The Archipelagic Turn and the Future of Literary and Cultural Studies

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Elena Lahr-Vivaz
contact email: 

We are now accepting abstracts for a panel to be held at the 2017 meeting of NEMLA (Northeastern Modern Language Association) in Baltimore, Maryland (March 23-26, 2017) titled "The Archipelagic Turn and the Future of Literary and Cultural Studies."

Our panel proposes an exploration of what might be termed the recent “archipelagic turn” in Humanities and Social Science scholarship and how this epistemological and methodological shift intersects with—and might impact—the future of literary and cultural studies. For over a decade now, scholars including Godfrey Baldacchino, Elaine Stratford, and Helen Dawson, amongst others, have proposed the use of the island system or chain—the archipelago—as opposed to the individual island as an alternate model for island studies research: one that decenters and destabilizes established cartographies, as well as ways of reading and analyzing land masses, waterways, and the relationships between them. In this panel, we invoke the archipelagic turn within the context of literary and cultural studies. In doing so, we set out to answer such questions as: As a model of analysis, how might the archipelago benefit literary and cultural studies today? What might literary and cultural archipelagos look like, and how might we best account for them? Moreover, how does a suspension of the island-continent dichotomy through the relational framework of archipelagoes alter, if not enhance, readings of literary and cultural texts past, present and future? Papers from all disciplines welcome.

For more information on our panel and how to submit a paper abstract by September 30, 2016, please visit: If you have any questions, please contact co-chairs Enmanuel Martínez <> and/or Elena Lahr-Vivaz <>.