The troubled 20th century has been labeled in many ways – one of which is “the century of migrations”. Temporary or permanent displacement, therefore, which is largely understood as an existential and epistemological condition embedded in its own material and metaphorical contexts, became one of the most fascinating subjects of (post)modern literature. The experience of travel in the largest sense reshapes personal identities and constructs new symbolic geographies that call into question the center-periphery opposition.
This is partly due to the emergence of a migrant sensibility common for exiles, political refugees, asylum seekers, economic migrants, expatriates and commuters. This conference seeks to explore the various means of inventing the center from ec-centric perspectives by tackling the tension between preformed conceptual frameworks or subjective images of the metropolis and the actual experience of it. We welcome papers which analyze different accounts and possibilities of expression that translate the peripheral’s encounter with the center and contribute to redrawing cartographies of the ‘Old World’ and its margins.
A special emphasis will be given to identity shifts that occur in the process of dislocation and to its cultural products (travelogues, memoirs, oral histories, exile literature, music, photography, film). Drawing on the specific discourses and methodologies in comparative cultural studies, anthropology, history, literary theory and comparative literature, the The Traveler’s Eye: Narrating Dis/Location in 20th Century Travel Literature conference is an invitation to open a space of dialogue between disciplines and cultures.
Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
• internal boundaries of Europe;
• new ‘Old World’;
• (un)writing the center;
• global histories, local stories;
• heterologies, heterotopies,
• autobiographical metafictions;
• polyphonies and palimpsests;
• the ‘tragedy’ and ‘romance’ of exile;
• migrants, nomads, globetrotters;
• fluid solidarities.
Dr. Magda Raduta, University of Bucharest
Dr. Anca Baicoianu, CISCER Bucharest
Paper proposals (title + a 200-250 word abstract in English or French + a short biographical note with your: name, institutional affiliation, email, research interests, relevant publications) will be submitted by email (as a Word document or pdf attachment) to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org, by April 12 2013:
Notifications of acceptance will be sent by the organizers by May 15 2013. Working versions of the presentations are expected by September 1st 2013.
A selection of the conference proceedings will be published in a collective volume and draft conference papers may be submitted for publication on the CISCER website.
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