Literary Identities: Kingdoms, Nations, Villages, Conference 3rd June 2013

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King's College, London

This year, we are taking the theme of Kingdoms, Nations and Villages to explore how literature has represented, interpreted and subverted identities. Recent research at Kings (such as the Leverhulme funded Commodities and Culture Network as well as comparative literary scholarship in the Menzies Centre) has suggested that this theme would provoke a timely inter-Collegiate, inter-period critical discussion and conversation.

We are excited to invite Professor Paul Gilroy as our guest-speaker. He has previously been professor at LSE, Yale and Goldsmiths College, and now works within the English department at King's. Professor Gilroy's scholarly interest encompass postcolonial studies and the formation and reproduction of national identity especially with regard to race and "identity".

We are looking for papers that explore and interrogate the perpetual re-negotiation of the definitions and boundaries of identity; to understand identity as inclusive and exclusive, and as a contemporary performance and retrospective narration.

Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
• Types of community and ways of identifying with others: online, digital, creative, textual, imaginary, tribes, spiritual, regional, racial, common interest groups.
• Peoples in conflict: wars, revolutions, exile.
• Moving communities: migration, refugees, borders and border control.
• Place: land, countries, provinces, villages, regions, metropole, buildings.
• Communicating amongst and in between peoples: translation, transport, jingoism.
• Variety in community: class, gender, hierarchies, hegemonies.
• Kingdoms of the mind: self-aggrandisement, autonomy, loyalty, Aspirant States, belonging, legitimacy, nationalism, patriotism.
• Narrating objects (symbols of community): flags, coins, passports, medals, the camera.
• Ways of reading literary identities: post-colonial studies, post-structuralist theories of subjectivity, psychoanalytical readings of Self and Other.

Please send abstracts (250 – 300 words) for 20-minute papers to: by Monday 22 April

Organised by Rebecca Dobson and Sarah Gundry