CFP: Cities of Refuge (11/1/06; ACLA, 4/19/07-4/22/07)

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Call for Papers for the seminar at the American Comparative
Literature Association Conference: "Trans, Pan, Intra: Cultures in
Contact." April 19-22, 2007 in Puebla, Mexico

Cities of Refuge

Seminar Organisers: Zlatan Filipovic & Bidhan Roy, Goldsmiths
College, University of London

"I also imagine the experience of cities of refuge as giving rise to
a place for reflection - for reflection on the questions of asylum
and hospitality - and for a new order of law and a democracy to come
to be put to the test (experimentation)."

Jacques Derrida

The transcultural, the nomadic, the globalised techno-scientific pry
open the questions of home, of asylum, hospitality and immigration
that in the aftermath of increased security by immigrant control and
violation of privacy, of keeping secret, violation of the
immeasurable secret of the other, require a rethinking beyond the
received legacy in which they are safely anchored. Cities of Refuge
would then be a place of passage, an insecure territory of thought
and a certain unhinging of ground in which these notions are put to
the test.

Continuing and rethinking the legacy of the International Parliament
of Writers' asylum cities, this seminar will extend and perhaps even
collapse its limits. For is it not precisely the notion of refuge
that burns the limits of any legacy, any patrimony? Foreigner is the
effraction of limits, and his question puts us all to the test.
Cities of Refuge would have to count on a certain unaccountability of
the other. But how does one count on the other? How does one recon
with the other without this reckoning itself being put in question at
the same time? Welcome would be extended to everything that appears
in the open, even before it appears as such (subject, citizen,
immigrant). Cities of Refuge would no longer be cities, would have no
policed borders to guarantee the sovereignty of its statues. The very
condition of hospitality-the sovereignty of the host-would be put in
question by a call for a hospitality that welcomes without limit and
without horizon. Cities of Refuge would be a place of a certain
exposure, a place where immunity collapses to let arrive what it
cannot count on, what is foreign and thus without analogy, but what
it is necessary to count with.

The seminar as a city of refuge invites the questions that consider
and cut across the problematic of the foreign, hospitality and
asylum, the other in the context of global economy (oikonomia),
responsibility, the (im)possibility of community, of mapping the
cosmopolitics (where are the margins and centres now located in such
a city?), the expropriation and non-belonging in language, of
literature and art as the open city, as waste and counterinstitution,
and other metonymic guises that carry the impossible notion of
foreigner's home.

Abstracts (250 words maximum) must be submitted directly through the
ACLA website:

Deadline for abstract submission is November 1, 2006.

The ACLA conference is organised into streams (seminars) of 9-12
presentations each meeting for 2 hours/day consistently over the
course of the conference. Presented papers should be 15-20 minutes
long in order to allow time for questions and discussion. For further
information about the ACLA annual meeting and the seminar structure
please refer to:

Additional queries, if any, please contact the seminar organiser on:

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Received on Thu Oct 05 2006 - 01:55:49 EDT