Eyal Handelsman Katz (University of Virginia)
To mark the 75th anniversary of The Myth of Sisyphus, Albert Camus’ philosophical treatise that established the Absurd as we know it today, this panel will look to tackle these questions and more, inviting papers that examine the history of the Absurd, as well as its present and predictions for future developments. Submissions are encouraged to approach the topic in novel ways, such as Lavery and Finburgh’s Rethinking the Theatre of the Absurd (2015) which considers the Absurd in light of ecology and environmental studies or Bennett’s Reassessing the Theatre of the Absurd (2011), which attempts to reclassify the term. Other possible examples include approaching the Absurd through case study analysis (examining canonically Absurd texts in new lights or evaluating new texts - especially non-Western texts - through the Absurd lens) or through interdisciplinary approaches to the Absurd (e.g. cultural studies, gender studies, etc.).
By looking to centralize the study on the topic, to delineate its contents and limitations and reinvigorate it through new approaches, we can begin to consider the Absurd, as
it rightly deserves to be, as a literary field of its own.