The Legacy of Aimé Césaire: Politics, Poetry, and Resistance in the 21st-century (6/1/12)

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SAMLA 2012 Convention, November 9-11
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The Legacy of Aimé Césaire: Politics, Poetry, and Resistance in the 21st-century

Robin D.G. Kelley, in his introduction to Aimé Césaire's Discourse on Colonialism, argues that Césaire's text "calls on the world to move forward as rapidly as possible, and yet calls for the overthrow of a master class's ideology of progress, one built on violence, destruction, genocide." As we mark the 50th anniversary of independence for several Caribbean, African, and Latin American countries, the brutal reality of neo-colonialism, and the proliferation of a global capitalism that continues to shape the socio-cultural and economic landscapes of these spaces, presents as a grave challenge to the nations themselves and to the writers and scholars who engage their realities. Approaching Césaire's centennial, and considering that his work was a primary source of inspiration for the resistance which led to decolonization, should we not examine how his work continues to speak to the contemporary challenges of capitalism, globalization, and geopolitics? Does Césaire continue to move us forward in a new direction as Kelley suggests? Have writers of this epoch engaged Césaire's anti-colonial frame in their poetry and prose? Have scholars, once again, taken up (or re-envisioned) Césaire's call to eradicate the (neo) colonizer's influence?

This panel invites 15-20 minute papers, in English, that consider the significance of Aimé Césaire's revolutionary prose and poetry to the 21st-century global order. Papers may also explore Césaire's work, or influence on other writers, in regards to: Poetics; 21st-century class struggle and resistance movements; language and identity; neo-imperialism; Négritude.

By June 1st, please e-mail abstracts of no more than 300 words to Shauna Morgan Kirlew at Abstracts should include your name, institution, e-mail address, and the title of your proposed paper.