New Critical Perspectives on the 'Trace'

Welcome to the “New Critical Perspectives on the ‘Trace’” Website

The notion of the trace draws heavily on Jacques Derrida's early work in the 1970s. His interpretation of the trace emphasised erasure and the irretrievable nature of the past. In contrast to Derrida’s view, other critics such as the phenomenologist Paul Ricoeur and Emmanuel Levinas have recently analysed the concept of the trace and its inherent possibilities of retrieval and recuperation, especially in the fields of ethics and historical interplay. The turn to ethics and trauma studies in contemporary criticism has attracted much critical interest. However, little attention has been given to the concept of the trace and the ways in which it engages questions of ethics, memory studies and trauma in contemporary literature. We invite papers that deal with the relevance of the trace in contemporary literature written in English, not only in terms of the in/visible presence of the past, i.e. the Victorian age, but also as providing the means for disciplinary boundary crossing of literature and other arts/fields of knowledge (painting, photography, music, architecture, medicine, science).

This Conference will address the renewed critical position of the ‘trace’, and foster discussion among scholars working in different fields.

This Conference is part of a Research Project, funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (Ref. FFI2009-09242).
For more information about us, please visit our project: The Trace in Contemporary Literature

We welcome paper proposals on any of the following strands:

  • 1. The trace in recent critical theory.
  • 2. The trace in contemporary literary engagements with the past.
  • 3. The trace in neo-Victorianism.
  • 4. The trace in literature and other arts and fields of knowledge.

The submission deadline has been extended to 25 April, 2011. Acceptance of papers will be notified by End of June / Early July.

A selection of papers presented at the conference will be published either in book or CD format.

For more information, please contact the Organising Committee at

Download our Second Circular (pdf).

Related Research Project

For more information about us, please visit our project:
The Trace in Contemporary Literature

Important Dates

Conference dates:
20-22 October 2011
Deadline for submission of abstracts:
25 April 2011
Acceptance of abstracts:
End of June / Early July

Organising Committee

Agapea, libros urgentes

Halcon Viajes

Vincci Hoteles

Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación

Universidad de Málaga

Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Francesa y Alemana

Vicerrectorado de Innovación

Patronato de Turismo