Shifting Time Frames in Rural versus Urban Topoi. Temporalities of Modernism Conference. Cluj-Napoca, 2-4 May 2018
Following the economic development of the mid-nineteenth century, writers and journalists increasingly focused on urban contexts and the experience of protagonists moving from rural to urban backgrounds. As a result, modern authors refer to the coagulating ferment of the metropolis for characters undergoing a formative change, while more numerous voices later investigated the opposite, the fragmenting if not destructive impact on both individuals and the social groups they belong to.
In the twenty-first century the world has become even more fractured as people have fled from internal conflicts, in addition to diminishing job opportunities by seeking refuge in other places. These people are often portrayed by the media as a threat to so-called Western values and democratic freedoms as governments struggle to cope with the numbers of refugees or displaced peoples.
In response to this movement of people some governments have become concerned about the number of people involved, prioritising ways of keeping their borders safe and stemming the flow of people in contrast to the increased movement of goods and services in an intensely competitive world. This has coincided with the erosion of the authority of the nation-state and in response, some central authorities have summoned up particularistic identities in the context of ethnicising, social, economic and security problems especially concerning borders. Such a phenomenon is often justified under the guise of protecting the nation-state. How do these targeted groups respond to these new challenges in a seemingly ever increasing hostile environment? Other stories focus on the experience of newcomers moving from marginal areas of Europe into the heart of the continent where their professional and family routes are challenged both for first and second generation migrants. How have the stories of second generation writers reshaped older narratives on exile and belonging? Although stories often reinforce negative stereotypes promulgating discourses of fear and distrust of specific groups, writers from the diaspora have created spaces for new debates around integration and othering. What new narrative forms have writers utilised to enhance or disrupt the spatial and temporal dimensions of characters in late modernist fiction?
We invite contributions exploring relationships shaping existential routes of protagonists moving in/out of the city. Proposed contributions may focus on (but are not limited to): leaving the rural background and moving to the city; adaptation, learning and working; alienation and displacement; the self and the community; time frames: perception, dilution or expansion, return and nostalgia; gendered and age-shaped discourses by first and or second-generations; marginal literary expressions of non-native speakers attempting to find their place in a society employing a different linguistic and cultural background than theirs.
Please submit abstract proposals (max. 300words) for 20-minute papers with a short biographical note (max. 150 words) email@example.com.
Please COPY YOUR MESSAGE TO PANEL CONVENORS:
Jillian Curr, Western University of Australia, at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Dana Radler, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, at email@example.com
NEW EXTENDED DEADLINE: 10 January 2018.
All proposals will be rigorously peer-reviewed.
Acceptance confirmation: 20 January 2018.
Further information will be available on the conference site (http://tempcems.conference.ubbcluj.ro/).