European Humanities University announces the Call for Papers for the Interdisciplinary conference organised by the Laboratory for Studies of Visual Culture and Contemporary Art called “VASIL BYKAŬ’S FRONT LINE: BETWEEN LITERATURE AND CINEMA”

The life and fictional worlds of the prominent Belarusian writer Vasil Bykaŭ have been structured by a front line, both personally and politically. In Bykau’s dramatically charged stories and novellas, characters are positioned in relation to the front line, whether they just encounter or cross it. Mostly, this is not a physical line one can draw on a strategic military map: rather, this is the line beyond which a hostile world lies. This line may run along a country road next to a village in the midst of the occupied territory. At the same time, the line may run ‘across’ his characters’ psyche at their moments of existential crisis.

We welcome proposals that engage with the following topics:

  • Psychobiographical and political dimensions of war experience in literature and film
  • Vasil Bykaŭ’s War and Peace: the front line as a semiotic border
  • The film adaptations of Vasil Bykaŭ’s existential prose: forms and limits of the cinematic
  • Woman as a missing Other in Bykaŭ’s prose, biographical narrative, and film adaptations
  • Soviet vs. Belarusian: evolving cinematic representation of Bykaŭ’s works during the Thaw, stagnation, and the post-Soviet period
  • Vasil Bykaŭ’s legacy and the politics of memory in Belarus: before and after 2020.

Abstract Submission

We welcome submissions of paper proposals via email –
Please, send a title, an abstract of about 300 words, a short bio (max. 150 words), and contact details. When submitting your proposal, put your name and the title of your paper in the subject line and indicate in your message whether you plan to attend online or in person. Any questions should be directed to the same address.

Deadline for submitting proposals: July 10
Applicants will be notified by July 20.

Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation in Vilnius. Belarusian scholars at risk, independent scholars and PhD students will be prioritised for limited (up to 200 Euro) travel funds and offered hotel accommodation in Vilnius.

Conference will take place on September 24-25 at European Humanities University, Savičiaus g. 17, Vilnius, Lithuania. Online participation is also available

Time frame: each participant will have twenty minutes to present a paper to be followed by a ten-minute discussion.

Conference languages:​​ English/Belarusian/Russian

Publication of conference proceedings:

Please, let us know when applying for the conference whether you are interested in developing your presentation into an article (20-40 000 characters) to be published in English in a collective volume or a special academic journal issue.

Conference Committee:
Tsikhan Charniakevich (International Union of Belarusian Writers)
Natascha Drubek (Apparatus: Film, Media, and Digital Cultures in Central and Eastern Europe)
Elena Gapova (Western Michigan University, USA)
Andrei Gornykh (European Humanities University, Lithuania)
Simon Lewis (University of Bremen)
Almira Ousmanova (European Humanities University, Lithuania)