ACLA 2011 (http://www.acla.org/acla2011/)
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, March 31st – April 3rd, 2011
“World Literature / Comparative Literature”
Call for Paper Proposals
Seminar: AlienNation: Cyborgs, Migrants and other Liminal Beings
Science fiction, with its concomitant depictions of virtual and future realities (e.g. Philip K. Dick, Kazuo Ishiguro, Larissa Lai), is designed to offer alternative spaces and living conditions for its protagonists. In
cyberspace, for instance, physical appearance becomes fragmented and disposable, thus providing the users with a creative space to choose disguises and assume new identities. The immigrant, however, rarely experiences this liberation from the material world. Yet, the science fiction genre and the literature of migration (e.g. Chang-Rae Lee, Yoko Tawada) share important features and motifs, such as hybridity, liminality, transformation, transcultural identity, boundary transgression, and alienation. In the postmodern world, cyborgs as well as (im)migrants are thus nomads re- (or de-) territorializing themselves.
This panel will focus on these parallels and, as a consequence, proposes to drop the absolute distinction between man and machine, the self and the other, and to treat these terms as co-extensive. The panel also suggests that the subject be described in terms of the interface rather than of the "I". The interface does not refer to the self as substantial or to culture as objective but rather to the places where they interact. Finally, formal distinctions (e.g. the “SF genre” or “fiction”/“non-fiction”) are subject
to a de- and reconstruction.
Paper proposals should focus on motifs and/or theoretical aspects on the subject of alien/alienation – for instance resistance against and fear of the “foreign” – as well as investigate works that cross genre divides. Please send 500-word abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and via http://www.acla.org/submit/index.php?override=xyzzy.
You will find the full description of the seminar online:
Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
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