David Foster Wallace Conference

David Foster Wallace Between Philosophy and Literature

18-20 April 2018 
"
G. d'Annunzio" University of Chieti-Pescara

Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about teaching you how to think is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. (This is Water, David Foster Wallace)

The international conference "David Foster Wallace Between Philosophy and Literature", organized by the Department of Philosophical, Pedagogical and Economic-Quantitative Sciences of G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara, aims to contribute to Wallace Studies through an interdisciplinary approach. The central role played by philosophy in the education of David Foster Wallace has been already addressed by many scholars, who have studied how his writings deal with major philosophical topics of the 20thcentury. Nevertheless, Wallace thought that philosophy itself was not sufficient to explain what being human means and it is precisely for this reason that he turned to fiction and translated his theoretical analysis into literature, so to speak. The contiguity and the continuous interweaving between Wallace’s writing and philosophy are evident if we consider Wallace's novels and short stories alongside certain theories of his declared philosophical reference-points, such as Wittgenstein, Derrida, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger. Furthermore, during his interviews and in his non-fiction writings, Wallace explained his concept of literature as a certain type of dialogue among different and distant human beings, bound up with one another through language. Ten years after his death, the organizers aim to explore Wallace's oeuvre from new interpretative perspectives.

Conference Organization
  • Adriano Ardovino, Theoretical Philosophy (Department of Philosophical, Pedagogical and Economic-Quantitative Sciences – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
Scientific Committee
  • Mariaconcetta Costantini, English Literature (Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
  • Aldo Marroni, Aesthetics (Department of Literature, Arts and Social Sciences – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
  • Francesco Marroni, English Literature (Department of Philosophical, Pedagogical and Economic-Quantitative Sciences – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
  • Carlo Martinez, Anglo-American Literature (Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
  • Pia Masiero, North-American Literature (Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies – University of Venice, Ca’ Foscari)
  • Enrico Peroli, Moral Philosophy (Department of Philosophical, Pedagogical and Economic-Quantitative Sciences  G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara) 
Conference Committee
  • Chiara Scarlato, PhD Candidate in Human Sciences (School of Advanced Studies – G. d'Annunzio University of Chieti-Pescara)
Location

The ‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University, established in 1965 as a ‘Libera Università’ (non state-owned university), became state-owned in 1982. Today, it has 13 Departments and 2 Schools. There are two university campuses: Chieti, registered office of the university with the offices of the Rector and General Directorate and Pescara.

Travel and Accommodation