CFP: [International] Dis/solutions: the future of the past in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific

full name / name of organization: 
Paloma Fresno
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Dis/solutions: the future of the past in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific
22-25 September 2009
University of the Balearic Islands, Spain

In his momentous Sorry speech of February 13, 2008, Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd confidently announced Australia’s firm resolution to turn a new page
in history by writing the wrongs of the past and find solutions for the
future. The overwhelming task at hand for Australians in the 21st century
is none but to close the gap that lies between indigenous and
non-indigenous peoples and shape the next chapter of their history by
redefining the terms of the country’s foundational myths and (his)stories.
Certainly, to quote from Henry Lawson, the country has come a long way
since “it began to boomerang”. But in order to take heart for the future
and for its peoples to become fully reconciled to their past they need to
revisit and reassess whole chapters of their history until old lies, myths
and stereotypes dissolve and clear the ground for new solutions, aimed at
reconciliation but addressing also possible ways of articulating a
multicultural Australia.
Across the Tasman they have been clearing the ground for a considerably
longer while; nonetheless there are still pending gaps to be bridged, not
only between Maori and Pakeha, but with other ethnic and social minorities,
in relation to their position and partaking in the diverse national debates
in which New Zealand is currently engaged. As the general election
approaches in late 2008, this might be a good moment both to discuss
possible solutions for old and new problems and to consider the revision,
if not the dissolution, of some of the country’s narratives and myths.
As for the wider Pacific region, the challenges faced by its peoples in the
21st century continue to be determined by uninterrupted currents of change.
Migration movements, political and economic instabilities and global flows
of transcultural exchange have altered the profile of the region, resulting
both in the dissolution of local allegiances and traditional values and in
the creation of new transnational bonds and interinsular networks, which
will inevitably determine the future of the region and the ways in which we
choose to undertake any discussion of its past.
Under the same sun, but from the opposite hemisphere, with this conference
we propose to light a homely fire, put another billy on and invite boiling
academic discussion over the issue of national and cultural (dis)solutions
in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. Our aim will be to explore to
what extent the future of these nations and the region at large will depend
on the disintegration of the allegiances and narratives of the past,
whether those old approaches that have failed so far can really be
superseded by new political solutions, new cultural (re)constructions and
narrative formulas, and which aspects are involved in the process of
(dis)solving the past and the present to go forward with confidence.

We particularly welcome submissions that are concerned with (but not
limited to):

The dissolution, reconstruction, faking and performance of cultural,
national and ethnic identities.

The dissolution of History in favour of histories, herstories, stories.

Dissolutions and new configurations of landscapes, seascapes and cityscapes.

Dissolutions of gender, racial, social, ethnic and indigenous conflicts.

Dis/solving multicultural, migration, refugee issues.

Dis/solving historical mysteries, silences, traumas.

Dissolving and resolving political and cultural dilemmas of the 21st century.

Dis/solving memories. Re/membering stories.

Dis/solutions and dis/illusions.

Diasporic, global and local dis/solutions.

Our Association’s inter- and multidisciplinary approach to studies on
Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific can host presentations from a wide
range of disciplines and subject areas such as: Anthropology, Cultural
Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature,
Media and Film Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Visual and performing
arts, etc

We encourage a liberal and creative approach to the topic.

Please e-mail your 250-word abstracts, marking its subject “10th EASA
Conference”, to: by 1st April 2009
Acceptance of papers will be communicated by 1st May 2009
For further information please visit:

Organising Committee:

Paloma Fresno, Aurora García, Alejandra Moreno, Eva Pérez, Cristina Suárez,
Lucía Loureiro, Marta Fernández, J. Igor Prieto, Marian Amengual, Juana Mª
Seguí and Caty Ribas.

Accompanying event:
One day preceding the conference will be devoted to a Postgraduate Seminar,
where postgraduate/advanced students will be able to discuss their work
with experts in their field in a lecture + workshop format.

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Received on Thu Jun 05 2008 - 07:42:01 EDT