UPDATE: Imagining Diaspora in Canadian Literature (grad) (1/20/07; McGill, 10/3/07-11/3/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Meredith Donaldson Clark

=93New Worlds, Lost Worlds=94: Discovery, Change, and Loss in Literature
McGill University, Montr=E9al
13th Annual Graduate Conference on Language and Literature
March 10-11, 2007

*please note the extended deadline*

New Worlds, Lost Worlds, Lost Words, New Words:=20
Imagining Diaspora in Canadian Literature

If to live in diaspora is to live the experience of leaving one world =
for another world, of being away, of being broken up and split apart, =
then perhaps it is through words, new and old, that we can attempt to =
piece ourselves back together again and lead ourselves, if not home, =
then somewhere else, elsewhere-

Canada has long been a new world for diasporic subjects, for people in =
exile or in transit from elsewhere. How does the experience of diaspora =
inform the writing of contemporary Canadian writers? How do =
contemporary Canadian writers who are living in diaspora, including =
Dionne Brand, Rawi Hage, and M.G. Vassanji, use literary spaces to =
confront violence and trauma in order to bring about positive change? =
How is the condition of diaspora complicated when the writer or =
character lives in a condition of multiple diasporas, drawing from =
several different locations and traditions in their expression of home, =
homeland, history =85 This panel is interested in our responsibility, as =
critics and writers, to discuss how we can create new maps and new ways =
to look at diaspora. Even if the condition of diaspora is one inspired =
by tragedy, loss, and grief, can diasporic writers and artists, as part =
of their role as political and social critics, also enable the =
possibility of positive change and the potential of hope?=20

Papers might focus on the relationship between art and activism. How =
does artistic work attempt a productive and critical remembering of the =
trauma and terror of history as part of its strategy for social change? =
How can nostalgia be used in a way that does not indiscriminately =
celebrate the past and present horrors that enable the reality of social =
hybridity and the condition of diaspora? How can art, and writing as an =
example of art, transform rage, madness, and trauma into something that =
can inspire the possibility of life again?=20

This panel encourages papers that interrogate how writing by =
contemporary diasporic Canadian artists can propose new ways to tell =
history differently. By drawing productively from historical trauma, =
perhaps it is possible to tell of lost worlds with new words, and to =
tell of new worlds with lost words, and in so doing, enable not only the =
formation of a new Canadian canon but also a new Canadian society.=20

Please send 300-word paper proposals to sarah.waisvisz (at) gmail.com by =
20 January 2007.

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Received on Tue Jan 16 2007 - 17:19:40 EST