CFP: [Postcolonial] CFP: Writing Lives Across the Caribbean, ACLA, Harvard University, March 26-29

full name / name of organization: 
Vanessa Perez Rosario

Call for Papers: American Comparative Literature Association Conference,
Harvard University, March 26-29, 2009

Writing Lives Across the Caribbean Diaspora

Organizers: Vanessa Pérez Rosario and James Davis

        This panel invites biographers and students of autobiography,
memoir, and testimonio. Although life writing in various forms remains
marginal to literary studies, personal experience is often used as a
source of knowledge in the Caribbean. We are interested in papers that
explore the relationship between local languages and national and/or
transnational identities. The choice of language used to craft a
narrative and reach an audience is central to the writer, and this choice
shapes the story that is told as well as its reception. The questions we
wish to explore include: How do we document the lives and work of
transnational writers? How are the language and literary conventions of
their narratives affected by the place of composition and publication and
the anticipated audience? How is the distinction between public and
private negotiated or recoded in the writing of these lives? How does
experience become a source of knowledge? How do personal anecdotes
become an argument? How do the local cultures, languages, and the
vernacular mediated through life writing interact with global languages
and cultures? How do the time period of the subject and the time period
of the writer affect the crafting of the narrative? In what ways does
the experience of between-ness and displacement among Caribbean diaspora
writers resemble or differ from that of the romanticized Modernist writer
in exile?

Please submit a 250 word abstract to the ACLA conference website at by November 3rd. Please contact the organizers
if you have any questions at and

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Received on Fri Oct 10 2008 - 20:49:50 EDT