Established in 2012, the International Association of Ethical Literary Criticism (IAELC) is devoted to the study of world literatures from the perspective of Ethical Literary Criticism. The conference provided an avenue for scholars and students from all over the world to share their insights and findings in literary studies today. Founded by Prof. Nie Zhenzhao of Zhejiang University, IAELC has continued to expand and enrich possibilities for the study of Ethical Literary Criticism through annual international conferences.

In cultivating this new and revitalized critical approach in literary studies, the conference aimed to foreground perspectives and discourses on the relationships between literature and society, the relations between writers and their works and the relations between readers and works from an ethical vantage point. Alongside the theoretical, thematic and terminological complexities of literary studies, IAELC attempts to celebrate Literature as a distinctive if complex ethical expression within particular milieus.

In accentuating the “ethical turn” in literary studies, literature becomes an avenue for ethical illumination and edification in the contemporary world. In reading or re-reading canonical and non-canonical literary works from the perspective of ethics as a means of validating the revelatory capacity and explanatory power of this new critical framework, the forum addresses literary systems, symbolic structures, and critical constructs in ethical literary criticism such as ethical identity, ethical environment, ethical confusion, ethical taboo, free will, rational will, natural will, irrational will, and the human and animal factors intersecting sociological, psychoanalytic, philosophical, and other imperatives.

The topics of the conference were: (1) Ethical Literary Criticism: Concept Analysis and Theory Mapping; (2) Ethical Literary Criticism and Interdisciplinary Studies; (3) Ethical Literary Criticism and the Re-reading of World Literary Canons.

The plenary speakers were: Zhejiang University Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of World Literature Director Prof. Nie Zhenzao, Edge Hill University Critical Performance Studies Prof. Victor Merriman, UST Research Center for Culture, Arts, and Humanities Director Prof. Joyce L. Arriola, and Inha University Professor Prof. Joel David.

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