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EACLALS Postgraduate Conference - "Postcolonialism and Labour" - 26-27 March 2011
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Postcolonialism and Labour
EACLALS Postgraduate Conference
26 - 27 March 2011
Keynote by Professor Frank Schulze-Engler (Goethe University, Frankfurt)
This inaugural postgraduate conference aims to provide a space for debate and discussion on reconfiguring the category of ‘Labour’ within Postcolonial Studies. Historically speaking, given its Marxist affiliations and the tropes of eurocentrism in universalising ‘Labour’ as a normative category against the local and particular, Postcolonial Studies has not engaged critically with the notion of ‘Labour’. However, the concept is now gaining purchase in the field owing largely to globalisation, international division of labour, immigration and the radical restructuring of work and professions both within and outside the West. Yet, despite these recent developments, Postcolonial Studies can be criticised for effectively abandoning the economic essence of cultures by ceaselessly reworking ‘difference’, ‘hybridity’ and ‘disjunctures’ as the cultural markers of historical and persisting inequalities. In the last twenty-five years we have witnessed the emergence of a wide range of literary and filmic productions that reconfigure the notion of ‘Labour’, including Hanif Kureishi’s "My Beautiful Laundrette" (1985), J. M. Coetzee’s "Disgrace" (1999), Monica Ali’s "Brick Lane" (2003), Stephen Frears’s "Dirty Pretty Things" (2003), Hari Kunzru’s "Transmission" (2004), Mohsin Hamid’s "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" (2007) and Aravind Adiga’s "White Tiger" (2008).
This conference seeks papers that address, but are not limited to, the following questions:
• How, and in what ways, can the concept of ‘Labour’ be redressed from a culturally contingent perspective (as opposed to totalising Marxist approaches)?
We invite papers from postgraduates working in the disciplines of literature, history, cultural studies, sociology, film and media studies, human geography, linguistics, politics, religious studies and communication among others. Proposals reflecting an interdisciplinary approach are particularly welcome. Some suggested themes are:
Labour and its Cultural Constructions
Labour and Power Relations
Labour and Globalisation
Labour and Capitalism
Labour and Gender
Labour and Identity
Labour and Exploitation
Labour and Exile
We also welcome presentations in the form of workshops where postgraduate students can share and discuss their work in progress. In addition to the paper presentations, postgraduate students are encouraged to present early findings of their research in the form of posters.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual presentations (20 minutes), workshop presentations or poster presentations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, affiliation, email address, a brief biography and indicate whether you will present in a PANEL, WORKSHOP or with a POSTER.
Abstracts: Deadline for abstracts is: 01 November 2010
For further information about the conference, please see the website at www.eaclals.ulg.ac.be/pg-conference
Participants must be EACLALS members. Please see the EACLALS website at http://www.eaclals.org for subscription rates and further information.