Re-Examining Opacity in the Caribbean Context

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NeMLA 2014 Conference
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Call for Papers

Re-Examining Opacity in the Caribbean Context

45th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
April 3-6, 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Host: Susquehanna University

The late Martiniquan writer, poet, and critic Édouard Glissant (1928–2011) remains an extremely influential figure in Caribbean thought and cultural commentary. His Caribbean Discourse (1990) and Poetics of Relation (1997), which argued for new understandings of the Caribbean with respect to the wider world, have become part of a new canon of cultural criticism. Central to Glissant's theoretical approach is the notion of opacité, or "opacity." He consistently defended the right of Caribbean people to be "opaque" with respect to the West, refusing both the transparency and the imposition of Western thought.

This panel will explore the resonance of Glissant's notion of "opacity" within cultural production in the contemporary Caribbean context. How do texts by Caribbean and diasporic writers confirm or resist Western notions of "otherness"? Is "opacity" liberating or limiting? In what ways does Caribbean literature translate, or obfuscate, local realities for a global market? Submissions are invited which specifically address this question in French, Spanish, English, or Creole texts, including (but not limited to) novels; dramatic works; poetry; theories and criticism. Please send 250-300-word abstracts to Mariana Past,

Deadline: September 30, 2013
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

The 2014 NeMLA convention continues the Association's tradition of sharing innovative scholarship in an engaging and generative location. This capitol city set on the Susquehanna River is known for its vibrant restaurant scene, historical sites, the National Civil War museum, and nearby Amish Country, antique shops and Hershey Park. NeMLA has arranged low hotel rates of $104-$124.

The 2014 event will include guest speakers, literary readings, professional events, and workshops. A reading by George Saunders will open the Convention. His 2013 collection of short fiction, The Tenth of December, has been acclaimed by the New York Times as "the best book you'll read this year." The Keynote speaker will be David Staller of Project Shaw.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.