Conference: Rhyme and Rhyming in Verbal Art and Song

 "Juhlasyöminkien jälkeiset leikit". From Kokemäenjoki, Harjavalta by U. T. Sirelius in around 1900. Photo: SKS
"Juhlasyöminkien jälkeiset leikit". From Kokemäenjoki, Harjavalta by U. T. Sirelius in around 1900. Photo: SKS
Finnish Literature Society (Hallituskatu 1, Helsinki, Finland), 22nd–24th May 2019

During Medieval times, end rhyme became a key device for demarcating poetic lines in European and Arabic cultures. Besides characterizing a longstanding literary tradition, end rhyme and rhyme patterns became central structural and sonic elements in oral and oral-literary traditions worldwide. In oral performance, rhyme stands for aesthetics, creativity and memory: memorization as well as the exploitation of working memory in lyrical improvisation. In verbal art and song, rhymed registers continue to deploy the poetic potential of language for situated communication and meaning over changes in fashion and the coming of new musical styles.

This conference is intended to promote cross-disciplinary analysis and understanding of the role and aesthetics of rhyme in the poetics of sound and meaning. Our focus is especially upon the history and universality of rhyme as well as its particularities in various performed oral and popular registers.

The keynote speakers will be:

  • Nigel Fabb, Professor of Literary Linguistics, The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
  • Seppo Heikkinen, Senior Lecturer in Latin, University of Helsinki, Helsinki
  • Dwight Reynolds, Professor of Arabic Language & Literature, University of California, Santa Barbara

Preliminary conference programme here.

The conference Rhyme and Rhyming in Verbal Art and Song will be held 22nd–24th May 2019 at the Finnish Literature Society (SKS), Hallituskatu 1, Helsinki, Finland.

The event is organized by Folklore Studies of the University of Helsinki and the Academy of Finland research project Letters and Songs: Registers of Beliefs and Expressions in the Early Modern North (2016–2020) of the Finnish Literature Society.

Registration for Rhyme and Rhyming here. For more information, please contact