CFP: Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens, and Homelands Conference (12/1/06; 5/17/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Evelyn Azeeza Alsultany
contact email: 

Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens, and Homelands

RAWI – the Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. – is organizing its
second national conference in Dearborn, Michigan on May 17-20, 2007 at
the Arab American National Museum. The conference welcomes RAWI members
and others who are interested in engaging in the Arab American literary
community. The conference will provide a venue to present our writings
and ideas to one another and to the Detroit and Arab communities. Our
gathering will offer an opportunity for colleagues to share strategies
for publishing and circulating our work and also for confronting
academic, community, and political barriers.

This year's conference theme, "Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens,
and Homelands," seeks to address the multiple challenges Arab American
writers face in an intensified post-9/11 climate. How is Arab American
writing impacted by the targeting of Arabs (and Muslims) as the
national enemy inside and outside of the U.S. and by the wars waged in
our homelands? How do politics influence our writing – we are not only
referring to how political events in the Middle East and the U.S.
inform our writing, but also the politics around the circulation of our
writing. Are some Arab American writers benefiting from
self-commodification and perpetuating Arab stereotypes? What kinds of
narratives receive wide circulation and which do not? Is writing a form
of political activism? How do RAWI members write out these tensions?

The organizing committee is accepting proposals for individual papers,
entire sessions, presentations, performances, films, roundtables,
workshops, conversations, and other non-traditional formats that
address the theme of Arab American writing. All genres welcome –
memoir, children's writing, poetry, performance, journalism,
translation, fiction, blogs, spoken word, creative non-fiction,
academic writing, screenwriting,
playwriting, etc. Proposals are welcome from those who are published
and non-published, teachers and students, activists, publishers,
historians, journalists, artists, novelists, filmmakers – experienced
and beginners.

Topics may include but are not limited to the following:

Writing about War: How have Arab American writings been
influenced by the crises in Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon?

The Politics of Publishing While Arab: What kinds of challenges have
Arab American writers faced in publishing? Is the nature of these
challenges exclusively political?

Beyond Coffee and Grape Leaves: What is the significance of Arab
American writers
working within these cultural motifs? What are their limitations?

Conversations with other Hyphenated Writers: A dialogue with
South Asian American, African-American, Latino, Asian American, and
Native American writers.

Poetic Textual Analysis: How do Arab American poetry, fiction, drama,
non-fiction perform aesthetically as works of art and as literary

 The Arab Blogosphere: How have blogs become an important site for Arab
American writing?

 Mentoring and Offering Publishing Advice:What advice can experiences
writers and editors offer to those who are starting out?

Crossing Over & Bending Genres: Exploring the role of creative
nonfiction, academic poetic writing, and other innovative forms of

For individual submissions, please send a one-page abstract of
approximately 250 words. For collective submissions please provide
panel/roundtable/workshop title, list of presenters, and an abstract
for the
session that includes a description of what each individual will
present. Please send your RAWI conference proposals as Word attachments
via e-mail to Evelyn Alsultany ( and Deborah
Alkamano ( by December 1, 2006.Please include a
1-page resume or CV for each presenter.

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Received on Thu Oct 12 2006 - 11:19:39 EDT