CFP: Resistance to Tyranny: Representing the Struggle for Human Rights in Literature (2/17/06; NYCEA, 4/28/06-4/29/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Jennifer Griffiths
contact email: 

* Call for Papers *
The New York College English Association Conference
Marymount College of Fordham University
Tarrytown, NY April 28-29, 2006
Resistance to Tyranny:
Representing the Struggle for Human Rights in Literature
In an interview with Amnesty International, Chilean writer and activist Ariel Dorfman
explains that, despite efforts to silence survivors of human rights violations, "Somehow the
stories do come out, those voices do come out. I am not their voice: I make a space for
those voices, a bridge." Dorfman's insights raise questions about the role of literature in
the struggle for human rights. How do writers represent often unspeakable crimes against
humanity and create a cultural memory that recognizes the forgotten or marginalized voices
from the past? What does it mean to bear witness through literature?
How has the struggle for human rights, for various forms of freedom, found representation
and support in different ways throughout history? These questions can apply to human rights
issues across cultures and continents as well as centuries.
NYCEA invites proposals for 15-minute papers on any aspect of this theme and its literary,
theoretical, and pedagogical applications.
The following topics represent some possibilities for papers:
* Survivor's guilt
* Intergenerational testimony
* Truth Commissions/Tribunals
* Public Memorials
* Representing the Perpetrators
* Representing human rights struggles in pre-20th century contexts
* Women's Rights
* Slavery/Abolition
* Justice and Reparations
* Shame, rage, and denial in response
* Memory and representation
* Experimental narrative or performance
* The reader or audience member as witness
* Cultural Relativism/Cultural Imperialism
* The child survivor
* The "Disappeared" and representing absence
* Nunca Mas
* Injustices to workers
* Child labor
* The disenfranchised/struggle for civil rights
* Basic human needs like housing and health care
* Freedom of conscience
* Defense of basic human rights
* Exile

Please send abstracts of 450-500 words for papers and panel session to Gertrude Hamilton
(Box 1401) or Jennifer Griffiths (Box 1318), English Department, Marymount College of
Fordham University, 100 Marymount Avenue, Tarrytown, NY 10591. Email: or Deadline for proposals is Friday, February
17, 2006.

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Received on Thu Nov 03 2005 - 12:46:27 EST