CFP: The Idea of Prose Style, December 2017, Sydney

University of Sydney and University of New South Wales

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Garrett Stewart (University of Iowa)
Daniel Tyler (Oxford University)
Rebecca Walkowitz (Rutgers University)

Historically, the academic study of style has referred mainly to poetic style—a situation that was challenged only briefly by the prominence of “stylistics” in the 1960s. But the recent “return to form” within literary studies suggests that the idea of prose style is ripe for re-investigation. This symposium aims to approach the problem of prose style anew. In particular, we welcome proposals for papers which examine the idea of prose style from the following angles:

  • The relation between the categories of fictional prose style and style in poetry or non-fictional genres such as history and oratory.
  • The history of the idea of prose style, both in modern literary theory and the longer history of rhetoric.
  • The methodological challenges which confront the analysis of style in prose, particular in relation to available hermeneutic paradigms such as close reading, computational stylistics, and syntactic analysis.
  • The problem of stylistic identity, and the various categories which are often used to determine stylistic identity, from the period (e.g. Baroque style) to the genre (e.g. realist novel style) to the author (e.g. Dickensian style) to the linguistic structure or effect (e.g. additive style).

In total, the symposium aims to contribute to the burgeoning field of stylistic studies in prose by helping to establish the theoretical and methodological frameworks within which the analysis of prose style must proceed.

Submission Information:
We invite papers on the idea of prose style in any period and from any place, as well as proposals for panels. Please send your proposal, including a title and brief abstract (300 words), to both Matthew Sussman ([email protected]) and Sean Pryor ([email protected]) by 15 June, 2017.