Attempts at turning Europe into a highly problematic region of postcolonial analysis have recently - though warily - been made. Significantly, Paul Gilroy (2004) has coined the concept of “convivial culture” to signal a possibility for the development of a new cosmopolitan dimension to European culture, namely one of “radical openness” to its colonial past and postcolonial present.
Rising to the challenge of Gilroy’s intuition, the conference seeks to be a first step towards the mapping of individual literary paths into such “radical openness”. The aim is to bridge European colonial past “abroad” and current issues of migration, race and ethnicity “at home”. Ideally, this should involve seeking out the transformative potential of individual experiences of cohabitation and interaction across European borders – geographical, economic, literary, historical, etc. Such individual practices of “cosmopolitan conviviality”, as they take place in literature written in Europe especially over the last twenty years, represent the main focus of this project.
Opening up to contributions from the fields of Literary, Cultural, Art and Media studies, conference organisers hope to 1) stimulate dialogue across distinct colonial and migration histories in Europe, as well as 2) chart new routes out of the impasse which has been holding sway over postcolonial studies since the emergence of notions of “multiculturalism” and “globalisation”, around the end of the 1990s.
We welcome proposals for individual papers of 20 minutes. The official language of the conference is English. Selected contributions will be submitted for publication in an essay collection. Postgraduate students are also welcome to present their proposals for a special postgraduate panel to host up to five papers, each to last 15 minutes in length.
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, affiliation, email address and a brief biography (max 100 words).
Federico Fabris, M.A.
Department of English Literature
University of Bamberg
An der Universität 9. Raum 201
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