Cultures of Migration: Local Cosmopolitanisms

full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association

ACLA (New Orleans, Apr. 1-4, 2010)
Cultures of Migration: Local Cosmopolitanisms

Immigrant communities have often been depicted as either inward-looking, focused on preserving cultural practices from the "old country" or outward-looking, intent on fitting into the new "host" country. In recent years, there has been increasing recognition that "immigrant" communities are often also migrant communities, with complex social and travel networks between their country of origin, their new country of residence and sometimes third and fourth countries where their offspring choose to live. This panel invites papers that investigate how these complex patterns are reflected in creative works of literature, film, theater or music.

Questions to address include, but are not limited to the following. Looking at cultural works, how do immigrant communities place themselves with regard to "home" and "host" nations? How do identities form within and across national borders? How do creative works portray the relations between communities with the same origins but different destinations (e.g. Algerians in London vs. Paris)? How do they identify with immigrants of other ethnic, national or religious backgrounds living in the same space (e.g. Turks, Maghrebis and Asians in French suburbs)? How are these identities transmitted in works of literature, theater, cinema and music? How do national identities play out against local identities (e.g. French or Moroccan vs. identification with a city such as Lyon or Rabat)? How do creative works themselves encourage or impede the transmission of an identity? How do creative works seek to get beyond local or national identifications to declare themselves "citizens of the world"? What are the benefits and costs of such a gesture?

Format of seminar:
This panel will meet on two or three consecutive days (depending on the number of papers), and presenters are strongly encouraged to plan to attend all sessions of the panel. This is a unique conference format that allows a small group of researchers (normally 8-12 people) to pursue a particular topic in depth within the context of a larger conference.

For more information on the conference, please visit the official conference website at Please note that paper proposals must be submitted through the conference website at

Deadline to submit proposals: November 13, 2009

For questions about the panel, please contact the seminar organizers:
Marika Preziuso, Birbeck, University of London (
Annedith Schneider, Sabanci University (