CFP: Selling Trauma: Post-apartheid(?) and Tourism (4/1/06; USACLALS, 10/27/06-10/29/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Alice D'Amore
contact email: 

CFP: Fissures and Sutures: Sources of Division and Mutual Aid in Postcolonial
Reflections on History and Literature, United States Association for
Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies

selling trauma: post-apartheid(?) and tourism

Apartheid ended more than ten years ago; regardless, bulletholes in the
stained glass of Regina Mundi remain, long after the June 1976 Soweto school
uprisings, as do the lime mines on Robben Island, the squatter camps in Soweto
and Cape Town, and the to-be-furnished space for representing the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission in the Apartheid Museum on the skirts of

Likewise, the cells on Robben Island have been painted, cleaned, and prepared
for tourism. A large, powerful boat leaving from a popular restaurant and
shopping spot carries you to those cells, whose apartheid-era squalor, hard
labor, and death are relegated to small black-and-white photographs. Outside
of the expensive bars and restaurants lining the tourist strip in Cape Town
are squatter camps and worker transportation vans riddled with bulletholes
spent by competing cabbies. The Gold Reef Amusement Park stands beside the
Apartheid Museum, advertising a "Victorian Fun Park."

In Regarding the Pain of Others, Susan Sontag writes:

"But there is shame as well as shock in looking at the close-up of a real
horror. Perhaps the only people with the right to look at images of suffering
of this extreme order are those who could do something to alleviate it—say,
the surgeons at a military hospital where the photograph was taken—or those
who could learn from it. The rest of us are voyeurs, whether or not we mean to
be. In each instance, the gruesome invites us to be either spectators or
cowards, unable to look. Those with the stomach to look are playing a role
authorized by many glorious depictions of suffering. Torment, a canonical
subject in art, is often represented in painting as a spectacle, something
being watched (or ignored) by other people. The implication is: no, it cannot
be stopped—and the mingling of inattentive with attentive onlookers underscore
this" (42).

This panel seeks to address the following:

--Is there a "post" for regimes such as apartheid?
--How do we, and those who suffered, condone/reject/support tourism/voyeurism
of suffering, ongoing and past, globally?
--Where does the intersection of suffering-as-commodity and commodity-as-
suffering occur? Where do the fissures and sutures emerge?
--How is trauma marketed to 'Western' audiences? Is it 'authenticated' when
the (previous?) sufferers are working at the museum desk or guiding visitors
through a church?

Please direct papers for 15-20 minute readings to:

Alice D'Amore
PhD student in Postcolonial Literatures, Women's Studies
420 Heavilon Hall
Department of English
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907
W: (610) 762-3456
O: (765) 494-3785

---Conference info:Fissures and Sutures:Sources of Division and Mutual Aid in Postcolonial Reflections on History andLiteratureConfirmed speakers at this time Bill Ashcroft, Aijaz Ahmad, Pascale Casanova, R. Radhakrishnan, AmritjitSingh, Tess Onwueme, Emmanuel Dongala, Kalyan Ray, and Shu-mei ShihOct. 27-29 2006United States Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies4th International Conference (USACLALS)Santa Clara University (40 miles south of San Francisco; one mile from SanJose airport)100 years ago, in 1906:a 7.8 hit San Francisco (and an 8.6 earthquake hit Quito); Mt. Vesuviuserupted and devastated Naples; race riots broke out in Atlanta; Japanesestudents were taught in racially segregated schools in San Francisco; TheodoreRoosevelt took the first official trip outside the U.S. by a sittingPresident; the first intercollegiate fraternity for African American studentswas founded; Reginald Fessenden made the first radio broadcast; the world'sfirst feature film (The Story of the Kelly Gang) was released; immunizationagainst tuberculosis was developed; Richard Oldham proposed that the earth hasa molten interior; the Second Geneva Convention was held; the All-India MuslimLeague was founded.50 years ago, in 1956:Pakistan became the first Islamic republic; Nasser became President of Egyptand nationalized the Suez Canal; the submarine telephone cable across theAtlantic was opened; Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, the Indian Untouchable leader,converted to Buddhism along with 385,000 followers; Fidel Castro and CheGuevara departed Mexico and landed in Cuba; Warsaw Pact troops invaded Hungaryand the Hungarian Revolution began; Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula;Britain got its first female judge; Japan joined the United Nations.We invite papers of 15-20 minute presentation time relating to the generalconference theme, or to other aspects of postcolonial literature and theory(including US ethnic literatures). Among questions and topics of likelyrelevance are the following:Natural and man-made disasters and their impact on communities: partitions,border disputes, chemical pollution, tsunamisReligion and its influence in uniting or dividing peoplesGender-related issues of justice in local and global compactsIdentity politics and class conflict over timeTechnology and globalization and their effects in history and in nation-building (or nation-dissolving) There will also be opportunities for readings by poets and novelists on theseand other themes.Send 200-word abstracts electronically by April 1 to: jhawley_at_scu.eduJohn C. Hawley, Dept. of English, Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino, SantaClara CA 95053; or FAX: John Hawley, English dept.: (408) 554 4837. Visitour website: ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Sat Mar 18 2006 - 13:38:37 EST