Writing Violence: Explorations and Solutions in Postcolonial Literatures (Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference, Urbana-Champaign, 25-28 June 2004)
Much attention has been devoted in recent years to understanding violence. As works of literature have sought to document violence and understand its causes, accurate description and representation have often been deemed necessary to the process of healing and the prevention of future violence. This emphasis on describing and representing violence can, however, end up recreating in text another form of violence. Analyzing and critiquing hate speech or violent pornography, for example, may also mean repeating it. Making a reader understand the experiences of war and other atrocities requires a certain art in representing the violence; the more explicit and well-written the text, the more the reader is made to feel the impact of the violence. At what point do such accounts end up perpetrating violence as they aestheticize it? And more importantly perhaps, can these texts also suggest solutions to violence? While this panel seeks presentations that will inevitably describe and attempt to account for violence in literature, of particular interest are presentations that explore how postcolonial texts are complicit in violence and how they may suggest solutions.
Please e-mail abstracts of under 250 words to the email below. by Jan. 26.
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