A New Sense of Place: Travel and Alterity in Southern Literature (Special Topics Panel, 2013 LSU Mardi Gras Conference)
In her 2011 Southscapes: Geographies of Race, Region, and Literature, scholar Thadious Davis revivifies the idea of place in southern literature. It is such reconsiderations of southern places as dynamic spaces that this panel will explore. The 2013 Mardi Gras Conference theme is "In Momentum: Literature, Travel, and Alterity." (See http://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/node/47987 for the conference-wide CFP.) This timely theme asks for a discussion of notions of place and space, for considerations of how travel and movement, boundedness and freedom, can be considered in terms of literature, art, science, thought. Under that larger umbrella of movement and travel, this panel will explore the broad themes of travel, the related discourses of globalization, migration, space, and place, and connected issues regarding alterity in the literature of the American South. Suggested topics include (but are certainly not limited to) the traumatic histories of travel in the South, including African slavery and Native American removal; migrant work; southern expatriate writing; the post-Katrina New Orleans diaspora; the Appalachian diaspora; and the effect of tourism on southern identity.