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ACLA 2009 Convention: March 26-29, 2009
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
The Territories of the Citizen: Literature and Political Belonging
Seminar Organizer: Carrie Hyde
â€œI am a citizen of somewhere else.â€ Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Custom-House
Though the term â€œcitizenâ€ began as a designation for an inhabitant of a city, its implied
boundaries have been redrawn to name an allegiance to other territorial institutions: the state,
the nation, as well as loosely continental associations (such as the European Union). In addition
to mapping these geographic allegiances, the rights of the citizen have been variously conceived
as hereditary (Edmund Burke), and natural, and so presumptively inalienable (Thomas Paine).
This seminar examines the relationship between competing formulations of the citizen, as
articulated not only in different historical crises (such as revolution, civil war, and emancipation
movements), but as a central legacy of the anomalous affiliations enabled by fiction.
Questions to address include: How does fiction reflect and reconfigure territorial affiliations?
What are the aesthetics of citizenship? Are fictions of citizenship organized by the same
distinctions as civic law? How does the rhetoric of rights inform different notions of the literary?
How is citizenship shaped by its categorical exclusions: the slave, the alien, the stateless? These
questions are formulated broadly to include different approaches, but the panel encourages
submissions that address these issues concretely through the lens of a particular text or genre.
Abstract Deadline: November 3, 2008 (extended from Nov. 1)
Note: All paper proposals must be submitted through the ACLA conference website: http://www.acla.org/acla2009/?page_id=7
After clicking on "submit a paper," just select the "The Territories of the Citizen" seminar from
the menu, and your abstract will go directly to the organizer.
If you have any questions about the seminar, please feel free to e-mail me at:
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Received on Mon Oct 27 2008 - 12:38:13 EST