As Homi Bhabha reminds us in his introduction of Location of Culture, the identity of culture, far from being unitary or simply dualist, needs to be examined to allow for the possibility of cultural difference and the subsequent ambivalence of cultural authority. In this panel, we would like to ask how/whether representation of violence contributes to the questioning of cultural authority. Does it help reposition a group’s identity in relation to its past/present? If so, how? Does writing make experiences of violence “legible”? Are oppressed groups in particular need of legible accounts of their experience? If history tells us that the experiences of the powerful groups are heard more easily, does the same follow when it comes to experiences of violence? How does a group’s identity (whether national, minority or sexual) come to be represented through, and even dependent on, experiences of violence, either as perpetrators or as victims? What happens to representations and to notions of identity when the perpetrators become victims, or when the victims turn into perpetrators? How does individually experienced violence come to be conflated with community memories of violence, and thus part of the larger community identity?
How much is being the object of violence perceived as the “natural” expected state of the oppressed? How can literature counteract this perception, to reinstate the extraordinary nature of experienced violence? Similarly, if violence is something lived primarily by the oppressed, how can people perceived as privileged have their experiences of violence recognized?
Format of seminar:
This panel will meet on two or three consecutive days (depending on the number of papers), and presenters are strongly encouraged to plan to attend all sessions of the panel. This is a unique conference format that allows a small group of researchers (normally 8-12 people) to pursue a particular topic in depth within the context of a larger conference.
For more information on the conference please visit the official conference website at http://www.acla.org/acla2008. Please note that paper submissions must be made through the conference website.
For questions about the panel, please contact the seminar organizers:
Pascale Perraudin, Saint Louis University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Annedith Schneider, Sabanci University (email@example.com)
Annedith (Aninne) Schneider
Cultural Studies Program
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
34956 Istanbul, Turkey
fax (90) 216-483-9250
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