CFP: Tele-technologies and Postcolonialism (11/30/05; ACLA, 3/23/06-3/26/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Kristian VanHaesendonck
contact email:

Call for papers: "Exappropriating the Human: Tele-technologies,
Postcolonialism, and Their Convergence in Contemporary Globalization,"
seminar at the 2006 ACLA: American Comparative Literature Association
Annual Conference, Princeton University, March 23-26, 2006. The goal of this seminar is to reflect upon the
dehumanizing and uprooting capacity of language through the concept of
"exapropriation," a term coined by Derrida in his later works. The term
exappropriation, when applied to language, expresses the double move of how
language puts the human in place (hands it the qualities that are proper to it, appropriation) and at the same time
dehumanizes (pulls the human out of its proper place, expropriation). As
Derrida puts it in Of Hospitality: "If it seems to be both, and by that very
fact, the first and the last condition of belonging, language is also the
experience of expropriation, of an irreducible exappropriation." It was Paul
de Man who first called this "errancy of language which never reaches the
mark, which is always displaced in relation to what it meant to react" to the inhuman. We will focus on the
imminent convergence of the tele-technological and the (post)colonial
uprooting of place and the human as witnessed in contemporary globalization.
On the one hand we will define exappropriation in relation to literature and
the tele-technologies that uproot and exapropriate language and place itself
(telephone, television, e-mail). This is a path that is explored by Derrida
himself when he characterizes these technologies as "machines that introduce
ubiquitous disruption, and the rootlessness of place, the dislocation of the
house, the infraction into the home." In this case, we encourage proposals
for papers that address the intertwining of language, technology, and the
inhuman in contemporary literature. On the other hand, we encourage the
submission of papers that utilize "exapropriation" as a concept for the
analysis of postcolonial literature and its uprooting instances of
dehumanization. Please submit your paper proposal of 250 words before 30
November 2005 using the special form of submission on the ACLA website at
<>. Contact: Kristian van Haesendonck
at <>.

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Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 10:25:56 EST

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