CFP: [Postcolonial] ACLA Seminar: Nomadism, Human Rights, and the Refugee Narrative (11/15/07; 04/24/08-04/27/08)

full name / name of organization: 
Basuli Deb

Dear Colleagues,

       I am inviting paper proposals for a seminar of 8-12 presenters at
the American Comparative Literature Association. The plan is to turn the
the proceedings of the conference into a publication. Please spread the
word. Thanks.

Basuli Deb

Call for Papers
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting
April 24-27, 2008 in Long Beach, California
Deadline for abstracts: 15 Nov. 2007
(to be submitted through the ACLA website at
Nomadism, Human Rights, and the Refugee Narrative

Refugee narratives embrace a range of storytellingâ€"from those which recount
the lives of internally displaced populations and people fleeing the nation
to those that relate the predicament of people rendered stateless when
territories are transferred as regimes collapse. As the trope of flight
defines these narratives of displacement, migrancy, and temporary shelters,
the paradigm of the nation-state along with its attendant category of
citizenship come to a crisis, and the human rights claims of the homeless
are foregrounded. The border-shifting postnational thrust of such
narratives is evident in genocide testimonies like Surviving the Slaughter:
The Ordeal of a Rwandan Refugee in Zaire. On the other hand, the historical
violence of colonialism and neo-imperialism have also propelled a
phenomenon of postcolonial nomadism retold from locales of violent
intersections of the secular nation-state and the cultural claims of
immigrants who are driven out of their homelands by the unequal global
distribution of resources. These postcolonial junctures particularly render
visible how women become both the site of contest between such opposing
claims and the site of struggle for human rights from the interstices of
such contests as in Fadela Amara’s Breaking the Silence: French Women’s
Voices from the Ghettoâ€"a memoir about Algerian Muslim women in France.

This seminar is an invitation to make meaningful interventions in this
topic. Among the many topics that could trigger enriching discussion about
refugee literature are:

--Rights of internally displaced populations and the postcolonial state

--Dialogue between refugee narratives and the immigrant narratives of
decolonized populations

--Difference between the refugee and the stateless refugee

--The doctrine of national security/border-sealing versus the rights of the

--Women, children, and the disabled as refugees

Depending on the number of papers, this panel will meet on two/three
consecutive days. Presenters are strongly encouraged to attend all sessions
of the panel. This unique conference set-up allows a small group of
researchers to pursue a particular topic intensely within the format of a
larger conference.
For questions about the panel, please contact the seminar organizer:
Basuli Deb (
For submitting paper proposals and for more information on the conference,
please visit the official conference website at

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Received on Sun Oct 28 2007 - 17:05:41 EST