CFP: The Foreigner: Mirror of Tensions (11/1/06; ACLA, 4/19/07-4/22/07)
Immigration is a phenomenon that contemporary societies struggle with. In this context the figure of the foreigner is a good scenario to explore the dynamics and tensions of cultures in contact. The liminal perspective provided by the outsider adds a new interpretation of our own reality, questioning the foundations of the canonical culture and our own identities. "What appear to be cultural units-human beings, words, meanings, ideas, philosophical systems, social organizations-are maintained in their apparent unity only through an active process of exclusion, opposition, and hierarchization. Other phenomena or units must be represented as foreign or 'other' through representing a hierarchical dualism in which the unit is 'privileged' or favored, and the other is devalued in some way." (Cahoone 1996). Negotiation of power relations has a lasting presence in contemporary literature given the intercultural atmosphere that permeates our society no. An extensive number of autho!
rs, from Sartre to Miller or Carlos Fuentes, have repeatedly exploited this type to present the void existing between the 'same' and the 'other' at a social level and the 'self' and the 'other' at an individual one, two entities whose mutual recognition is conceived by Todorov as a requisite to reach self-understanding. Within the frame of Todorov's theory of The Other, this seminar will address a wide range of issues such as:
-The impossibility of communication across cultures.
-Cultural assimilation and integration processes.
-The other within oneself.
-New and old foreigners.
-The similarity of the differences.
-Orientalism in intercultural contexts.
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or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Thu Oct 05 2006 - 01:17:20 EDT