NeMLA 2022 - Representing Care and Being Together in Refugee Writing

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Jonathan Nash (University of Victoria / NeMLA 2022
contact email: 

Please consider submitting an abstract for the following panel at the 2022 Northeast Modern Language Association Conference to be held from March 10-13, 2022, in Baltimore, MD. Abstracts are accepted from June 15 to September 30, 2021.

Submit abstracts at the NeMLA portal:

This panel invites papers that attend to new perspectives on the representation of refugee histories and experiences in literature. The figure of the refugee has been the subject of much political and philosophical debate, ranging from discussions about the “bare life” of the refugee (Agamben 1995) to their being subjects of humanitarian violence (Nyers 2006). More recent investigations in literary studies have focused on the misrepresentation or absence of refugee histories in post/colonialism, diaspora studies and modernity such as with David Farrier’s Postcolonial Asylum: Seeking Sanctuary Before the Law, Lyndsey Stoneridge’s Placeless People: Writing, Refugees and Rights and Daniel Coleman’s et al. Countering DisplacementThe Creativity and Resilience of Indigenous and Refugee-ed Peoples. More can be said, however, about the representation of refugee experiences and histories of care, desire, and aspiration in literature. What experiences other than violence and trauma remain to be elucidated in refugee writing? How is refugee writing envisioning alternative ways of caring and being together?

Paper topics include but are not limited to: 

  • Representations of refugees in graphic novels and memoirs
  • Refugee memoirs and testimonials 
  • Refugees in film and television 
  • Collaborative writing projects 
  • Experiences and histories of refuge or asylum in opera and musical theatre

If you have any questions, please contact Jonathan Nash (Universisty of Victoria) at