ACLA 2017 - Deterritorializing Bodies, Deterritorializing Texts in Literatures and Film of Migration, Immigration, and Exile

deadline for submissions: 
September 23, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
ACLA Annual Meeting Seminar

This conference seminar is part of the American Comparative Literature Association Annual Meeting, which will take place in Utrecht in the Netherlands, July 6th-9th, 2017. You will need to register at in order to submit your abstract.

Seminar Theme: The processes of decolonization and globalization of the twentieth and twenty-first century have redefined the way in which we view World Literature and World Cinema. The new World Literature is no longer a canon of isolated texts, but it is a literature about deterritorialization of bodies and of the processes of literary production itself. It is transnational, translatable, and global. World cinema, too, is fully transnational. Wai Chi Dimock argues that literature disrupts territorial sovereignty and linear chronology, because literature is based on a readership that accesses texts linguistically, and linguistic events are not contained by geopolitical arrangements. Emily Apter, too, argues for a deterritorializing of literatures from the system of literary production that includes publishing houses, agents, critics, translators, etc. This panel will reflect on a rich body of exilic, diasporic, and migratory writing and filmmaking. The papers in this panel are expected to discuss key thematic and aesthetic elements of literatures and cinema of migration, immigration, and exile, which from their very inception are texts that keep modes of circulation in mind through processes of translation. Participants are expected to present on texts and/or films about border crossings and processes of acculturation and dislocation. In what way do these new literary and cinematic productions chronicle questions of national and transnational identities? How do these texts – literary or cinematic – examine the ways in which cultures are porous, and how do they trace and translate cultural encounters by chronicling the movement of bodies across space and time? Ultimately, how do these texts contribute to current discussions on World Literature and World cinema? What new paradigms do they offer to us as scholars? How do these cultural productions irrevocably change the way in which we think about the role literature and cinema have in narrating history.

Submit your abstract through the conference submission portal by registering at, and also email 200-300 word abstracts along with a short bio to