Contested Communities – 21st Annual GNEL/ASNEL Conference, 13.-16. May 2010

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Professor Susanne Mühleisen, University of Bayreuth
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The 21st annual conference of the Association for the Study of the New Literatures in English (ASNEL) will be hosted 2010 by the English department of the University of Bayreuth from 13.-16. May 2010. The conference is titled "Contested Communities: Communication, Narration, Imagination" and aims at exploring the concept of community in postcolonial contexts in the academic fields of linguistics, literary and cultural studies.

This interdisciplinary conference critically investigates the usefulness of the concept of community in postcolonial language situations as well as in postcolonial texts and media. Both in actual communities – based on everyday interaction between its members – and in imagined communities (Anderson 1983), membership is constructed on an assumption of shared features – be it common values, linguistic codes, geographical origin, gender, sexual identity, ethnicity, religion, professional group or joint interests and practices.
Focus of investigation will lie on processes of communication, on narration and the narrativization of belonging or unbelonging, as well as on imagination as the mental aspect of community construction. We are particularly interested in bringing together perspectives from linguistics, literary studies, cultural studies and related fields.
Select panels include The Black Atlantic, African Theatre in the North, Literary and Linguistic Representations of Diaspora Communities, Language Crossings in Transnational Music Cultures, Post-Colonial Youth Cultures in the Metropolis, Fictions of the City, Speech Community Revisited, Discourse Communities online.

Confirmed keynote speakers include Prof. Dr. Carolyn Cooper, Professor at the Department of Literature in English at the University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica and Prof. Dr. Robert Young, who is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at New York University.

The first call for papers closes on 20. January 2010.
For further information please visit our website at or contact us at