French Guiana (Guyane française), overseas department of France in equatorial South America and ‘ultraperipheral region’ of the EU, consists of a land area equivalent to that of a European country, though boasts a population that would barely people a European city. The region seems to typify the “faultline between the large and the little” which Richard Price has attributed to Martinique, yet it remains on the margins of Antilles-dominated discourses of postcolonial/creole identities. This two-day, multidisciplinary conference aims to explore the conceptual situation of Guyane, as a relational space characterised by dynamics of interaction and conflict between the local and the global. Does Guyane have, or has it had, its own place in the world or is it a borderland which can only make sense in relation to elsewhere; to France and its colonial history, for example, or to African and other diasporas, or as a ‘margin’ of Europe?
Contributions are invited, in either English or French, from literary and cultural studies, sociology, history, archaeology, anthropology, visual studies, musicology, environmental and development studies, history of science and medicine, politics, linguistics, geography, and other relevant disciplines. Postgraduate students are warmly encouraged to submit abstracts. A limited number of bursaries will be available to support postgraduate attendance; if you would like to apply for one of these, please indicate this on your proposal. We welcome proposals for twenty-minute papers and for other relevant contributions. Please send abstracts of between 200 and 300 words by 28th February 2014 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The conference will take place at the University of London Institute in Paris on 10-11 July 2014.
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