Etymologically derived from chronos – time -, “crónica” was a synonym of historiography until the 19th century, when the expansion of the press reinvented it and made it reborn with the features we know today.
When stating that “crónica is like the intimate, indolent, easygoing conversation of the newspaper with those who read it”, Eça de Queirós coins one of the first definitions of the genre, in the newspaper Distrito d’ Évora (1867). Before, Machado de Assis (1859) attributed to the serial writer, the immediate predecessor of the modern “cronista”, the ability for the “admirable fusion of the useful and the frivolous”.
At the same time, the word “crónica” seems to be an umbrella term, covering a panoply of short author texts, which are disseminated through the media, but whose objectives and functions are diverse. Thus, “crónica” is opinion and argument; it is commentary about the present; it enlightens; it entertains; it is a report; it is a literary exercise; it is artistic experimentation; sometimes it is serious; others, it is funny; it informs; it teaches; it convinces: one forgets it; one remembers it.
It is no wonder that, given its plasticity, the genre continues to be a problem for its devotees. Manuel António Pina, for example, asks himself in one of his “crónicas”: “And what is this about “crónicas”? If someone asks me (…) I don’t know what it is, if someone does not ask me, I know.” António Lobo Antunes calls them “small prose” and “feeding literature”. Because the “crónica” is due to the newspaper or to the magazine, Lobo Antunes often regrets the time he spends writing it, a task that forces him to abandon his major endeavor – the writing of the book.
Also in the Lusophone space, examples of renowned “cronistas” accumulate. Machado de Assis, Clarice Lispector, Rubem Braga, Luís Fernando Veríssimo, in Brazil; José Eduardo Agualusa in Angola; Mia Couto in Mozambique are just some of the names that can be presented as an example.
Both the prevalence of the “crónica” in traditional media and its migration to online platforms, along with the fortune it enjoys in the publishing market, corroborate the genre’s notoriety, which seems to uphold a new aphorism: Lusophony is a nation of “cronistas”.
Thus, we call for the participation of scholars from diverse fields, interested in the study of the contemporary crónica genre, in its diverse angles and uses. Proposals may include the following topics, among others:
- Crónica in the press, radio, television and digital media
- Crónica, opinion and politics
- Crónica, dissemination and cultural criticism
- Crónica and critique
- Crónica and audience formation
- Cronistas and writers
- Crónica and its relations with other literary genres
- Crónica and travel
- Crónica, illustration and photography
- Crónica and humor
- Language of / in the crónica
- Crónica as textual genre
Each proposal must include:
- name (s) of the author (s)
- thematic line
- 3-5 keywords,
- abstract between 200-300 words
Each applicant can submit one individual proposal, plus one co-authored proposal, or two co-authored proposals. The estimated time for each presentation is 20 minutes.
Languages: Portuguese | English
Submission of proposals: 2020.CICLC@gmail.com