MMLA COMP LIT: The Politics of Guilt and Neo-Orientalism in the post-9/11 Era DEADLINE JULY 1ST

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MMLA Comparative Literature Permanent Section
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We are seeking abstracts for the following permanent session for the 53rd Annual MMLA Convention that will be held in St. Louis, Missouri at the St. Louis Union Station Marriott from November 3-6, 2011. The 2011 informal convention theme is "Play...No, Seriously."

The Blame Game: The Politics of Guilt and Neo-Orientalism in the post-9/11 Era

"In the post-9/11 era there has been a surge of discourse about the "East-West conflict" and the responsible actors behind this phenomenon which has no doubt already defined the new century. Was it extremist Islamism, which motivated the new age terrorists, was it the hate for the Western ideals and lifestyles, or was it the neoconservative, right-wing political agenda, which was guilty for unilaterally using this momentum in the Iraq war? Have we really gotten into the realm of the "clash of civilizations" as was indicated by Huntington and Lewis, or is the neo-conservative doctrine of "fight for freedom and democracy" the new phase of neo-colonialism? Writers from myriad cultures, which these issues directly affect, such as Rushdie, Hosseini, Pamuk and Updike have expressed their perspectives in many novels written in the last decade. In this session we will thus try to analyze the politics of blame in the context of postcolonial scholarship. As it is impractical and incomplete to try to understand this discourse without discussing the nineteenth century colonial practices of the British and the French in the Middle East, we also invite proposals which discuss earlier centuries from this perspective.