Mediterranean Encounters- seminar ACLA 2010, New Orleans, April 1-3, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Edwige Tamalet Talbayev, Yale University
contact email: 

Papers are sought for the following seminar:

Mediterranean Encounters

A space historically marked by cosmopolitanism and diaspora, the Mediterranean has developed in the course of history as a prime site for the study of cultural translation as well as transnational interactions and contestations between various traditions and spaces. This seminar proposes to reveal the Mediterranean as a hybrid site where histories of conflicting geo-political imperatives and asymmetrical power relations co-exist with obliterated narratives of transcultural subjectivities and cosmopolitan cultural genealogies. Through an investigation of various sites of friction and interaction in the Mediterranean basin and of the criss-crossings that have connected them at different moments in history, this panel aims to reveal alternative dynamics of historical and cultural affiliations (real or imaginary) as well as margin-to-margin circuits of production that critically engage with the dyadic logic of Eurocentric modernity and empire (North vs. South; Europe vs. the Islamic World) and cold war politics (East vs. West). Discussing various representations of the Mediterranean—as a group of micro-cultures, a crucible between religions, languages, and traditions, or a contact zone where differences can be both predicated and defused- this seminar seeks papers that address the modalities of Mediterranean encounters from a wide range of disciplines, national literatures, and theoretical approaches. Proposals ranging from the medieval period to the present are welcome, as are abstracts focusing on music, visual arts, and other media.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
-Symbolic geographies
-Transcultural subjectivities/cosmopolitanism
-Literary syncretism
-Textuality and translation
-Hybridity and liminality
-Diaspora and collective memory

Please send 250-word abstracts by November 13th directly to ACLA ( Select "Mediterranean Encounters" from scroll down menu.

The ACLA's annual conferences have a unique structure in which most papers are grouped into 9-12 person seminars that meet two hours per day, for the three days of the conference, in order to foster discussion. Some 8-person seminars meet the first two days of the conference. Previous conference programs that show this structure are available at the ACLA website. The conference will also include plenary sessions, workshops, a business meeting, a banquet, and other events in downtown New Orleans and on the Tulane campus.