The term we still use to designate someone's attachment to a particular language, her potentially flawless competence, or the very "place" for her thoughts to emerge in coherent form, is "mother tongue". We take it to be a natural condition of language acquisition, equally valid for every individual speaker, and thus forget that it is a mere metaphorical reference to the "first" language, spoken by what is referred to, with an even more misleading metaphor, a "native" speaker. Throughout history, the use and connotations of the expression "mother tongue" have undergone several changes. In the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, the Latin "lingua materna" referred to the vernaculars in opposition to the learned Latin.
CALL FOR PAPERS
The Fourth Global Forum of Critical Studies
Asking Big Questions Again
23 - 24 October 2015, Lucca, Italy
Deadline for Paper Proposals: 20th of September 2015
The graduate students of The University of Alabama's Department of Modern Languages & Classics, in collaboration with the graduate students of the Department of English and the TESOL program, invite papers for our sixth annual University of Alabama Languages Conference entitled "The Many Tongues of Talk and Tale" to be held February 12-13, 2016 at The Ferguson Center of The University of Alabama.
Proposals about all languages are welcome in, but are not strictly limited to, the following topic strands:
CFP: Facebook Before Facebook
Seminar at American Comparative Literature Association
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts March 17-20, 2016.
Inspired by Sophie Bessis' La double impasse, this panel invites papers that explore the complex meaning and practice of modernity in the Maghreb, as represented and envisioned in contemporary literature written by women. Some questions to consider: what forms does modernity take and what role does it play in fictional and autobiographical narratives? Are traditions and modernity in some way compatible? Is there a good and a bad way to be modern? Are women able to escape or to embrace modernity? What are the obstacles and associations to it? What are its social and political implications? Who is benefiting from the lack or presence of modernity? Are women proposing new forms of modernity? Which ones?
Volume 2 of Jacques Derrida's The Beast and the Sovereign begins with "I am alone," which can be taken to mean "I am alone in my world, I end with my world, and my world ends with me." Beyond the ends and limits of my world, I remember, anticipate, and imagine other worlds and the worlds of the other; beyond the end and death of my world, I am remembered, anticipated, and imagined in the world of the other. But what of the distance between these worlds? What hospitality does one world show another? How will what was me and mine alone carry on in the care of the other?
This panel explores literary, artistic, and cinematic representations of Francophone African migrants' fictional or autobiographical homecoming narratives since the 1990s. Particular attention will be given to works that emphasize the representation of real or imagined returns. What are the factors, feelings, and challenges determining the actual or symbolic return process? Are returning migrants agents of change in traditional societies? What forms do take the self-reflection process implicit in the returning migrants' readjustments? All interdisciplinary approaches are welcome.
American Comparative Literature Association 2016 Conference
March 17-20, 2016
Deadline for abstracts: Sept 23, 2015
What does love make us do? How is love understood outside of hegemonic contexts?
SF Storyworlds is an interdisciplinary series devoted to the study of science fiction. We take as our starting-point that the genre boundaries surrounding sf have not only evaporated but that, in so doing, sf has also become entangled with the world as it is lived and experienced. Sf is not only good to think with, but it also shapes and informs many of the ways in which we think about the world.