Palestine: Culture, Conflict and Representation - Symposium, 2nd October 09

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Nottingham Trent University
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Call for Papers

'Palestine: Culture, Conflict and Representation'

An Interdisciplinary Symposium, Friday 2nd October 2009
Nottingham Trent University, UK

Keynote address by Professor Nur Masalha,
Director of the Centre for Religion, History and Holy Land Studies, St Mary's, Surrey

As a site of complex and enduring conflict, Palestine – conceived as a cultural entity – poses many challenges to those who wish to engage in the task of its meaningful representation. Nevertheless, a desire to confront these challenges continues to flourish – among political thinkers, activists, scholars, creative practitioners, writers and critics both within and beyond the Palestinian territories.

This interdisciplinary, one-day symposium invites scholars working from a range of academic and cultural perspectives to explore the complex relationships between culture, conflict and representation in the context of Palestine, as posed to them in their own research. The symposium poses two key questions: how might the various conflicts faced by Palestinian society and culture be adequately represented? Conversely, what are the conflicts entailed in the act of representation, whether of a political, cultural, artistic or scholarly nature?

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

- Conflicts relating to space, territory, nation and their representation,
- Questions of media representation and coverage,
- Conflicts of cultural identity and belonging – including statelessness, citizenship, exile and diaspora,
- Conflicting subject-positions of a national, ethnic, gendered, class-based or generational nature,
- The roles of culture and cultural initiatives within conflict: literature, film, art, media, or initiatives such as the literary festival Palfest or the women's filmmaking NGO Shashat,
- The politics of culture, representation and resistance,
- The politics of culture, representation and conflict resolution,
- The politics of transnational scholarly representation,
- The potentials and pitfalls of (post)colonial studies or other forms of theorization as modes of representation,
- Said's legacy in the representation of the Palestinian struggle,
- The ethics of representing conflict itself.

The symposium will include a series of roundtable panels, a keynote address and film screening.

Abstracts are invited for 20-minute papers from across the disciplines. Abstracts should be no more than 500 words in length. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 7th August 2009, and should be sent to:

Those whose papers are accepted will be notified no later than 14th August.