Moving Centers & Traveling Cultures
Moving Centers & Traveling Cultures
October 10-12, 2018
Goethe University, Frankfurt
Confirmed keynote speaker: Alex Tickell (Open University)
On occasion of the 6th Postgraduate Forum Postcolonial Narrations, we are interested in exploring how contemporary forms of movement and their representations in the domains of art, literature, and media transform received notions of nation and culture. Forced and/or economic migration, displacement, and other forms of movement fundamentally affect collectives, established power hierarchies, and discourses of national and cultural identity. Refugee streams, for example, which in recent years have reached the midst of ‘Western cultures’, have sometimes led to mass measures of assistance and protection from states, but also to the rise of populist movements, reiterations of conservative nationalism, and heated debates on who belongs and who does not. Similar debates and reactions arise in connection with economic migrants, “guest” workers or so-called “illegal” migrants. In these cases, the Global South literally and figuratively becomes a neighbor to and a part of the Global North. At the same time, “Westerners” are moving to countries in the Global South (as it happens, for instance, in the case of the Portuguese “brain drain” to Mozambique and Angola), indicating that spaces of opportunity and prosperity are no longer primarily perceived to be located in the West. Evidently, such realities go beyond the traditional categorization and separation of nations and cultures into global power centres and peripheries. Accordingly, Kenyan-American author and poet Mũkoma wa Ngũgĩ (2012) observes that “[w]riters and scholars from the Global South often engage with one another through their own relation to the West. […] We need to fracture this dialectical linkage to the West, and allow South-South cultural, historical and political conversations to take place.” He refers to various players from the Global South who increasingly claim their place on the world stage, and appeals to the need to rethink traditional geo-political conceptions. This points to the fact that the flow of people, ideas, art and literature cannot be contained in traditional, linear models of South and North, or East and West.
The postgraduate forum aims to bring together young scholars (M.A. students, Doctoral candidates, PostDocs) to foster an exchange on Moving Centers & Traveling Cultures (Clifford 1997). In respect to this theme, the following questions may come to mind: Do canonized and disputed conceptions such as the subaltern (Spivak 1988) still enable us to describe subject positions? How do the various fundamental developments mentioned previously influence the interactions between individuals and cultures? Is transculturality (Welsch 1999), for instance, a productive concept to explore contemporary forms of travel, migration, and other forms of movement? How is movement represented in different media and how does the medium affect mobility?
We welcome papers which engage with but are not limited to the following areas of interest and research:
- Transcultural Studies
- Gender and Queer Studies
- Indigenous Studies
- Postcolonial Studies
- Media Studies
- Memory Studies
- Literary and Cultural Studies
- World Literature / World Anglophone Studies
- Environmental Studies
- Tourism/Travel Media
- Migration Studies
- Performing Arts
- Heritage Studies/Museology
If you are interested in contributing, please send an abstract (300-500 words for a 20-minute presentation), a short biographical note and the topic of your current project, preferably as one pdf file, to email@example.com no later than September 1, 2018. We are still in the process of securing funds for this postgraduate forum, and we hope to be able to provide modest contributions to travel expenses. You will receive more information on this issue upon acceptance. Download the Call for Papers: Moving Centers & Traveling Cultures.
The Organizing Committee
Silvia Anastasijevic, Magdalena Pfalzgraf & Hanna Teichler