National Literatures since 1945. Autonomisation, Professionalisation, Internationalisation was the title of a three day (May 22-24, 2003) conference, organized by Gisèle Sapiro (CNRS, Centre de Sociologie Européenne Paris) and Ingrid Gilcher-Holtey (Department of History, Philosophy and Theology, University of Bielefeld) in co-operation with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research, Bielefeld. Oriented towards the field theory of Pierre Bourdieu, the conference, which brought together historians and sociologists, lectures in literary studies and anthropologists from France and Germany, Italy, Spain, Norway, the Netherlands, Canada, Austria and Argentina, was characterized by the analysis of four main areas:
I. development and structure of literary fields,
II. recruitment, career and social status of writers,
III. events (the Algerian War, Communism, the movement of 1968) and their effects on the literary field,
IV. old and new forms of internationalisation.
The conference marked the beginning of a long-term project of research focusing on relations between different national literatures against the background of their position in the international literary field as well as on the interaction between the literary, intellectual and political field.