Undocumented Migration in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture (ACLA, Toronto, April 4-7, 2013)

full name / name of organization: 
Claudia Hoffmann / University of Toronto Scarborough

CFP for the annual American Comparative Literature Conference in Toronto, Canada, April 4 - 7, 2013.

Please submit your abstracts on the ACLA website: http://www.acla.org/acla2013 by November 15, 2012.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments!

Undocumented Migration in Literature, Film, and Popular Culture

Seminar Organizer(s):

Claudia Hoffman (University of Toronto, Scarborough)

In this seminar we want to explore the diverse representations of undocumented migration in fiction, drama, poetry, film, popular culture, art, and other genres. Since the 1990s, filmmakers from around the world have cinematically recreated issues of clandestine migration in films such as El Norte, Dirty Pretty Things, and Frozen River, just to name a few. At the same time, literary works such as Amma Darko's Beyond the Horizon, T.C. Boyle's The Tortilla Curtain, and Reyna Grande's Across a Hundred Mountains, among others, address issues such as trafficking, undocumented labor, and border crossings. Cinematic and literary characters cross oceans, deserts, forests, frozen lakes, and other landscapes. Authors and filmmakers recreate spaces of undocumented labor on farms, on construction sites, in restaurants and dry cleaners, and in the sex trade. These fictional migrants travel from, to, and within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, England, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Iraq, China, Australia, and many other countries. Furthermore, many undocumented youth have turned to blogs and creative writing as a means of expressing themselves. This increasingly diverse body of films, literature, and popular culture about undocumented migrant character provides an exciting opportunity for discussions spanning a range of genres, geographical regions, and topics and for rethinking contemporary cartographies, global positioning(s), and border politics.

Papers might address:

Clandestine border crossings
Gendered migration
Clandestine landscapes
Undocumented labor
Labor exploitation
Detention centers and deportation
Immigration equality
Immigrant and anti-immigrant blogs

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: undocumented migration, clandestine migration, immigrant, border crossing, border politics, undocumented labor, interdisciplinary, diaspora, transnational