Under Construction: Gateways and Walls, 26 to 30 April 2011
University of Northampton
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AT: Bogazici (Bosphorus) University,
Istanbul, Turkey, from 26 to 30 April 2011
Construction: Gateways and Walls'
This conference proposes
to examine the state of postcolonial studies using the concepts of
(re)building, transition and change, process and construction, in order to
discuss the social and political crises and dilemmas of the contemporary moment
which urgently need addressing.
The Gateway, the Wall:
these conceptual figures suggest the practical and piecemeal yet also
provisional nature of our discipline and scholarly explorations, and the way
that knowledge may be constructed to function as both barrier and pathway to
further modes of enquiry. Delegates might
like to reflect on the current state of postcolonial theory, which is
increasingly used alongside new models taken from migration studies or globalisation
theory. This expansion offers a 'gateway' to new discourses and disciplines,
but correspondingly traditional postcolonial frameworks are also inevitably in
danger of losing their critical purchase. Questions to be posed might include:
Can postcolonial studies act as 'gateways' to the understanding of the
contemporary world by intersecting with other theoretical models? Or do
postcolonial models act as 'walls' that block perspectives currently only
available if used in conjunction with other discourses and disciplines? Can
earlier postcolonial discourses still be confidently applied to current
economic and political conditions (e.g. the rise of the BRIC countries,
especially China and India)? What new challenges do postcolonial modes of
thought face today (the Middle East, for instance, is one amongst other complex
areas of inquiry)? Such questions can be explored either from a theoretical angle
or through particular case studies in the fields of literature, language,
cinema and visual arts.
The theme 'Under
Construction' also reflects the conference location in Istanbul, a city of
'border-zones' that straddles East and West, Europe and Asia, but which
historically has also been a gateway between North and South, between the Black
Sea and the Mediterranean, between 'wild Scythia' and the 'civilised' Roman
Empire, between orthodox Russia and the Byzantine metropolis of Constantinople.
It hints at the layered political status of Turkey, a complex multicultural
nation which was once the centre of an empire and currently seeks a 'gateway'
into a larger community of nations through entry into the European Union.
Turkey also images the geopolitical shifts currently occurring due to globalisation,
and suggests that remappings of older notions of how the world is divided up,
such as empires, colonies, nation-states and regions, are now required. How
adequate in the global/glocal third millennium are current conceptual
frameworks constructed around terms like cosmopolitanism, the transnational and
the transcultural? What new terms and frameworks can we use to address the
provisionality of contemporary life: terrorism, global warming, migration,
multilingualism, diasporic subjects and groups who lack a definitive homeland?
Subthemes offering pathways towards
and around the theme of 'Under Construction', and images of gateways, walls and
with the Orient as the 'Other'
- revisiting Edward
Said's Orientalism and Eric
- worlding the Text
and the Critic
and Postcolonial Studies
- the 'post-postcolonial'
and the globalised world
- is world literature
- postcolonialism and
- the nation's
gateways and walls
- global networks
versus the nation-state?
- governmentality and
- global English and
of East and West
- revisiting empires,
colonies, and commonwealths
- dying and reviving
- China, the new
- after Gallipoli:
reconstructions and representations
- national myths and
- trauma, mourning
write life or not to write life
is there a postcolonial genre?
electronic gateways: the death of the book?
Bosphorus – Interfaces under Four Winds
North-South/East-West ambiguities and divergences
- myths of
'wilderness' and 'civilisation'
Subjects and Communities
- debating the
- minority versus
majority identitarian discourses
Ocean Flows and Networks
Black Aegean, the African Mediterranean
archipelagos, and isthmuses
sea as history
Migration and Cosmopolitanism
- the neo-liberal
subject and globalisation
utopias, the 'shock of the new'
- where is the new
- diasporas, exile
and migration as crossings
as Boundary and Marker
- an environmental
ethics under construction
- terrorism, the
subject and globalisation
- what is a
Gender as Threshold and Border
- geographies of
- trans/gendering the
- globalising the queer
Abstracts: Deadline for abstracts is 31 March 2010.
Please submit abstracts
of about 200 words for individual presentations (20 minutes) or panel proposals
for three speakers (90 minutes) to EACLALS2011@googlemail.com.
Include your name, affiliation, email address and a brief biography (for
attachments include your name as part of the file name). Add 5-6 key words and
an indication of the most appropriate subtheme for your paper.
Delegates must be
EACLALS members. Check the EACLALS website at http://www.eaclals.org
for subscription rates and for further information.