ACLA seminar - "Migrations" (Vancouver, Mar.31 - Apr.3)

full name / name of organization: 
Alla Ivanchikova, University of Alaska Fairbanks

ACLA Annual Meeting, Vancouver, Canada,
March 31- April 3, 2011

Proposals are now accepted for the ACLA panel titled "Migrations".


Legal discourse defines a "migrant" as anyone who has crossed an international border, whether legally or illegally, thus focusing on the movement of bodies in space. In world literature, textual migrations occur through translation and retelling rather than through determinations of one's refugee or asylum status. Whether migration is seen as a passage of bodies or of concepts and texts, it can be a site of translation and transmission, but also of hindrance and confrontation. Historically, (im)migration narratives have been constructed as a linear movement from tradition to modernity, from oppression into freedom. Similarly, a translation of a non-Western text into a "global language" enables its admittance into the world literature canon – a linear movement from obscurity to the global market. In regards to gender and sexual identity, transgendered and queer subjects are sometimes viewed as having "migrating identities," travelling to places (or bodies) where they can feel liberated. Yet all of these narratives are often not as linear as their idealized forms may seem. An ethnic, literary, or queer migrant is subject to multiple forms of surveillance and intellectual scrutiny, normalization techniques and disciplinary strategies. At the same time, migration disrupts discourses that seek to delimit citizenship, define gender roles, or construct a national literature. Migration is thus a complex process of renegotiating limits – those of the canon, cultural tradition, gender, sexuality, and citizenship.

Papers for this session should explore the issue of migration in the broadest sense of the term. Potential topics can include:

- migrations of texts and of concepts;
- translations and mistranslations;
- migrating genders and identities;
- queer migrations;
- migration and citizenship in world literature; or
- im)migration narratives.

We are particularly interested in papers that explore connections between multiple forms of migration. Analyses of literary works, theoretical essays, films, and the visual arts are equally welcome.


Proposals should be no longer than 250 words and must include a 50 word bio.

You can submit your proposal directly through ACLA website:
or email them to Alla Ivanchikova (aivanchikova at

Submission deadline: October 15.