ACLA 2004
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Call For Papers

Please submit individual abstracts for the listed panels below to the contact information provided with each individual panel. Because of the extended deadline for panel proposals, the new deadline for individual abstracts is October 8, 2003.

Who Is a Woman? Who Wants to Be One? - New 10/02/03

“One is not born, but becomes a woman,”; declared Simone de Beauvoir in 1949. Clearly, in The Second Sex, this is not a particularly cheering prospect. And in fact, for many women, even today, it is more a calamity than a cause for celebration. Our panel seeks to explore various notions of womanhood and reactions to them, celebratory and otherwise.

In the last sixty years or so, our understanding of the process of becoming a woman and the production which it results has changed considerably. Furthermore, feminist movements sparked in part by de Beauvoirs philosophizing have changed the world in which discussions of femininity and the female take place. Feminist theory has shown that the meaning of womanhood is culturally inflected in ways de Beauvoir didn’t address. Feminist theorists from a range of perspectives have clearly demonstrated that, not only is gender a social construct, it is constructed and performed quite differently in different times and communities. Thus, the very meaning of womanhood is dependent on ethnic, historical, and social contexts. Our goal in this panel is to explore literary representations of these different constructions of femaleness and femininity, especially as they intersect with other types of identity constructions (race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, religious affiliation). In this exploration of comparative constructs of femaleness and femininity, we would also like to examine resistance to and acceptance of these cultural norms -- and creative alternatives to them too.

* Male appropriations or imitations of femaleness
* Female or feminine languages
* Female bodies
* Comparative bildungsroman
* Lesbian and bisexual models of womanhood
* Producing and consuming femininity
* Motherhood, maternity, and family roles
* Women and myth
* Women, power, and femininity
* Beauty

Monika Giacoppe
Ramapo College of New Jersey

Comparative World Literature/AIS
505 Ramapo Valley Rd
Mahwah, NJ 07430

Paula Straile-Costa
Ramapo College of New Jersey, Unknown

Global networks after de Landa’s A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History and Negri’s Empire

Taking its point of departure from two texts-- de Landa's A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History, and Hardt and Negri's Empire--proposals should address any of these texts in the context of contemporary issues of globalization. Specific proposals addressing the ways in which these texts transform the concept of networks in a comparative and/or global context are especially welcome.

Please send abstracts to both Phillip Armstrong, and Gene Holland,

Phillip Armstrong and Gene Holland
Ohio Statue University &
Department of Comparative Studies
Ohio State University
308 Dulles Hall
230 West 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210

"Perverse" Desires and Trans/national Politics

What is currently called the era of the postmodern is marked by redistributions of intensities, strange connections, but also radical cuts and separations. Flows of capital, goods, information, and people are closely linked to the traumatic experiences of war, exile, poverty, dictatorship, terrorism, ecological crises.

How are such constellations connected to forms of "perverse" desires and their representation across different media, to queernesses (from gay/lesbian to sado-masochism, to cybersex...), to pleasures that challenge notions of normativity?
- Can such queernesses still offer points of resistance within, but also beyond a reigning discourse when the normative represents itself joyfully as an "anything-goes"?
- Is the political potential of such sexual intensities just a myth that aids their commodification?
- Are "perverse" desires corporeal constellations that are marked more deeply by postmodern politics than others or/and embody them more effectively?

Between commodification, pleasure, and pain, what are the possibilities of such "queer" desires and practices to embody, perform, re-enact, use, and criticize inter/cultural political formations? Across different cultures and disciplines, through theory-informed approaches, this panel seeks to explore strategies of connecting "perverse" desire to trans/national politics.

Please send your abstracts and queries to:

Andrea Bachner, Or: Itziar Rodriguez de Rivera
Dept. of Comparative Literature Hispanic & Italian Studies
Harvard University Dept. of Languages, Literature & Cultures
Boylston Hall G-02 University of Albany
Cambridge, MA 02138 1400 Washington Avenue Albany, NY 12222

"The Translatress in her Person Speaks:" Women Translators and the Art of Cultural Mediation.

This session will attempt to explore various aspects of women writers' involvement in the linguistic/cultural mediation of the past five hundred years. Often labeled as a secondary/derivative activity, translation nonetheless offered women access to the world of letters, giving them an opportunity to contribute to the intellectual life of their times. As a matter of fact, translations often helped to start literary careers (Mary Wollstonecraft's translations of Jacques Necker and Christian Salzmann, Elizabeth Barrett Browning's translation of Aeschylus and George Eliot's translation of David Friedrich Strauss are just a few examples). Participants may choose to focus on the following writers: Mary Sidney, Margaret Tyler, Aphra Behn, Mary Wollstonecraft, Helen Maria Williams, Charlotte Smith, Germaine de Stael, Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, Caroline Schlegel-Schelling, Dorothea Veit-Schlegel, Henriette Herz, Karolina Pavlova, George Eliot, Margaret Fuller, Eleanor Marx-Aveling, Constance Garnett, Willa Muir, Helen Tracy Lowe-Porter, Helene Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Gayatri Spivak, Barbara Godard, Suzanne Jill-Levine. Abstracts on cultural/identity mediation by these and other women writers/translators are also welcome.

Anna Barker
University of Iowa
Asian Languages and Literatures
526 Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52246


Ilan Stavans recently noted that “modernity…is not lived through nationality but through translationality,” commenting on the essential, though often unacknowledged, role of translation in today’s world. The seminar I propose seeks to explore the relationship between translation and cultural life in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Specifically, how does translation figure within what is called “globalization”? How might a heightened awareness of translation and the role it plays in literature and other aspects of cultural life—law, politics, economics, information technology, ‘the media,’ etc.—help us revise and refine our thinking about the increasingly interwoven quality of our cultures? How might theoretical insights into translation complement/contradict social science theories of globalization? How might such insights deepen our understanding of contemporary writing and of teaching in the humanities?

Sandra Bermann
Princeton University
Comparative Literature
107 East Pyne Building
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Cosmopolitan Writing

How do writers imagine global stories? This panel seeks to examine how cosmopolitanism can be represented, asking how literature attempts to forge imagined communities across social and political borders. What are the possibilities and the limitations of works that aspire toward diverse cosmopolitan ideals? How might novels, poems, plays, films, and other forms of art challenge or reshape current scholarly understandings of cosmopolitanism?

