The colonial appropriation of indigenous place names has been an abiding concern of postcolonial studies. The severing of names from their semantic, grammatical, and linguistic ties within the native language and their re-contextualization within the language of the settler creates, in a variety of ways for both colonizer and colonized, a gap between the experience and meaning of a place and the name used to describe it, complicating the colonial boundary.
The history of the commodification of Black bodies within a global context has been central to the Afro-diasporic experience. While in conversation with the Transatlantic Slave Trade and colonization; contemporary scholarship grapples with what it is to interrogate the consumption of Black bodies. Working from the perspective of Blackness and commodification in Black Looks: Race and Representation, bell hooks argues that the "contemporary commodification of Black culture by whites in no way challenges white supremacy when it takes the form of making Blackness the 'spice' that can liven up the dull dish that is mainstream white culture" (14).
UCLA Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference
February 19-20, 2016
Keynote Speaker: Lynn Enterline (Vanderbilt University)
Plenary Speakers: Julian Gutierrez-Albilla (USC); Jeffrey Sacks (UC Riverside)
The uneasy boundary between madness and love asserts itself throughout recorded history. The shifting relationship between these two phenomena exists across most (if not all) societies and epochs, particularly in literature and art. From lovesickness in the Middle Ages, to nymphomania and hysteria in the Enlightenment, to the stalker in modern-day horror films, the line between love and madness is continually conflated, contested, and blurred.
The 2008 global downturn has compelled the social sciences and humanities to refocus on the concept of "crisis" in capitalism and rethink the relations between "core" and "periphery." What is crucial to this era of crisis is the emergence of the BRICS countries and the corresponding shifts in the world system. Debates on world literature and comparitivism have been alert to these readjustments (Moretti, 2000; Orsini, 2003; Damrosch, 2005; Warwick RC, 2015) as well as the proliferation of the neo-social realist novel (Adiga, Hamid, etc).
Both science fiction and postcolonial theory are concerned with troubling normative understandings of movement, diaspora, and hybridity. Indeed, "The Stranger in the Strange Land" is an oppositional trope that is at the heart of both science fiction and historical colonial encounters. The other-worldliness and futurity of science fiction has offered numerous writers an effective (and increasingly popular) medium to critique political, social, and cultural issues, and in many ways presents an ideal literary landscape to interrogate the colonial enterprise. Even so, there is a relative lack of postcolonial voices in the mainstream SF genre. What accounts for this silence?
CFP: American Comparative Literature Association, 2016
Seminar: Proustian Awareness: Seeing, Reading, Listening, with the author of la recherche
Location: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Dates: 17-20 March, 2016
Abstract submission deadline: 23 September, 2015
Contact: Adeline Soldin, Dickinson College
In the final week of January, 1977, the ABC miniseries Roots became the most-watched television program of all time. To the surprise of the show's producers, Roots became not only a ratings windfall, but a cultural phenomenon, articulating an African-American counter-narrative of American history, provoking a dialogue about the legacy of slavery, and presenting African-American characters with a dignity and integrity that differed sharply from the caricatured representations common to television up to that time. In many ways, the response to the show by the media and the general public constitutes the first of many "conversations about race" that have punctuated the Post-Civil Rights era.
Placing Bilingualism: Bilingualism in Comparative Perspective
Seminar at ACLA Annual Meeting
March 17-20, Harvard University, Cambridge MA
Submission deadline: September 23
Bilingualism is a phenomenon that unites literary creation across geographic and temporal boundaries. Yet questions about the role of bilingual competencies in literature often remain overlooked. This panel seeks to bring together scholars across disciplines in exploring the place of bilingualism in literary production and the comparative potential of bilingualism in literary criticism.
Co-organizers: Jacquelyn Ardam, UCLA; Ronjaunee Chatterjee, CalArts
2015 marked the 30-year anniversary of the publication of Donna Haraway's "A Cyborg Manifesto," whose radical questioning of the divisions between human and machine, matter and meaning, and gendered and "postgendered" existence continues to animate our social reality. Recent discussions in the field of new materialism, which grapple with questions of embodiment and materiality, have opened up new avenues for theorizing femininity outside of conventional frameworks.
Seminar Proposal for ACLA 2016 (American Comparative Literature Association)
March 17-20, 2016
Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts