Porous Approaches to Literature, Borders, Nationalism[s], and World Orders at ACLA Conference, Vancouver BC

full name / name of organization: 
April Durham/University of California Riverside

While a determination to open literary studies to alter-canonized literatures is important to the creation of a broader perspective on cultural practice, the pedagogical tools available for teaching "world literature" need to move away from epistemological traditions that engender exclusion, alienation, and devastation. Overlapping systemic problems—the intersection of nation formation and "new world order" organizations such as the WTO and the IMF—create multiple tensions within "world literature," which can be addressed through "metalogues." Our interest is to extend the discussion of World Literature and comparative practice to a permeation of boundaries, both national and ideological, in order to explore porous understanding in an environment of fragmented, destabilized, nomadic movement among racial, sexual, ethnic, and geographical identities. This panel seeks to investigate the critical figurations that are evoked in liminal spaces, borders, and wastelands, where boundaries are places of generative potentiality and where transgression is an ongoing and important methodology for understanding contemporary identities. What is at stake in ever-moving, nomadic identities? What are the exclusionary practices in the production of "world literature"? What world is being constructed in "world literature"? What might evolve from a comparative practice not described by binary thought? All proposals investigating questions of World Literature and Comparative Studies as places for opening dialogue concerning identities and understandings of multiplicity are welcome. We especially appreciate inquiries into interdisciplinarity in a broad sense of the term; further, we are deeply interested in collaborative projects and visionary approaches.

Please submit abstracts through the ACLA Conference website: http://www.acla.org/acla2011/?page_id=33
The deadline is November 12. Please email with any questions.
Co-organized by Tanya Rawal and Marguerite Waller, PhD.