Shameem Black
Stanford University
5 Roberts Road, Apt. 1
Cambridge, MA 02138

Places, Memories, Citations

The seminar explores the idea of the “network” in the context of premodern literary and artistic practice. One point of departure is the text—verbal or visual; in manuscript or in print; as composed by an author or as re-composed by readers and beholders. Texts are themselves classically pictured as networks of meaning and association, weaving multiple threads to form a single tissue. But texts are also characterized by their connections with (and conflicted responses to) other texts through the play of topoi and reminiscences, echoes and allusions, citations and revisions. So in addition to examining texts as independent networks of meaning, the seminar explores their location in wider, intertextual systems of community and communication—traditions, filiations, disciplines, schools.

While the “ethnic” and “global” seem less pertinent, the seminar welcomes notions of ethnos, the related theme of ethos, and the worlds that ethnoi inhabit as distinct yet interdependent ethical communities. The seminar accordingly addresses as broad a spectrum of premodern cultural perspectives as possible. Themes might include:

¨ technologies of storage, retrieval, and citation: footnotes, libraries, compilations, anthologies, encyclopedias, rhetorical arts of memory, arts of “amnesty” or forgetting
¨ coding and format: scroll vs. codex, print vs. manuscript, alphabetic vs. non-alphabetic scribal systems (syllabaries, logography, ideograms, rebus writing, hieroglyphics)
¨ the theory and practice of history and historiography in classical antiquity, Western humanism, the Near Eastern cultures of the Book, premodern China and Japan
¨ “world literature” before its invention in Goethe, Hegel, and August Schlegel
¨ iconographies and philologies: symbolic codes and the techniques required to construct, reconstruct, or deconstruct them
¨ ideas, images, and their associations (mental, topical, traditional, or conventional)
¨ acts of vision and revision: versions, editions, commentaries, abridgements, epitomes, palimpsests; but also protests, critiques, polemics, parodies, satires
¨ texts, contexts, pretexts, intertexts, and paratexts

Please send proposals (250-word abstract and current curriculum vitae) by regular post or by e-mail attachment to:

Christopher Braider
University of Colorado, Boulder
Dept. of French & Italian
238 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0238

Herbert Marks
Indiana University
Dept. of Comparative Literature
Ballantine Hall 914
Bloomington, IN 47405-7103

Borders and Marginalities in the Americas

This seminar explores themes in comparative studies of the Americas. The papers address the topic of borders and marginalities from a number of different methodological approaches, but in their broader argumentation complement one another.
Rodriguez explores contemporary Chicana/o detective fiction as an example of an emergent cultural formation coincident with a shift in post-nationalist identities. Ontiveros also addresses Mexican-American themes in the exploration of the 1943 Zoot Suit Riots as a formative story for the Chicano movement in the United States. This relationship between ethnicity and event is analyzed vis a vis events in other cultural contexts such as Ghandian nationalism and Armenian-American identity. Cabanas looks at the complex relationship between violence and globalization and the representation of this relationship in contemporary fiction by Mexican and Colombian writers. Chevalier also addresses violence in her examination of the "global" anti-lynching campaign resulting from Ida B. Wells's trans-Atlantic travels in the late 19th century. Byron links the 19th and 20th centuries in her analysis of hybrid texts that seek to represent individual and collective identities in time of war and revolution, in particular the U. S. invasion of Mexico and the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

The theoretical questions explored in these papers fit well with one another and with the theme for the conference. Other points of convergence include:
* geographic: the Mexican-American border as fluid space, "America" as political site of violence
* politics of resistance: cross-cultural comparison of this in different generic forms: detective fiction, historical novel, memoir, visual culture,
* identity: relationship between identity and event (the Zoot Suit Riots, the Mexican American War, Mexican Revolution), economic, political, social, and moral conflict (neoliberalism, globalization, imperialism; lynching, the drug war, struggle for land)
* hybridity, cross media; comparative Americas; identity politics; visual and verbal culture; community formation, diaspora; violence, rupture; politics of resistance

Kristine Byron
Michigan State University
Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Michigan State University
329 Old Horticulture Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1112

Convergence and Conflict In the Ottoman Empire

The demographical topography of the Ottoman Empire expanded once the Empire stretched its borders deep into the Balkan Peninsula in the West and the Arabian Peninsula in the East. The coexistence of polyethnic and multi-religious groups (Jews, Christians and Muslims) within the Empire gave rise to both (religious) conflict and (cultural, artistic) diversity at the same time. This panel explores the convergence and conflict of the ethnicities in Ottoman Empire. We are inviting papers on

* Conflict and harmony within different religious
* Travel writings
* Sovereignty/ administration
* Millet system
* Art and architecture
* Cuisine
* Intermarriage

Proposals for papers should be sent in electronic form, giving a title and an abstract of 100-250 words in length.

Iclal Cetin
SUNY, University of Buffalo
638 Clemens Hall
State University of New York
Buffalo, NY 14260

Global Dandyism

This panel will explore dandyism as a daring form of border-crossing: between genders, between nations, between life and art, between the mass media and high culture. Ever since its first appearance in the unsettled Europe of the Romantic period, the concept of the dandy has always traveled across national borders, connecting diverse performers of dissident masculinity into an international-and, more recently, global-network. After first emerging in early 19th-century Britain, the ideal of "dandyism" was soon adopted by the French Aesthetes and Decadents, and then re-imported back to Britain by the Irish Oscar Wilde, who decisively turned the dandy persona into an expression of a new "homosexual" identity. Our panel seeks to explore both this international formation of 19th-century European dandyism and the more recent transformations of dandyism in the Americas, in non-Western cultures, and among ethnic minority Europeans (such as the Black British artist Yinka Shonibare, who recently covered London with posters of his 1998 self-portrait series "Diary of a Victorian Dandy"). For our discussion of "Global Dandyism," we especially seek papers which show how the persona of the dandy has been adapted for the performance of ethnic identities, or, alternately, papers which show how dandyism has been used to perform a cosmopolitan identity that seeks an alternative to racial, national, and ethnic categories. Other pertinent questions include: What happens to ethnic identity when dandies express their ethnicity through stylized, overtly artificial performance? Does the "aristocratic" European origin of dandyism make it an elitist and/or Eurocentric phenomenon? Or can the new global dandyism subvert dominant categories of class and race as well as gender? Can there be a female dandyism? Is post-Wilde male dandyism always identified with same-sex erotic preference? And, above all, how can we better explore these questions by comparing the various versions and projects of dandyism across centuries and in different national and trans-national cultures?

Sarah Rose Cole Matthew Smith
Columbia University Boston University
7 Murdock Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Islam in Postcolonial Cross-Sections: Myth or Reality

This panel invites papers exploring Islam as a postcolonial space and/or Islam within a postcolonial space in interaction with other cultural, political, social or economic forms. Analyses on Islam's ability or inability to participate in what Appiah terms "space-clearing gesture" and the occurrence of this theme in literary works of any genre or country are especially invited. Papers are encouraged to highlight reasons and possible conclusions for Islam's ability to participate in creating a postcolonial space based on these interactions.

Minimum 400 word abstracts should be sent by post or e-mail attachments to or Shirin Edwin, Department of French and Italian, Station B, Box 6312, Nashville, TN 37235.

Shirin Edwin
Vanderbilt University
Department of French and Italian
Station B, Box 6312
Nashville, TN 37235

Geo-philosophy: Transversals and Passages via Deleuze and Guattari

Across the widely divergent fields that comprise the Humanities today, a central point of convergence is a renewed interest in the global constructions of historical, cultural, and political systems of representation. As earlier approaches to geo-politics have become out-paced by a rapid process of globalization, scholars and theorists have begun to explore alternative models of conceptual construction that address the status of global networks, e.g., Deleuze-Guattari's proposal of "geo-philosophy," Deleuze's analysis of Foucault as "a new cartographer," the turn to universalism in Badiou or to theology in Derrida and Zizek. We invite considerations (by no means limited to the names cited) of the ways that "geo-philosophy," broadly-conceived, addresses the global context of cultural and political phenomena.

Co-organizers: A. Gelley, Eleanor Kaufman, Univ. of Virginia, Gregg Lambert, Syracuse University

Alexander Gelley
University of California, Irvine
Department of Comparative Literature
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697

American Ethnicities and Literatures in a Global Context

The aim of this panel is to examine how and whether diaspora, postcolonial or transnational theoretical models can be used to discuss texts written by or featuring ethnic American writers/characters in a comparative context. I invite submissions of papers which question and probe concepts of "Americanness" and "ethnicity" while also proposing fruitful ways in which to read ethnic American texts globally.

Proposals are invited for twenty-minute presentations on ethnic American literature and/or characters in a global context. Below are suggestions for topics the papers might address. Other themes or ideas are welcome.

· American ethnic texts that situate themselves within a larger diasporic or transnational community

· The role of "American" characters in non-U.S. literature

· Novels and/or travel books featuring ethnic American travelers in other countries

· The influence of ethnic American writers or texts on European, African or Latin American writers

· Translations of or appropriations of ethnic American texts by non-U. S. writers

· American ethnic texts

· Ethnic memoirs/autobiographies

· Gender and sexual orientation as markers of American ethnicity

Please send 250 word abstracts to Vivian Nun Halloran at

Vivian Halloran
Indiana University, Bloomington
914 Ballantine Hall
1020 East Kirkwood Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405

The Theory and Practice of Critique

This seminar welcomes theoretical contributions that help further the current debate about what it means to engage in critical theory and critical practice in an interdisciplinary field. What are some of the enabling principles underlying critical work? What challenges, possibilities or limitations await the practitioner of critical work? Perspectives from a variety of schools of thought are welcome (e.g., cultural theory, Marxist theory, Critical Theory, psychoanalysis).

Send a one-page abstract by e-mail *only* to Prof. Hanssen at

Beatrice Hanssen
University of Georgia
Department of German
University of Georgia
Joseph E Brown Hall
Athens, GA 30602-6797

Transnational Exchange in Early-Modern Drama

This seminar will explore various forms of international exchange, commerce, and "translation" in early-modern drama. Actual border crossings of acting troupes, dramatists, playscripts, and scenarios will be of concern, as well as old world productions of theater in the new world. We'll consider early-modern drama as, on the one hand, an international system of flexible but recognizable "theatergrams" and, at the same time, a site of contentious intercultural encounter. We will, then, also explore dramatic texts that represent exile, migration, and diaspora, and the figure of the ethnic outsider.

Robert Henke
Washington University
Comparative Literature
South Ridgley Hall 116 - Box 1107
Washington University
One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

Pastiche as Cultural Memory

The genre of pastiche, for centuries the "other" of high art, is being rewritten in the context of the radical hybridity that is the mark of contemporary culture. Artistic practices contest the negative sense traditionally associated with "pastiche" and redefine its hybrid status of "neither original nor copy" -- to serve a critical agenda. Although Fredric James rightly stated in 1983 that pastiche is "one of the most significant features or practices in postmodernism today," he wrongly dismissed it as "a dead language."

By looking at pastiche structuration in contemporary visual arts, film, some hybrid texts, my paper focuses on the emancipatory potential of the best postmodern pastiches. In their heterogeneous conjunction, forging horizons past and present, they activate and motivate our cultural memory.

Ingeborg Hoestery
Indiana University, Bloomington
63 Magnolia Ave, #2
Cambridge, MA 02138

New Perspectives on Comedy

Global networks of exchange – cultural, artistic, critical – are affecting the nature of comic prose and performance in ways that theory had yet to address. Historically, once the ethical bases of comedy in Antiquity modulated into social emphases after the Renaissance, the (often unstated) premise of comedy as a social form persisted through the 20thC. Because the social premise is still unexamined, even amid the perceived breakdown of the social under post-nation pressures of global amalgamations, this seminar will explore new approaches to such comic staples as ethnic stereotypes and national comic traditions while stressing the global emergence of transnational forms, modes, and techniques, as well as critical perspectives. Our purpose is not simply to point to, say, Japanese animation techniques in U.S. sit-com formats or to the use of comic blogs in French fiction, but to explore the significance of such geotextual transformations for the theory of comedy – ultimately for the question of how Western theoretical premises can (if they can) incorporate ancient non-Western comic modes and/or contemporary electronic media and material.
Papers may range from monographic studies of single writers, playwrights, cartoonists, cinematographers and single, erstwhile national comic traditions, to larger issues of comic theory East and West. Papers on the theory of comedy, and papers on non-Western comic modes and their advent in Europe and the Americas, are particularly welcome.
Send 200-word abstract to, with a copy to, and please use as subject head: ACLA Comedy.

Jan Walsh Hokenson
Florida Atlantic University and
Department of Languages & Linguistics
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431 USA

Remembrance of Places Past: Departures, Migrations, and Returns

How does one return to the past, when this past also entails a return to the lost home(land)?

This panel aims at opening a space to address how the migrant/refugee self returns to the past, how this return is performed through different narratives which at times could be nostalgic, at times a cultural identification practice for both the reader and the narrator, which genres mediate in conveying the past, in dialogue with collective memory, and finally, what kind of a texture this adds to the cultural identity.

Asli Igsiz Lily Chiu
University of Michigan University of Michigan
Romance Languages and Literatures Comparative Literature
4108 Modern Languages Building 2015 Tisch Hall
812 East Washington 435 South State
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1275 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003

(Not) All We Do is Talk, Talk: Communication, (Post)coloniality and Transnational Feminist Consciousness

"Identities and positionalities are articulations of embedded experiences and social relations that a given spatiality entails."
Saraswati Raju

Analyzing nineteenth century narratives by European women about their third-world sisters reveals one of the complexities of modernity: "the white woman's other burden" (Kumari Jayawardena). The effort to form international solidarities, embedded in imperialist discourses, drew upon orientalist tropes of representation that often mirrored particular anxieties that Euro-American women felt about their own positions at home-in the nation (see Barbara Ramusack, Inderpal Grewal, for example). Recent scholarship in this area emphasizes locating these stories as part of a decentered and global history and to articulate polycentric models of knowledge in order to create a "practice that involves forms of alliance, subversion and complicity within which asymmetries and inequalities can be critiqued" (Inderpal and Grewal, "Postcolonial Studies and Transnational Feminist Practices"). Part of this process involves studying the structures of knowledge that informed colonialist discourses which continued to represent women as "lack" in the national imaginary, thus impeding the building of transnational collectivities. Historicizing difference through these narratives allows us to study how constructions of the Self and the Other subject us to specific ethnic formations that continue to haunt the construction of the national citizen well past the nineteenth century and into the twenty-first. Our proposed seminar is interested in pursuing these issues in terms of how representations of woman and womanhood were treated both in the East and in the West, spanning both the modern and postmodern epochs. We seek presentations that examine interconnections and network exchanges between western and eastern women. In particular, we ask interested panelists to consider the following:
* What kinds of cultural and linguistic models did western women utilize as they talked about their more downtrodden sisters "over there"? How did these models rely upon androcentric and orientalist tropes embedded within imperial discourse in order to construct the absolute Other?
* How have vocabularies of earlier models of communication instantiated particular notions of the Other in order to maintain political, cultural, and social hegemonies?
* In what ways did the rhetoric of "talking about" Other women foreclose possibilities for forming collectivities across national borders? What do we, at this point in our multicultural realities, learn from this silent moment in global history?
* How might historicizing models of communication help us to envision a present that anatomizes a colonial historiography of difference?
We encourage interdisciplinary presentations that address some of our concerns. Some possible areas include:
* Museum studies
* Travel narratives
* Performing Identity
* Cinematic history (Colonial and Postcolonial)
* Postcolonial and Transnational Feminisms
* Colonial and Postcolonial Visual Culture
* Women Missionaries
* Women's networks and cyberculture

Please send 1 page proposals to Priya Jha at or to Courtney Wennerstrom at

Priya Jha Courtney Wennerstrom
Murray State University Indiana University – Bloomington
Department of English and Philosophy
Faculty Hall 7C
Murray State University
Murray, KY 42071

Finitude, or the Limits of the Left

If it were possible to reduce the conflicting tensions that define the theoretical left today, it might well come down to one central question: how to understand the figure of limits, or finitude. The recent surge of interest in a Deleuzian theory of immanence (found with significant variations in a number of contemporary thinkers, among them Badiou, Hardt and Negri) eschews an emphasis on the limit as an emancipatory figure in favor of an ideal of a constantly shifting plenitude. The other side of the spectrum, ranging from deconstruction to subalternity, stresses the importance of the figure of the limit for a thinking of emancipation. The objective of this seminar is to see how a conversation between these two sides can be broached. International approaches are of course especially welcome, e.g., Nancy, Badiou, Derrida, Hardt, Negri, Laclau, Arditi, Richard, Butler, Moreiras, Spivak. Or themes such as the multitude, the nation, globalization and imperialism, media, the internet, etc.

Adriana Johnson Kate Jenckes
University of California, Irvine Rice University
University of California, Irvine Rice University
English and Comparative Literature Department of Hispanic Studies, MS 34
Irvine, CA 92697 P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77251

Speaking the Americas: Ethnic Realities, New Worlds

When the last U.S. census was taken in 2000, it contained a category never before seen in this country, creating a national, public space for the existence of those of multiracial heritage. In legitimating the fact of multiraciality, the new category represented an important recognition for multiple cultural identity--taking it out of the silence often imposed by America’s (U.S.) difficult ethnic history and making it a part of authorized public discourse. Such public recognition, however, also opened the door to the way in which multiple cultural reality in the U.S. may be implicated in a more complex understanding, one that recognizes what it means to consider the ways in which multiple cultural and ethnic reality is filtered through the history of the Americas and the development of the New World. The increasing globalization of today’s world and its consequent changing demographics have made multiple ethnic, racial and cultural reality a commonplace of everyday life in many national contexts. Yet although public recognition of this fact in the U.S. and elsewhere may help to create a more just and open society, the failure to examine the deeper cultural significance of such multiple reality may also help to camouflage deep-seated attitudes toward race, national identity, and ethnic culture which have long served to uphold notions of ethnic identity that celebrate notions of its purity and singularity while imposing artificial divisions between peoples of disparate ethnic groups, and placing a wall of silence around those with multiple cultural and racial affiliations.

Papers are invited which use the context of the Americas and the New World to consider multiple ethnic and cultural reality from an interdisciplinary, transnational, transhistorical perspective. Possible themes include:

· U.S. American ethnic texts, or other ethnic texts of the Americas that concern themselves specifically with the conflict between diasporic cultural reality and the pressure to assume a singular ethnic cultural identity

· U.S. American ethnic texts or other ethnic texts of the Americas that discuss the problem of multiracial heritage

· Comparisons between ethnic literatures of the Americas

· The role of the history of discovery and exploration in ethnic texts of the Americas

· Problems of gender, class, and/or sexuality in ethnic texts of the Americas

· Issues of language, authority, power and/or voice in ethnic texts of the Americas

Please send 250-word abstracts to Cyraina Johnson-Roullier at

Cyraina Johnson-Roullier
University of Notre Dame
Department of English
352 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, Indiana 46556

Voices from the Periphery: Arabic Literature between the Ages of Imperialism and Globalism.

The 2004 Arabic Literature Seminar will be held at the annual convention of the American Comparative Literature Association--Ann Arbor, Michigan 15-18 April 2004. The topic of the Seminar is "Voices from the Periphery: Arabic Literature between the Ages of Imperialism and Globalism." The Seminar will attempt to approach this topic from a broad theoretical basis and/or through the critical consideration of particular texts. Proposals might address, but are not limited to, the following:

- Localism vis-à-vis globalism
- Globalism as Neo-colonialism
- Globalism, identity, and representation
- Hybridities, hybrid genres
- Constructs and Deconstructions
- Topographies of gender and sexuality
- Translating cultures
- Experimental writing
- Nationalisms, colonialities and postcolonialities
- Diasporas, exilic narratives
- Cosmopolitanisms
- Testimonials, memoirs, biographies
- Influence studies
- The Mass media, literature, and globalism
- New media, digital media, cyber culture
- Cinematics/film studies
- Literature and war/the literature of war
- Prison literature

The seminar will be conducted in English in its entirety.

Please address enquiries and submit abstracts (accompanied by brief bio-info) to:

Please also see:

Hussein Kadhim
Dartmouth College
Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures
6191 Bartlett Hall
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH 03755

Displacing desire – globally

Journeys of desire exist throughout literature - Gilgamesh went on a vain search for Immortality; Odysseus sought his own homecoming; Basho recounted moments on the narrow road to the deep north. While these three examples differ in their conceptions of time and immediacy, they portray what Freud termed the death drive, a repetitious cycling of acts in a search for the final return. It is true that Eastern modes of thinking, such as Buddhism and Hinduism, affirm this cycle as the means of enlightenment. But the journey of desire's metonymic displacement continues nonetheless to the point of extinction.

This panel is looking for explanations of 'desire' as it pertains to the self in specifically literary texts, the self in space, time, and geography, or the self in theory. This panel is particularly interested in abstracts (with either an Eastern or Western focus) that pertain to notions of desire as displacement whether physical, spiritual, emotional, sexual, literary, psychological, or philosophical.

Kristi Krumnow
University of South Carolina
Welsh Humanities Building 405
Program in Comparative Literature
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208

Critical Translation Studies: New Crossings

We propose a 3-day seminar that will apply the theme of this year’s conference, “Global Ethnic Networks—Old and New,” to the emerging field we call Critical Translation Studies. Critical Translation Studies combines recent interest in the theory of translation and postcolonial interrogations of global power and universalism, with philological investments in details of rhetorical practice, to hone the critical tools available for analyzing the terms of translational/ transnational exchange. Our diverse experiences working with materials both inside and outside modern, European archives have made it mandatory that we map the conceptual terrain of this field in terms of multiple, equally viable epistemological centers, in such a way that encourages innovation, self-reflection, and a fine-tuned rigor. The papers in this seminar in particular aim to highlight the insights and expertise non-literary disciplines may bring to bear on the enterprise of translation, working within broadly-conceived categories of technology, music, and environment. Of interest are the ways familiar paths (ideological, economic, cultural) in our inherited global networks may be crossed to reveal new cuts in our thinking.

Each day of the seminar will feature four fifteen-minute papers that are to serve as a starting point for an open and ongoing discussion on the methods and aims of Critical Translation Studies and its relation to Comparative Literature as a discipline. We ask: Are there more illuminating ways of delineating the materiality of our discipline? How may we think of the objects of our inquiry other than in terms of words and texts? Are there more sophisticated tools available for calibrating the temporal and historical spaces these materials occupy? How do we participate in the circulation of these resources—through tropes of exchange, renewal, ownership? We have deliberately left ample time for discussion and expect presenters to participate in all three days of the seminar. Every effort will be made to include presenters from a variety of specializations and stages in their careers. We also extend a special invitation to scholars with an interest in this field to contribute actively to the discussion regardless of whether or not they are scheduled to present.

Days’ Topics:
I. Technology and Materiality
II. Music/metrics
III. Landscapes of power

Christi Merrill
University of Michigan
3070 Frieze
105 South State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1285

The Substance of African and Middle Eastern Literatures

From the scramble for Africa to the latest proposal for war, Africa and the Middle East have been seen from the outside as spaces of endless natural wealth and raw resources. Diamonds, oil, gold, and even water (to name a few) have held coveted spaces in the imaginations of European and American prospectors, employers, patrons and corporations, and have impacted national and regional mappings and networks. Although there has been much work on the histories of exploration, there has been less sustained thought as to how the resources are viewed from within, and as to how “cultural wealth” reflects and intersects with the reality and mythology of African and Middle Eastern substances. Panel organizer seeks papers that creatively engage the intersections between the natural resources of Africa and the Middle East and the literature of the regions. Approaches may be eclectic and comparative, and may take an aesthetic, historical, textual, anthropological, geographical, or other perspective.

Areas of exploration may include:
- Examination of the way resources (“substances”) are represented in literature, film, performance
- Explorations of how contemporary material networks intersect with ethnic networks
- Representations of those who work with the resources (at any stage and in any role) as reflected in literature and film
- Resources and modernity and development
- Resources and indigenous environmental discourses
- Examination of the representations of resources in oral literatures or other “traditional” texts and performances
- Historical approaches to the ways natural resources emerge in discourse
- Examination of generic forms emerging as responses to conflict over natural resources
- Examination of funding sources, corporations and how profit serves (or doesn’t) the arts of the regions
- New emergent subjectivities in response to the discovery and engagement with resources

500 word abstracts to Rebecca at (attachments or in-email accepted)

Rebecca Lorins
University of Texas in Austin
700 Hearn St Apt #215
Austin, TX 78703-4504-65 USA

Crossing the Pre-Modern and the Post-Modern: Challenges to Global Ethnic Networks

This seminar invites papers that navigate a crossing between pre- (or early) modern works of literature and post-modern theories of subjectivity in order to deepen and/or to challenge the terms constitutive of "global ethnic networks." Until relatively recently (the past few hundred years), the words "global" and "ethnic" were predominantly descriptive terms, the former designating spherical shape (with all its divine symbolism) and the latter, from its Greek root, referring to a "nation" (but particularly to any non-Judeo-Christian people). In contemporary usage, "ethnic" and "global" retain these basic definitions. However, these words now function within complex networks that are grounded in modern, Cartesian notions of subjectivity, a term which also had very different connotations in the classical, medieval and even the early modern world. In the latter half of the 20th century, certain philosophers and literary scholars began to criticize ideologies of subjectivity (including ethnicity and globalism). In the "premodern" and the "postmodern" periods, there exist historical and theoretical challenges to the conceptions of "ethnic" and "global" that have come to dominate much discourse in literary studies and the world at large. This seminar will pursue the following general questions: Were there such networks (in practice if not by definition) in historically and culturally distant times? How can they be compared to more modern networks? Conversely, does the conceptual lack of "globalism" and "ethnicity" in earlier periods raise questions about the modern terminology? Is it anachronistic to apply these terms to historically and culturally distant periods?

Papers must be grounded in at least one pre- or early modern literary text (roughly antiquity through the Renaissance). Proposals should offer a clear definition of terms and provide a careful theoretical framework by which to navigate the crossing. One-page proposals (300 words), electronically or by snail mail.

Brenda Machosky
Stanford University
Introduction to the Humanities
Building 250-251J
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94305-2020

Violence and Ethics

This panel invites papers that interrogate the relationship between violence and ethics. Philosopher Alain Badiou suggests that contemporary concepts of "ethics" may embody or constitute a kind of epistemic violence that is inseparable from its political implementations. In a cultural climate that opposes ethical practice to institutional violence, and in a political climate in which 'ethics' are wielded to justify the perpetration of violence, this interrelation of violence and ethics demands close and careful scrutiny. To what extent do ethical agendas - political, philosophical, critical, and social - presuppose a violent context? Does ethics' investment in the presence of violence render ethics complicit in violence's perpetration? What role does political expediency play in the marriage between ethics and violence? Can this marriage be dissolved? Should it?

Approaches may include, but are not limited to:

Aristotle at Auschwitz: Classical conceptions of ethics in contemporary violent contexts;

Good bodies and bad: Ethics and the human figure throughout the ages;

Ethics and the body politic: race, nation, class;

No Graven Images: the ethics of representing - and of not representing - violence;

Hurts so good: Ethics, violence, and sexual pleasure;

A Light Unto the Nations: Ethics and hegemony;

Please send 500-word proposal to Naomi Mandel at or by snail mail to:

Naomi Mandel
University of Rhode Island
Department of English
Independence Hall
60 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881

Global Terrorism and Cultural Representation

This seminar will investigate various ramifications of the ethnic and global aspects of terrorism, including: the relationship of terrorism to violence, politics, and the state and to cultural production, including the connection between writing and violence and "the writer as terrorist's victim, rival, or double" (M. Scanlan). The philosophical underpinnings and psychological space of terror, ranging from Benjamin's theory of history as a state of siege to Camus' belief that revolt is an essential dimension of humankind and Kristeva's postulate that only the confrontation of "an obstacle, prohibition, authority, or law . . . allows us to realize ourselves as autonomous and free." Topics may include: cinematic adaptations; the paradigm of the good terrorist; rebellion vs. revolution; individual vs. group vs. state terror; creation and revolution; terrorism as fictional construct; "the Essential Terrorist" (Said); political terrorism and the media; anarchy and culture; terrorism on stage/as performance.

Send 250-word abstracts to Elaine Martin (University of Alabama) at

Elaine Martin
University of Alabama
Box 870262
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487 USA

Demanding Satisfaction: The Last Men in the New Imperium

Friedrich Nietzsche's idea of the last men has exerted a powerful hold upon the imaginations of thinkers across the political spectrum, from those aligned with the political Right, such as Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, and Allan Bloom, to Marxists such as Alexandre Kojeve and Slavoj Zizek. Is Zarathustra's nightmare of a fully satisfied and pacified (and therefore bestial) multitude best understood as a damning indictment of consumer capitalism and liberal democracy? Or does it crystallize the skepticism that universal plenty and a life of ease have inevitably dehumanizing effects, and thereby constitute a powerful refutation of institutionalized communism? Is the ultimate goal of the new imperial order and economic globalization the pacification of potentially explosive populations into "last men," so that they may be exploited by, but also profit from, the world system of liberal capitalism? To what extent is such a transformation "racialized," whether through the dominance of Hollywood film or images advertising the delights offered by capitalist prosperity? Where might one locate sources of resistance to the pressures of such homogenization, both within and beyond the politics of ethnic identity and the militarism of radical Islam?

The panel will address such topics as:

* Narrative Speculations. How do literature and film explore post-historical societies and dramatize the contradictions that persist in them?

* Struggles for Recognition. Is the so-called clash of civilizations between radical Islam and the US imperium a Hegelian conflict between Masters and Slaves? What are the meanings of mastery and slavery in the present context of the "war on terror"?

* Global Mafias. Is it possible to understand the US imperium in terms of the redemptive narratives of post-history elaborated by Kojeve and popularized by Fukuyama? Or is the model of the homogeneous and universal world state giving way to the proliferation of global mafias underneath the preeminence of corporate elites?

* Free to be a Borg? Does ethnic identity constitute a kind of agalma, a psychic "hidden treasure" among "nonwhite" peoples in an age of increasing cultural homogenization? To what extent can the fear of assimilation among immigrants be understood as anxiety over their offspring becoming "last men," cut off from tradition and familial obligations?

* Prozac and Pornography. How are techniques of pacification increasing the possibility of a world of satisfied individuals, for example, the spread of anti-depressants and the ubiquity of web pornography?

* Up from Decadence? How might we draw upon the works of thinkers considered conservative or reactionary, such as Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Oswald Spengler, Ernst Junger, and Georges Sorel to critique the new imperialism?

Peter Paik
University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee
French, Italian, Comparative Literature
Box 413
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, WI 53201

Ancient Atomism and Modernity

The aim of this panel is to explore the reception of the ancient atomistic traditions (Leucippus and Democritus, Epicurus and Lucretius) in the modern era, with a special focus on the period from Kant to the present. Areas to be discussed will include the relationships between ancients and moderns and the state of theory then and now in a few domains: social theory, subjectivity, aesthetics, and mechanical reproduction. One-page abstracts should be sent to the co-organizers.

James I. Porter Eric Downing
University of Michigan University of North Carolina
Department of Classical Studies
2160 Angell Hall
435 South State St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003

Word and Image in Latin America

The interactions between verbal and visual representations have been one of the most productive fields of cultural output in Latin America.

In the context of the current interest in cross-disciplinary approaches to literary studies, the panel welcomes papers that explore the relations between word and image in this region of the Americas. Presentations may address traditional ekphrastic strategies and new regimens of representation, as well as historical perspectives, links between aesthetics and politics, and methodological explorations between arts and media.

Preference will be given to analysis of works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but submissions that address colonial art and letters will also be considered.

Please submit paper proposals to Dan Russek at

Dan Russek
University of Chicago
Department of Comparative Literature
University of Chicago
Wieboldt Hall
1050 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Sacred Tropes: The Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur'an as Literary Works

The Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and Qur'an continue to configure our subjectivity and, by extension, our evolving cultures. Bruce Feiler's best-selling book, *Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths* is only one example of an exploding popular culture interest in the three sacred texts reflecting a continuing search to keep the works relevant to a broader audience and to serve as a reminder of the similarities among the traditions. Recent panels on this topic suggest that, in addition to popular culture appeal, strong and enthusiast academic interest exists in exploring these sacred texts by enlisting current literary practices which often deny the boundaries of academic disciplines. While examining the influence of the sacred texts and traditions on other literary works is undeniably important, this panel focuses on the sacred texts themselves as works of literature that invite examination from a comparatist perspective. The application of twenty-first century theoretical approaches to these sacred texts promises to foster their resonance with contemporary problems and promise. This panel invites the use of polymorphus discourses to examine these works and unearth fresh readings. Suggested literary approaches include, but are not limited to, Philosophical, Ethical, Aesthetic, Literary, Cultural, Sociological, and Psychological readings.

Roberta Sabbath
University of Las Vegas (UNLV)
2550 Hayesville Ave
Henderson, NV 98052

An Archaeology of America’s Classical Origins

This workshop will be arranged into three sessions taking place over a three-day period. Session I, “Investigating the Influence of Classical Cultural Imperatives on American Thought and Behavior,” will explore what effect(s) reclamation of our classical origins has upon such cultural imperatives as understanding of the so-called American Way—God, Mother, and Country (largely derived from Vergil’s treatment of pietas [devotion to the Gods, to family and friends and to patria or country] in the Aeneid); our use, during the eighteenth century of the pastoral elegy (twenty or so have been located by Early American authors written between c1720 and 1784, not one of which does obeisance to Milton) as an American genre for preservation of the past; and our grasp and application of Roman republicanism vis-à-vis United States’ republicanism.
Regarding this last cultural imperative, for example, Paul Rahe has in Republics Ancient and Modern, substantially investigated how Greek democratic ideals impact contemporary society; but his centering upon an Augustinian analysis of Roman virtue as “praise of glory” obfuscates the arguably much more important role of Vergilian pietas, both on Rome and on the origins of the American republic. So much more needs to be done.
The second session, “How Classical Literary Allusions Focus Attention on Vital Aspects of American Thought and Behavior,” centers on such queries as “Why was George Washington called Cincinnatus?” “Why does Melville make Billy Budd the son of Venus?” “How does knowing that Vergil’s Aeneid was a more likely source for much of Hawthorne’s notion of Hell (Tartarus) than was Dante’s Inferno alter our interpretation of this American author’s works (especially a short story like “My Kinsman, Major Molineaux” or even The Marble Faun)?”
The third session will focus upon “How Study of Our Classical Origins Intersects with the Globalization Debates?” In this final session of the workshop, we will interrogate how recovery of America’s classical origins can potentially bring about positive intercultural bridges of communication among U.S. citizens and our global neighbors from Europe and South America. For example, learning that we share not just Adamic but classical origins should enable Americans to gain, or perhaps reclaim basic cultural contiguities which may encourage episodes of trans-Atlantic rapprochement. While we may indeed still recognize significant points of American exceptionalism, we may as well discover ourselves not to be so radically “other” as we too often appear to think ourselves; hence constructive intercultural exchange may become more emphatically fostered. As well reclamation of our secular origins (the mythos of Aeneas or classicism is certainly more secular while the Adamic mythos resides more clearly in the spiritual/religious realm) can serve as a check on what too often can be perceived as a characteristically American religious fanaticism.
The observations offered in this proposal are meant only to suggest and/or to provoke thought. They are assuredly not intended to limit possible responses. The proposer welcomes a wide diversity of approaches to the topics presented.

John Shields
Illinois State University &
Department of English
Stevenson Hall
Campus Box 4240
Normal, IL 61790-4240

Thinking Globally, Teaching Locally: Comparative Literature on the Regional Campus

This panel will explore the challenges experienced by comparatists teaching international languages and/or literatures at regional, state, or community colleges and universities. At such institutions, a local student body often arrives on campus as an already cohesive culture that is more than usually resistant to the universalizing values of academia. Tensions between students' local culture and the goals and values of a transplanted faculty may be played out in a number of culturally resonant oppositions that vary the theme of the ethnic vs. the global. These might include, but are not limited to, domestic vs. foreign; provincial vs. cosmopolitan; rural vs. urban; "street" vs. elite; religious vs. secular; fundamentalist vs. postmodernist; patriotic vs. "anti-American"; etc. This panel calls on professors of international languages and/or literatures who have found themselves at the crux of such oppositions to draw upon their experiences traversing the boundaries of local and global difference in their pedagogy as well as their scholarship. In what ways are teachers and scholars of comparative literature uniquely positioned to address such ethnic/global confrontations in the classroom? How might comparatist theories and methods be applied to the practice of teaching international cultures in local settings? Or, conversely, what can we theorize from our pedagogical adaptations to such settings?

Karen R. Smith
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Department of English
840 Wood Street
Clarion, PA 16214

Memory and the City

What is the relationship between memory, individually or collectively inscribed, and ever-changing urban populations and landscapes? How does memory affect the organization of cities, and vice versa? Cities, as some have argued, resist theorization. To what extent do they also resist memorialization? How does memory, evoked and erased, come to play in discourses of urban decay and renewal? How can one begin to map or trace urban networks of memory across neighborhoods and/or ethnic groups?

Deborah Starr
Cornell University
Department of Near Eastern Studies
Cornell University
409 White Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853

States of Exposure

Exposure can be defined as a condition of passivity before an uncontrollable alterity. We propose its treatment as a key concept through which to rethink the logic of the subject, be it the political subject, the witness to the event, the embodied subject, the affective subject. It may also be viewed as a concept that defines perhaps more than any other the event to which art is above all dedicated and which it tries to bring about. Figures and topics of investigation include: exposure to light, the encounter with the stranger, shame, nudity, shock, the nomadic/exilic subject, the unsheltered, woundedness. Interdisciplinary work in literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, film, and the visual arts is encouraged.

Emily Sun Eyal Peretz
Colgate University Harvard University
Department of English
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346

Metamorphosis: Cultural Imaginations of the Hybrid

From Ovid to Apuleius, Dante, Goethe, Nietzsche, and Kafka, metamorphosis has been a significant motif for a cultural and poetic imagination invested in exploring the limits of the human or the limits of narrative representation. Recounting manifold transformations of the human into the natural or the divine, narratives of metamorphosis try to articulate emergence or evolution as a time of transition or a hybrid merging of animal body and human consciousness. Metamorphoses seem to have occupied the cultural imagination particularly in times of crisis, and mythological, philosophical, literary, and scientific inquiries have drawn on the concept of metamorphosis to explore transitions triggered by the clash of highly adapted systems with radically altered environments. Within the cultural imagination of metamorphosis, the hybrid is not only a recurring motif, it also affected theories of development, transition, and evolution and informed the cross-fertilization of literature and science from 1800 to the present.

Please send abstracts to

Bianca Theisen
Johns Hopkins University
Department of German, Gilman 246
Baltimore, MD 21218

(Post)-Coloniality on the East and South-East Margins of Europe

This panel plans to continue conversations started in San Marcos on
"(Post)-Coloniality and Under-Examined Empires." Last year, the panel focused on the legacy left in the cultures and literatures of the Balkans, Mitteleuropa, and Eurasia by the Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires; this year proposals are invited that directly connect (post)-colonial issues to the present age of globalization. Again, the panel welcomes proposals that (re)-work concepts from (post)-colonial theories, including Orientalism, to shed light on the diverse geographical space of East and South-East Europe.

Possible issues to examine in the proposals/presentations include (but are not limited to) the following:

1. How do cultural and literary "texts" from East and South-East Europe respond to recent efforts to build "new" empires? Are the "new" empires ignored, feared, or celebrated? How does East and South-East Europe narrate its own role(s) in the formation of "new" empires?

2. How do "texts" explain the sometimes vociferous nationalism in the Balkans, Mitteleuropa, and Eurasia in relation to old empires and especially to new ones? Do ethnic identifications aid or detract in empire formation? Do "texts" envision a future without nationalism in these geographical areas?

3. How do "texts" represent the introduction of mass market consumerism in the Balkans, Mitteleuropa and Eurasia? How do mass market issues relate to issues relevant for old and new empires? How can these geographical spaces survive the introduction of mass markets and rampant consumerism?

4. How do exilic communities from the Balkans, Mitteleuropa, and Eurasia contribute to conversations about old and new empires that operate in East and South-East Europe? Do exiles offer new insights, travel different paths, or merely repeat the old hegemonic patterns?

Email 250-300 word proposals with basic contact information to
Vlatka Velcic at

Vlatka Velcic
California State University
College of Liberal Arts
Comparative Literature
California State University, Long Beach
Long Beach, CA 90815

Cross-Cultural and Gendered Collecting

Presentations are invited for panels on collecting as a site of trans-cultural exchange and dialogue in the age of imperialism/colonialism.

From the beginnings of imperialist expansion to the present, Western people have collected objects from Non-Western locales, the traffic in objects becoming a process of (unequal) negotiation between Western and Non-Western cultures. We start from the practice of collecting as rooted in material culture but wish to extend the notion of collecting to include the appropriation of other people in a colonialist context
as well as the appropriation of others' intangible cultural property through translation, adaptation, and the borrowing of techniques, styles, and ideas. To underline the relationship between material culture and colonialist exchange, each day of the seminar a cabinet will be installed in the seminar room that displays items relating to the day's topics.

We are thinking of the following topics, but we would be open to others as well:

Western collecting of Non-Western art. Collecting of objects as a simulation of the colonialist encounter: the cabinet, the ethnological museum, the colonial exposition.

Collecting as a means of transforming the meaning of the Other: Orientalism, fetishism, nostalgia, imperialist/colonialist desire.

Collecting, the writer and the artist. The artist or writer who collects Non-Western art (Van Gogh, Edmond de Goncourt). Japonisme, Chinoiserie. Relationships between the collection of objects and the appropriation, in literature and art, of images, ideas, techniques, and styles of Non-Western traditions.

Gender and collecting. Female American collectors of Native American art (Millicent Rogers, Georgia O'Keeffe). Collecting/appropriating the colonized Other through colonialist desire. Collected objects as sexual currency in colonialism. Female collecting and the amassing of cultural value. The effect of the national appropriation of foreign objects on social, economic, and religious hierarchies in regard to

We are planning to put together a volume of papers from the seminar for publication.

Please send 500-word abstracts and a brief c.v. by email to all of the seminar leaders:
Helen Fazio
Julie Rajan
Janet Walker
Please include your street address and phone number.

Janet Walker, Julie Rajan, Helen Fazio
Rutgers University
205 Ruth Adams Building
131 George St.
New Brunswick, NJ

Global Chinese Network and Transnational Cinema

As one of the oldest and most populated civilizations wide spreading in the world, Chinese societies and the diasporas serve as a fascinating site for scholars to study ethnicity in relation to globalism. Due to historical reasons, the global Chinese network stretches in multiple forms: nation-states (Mainland China, Taiwan), post-colonial city-state (Hong Kong), ethnic majority/minority (Singapore, Indonesia), and immigrant diasporic communities (Asian-Americans, etc.). Within the network, the ethnic bonding coexists with regional tensions and sub-cultural diversities. The interactions with other cultural systems, accelerating in the age of globalization today, bring even more complex dimensions to the network. This panel seeks to understand the dynamics of Chinese ethnic connection in relation to globalization through Chinese transnational cinemas. Combining ethnic allegiances with transnational industrial collaboration, a number of Chinese language films not only frequent!
ed international film festivals but also won the hearts of audience worldwide in the last two decades. These films reflected and also generated changes on the front of global Chinese networks. The panel welcomes film analysis from different regions of the ethnic network, in different angles (the film text, the film production and reception, the auteur, the actors, etc.), and with diverse theoretic frames. Ultimately, by centering on transnational Chinese cinemas, the panel aims to contribute to the general understanding of ethnic networks in the age of globalization.

Please send 200-word abstracts to Li Yang at

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza
University of Texas at Austin

Li Yang
University of Texas at Austin
1300 S. Pleasant Valley Rd. #244
Austin, TX 78741



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