CFP: The New South Africa: Panel for Permeability and Selfhood Conference (grad) (1/5/06; McGill, 3/11/06-3/12/06)

full name / name of organization: 
laura eisabel moth


This panel aims to incite an open conversation on the new literary poetics of
land reform in South Africa as they relate to identity. The official end of
apartheid marked the beginning of the "South African Renaissance", an era
characterized by the redefinition of identity and land, and the relationship
between the two. New delineations and conceptions of the landscape are
intricately tied to the formation of identities in the new country. While the
government tries to mediate between the exigencies of land reform and the need
to promote an image of South Africa as a free and just state (defined against
Mugabe's Zimbabwe), post-apartheid literature attempts to treat the complexity
of a relationship between identity and place that is no longer subject to the
scripture and strictures of apartheid. As the government opens new "grounds
for discussion" in the public sphere, literature has responded with a new
complexity and ambivalence in its treatment of identity and land.

Papers might address the following questions:

-How might old literary representations of land, and the wider notion of
"place", be problematized in the modern South African context?

-How are South African writers treating established post-colonial concerns such
as indigeneity, authenticity, and hybrid identity in the midst of this
discursive explosion?

-Is the symbolic unsettling of the land affecting generic literary forms,
perhaps producing new variations?

-What does the authorship of place mean in the new South Africa?

-How is 'authorship' as an identity problematized?

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Received on Wed Nov 16 2005 - 10:26:35 EST