Call for Papers:
NORTH AND NORDICITY: Representations of the North
Guest speakers: Professor Sherrill Grace, Henry Beissel
This interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the Munk Centre, University of Toronto, May 17-19, 2007, seeks to examine and explore the various issues surrounding image construction, identity making and representations of the North in literature (e.g. travelogues and other historical or geographical documents, philosophical writings, literary travel writings, popular fiction), as well as in the visual and performing arts. The aim is to reveal the multiple aspects of the idea of the North as a discursive system created and shaped by cultures outside the North and from within.
For centuries the North has constituted a mythological space, constantly defined, and redefined, by centuries of writers and explorers. Its literary beginnings are found in ancient Greek writings, followed by Biblical texts and Nordic sagas. European cultures, especially French and German, subsequently undertook the task of defining the North. More recently, this task was picked up by northern cultures, namely Scandinavia, Finland, as well as English and French Canada. Today, the North has been brought into question by Aboriginal cultures. These literary representations of the North go beyond mere descriptions of a geographic space, constituting a fascinating, multi-layered and multi-cultural discourse strengthened by centuries of civilizations. Whether depicted as a land of vast resources ripe for conquest, an elusive space whose boundaries continually retreat to the horizon defying conquest, or included in the discourse of political self-affirmation and the fantastic, the understanding of the North, or lack thereof, has shifted over time and is based in a rich, universal discourse fashioned by centuries of representations.
Proposals for papers from various disciplines are invited. As indicated above, possible topics may include but are not limited to the following:
Regional identity and ‘Notherness’; images of single countries or specific regions in the North (e.g. German representations of the American North); the realist North; Northern myths; the medieval North; the spiritual North; the ‘oriental’ North; philosophy of the North and Northern philosophies; the romantic North; the Queer North; the gendered North; the uncanny North; the North in music; Northern images in photography and film; material culture/exploitation and the North; Northern stereotypes; staging/performing the North; psychoanalytical readings of the North; the North writes back.
Send abstracts (no more than 250 words) for proposed 20 minute papers in English by 25 October 2006 to firstname.lastname@example.org. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be submitted by March 17. Accepted papers are intended to be published.
Department of Germanic Languages & Literatures
50 St. Joseph Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1J4
email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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