CFP: [African-American] Place, Writing and Voice

full name / name of organization: 
Shelley Trower
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5-6 September 2008, University of Plymouth

This conference will explore the experience of the local through
consideration of written and oral narratives, in forms including but by
no means limited to poetry, novels, and oral history interviews. One of
the aims is to bring together papers which engage with different kinds of
stories about place, especially literary and/or oral, and thereby to
consider relations between the written and spoken word. Along with
written texts, we hope to engage with work concerning both oral
traditions and oral history, observing the differences between them while
allowing for connections. The conference will seek to engage with a
diversity of approaches, as represented by Walter Ong’s Orality and
Literacy, Benedict Anderson's account of “print-nationalism” in contrast
to “speech-localities”, and Alessandro Portelli’s ‘What Makes Oral
History Different?’

Orality and locality may be considered in relation to nationalism,
globalisation, and technological change. We are also keen to explore and
critique how some ecocriticism places value on the local and oral. Oral
culture is local in so far as it only reaches those within earshot, and
is associated with pre-industrial traditions (for example folktales and
ballads). One problem with this for environmentalism may be that
ecological understanding has to encompass the inter-connectedness of the
global ecosystem—it must leap out of the local.

We welcome papers concerning written and/or oral narratives about any
locality, while a focus on South West Britain will be one of its
distinctive features.

Possible topics include:
* Regional writing
* Oral history
* Oral traditions
* Dialect in novels and poetry
* Voice in performance
* Ballad and musical narratives
* The romance of the local
* Locality and nationality
* Locality and globalisation
* Locality and ecology

Confirmed speakers include Nick Groom, Tim Fulford, Richard Kerridge

Please send proposals of 200-250 words (for papers of 20 minutes) to
Shelley Trower at and Dafydd Moore at by 28 February 2008.

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Received on Tue Dec 18 2007 - 06:24:02 EST

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