2nd Annual Languages and Literature Conference Comparative Literature Graduate Association—Louisiana State University

deadline for submissions: 
January 18, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
LSU Comprative Literature Graduate Association
contact email: 

Call for Papers:2nd Annual Languages and Literature Conference
Comparative Literature Graduate Association—Louisiana State University
“Time, Consciousness, and Exile”
March 9-10, 2018, LSU, Baton Rouge Campus

Jocasta: What is it like to be deprived of your country? Is it a great calamity?

Polynices: The greatest: the reality far surpasses the description.

Jocasta: What is its nature? What is hard for exiles?

Polynices: One thing is most important: no free speech.

Jocasta: a slave’s lot this is, not saying what you think.

Polynices: You must endure the follies of your ruler.

Jocasta: That too is hard, to join fools in their folly.

Polynices: Well, to get what he wants a man must suppress his nature and play the slave.

Jocasta: Exiles, they say, live on hope. (Euripides, The Phoenician Women, 388-396)


Exile, or the possibility of exile, is unconstrained by temporality of locality. In the ancient world, the removal of one from their society was, as Euripides shows above, to lose one’s voice or one’s freedom. In the Roman world, we see the systematic enslavement of conquered peoples and the displacement of countless individuals throughout Europe, Northern Africa, Egypt, and (modern-day) Syria and Turkey. Antiquity stands as the starting point for the displacement of peoples from one place to another, but this is not confined only to the ancient world. In the modern world, we find the forced deportations of African slaves and Asian indentured workers from the 16th to the 19th centuries, along with the geopolitical conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries have increased the scale of multitudinous displacements. As Edward Said noted in Reflections on Exile, "our age –– with its modern warfare, imperialism, and the quasi-theological ambitions of totalitarian rulers–– is indeed the age of the refugee, the displaced person, mass migration." Either by force or by choice, exile takes a multiplicity of forms that complicate notions of monolingualism, belonging, nationhood, citizenship and memory, bringing to the fore the necessity to draw transnational histories of cultural contact and circulation often excluded in national approaches to literary and cultural production.


This conference seeks to explore the self-reflexivity and unconstrained temporality of the literature of the exile through the creation of new sites of discourse and the construction of new social identities and memory. This is done through countless genres such as epic, drama, comedy, poetry, and film.


We are also very excited to have Dr. Patrice Rankine, Professor of Classics and Dean for the School of Arts and Science for the University of Richmond, as our keynote speaker. Dr. Rankine specializes in Greek Drama and the reception of Greek Drama in different communities, focusing specifically on reception in black communities, the Caribbean, and Brazil.


This conference is open to both Graduate and Undergraduate participants. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length (8-10 typed pages, double-spaced). We encourage contributions that focus on the examination of subjectivities, place, and time in movement across oral, written and visual cultures. Abstracts of approximately 250 words should be sent as a Word Document to clgalsu@gmail.com. The deadline for abstract submissions is January 18, 2018.


Topics could include, but are not limited to:

·       Dialectics between roots and routes (James Clifford) 

·       Ancient and Pre-Modern Mobilities 

·       Subnational & Transnational Exile and migration

·       Narratives of Exile and Mobility

·       Experiences of diaspora and conceptions of time and history.

·       Transnational imagined communities

·       Narratives of exile as attempts to mediate here/there, now/then

·       Social death as a form of exile

·       Exiles as representatives of home country in another land 

·       Exile/mobility producing contacts and frictions 

·       Exile and Diasporic Film

·       Classical Reception of Exile

·      Exile and Modernity

·      Exile, Displacement, and Gender

·      Social Memory and Nation.