Conference: Rhyme and Rhyming in Verbal Art and Song

Woman and a little girl from Uhtua, Archangel Karelia by I. K . Inha in 1894.
"Njokkoo antamassa." Woman and a little girl from Uhtua, Archangel Karelia by I. K . Inha in 1894.
Finnish Literature Society (Hallituskatu 1, Helsinki, Finland), 22nd–24th May 2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Rhyme and Rhyming in Verbal Art and Song

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
Dwight Reynolds, Professor of Arabic Language & Literature, Uni. of California, Santa Barbara
Seppo Heikkinen, Senior Lecturer in Latin, University of Helsinki, Helsinki

We invite scholars to engage in analytic discussions on rhyme as a poetic device and rhyming as a cognitive practice. Proposals with abstracts of 300–500 words should be sent by 15th November 2018 to: rhymeconference@gmail.com

We welcome proposals including, but not limited to, the following themes:

POETICS: forms, patterns, aesthetics; language/culture-specific versus universal characteristics
TRADITIONS: cultures, genres, registers; oral/popular/sacred; the interface of oral and literary
HISTORY: historical continuums, developments and transformations; poetic ideologies/currents
COGNITION: methods of oral composition; reception, perception, memorization

The conference Rhyme and Rhyming in Verbal Art and Song will be held 22nd–24th May 2019 at the Finnish Literature Society, Helsinki, Finland. https://www.finlit.fi/rhymeconference

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. A registration fee (approx. 60 €) will cover lunches and coffee/tee. For more information, please contact rhymeconference@gmail.com