NEMLA 2015: Giving Voice, Appropriating Voices: Representing the Singularity of Suffering

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Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
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NeMLA 2015 46th Annual Convention
Toronto, April 30-May 3, 2015

Efforts to give voice to the silenced are central to postcolonial and feminist thought. Yet scholars in both disciplines, following Gayatri Spivak and Chandra Mohanty, have insisted that recuperating silenced voices always risks re-appropriating those voices. This can include reading individual experience as an allegory for collective struggle; assuming agency on the part of author and reader that is denied to the subject; and presuming that the writer has the power to retrieve lost lives, as if they could be made transparent. This session seeks papers responsive to the quandary of how to represent experiences of silencing in ways that do justice to their singularity. Discussions of all genres and media are welcome, including literature, film, photography, and visual art. Please submit a 300-word abstract and brief bio by Sept. 30, 2014 through the NeMLA submission website: For questions, contact Lisa Propst at