[UPDATE] Transnational Narratives of Performed Exile and Englishness

full name / name of organization: 
Catalina Florina Florescu, Pace University

In the PMLA inaugural edition released in 2014, Professor Simon Gikandi of Princeton University published an editorial titled, "Provincializing English," that (in part) constitutes the foundation for my collection. Dr. Gikandi explains that there is no English but Englishes, a concept that is not novel, and yet not fully embraced by and/or employed in the academic circles. As Dr. Gikandi argues, "An effective way of dealing with anxieties that English generates is to deprive the language of the ecumenical status of the global and to represent it as one language among many, to provincialize it, as it were." By so doing, "English can be celebrated not as part of a global drive toward monolingualism but as part of the diversity." Furthermore, there is no universal English throughout the world, but there are many standardized Englishes. That proves that we can talk about many manifestations of the English language as a process to which new forms will be continuously added.

"Transnational Narratives of Performed Exile and Englishness" is a study about diaspora literature and immigrant experiences, and how the idioms brought and performed by immigrants continue to reshape the English language. The contributors focus on how in the digital era physical distances have collapsed and the borders have become less rigid. Furthermore, the study contemplates the emotional and linguistic cartography of exile, i.e., its evolution as a word and concept since Ovid's time until our glocalized society.
Is today's exile perpetually deferred because it is a state that does not ever truly reach maturation, but, like a pendulum, swings back and forth, back and forth? Should we thus talk about its plural form rather than limit it to singular? People's exile-s would imply that immigrants traverse uninterrupted episodes and would replicate the phases in the development of their own Englishes. Then, perchance, an exiled identity would have positive connotations and would give up its clichéd stigma.

Scholars who are interested in this volume should submit an abstract by May 15th, 2015 at ravaseala@gmail.com or fflorescu@pace.edu. The proposal should be between 500 and 700 words and it should be accompanied by a short bio (100 words maximum).