File spoon-archives/postcolonial.archive/postcolonial_2003/postcolonial.0309, message 102

Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2003 14:28:00 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: CFP: ACLA (4/15/03-4/18/03), Ann Arbor

Attached is a CFP for the American Comparative
Literature Association Meeting in Ann Arbor, MI,
April 15-18, 2004.  Please pass on to interested
parties. We have four papers already and would
like eight more to round off our seminar. 
Interdisciplinary work in particular is
solicited.  The deadline for submissions is
October 8, 2003.

Thanks a bunch,
(Not) All We Do is Talk, Talk: Communication,
 (Post)coloniality and Transnational Feminist
 "Identities and positionalities are
 of embedded experiences and social relations
 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
 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
 transnational collectivities. Historicizing
 difference through these narratives allows us to
 study how constructions of the Self and the
 subject us to specific ethnic formations that
 continue to haunt the construction of the
 national citizen well past the nineteenth
 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
 * 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
 help us to envision a present that anatomizes a
 colonial historiography of difference?
 We encourage interdisciplinary presentations
 address some of our concerns. Some possible
 * 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 by October 8, 2003
 to Priya Jha at and to
 Courtney Wennerstrom at

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