August 21, 2006

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity

CALL FOR PAPERS:
The Riddle of Devolutionary Identity: A One-Day Interdisciplinary Conference
University of Warwick, Humanities Research Centre (HRC)
~ Saturday 18th November 2006

Keynote Speakers: Prof. Michael Gardiner, Chiba University, Japan.
Prof. Stephen Knight, Cardiff University.
Prof. Susan Bassnett, University of Warwick.

Also: David Morley, poet and director of the Warwick Writing Programme.

Call For Papers
This interdisciplinary conference will bring together academics working within the fields of Scottish, Welsh and Northern-Irish literature, and Postcolonial Studies. The central aim is to tackle recent debates on whether the cultural, social and psychological issues can be explored using postcolonial theory particularly in relation to devolutionary literature.

The legacy of colonisation pervades Western culture, yet as international movements emerge at the hard-line of religion and politics, the factors of dissimilitude and difference tend to be ignored. In such a climate, how does one situate oneself as a subject of a minor culture, that of Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?

The organizers welcome a variety of approaches: historical, sociological, linguistic, feminist and textual analysis. The conference will deal with devolutionary identity in relation to three main themes:

1. The End of Britishness
Kirtsti Bohata writes of Britishness as “a misleading label that disguises English cultural hegemony and a project of assimilation”. What are the pressures on Britishness? Can one think of contemporary English Literature as “devolutionary” too?

2. The Limits of the Postcolonial
Who is ‘excluded’ from Postcolonial Studies? Various minority groups seem to be under-represented within the field of postcolonial theory. We are interested in proposals concerning British regions, but we would also welcome papers on the relatively neglected literatures of peoples such as Native Americans, Australian Aborigines and South Pacific Islanders, Indo-Caribbeans, the Roma nations of Europe. What is the current situation regarding hegemonic structures within the discourse of postcoloniality?

3. Difference and Complicity
In their definition of a minor literature, Deleuze and Guattari suggest that in order for a minor culture to represent itself it must subvert a major language by deterritorializing that language and imbuing it with a minor tradition. Are devolutionary literatures subversive and radical in
subverting linguistic tradition or are they more complicit with hegemonic Western values?

Details on the Plenary Speakers
Prof. Michael Gardiner works in British cultural studies at Chiba University, Japan. He has published widely on the topic on devolutionary literature and culture in studies such as The Cultural Roots of Scottish Devolution (2004), Modern Scottish Culture (2005) and From Trocchi to Trainspotting: Scottish Cultural Theory Since 1960 (2006). He has also published a collection of short stories entitled, Escalator (2006).

Prof. Knight is based at University of Wales Cardiff, where one of his main research interests is the Welsh industrial novel. He is the editor of British Industrial Fictions and his recent study in the Writing Wales in English Series, A Hundred Years of Fiction, has been extremely influential in considering the relationship between postcolonial models and devolutionary literature.

Guidelines for Abstracts and Papers
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20 minute papers. You can send by e-mail (in the e-mail body or by attached Word document) or by regular mail. The organizers details are listed below:

Zoe Brigley, English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of
Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL
E-mail: zoe.brigley@gmail.com

Jonathan Morley, Caribbean Studies, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV47AL
E-mail: jonmorley79@hotmail.com

Registration
Details of conference registration are available from Humanities Research Centre secretary Susan Dibben to whom enquiries should be addressed. Please send your name, faculty, institution and contact telephone number and if sending by e-mail enter the title “Registration” in the subject field. Registration closes on 1st November 2006.

Ms. S. Dibben, Humanities Research Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 7AL
E-mail: Susan.Dibben@warwick.ac.uk


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