Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Full Circle Transformations: Humanism, Criticism and the Global Business

Bruno Braunrot, German Torres, Richard Keatley.

Our first speaker, Bruno Braunrot will speak of the return to a humanistic perspective in literary criticism in the case of Rabelais. Since the advent of structuralism in the 1960s, literary criticism has tended to adopt a more or less scientific perspective in which form is emphasized at the expense of meaning. This is true even of works which--like Rabelais's Gargantua-Pantagruel-- are presented by their authors as endowed with rich ideological significance. The paper will discuss the recent shift in Rabelais criticism toward a reconsideration of meaning in what had come to be regarded by innovative critics as an essentially meaningless text.

German Torres, will address recent developments that belie the perceived impression of a radical separation between business and the humanities. He will present the argument that the demise/isolation of the humanities has been greatly exaggerated. In academic circles they have found an unlikely ally in business, particularly in the interdisciplinary programs that combine language and business as a way to prepare students for the challenges of the global economy. Furthermore, several programs utilize literature as a way to further the students' acquisition of the foreign culture, as well as to contextualize certain business-related topics. In his presentation he will make the case for interdisciplinary links between foreign language/literature and international business programs.

Richard Keatley will describe a moment in literary history which was key in the development of the modern ideal of “world-openness.” Late sixteenth-century travelers of Italy engage the world supported by a newly articulated travel theory that allows them to discard antiquated nationalistic modes of representation in favor of a reasoned engagement of the other. Travelers’ approach to the world demonstrates a refusal of rhetoric and, by giving voice to multi-cultural versions of truth, makes the first steps towards a global form of humanistic inquiry.


Bruno Braunrot  (United States)

Georgia State University

German Torres  (United States)

Georgia State University

Richard Keatley  (United States)
Lecturer in French
Modern and Classical Languages
Georgia State University

  • Criticism
  • Humanism and international business
Person as Subject
  • Rabelais, Villamont

(60min Workshop, English)