Under Construction: Gateways and Walls, 26 to 30 April 2011

full name / name of organization: 
European Association of Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies (EACLALS)
contact email: 
janet.wilson@northampton.ac.uk; EACLALS2001@goglemail.com

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EACLALS TRIENNIAL
CONFERENCE 2011

 

AT: Bogazici (Bosphorus) University,
Istanbul, Turkey, from 26 to 30 April 2011

 

THEME: ‘Under
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
border-zones:

 

Interactions
with the Orient as the ‘Other’

  • revisiting Edward
    Said’s Orientalism and Eric
    Auerbach’s Mimesis
  • worlding the Text
    and the Critic

 
Interdisciplinarity
and Postcolonial Studies

  • the ‘post-postcolonial’
    and the globalised world
  • is world literature
    postcolonial?
  • postcolonialism and
    transnationalism

 
Nation-states
and Nationalisms

  • the nation’s
    gateways and walls
  • global networks
    versus the nation-state?
  • governmentality and
    its discontents
  • global English and
    language choices

 
Geopolitics
of East and West

  • revisiting empires,
    colonies, and commonwealths
  • dying and reviving
    states
  • China, the new
    empire

 
History
and Memory

  • after Gallipoli:
    reconstructions and representations
  • national myths and
    identity
  • trauma, mourning
    and memory

 

Postcolonial
Aesthetics

·      
to
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’
  • postcolonial
    romanticisms

 
Minority
Subjects and Communities

  • debating the
    ‘Other’ inside
  • minority versus
    majority identitarian discourses

 

Ocean Flows and Networks

·      
the
Black Aegean, the African Mediterranean

·      
islands,
archipelagos, and isthmuses

·      
the
sea as history

 
Postcolonial
Migration and Cosmopolitanism

  • the neo-liberal
    subject and globalisation
  • constructing
    utopias, the ‘shock of the new’
  • where is the new
    cosmo/polis?
  • diasporas, exile
    and migration as crossings

 
Ethics
as Boundary and Marker

  • an environmental
    ethics under construction
  • terrorism, the
    subject and globalisation
  • what is a
    postcolonial ethics?

 
Gender as Threshold and Border

  • geographies of
    gender
  • trans/gendering the
    subject
  • 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.

 

cfp categories: 
african-american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
international_conferences
postcolonial
religion
science_and_culture
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond