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Melville Forum
Jerusalem 2009

(De)Constructing Melville, (De)Constructing Conrad

Issues that the Participants may wish to address might include, but are by no means limited to, the following:

  • What is the importance of language in the respective oeuvres of Melville and Conrad?
  • In what way do respective works of Melville and Conrad combine discourse and non-discursive reality?
  • In what way can Melville and/or Conrad’s work be read as self-deconstructive?
  • What are the fates and shapes of centers and margins in Melville and in Conrad?
  • In what way do respective works of Melville and Conrad deconstruct inherited discourses?
  • How do Melville and Conrad deconstruct discourses of religion/ratio/Truth?
  • What are potential hermeneutic consequenses of deconstructive strategies employed by Melville and Conrad?
  • What are the functions of self-consciousness/self-reflexivity/autotelism in Melville and Conrad?
  • What are the consequences of Melville’s and/or Conrad’s intertextuality and/or transtextuality?
  • In what way can works by Melville and Conrad be read as palimpsests? As metatexts?
  • How do Melville and Conrad employ established genres in their respective oeuvres?
  • In what way do Melville’s and/or Conrad’s works lend themselves to readings in terms of postcolonial methodologies?
  • In what way do supplements and introductions de-center texts by Melville and/or Conrad?
  • How do the readings of Melville and Conrad evolve in the light of postmodern criticism and poststructural theory?
  • How have Melville and Conrad (respectively and/or jointly) been constructed as writers and thinkers in the history of literature and culture?
  • In what way have "canonical” readings of Melville's and Conrad’s works changed in time? How have they been deconstructed? How have they been reconstructed?
  • In what way does criticism construct itself around Melville and/or Conrad?
  • How can Melville and Conrad be read as contributing to the development of postmodern strategies of reading/writing?
  • What are the interpretive results of rewriting Melville/Conrad? What texts do Melville and/or Conrad rewrite? To what effect?
  • How do Melville’s and/or Conrad’s works create alternative (discursive and non-discursive) realities?
  • In what way have central concepts of the phallogocentric, eurocentric Judeo-Christian culture been decentered by Melville and Conrad?
  • What do Melville and Conrad have in common in the context of the findings of poststructural scholarship?
  • In what way have the French, German and American versions of poststructuralist theory influenced the reading of Melville and/or Conrad?
  • Nietzsche/Schopenhauer/Heidegger/Derrida vs. Melville and/or Conrad