CFP: [Postcolonial] Postcolonial perspectives on collecting (ACLA. Deadline: Nov. 3 2008)

full name / name of organization: 
Maria Andrade
contact email: 

Postcolonial perspectives on Collecting

The private collection has been viewed by some as emblematic of bourgeois
European subjectivity. As Walter Benjamin has noted, the collection, a
world in miniature, wrests an object from its context and reorganizes it
according to a new system, a new rationality, devised by the collector
himself. While he believes the collection "emancipates" the object from its
original context, other authors, such as the anthropologist James Clifford,
have questioned the power relations by which one culture appears entitled
to collect the products of another.

This panel seeks to explore what happens when the private collector is not
a European subject but one of Europe’s “subalterns.” What questions are
posed in this process? How are power relations unsettled? What issues of
national identity are posed? Are the limits between self and other called
into question? Is a different kind of rationality enacted? Papers may
address literary or factual examples of postcolonial instances of private
collecting, museum collections, and other examples. Interdisciplinary
approaches are welcome.

Submit 250-word proposals by November 3, 2008, through the ACLA web site
Panel organizer: María Mercedes Andrade, Associate Professor, Universidad
de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

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Received on Tue Oct 28 2008 - 07:35:22 EST