CFP: [General] ACLA 2009 Seminar: The Cartographical Necessity of Exile

full name / name of organization: 
Karen Bishop
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The Cartographical Necessity of Exile

Panel Organizer: Karen Elizabeth Bishop, Harvard University

Derek Walcott identified a cartographical necessity of exile in his 1984
collection of poetry, _Midsummer_, when he wrote:

     So, however far you have travelled, your
     steps make more holes and the mesh is multiplied â€"
     â€¦ exiles must make their own maps

This seminar seeks to understand this cartographical imperative. What is
the relationship between exile â€" understood broadly in its most modern,
splintered sense to include external and internal exile, diaspora,
deterritorialization, reterritorialization, expatriation, migrants,
refugees, nomads, the disappeared and the ex-disappeared â€" and map-
making? Mapping is a certain science that enables emplacement and
facilitates movement. Yet it can also be an aesthetic project that draws
on a heightened awareness of space and place, memory, and historical
imaginary. So what kinds of maps do exiles make? Are they private maps
or maps that can be shared? How are they conceived of and how are they
read? How do they provide for new ways of thinking about the experience
of exile? How do authors writing in or about exile represent the doubly
ontological and epistemological exercise of map-making? And how,
finally, does a global language of map-making become a localized effort?

This seminar invites proposals that respond to this inquiry from any
disciplinary perspective, working in any language, literary tradition or

Please submit 250 word proposals by 1 November 2008 directly via the ACLA
2009 conference website at:

Feel free to contact Karen at for further

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Received on Thu Oct 02 2008 - 11:04:30 EDT