"Come Together?" Concepts of Community in Contemporary British and Irish Literature and Culture. May 31st & June 1st, 2013.

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Department of English Literature and Culture, University of Mannheim, Germany.
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International conference/ Call for papers

The Department of English Literature and Culture invites paper proposals for the international conference, "Concepts of Community in Contemporary British and Irish Literature and Culture", which will be held at the University of Mannheim, May 31st and June 1st, 2013.

The concept of 'community' continues to be a contentious issue in the 21st century. Some lament the loss of a sense of community due to the destruction of traditional family structures, as well as the erosion of local and national ties in the face of increasing globalisation. Others point towards the creation of new types of communities, either in the form of 'virtual communities' or hybrid societies. No matter whether the diagnosis is one of loss or gain, the concept of community is emotionally charged. It may, for example, give rise to nostalgia or, to the contrary, elicit fears of totalitarianism. The focus of this conference lies on British and Irish literature and culture from the late 1980s to the present day: To what extent has the changing social, political and cultural landscape called into question traditional notions of community? To debate how literature, but also visual texts such as film and television, contribute to the (trans)formation of concepts of community, we are interested in papers that address one of the following aspects:

1. Geographies of Community
2. Home and Community
3. Constructing/ Questioning 'Whiteness': Community and Difference
4. Ecocritical Approaches to Community

Hence, possible paper topics may draw on (but are not limited to) one of the following subjects:

Colonial/Postcolonial Theory
Cultural Encounters
Ethnicity and Race
Theories of Nationhood
Local/Regional Identities
Ecocriticism and environmental studies
Gender studies and sexuality

Please send abstracts (not exceeding 250 words) to wiechert@uni-mannheim.de by Friday, November 16, 2012.