Postcolonial Actualities: Past and Present, UT Austin 16-17 October 2009

full name / name of organization: 
Comparative Literature Program, UT Austin

The age of globalism that shapes the world today is both a cause and effect of postcolonial actualities: effect because of the cultural influences (imposed or transmitted) of colonial powers on colonized lands through the centuries; cause because the supposed end of the colonialist era started world events of migration, hybridity, multiculturalism and relocation in the urban centers of former colonial powers. Several critics have already shaped the postcolonial discourse—such as from Said to Bhabha, from Achebe to Rushdie, from the Subaltern Studies Group to Anzaldúa—and the reality of our world today continues to offer numerous possibilities for discussion on postcolonial issues.

The interdisciplinary conference "Postcolonial Actualities: Past and Present" at the University of Texas at Austin will focus on how the immigrant flux of colonized populations between urban spaces of former colonizing countries and colonies has reformed the politics of literature, sociology, art, and culture in the cities of former colonial powers. The conference aims to create discussions investigating how major cities of former empires and colonies have become the stage of hybridity, multiculturalism, and new social dynamics. Participation is open to graduate students and scholars from all disciplines and national/cultural study areas.

Details and further information on our plenary keynote speaker and special events will be provided in the coming weeks.

Proposals and Information:
Proposals are invited for 20-minute papers that explore the influence of immigration, hybridity, class formation, etc. in any urban space that was once part of a colonizing empire. Likewise, papers that deal with centers that suffered an outgoing emigration are also invited. A list of possible topics is appended to this page.
Submit your abstract of 150-250 words in an email (no attachments) to along with a brief biographical statement (max. 250 words) that can be used to introduce you. Please put "ABSTRACT: POSTCOLONIAL ACTUALITIES 2009" in the header of your email. The deadline for submitting an abstract is June 15, 2009.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Literature of diasporic communities
• Changing soundscapes
• The city and the visual
• Public and private spaces
• Politics and aesthetics of translation
• Dynamics of race and ethnicities
• Projections of/on the future
• Utopias and dystopias
• Choices in language
• The law of the city
(Any additional topics in the spirit of the Call for Papers are welcome)