CFP: [Postcolonial] ACLA Seminar: call for papers

full name / name of organization: 
Pascale Perraudin
contact email: 

Dear colleagues,

We are looking for contributions for a seminar at the American
Comparative Literature Association. We are planning to have a follow-up
Please forward the following call for papers to anyone who might be


Pascale Perraudin and Annine Schneider


Call for papers for the ACLA (Long Beach, California, on April 24-27,
Deadline to submit proposals: November 15, 2007
Where to submit: directly to
Format: seminar (see description below)
Project: We are planning to have a follow-up publication of this seminar.

Negotiating Cultural Identity through Representation of Violence?

As Homi Bhabha reminds us in his introduction of Location of Culture, the
identity of culture, far from being unitary or simply dualist, needs to
be examined to allow for the possibility of cultural difference and the
subsequent ambivalence of cultural authority. In this panel, we would
like to ask how/whether representation of violence contributes to the
questioning of cultural authority. Does it help reposition a group’s
identity in relation to its past/present? If so, how? Does writing make
experiences of violence “legible”? Are oppressed groups in particular
need of legible accounts of their experience? If history tells us that
the experiences of the powerful groups are heard more easily, does the
same follow when it comes to experiences of violence? How does a group’s
identity (whether national, minority or sexual) come to be represented
through, and even dependent on, experiences of violence, either as
perpetrators or as victims? What happens to representations and to
notions of identity when the perpetrators become victims, or when the
victims turn into perpetrators? How does individually experienced
violence come to be conflated with community memories of violence, and
thus part of the larger community identity?
How much is being the object of violence perceived as the “natural”
expected state of the oppressed? How can literature counteract this
perception, to reinstate the extraordinary nature of experienced
violence? Similarly, if violence is something lived primarily by the
oppressed, how can people perceived as privileged have their experiences
of violence recognized?

Format of seminar:
This panel will meet on two or three consecutive days (depending on the
number of papers), and presenters are strongly encouraged to plan to
attend all sessions of the panel. This is a unique conference format that
allows a small group of researchers (normally 8-12 people) to pursue a
particular topic in depth within the context of a larger conference.

For more information on the conference and to submit paper proposals,
please visit the official conference website at

For questions about the panel, please contact the seminar organizers:
Pascale Perraudin, Saint Louis University (
Annedith Schneider, Sabanci University (

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Received on Thu Oct 18 2007 - 17:52:15 EDT