CFP for a panel on 'Narrating Identity Formation, On and Off the Map' at ACLA 2013, Toronto, 4-7 April 2013.
Organisers: Dr. Georgia Christinidis, Humboldt University Berlin, and Dr. Vera Alexander, Copenhagen University.
Like any advanced cartographic process, mapping identity formation requires an imaginary ‘cartographic grid.’ Until recently, narratives of identity formation, including, in particular, the genres of autobiography and the Bildungsroman, seemed to foreground the temporal dimension over the spatial. However, in Of Other Spaces, Michel Foucault argues that “We are at a moment … when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersects with its own skein.” This panel investigates how narrative identity constructions are affected by this change. Questions concerning the effects of this change can be addressed both to the transformations of traditional narrative genres, for instance through the increasing importance of migration as an experience informing identity formation, but also to the new media, for instance the Facebook timeline, in which locales visited by the user play a prominent part. Across both old and new media, changes of locale also entail changing frames of reference, illustrating the context-bound aspects of our identities. Thus, the ‘grid’ that allows for the mapping of identity changes, or different ways of mapping identity collide as the subject moves through space. This panel may address questions concerning the utopian aspect of such processes, when the grid extends beyond actual space into an imaginary commonly extrapolated from a teleological narrative, and their heterotopian aspect, where the collision of different grids destroys narrative continuity and destabilises boundaries between reality and fiction.
Proposals of up to 250 words on these or closely related questions should be submitted via the ACLA website by 15 November 2012: http://www.acla.org/acla2013/propose-a-paper-or-seminar/
Dr. Georgia Christinidis
Centre for British Studies
Humboldt University Berlin
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