CFP: Postcolonialism and South Asian Diasporas (6/1/06; SALA, 12/26/06-12/27/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Summer Pervez
contact email: 

Call for Papers for SALA's (South Asian Literary Association) 7th Annual
Conference (December 26 and 27, 2006; to be held in conjunction with the

For its 6th annual conference, the South Asian Literature Association
invites proposals (of no more than 200-300 words) on the subject:
"Postcolonialism and South Asian Diasporas"

As Arjun Appadurai observes, diasporic communities such as the ones
formed in the West Indies, Malaya, Fiji, Mauritius, Eastern and Western
Africa, the U. K., and the U. S. by the phenomenon of transnationalism,
"safe from the depredations of their home states... become doubly loyal
to their nations of origin" (49). It implies a process in which
formations that have traditionally been perceived as restricted to
well-defined political and geographical boundaries have transgressed
national borders, producing new social formations. Do diasporic politics
then lead to cultural and religious fanaticism by emphasizing a
conception of identity polarized between the "authentic" and the
"demonic"? For instance, how is South Asian identity negotiated in
Western spaces and vice versa? How is identity read by privileging
history? How do diasporic practices affect canonical understandings of
literary texts?

Though diasporic cultural, political, social, and economic practices are
subjects addressed most frequently in the social sciences-especially
sociology and political science-they are of great importance to literary
and cultural studies as well. The 7th annual SALA conference, therefore,
will address diasporic practices in South Asian culture and the
arts-literature, cinema, and other audiovisual and textual media.

Some suggested themes and questions are:

* Examination of textual and contextual accounts, leading theoretical
and historical accounts, programs, and critiques of postcolonial culture
and the South Asian Diaspora. This may include recent South Asian cinema
in and about the diaspora as well as essays and pamphlets on diasporic
practices and sensibilities by literary writers.

* The authors of these works of fiction and theory can include new
immigrants and descendants of old immigrants who live and work in
Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Saharan and Sub-Saharan Africa, the
Caribbean, Southeast Asia, etc., as well as itinerant writers who live
and work elsewhere, but all of whom have had a significant impact on the
literary world in the past fifteen years.

 * Among the key topics explored can be the status in postcolonial
studies of linguistic representation and subjectivity; knowledge,
interest, and power; history and intertextuality; nationalism,
fundamentalism, and transnationalism; authors and critics; and the
forging of cross-cultural, interdiscursive, and diasporic practices that
are staked out across geopolitical boundaries.

 * Are diasporic identities exclusively a first-generation practice?
* Do the transnational concerns between the politics of Islamic
fundamentalism and the culture of Islamic diasporas endure?
* Do the transnational concerns between the emergence of the Hindu
right in India and the culture of Hindu diasporas endure?
* Do diasporic writers reinforce or dismantle monolithic codes?

 * Does the celebration of hybridity or multiculturalism in
postcolonial texts lack affiliation with the indigenous politics in the
Indian subcontinent?
* Does the global grammar of postmodernist and postcolonial
mainstream dehistoricize the specific historical and religious
affiliations of diasporic groups?

Please email abstracts of 200-300 words electronically, by fax
(613-592-5990), or by regular mail to both conference co-chairs by June
1, 2005:

Nyla Ali Khan, Conference Co-Chair, SALA 2006
Assistant Professor
Department of English
Thomas Hall 202
University of Nebraska-Kearney
Kearney, Nebraska 68849
USA or

Summer Pervez, Conference Co-Chair, SLA 2006
Dept. of English, University of Ottawa
70 Laurier Ave E
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada or

Please include your full name, institutional affiliation, title, phone
number and email address with your proposal. A panel proposal will be
considered ONLY IF it includes a detailed abstract for each paper, a
designated chair, and a short statement as to why the submissions should
be considered as a panel rather than as individual presentations.

The SALA conference will be held on December 26 and 27 in Philadelphia,
in conjunction with the MLA convention.

SALA also publishes the refereed journal, South Asian Review (SAR). All
abstracts accepted for the conference will be published in the special
conference number of the SAR. Inquiries about SAR should be directed to
Kamal Verma at

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Received on Sat Jan 07 2006 - 11:14:53 EST