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UPDATE: Postcolonialism and South Asian Diasporas (7/1/06; SALA, 12/26/06-12/27/06)
full name / name of organization:
The deadline for submissions has changed from 06/01/06 to 07/01/06.
All SALA Membership and Conference Registration inquiries should be directed to:
Call for Papers for SALA's (South Asian Literary Association) 7th Annual Conference (December 26 and 27, 2006; to be held in conjunction with the MLA)
For its 7th annual conference, the South Asian Literature Association invites proposals (of no more than 200-300 words) on the subject: Postcolonialism and South Asian Diasporas.
As Arjun Appadurai observes, diasporic communities such as the ones formed in the West Indies, Malaya, Fiji, Mauritius, Eastern and Western Africa, the U. K., and the U. S. by the phenomenon of transnationalism, "safe from the depredations of their home states... become doubly loyal to their nations of origin" (49). This implies a process in which formations that have traditionally been perceived as restricted to well-defined political and geographical boundaries have transgressed national borders, producing new social formations. Do diasporic politics then lead to cultural and religious fanaticism by emphasizing a conception of identity polarized between the "authentic" and the "demonic"? For instance, how is South Asian identity negotiated in Western spaces and vice versa? How is identity read by privileging history? How do diasporic practices affect canonical understandings of literary texts?
Though diasporic cultural, political, social, and economic practices are subjects addressed most frequently in the social sciences-especially sociology and political science-they are of great importance to literary and cultural studies as well. The 7th annual SALA conference, therefore, will address diasporic practices in South Asian culture and the arts-literature, cinema, and other audiovisual and textual media.
Some suggested themes and questions are:
* Examination of textual and contextual accounts, leading theoretical and historical accounts, programs, and critiques of postcolonial culture and the South Asian Diaspora. This may include recent South Asian cinema in and about the diaspora as well as essays and pamphlets on diasporic practices and sensibilities by literary writers.
* The authors of these works of fiction and theory can include new immigrants and descendants of old immigrants who live and work in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, etc., as well as itinerant writers who live and work elsewhere, but all of whom have had a significant impact on the literary world in the past fifteen years.
* Among the key topics explored can be the status in postcolonial studies of linguistic representation and subjectivity; knowledge, interest, and power; history and intertextuality; nationalism, fundamentalism, and transnationalism; authors and critics; and the forging of cross-cultural, interdiscursive, and diasporic practices that are staked out across geopolitical boundaries.
* Are diasporic identities exclusively a first-generation practice?
* Do the transnational concerns between the politics of Islamic fundamentalism and the culture of Islamic diasporas endure?
* Do the transnational concerns between the emergence of the Hindu right in India and the culture of Hindu diasporas endure?
* Do diasporic writers reinforce or dismantle monolithic codes?
* Does the celebration of hybridity or multiculturalism in postcolonial texts lack affiliation with the indigenous politics in the Indian subcontinent?
* Does the global grammar of the postmodernist and postcolonial mainstream dehistoricize the specific historical and religious affiliations of diasporic groups?
Please email abstracts of 200-300 words electronically, by fax (613-592-5990), or by regular mail to both conference co-chairs by July 1, 2006:
Nyla Ali Khan, Conference Co-Chair, SALA 2006
Summer Pervez, Conference Co-Chair, SALA 2006
Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, title, phone number and email address with your proposal. A panel proposal will be considered ONLY IF it includes a detailed abstract for each paper, a designated chair, and a short statement as to why the submissions should be considered as a panel rather than as individual presentations.
The SALA conference will be held on December 26 and 27 in Philadelphia, in conjunction with the MLA convention.
SALA also publishes the refereed journal, South Asian Review (SAR). All abstracts accepted for the conference will be published in the special conference number of the SAR. Inquiries about SAR should be directed to Kamal Verma at firstname.lastname@example.org.