The 15th Triennial ACLALS Conference, June 6 – 11, 2010
“Strokes Across Cultures”
The thematic title “Strokes Across Cultures” invites differing interpretations and contains multiple possibilities for examining the languages, literatures and other cultural texts through which the legacy of the Commonwealth might be viewed and critically interrogated through disciplinary and/or interdisciplinary dialogues. The questions raised may include the following: What is the contribution of the Commonwealth to the World or the World to the Commonwealth and how has it changed over time and under the impact of globalization? What sorts of ethics and politics or ‘wealth’ can we imagine for the (Un)common? How have circumstances of coercion, violence, imposition, or of affective intensity shaped our cultures in moments of encounter and reciprocal exchange? What kinds of disruption have these exchanges achieved upon conventional and assumed norms, expectations, patterns, topographies, and divisions into separate cultural units and nations? Is there a community in our (un)commonality or has the term Commonwealth outlived its usefulness? Can we envisage a stroke as a blow or caress, as the force of a fortuitous encounter, as a performative moment in a contact zone, as a site of exchange between cultures, or as a threshold which both engenders opposites and mediates between them?
Applicants are invited to engage with the above questions within the framework of Commonwealth languages, literary, critical and other cultural texts. The following subheadings indicate trajectories of exploration:
• The commonwealth as figure of discourse; cultural articulations of the common/uncommon; ethics and politics of (un)commonwealth thought.
• Conflict, counterpoint, coexistence and collusion in commonwealth literatures and languages (englishes and vernacular languages).
• (Un)translatability of languages and cultures in geopolitics and geopoetics
• Cross-cultural depictions of specific political, regional, cultural, linguistic conflicts.
• Chance encounters across cultures, Cross-cultural circulation of affect and affective disposition; friendship.
• Formation of new communities across cultures, circulation and counter-circulation of capital, investments, media, cultures of resistance.
• Re-imagined communities through the twin lenses of oppression and desire.
• Transgressive sexualities / shifting sexual borders.
• Motherlands, Stepmotherlands, Otherlands and Oedipal desire as passage.
• The colonial moment as trauma and the post-colonial as both perpetuation and attempted recovery.
• The ‘shock of the new’, aesthetics and violence, formal experimentation and its political implications.
Abstracts of maximum 300 words for papers of 20 minutes duration, and maximum 400 words for three-paper panels (with the names of the panelists) which engage with these and other relevant questions along with a short bio not exceeding 100 words should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2009.
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