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Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Writers’ Conversation with Kierkegaard

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Organizer: Valerie Roberge

Co-Organizer: Troy Wellington Smith

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Søren Kierkegaard is well-known for his influence on the existentialist movement (e.g., Sartre, Camus), and for his larger resonance in the philosophical world (e.g., Heidegger, Lévinas, Wittgenstein).  However, his works are also of major importance for literary writers in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially since his late translation into English and in French made him appear as a new phenomenon. Both his form of writing, like his use of pseudonyms, and his obsession with singular human experience were influential. The goals for this seminar are to explore this conversation between these writers and Kierkegaard, to define how he has influenced them, and to determine how they in turn can help to explain him. In exploring these interrelationships, we hope to shed new light on existentialist thought, in particular, and on the connection between literature and philosophy, showing how it is important to maintain research in this field.
Paper topics may include:
- Intertextual references to Kierkegaard in a specific work or authorship.
- Exploration of Kierkegaard’s influence on different topics in literature: anxiety, death, silence, etc.
- Formal use of Kierkegaardian methods such as pseudonyms, reference to the reader, etc.
- Kierkegaard’s appearance in the biographies of literary authors.
Please submit a 250-word abstract to Valérie Roberge ( and Troy Wellington Smith ( They can be contacted with any questions you may have. By September 20, 2018, all proposals must be submitted through the ACLA online portal (

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