CFP: Transatlantic Encounters: Post-1989 Perceptions and Representations of North American and Eastern European Cultures in Lite

full name / name of organization: 
Letitia Guran

Please consider the following CFP for the ACLA Conference that will meet
between April 19-22, 2007 in Puebla, Mexico. The deadline for submissions
is November 1, 2006.

Transatlantic Encounters: Post-1989 Perceptions and Representations of
North American and Eastern European Cultures in Literature and the Media

Panel organizers:
Letitia Guran, Univ. of Richmond;
Anca L. Holden, Univ. of Georgia;

More than fifteen years after the demise of communism, a lot has changed
in the North American and European perspective on the former communist
countries. Granted that eight out of fifteen candidates have already been
accepted in the European Union, and Romania and Bulgaria are expected to
become members in January 2007, the former antagonistic image of the
relationship between Eastern Europe and the "free world" has substantially
changed. The late free exchange of information and scholarship between
these two previously opposing poles of the world has been one the most
powerful engines that fostered the change.

As a result of this late intense interaction, a whole range of new
literary works, historical, sociological, and political studies have
started to reshape the ways in which ex-communist countries construct
their image of North America and conceive of their own definition in
relationship to it. Similarly, the manner in which North America considers
its new partners from the Old Continent has been enriched and nuanced.
Authors from former-communist countries, which still aspire to become part
of the European Union and partners with America, have started to address
new issues arising from globalization and from the new transatlantic
dialogue between cultures.

This panel invites presentations that discuss problems and questions
linked to theoretical approaches and literary analysis of post-1989
cultural representations of Eastern Europe from North American perspective
as well as perceptions of North America from Eastern European perspective.

Proposed questions and topics for discussion and analysis include but are
not limited to:

-How has the free cultural interaction of the past seventeen years
affected the ways in which prestigious authors and young writers from
former communist countries understand themselves and the space they live

-What new topics does literature and the media explore when attempting to
construct the contemporary identity in the ex-communist area? Has
feminist, ethnic, and minority studies managed to build an audience in
these countries? What are the specific results of such scholarship and in
which way are they similar to the tenets of these fields in the U.S.?

- Exploring the Eastern European communist past and the post-communist
present from an American perspective

- (Re)evaluating North American culture from an Eastern European position
(before and after the fall of communism)
- Imaginary and real (re)turnings to Eastern Europe and to North America
after 1989

- How does the demise of communism affect the writing of former East
European exiles and refugee authors? What is new and what has changed in
their perspectives on both their countries of origin and on their
countries of adoption in North America?

--what is the attitude of second-generation Americans towards their
Eastern European heritage?

Letitia Guran, Ph.D.
English Department
418 Ryland Hall
University of Richmond
Richmond, VA, 23173


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Received on Thu Oct 05 2006 - 01:55:57 EDT