December 2013: Conference: Maurice Blanchot and the Specters of Romanticism

13. December 2013, 9.00AM – 7.00PM
Keynote speakers: Professor Leslie Hill, Professor Bill Marshall and Dr Andrew Hass

The organisers are pleased to announce that Professor Leslie Hill, University of Warwick will attend as a keynote speaker. Prof. Hill is a leading international scholar on Maurice Blanchot.

Other keynote speakers are Professor Bill Marshall and Dr Andrew Hass, Division of Languages, Cultures and Religions at the University of Stirling.


In creating the first event on Maurice Blanchot to take place in the University of Stirling, this one day conference will bring together scholars in the field, as well as a number of postgraduates both from the University of Stirling and the rest of the UK, to address and deconstruct the ways in which Blanchot’s work engages with the Romantic movement, with its political, ethical, religious and artistic significance/consequence, and to discover how this engagement continues to enlighten contemporary debates on literature, philosophy, religion and politics.

The aim of this conference is at least twofold:

  1. To improve our understanding of the ‘’particular’’ space that Romanticism holds in Blanchot’s political, religious and ethical writings,
  2. And to give a major evaluation of his contribution to thinking aesthetics, the sublime and the fragment(s) in the wake of Romanticism.

At significant times in his work, Blanchot engages with a variety of key Romantic notions, including subjectivity and experience, the sublime, the conception of the fragment and fragmentary writing, violence-terror in its/her creative force and revolution. Romanticism thus provides us with a critical set of concepts to fully approach the literary, philosophical and political challenge that Blanchot’s writing represents to all of us.

Papers will be encouraged to explore, from literary, ’’anti-philosophical’’, ethical and political perspectives, how Blanchot offers significant readings of a number of figures associated with Romanticism and post-Romanticism, both in the French and German traditions (among others, Schlegel, Hölderlin, Rilke, Sade, Baudelaire, Mallarmé), and how these readings inform not only his criticism, his conception of refusal, but also his own practice as a writer.

Papers will also be encouraged to examine how his thought remained continuously in dialogue with a number of relevant eighteenth and nineteenth-century philosophers and anti-philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Sade and Nietzsche), as well as with some of the leading figures of the Romantic Athenaeum (the Schlegels), whose artistic legacies (philosophical, political, and ethical) are associated, directly or indirectly, with Romanticism(s) and its specters. The conference will reflect upon the authentic significance of Romanticism(s) at the intersection between literature, anti-philosophy, religion and politics. In this light, papers might also examine Blanchot in dialogue with other key critical interlocutors of the twentieth century such as Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin and Michel Foucault. Or from a political viewpoint, papers might explore how Blanchot’s work opens new perspectives on Romantic and post-Romantic questions of revolution, violence-terror, history and the concept of end of history, antagonistic commitment and community, where his readings and interpretation  of the French  Revolution and of the May ’68 events become essential in this particular regard.

Abstracts should be emailed to The conference organisers will continue to accept abstracts until 11 October 2013 at 23.59pm. Successful presenters will be notified shortly afterwards.

Themes which you may wish to cover include but are not certainly limited to:

  • Romantic Specters (I): Theory, Religion and the Sacred in Romanticism(S) and Blanchot
  • Romantic Specters (II): Ethics of the Fragments and the Sublime of Violence
  • Romantic Thoughts in the 20th Century: Nietzsche, Benjamin, Heidegger and Foucault and Their Anti-Philosophical Romantic Thinking
  • Political Commitment, Revolution, Violence-Terror and Romanticism

REGISTRATION: The deadline for Registration is 25 October 2013 at 23.59pm (£10 registration fee).


Following the conference, delegates are warmly invited to a reception from 7pm in Room B2, Pathfoot building.


Roundtable to discuss the conference, its results and future developments – 10.30 to 1.30pm on Saturday 14th December, Pathfoot building.  All are warmly welcomed and tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

Venue: Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling

RSVP: For further information, to register as a delegate or to submit an abstract, please contact Mauro Di Lullo, email: