The historic report of
20-year-old Viktor Shklovsky, "The Place of Futurism in the
History of the Language," presented in December 1913 at the
St. Petersburg art cabaret "Stray Dog," is considered
the beginning of a new literary theory, Russian Formalism. The
message of the report was later put in writing in his first theoretical
work, "Resurrection of the Word" (1914), which, together
with his second keynote article entitled "Art as Device"
(1917), became the manifesto of OPOYAZ (Society for the study
of the poetic language ). At present, the international significance
of the Russian formalist school has become obvious. The methods
of Russian formalism influenced a much wider range of disciplines
than what Shklovsky described in his very first pronouncement.
While in the beginning Shklovsky concentrated mainly on literature
as an independent field of art. Later his colleagues (in particular,
Roman Jakobson and Yuri Tynyanov) as early as in 1928 began consistent
dissemination of new methods of analysis of the literature on
culture in general.
Fleeing from the nazi and other totalitarian regimes, Roman Jakobson
first moved to Prague, then to Scandinavia, and finally to New
York; during these forced travels, he kept contributing greatly
to both the organization of new schools and the promotion and
development of the basic principles of the formal study of languages
of culture. Jakobson's activity led to the growth of authority
of linguistics and to so-called "linguistic turn" in
the social sciences in the mid-20th century and the emergence
of an interdisciplinary paradigm of structuralism.
The impact of Russian
Formalism on the 20th century humanities is immense and yet requires
reconsideration, particularly when we think of its heritage in
relation to the recent scholarship that challenges or even denies
formalism in the broad sense. However, attempts to use
languages resembling that of formalism have been made in different
fields of research.
The Congress 100th Anniversary
of Russian Formalism (1913-2013) to be
held by the leading Russian humanitarian centers invites papers
on a range of related subjects (see
Application). The aim of the Congress is to trace
the influence of the formalist intellectual thinking on the contemporary
humanitarian disciplines, to re-estimate the interdisciplinary
potential of the formalist method, and to define the movement's
place in 20th-century intellectual history.
Deadline for submission
of proposals for individual papers or panels: 10