Resistance Literature and Film, ACLA 2013, University of Toronto, April 4-7

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American Comparative Literature Association
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Panel Title:

De-Positioning Postcoloniality: Resistance Literature and Film in the Wake of the Arab Spring

Hamid Dabashi argues that the "revolutionary uprisings" across the Arab World "are no longer fighting according to terms dictated by their condition of coloniality, codenamed 'postcolonial.'" The struggle against globalized imperialism unleashed by the Arab Spring signals a "new" age of revolt that addresses the systemic inequalities of the postcolony and its relationship to globalized capital, as much as it engages the theoretical limitations of what E. San Juan, Jr. has labeled "essentialist postcolonialism." As such, this panel intends to investigate the relationship between the recent strike wave that swept across North Africa and the Middle East, among other areas of the world, and the "genre" of resistance literature and film. Some of the questions contributors are encouraged to address are: what are some of the cultural, economic, and political origins of the Arab Spring? How do contemporary literary and visual works engage contemporary revolt comparative to Barbra Harlow's categorization of "resistance literature" in the period of "real" decolonization? Which cultural producers (writers, artists, and theorists) have broadened our understanding of resistance through a rigorous critique of postcoloniality in the contemporary period? Moreover, in what ways do such works open up spaces for addressing the systemic conditions of class, race, and gender inequalities beyond the illusion of localized subversion and postmodern alterity by which institutionalized postcolonialism sustains itself? Finally, how do such works enable us to rethink the world literature paradigm as well as the parameters of comparativism in the context of globalized revolt?

Paper proposals must be submitted through the ACLA website at:

Deadline: 11/1