>From: "Stef Craps" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: Postcolonial Trauma Narratives (3/1/06; MLA '06)
>CFP: Postcolonial Trauma Narratives
>Proposed Special Session
>2006 MLA Convention, Philadelphia
>Twenty-minute presentations are invited that address the inscription of
>traumatic memory in postcolonial narrative literature.
>Despite a stated commitment to the promotion of cross-cultural solidarity,
>trauma studies - an interdisciplinary paradigm which emerged as a substrand
>of the ethical turn affecting the humanities in the 1990s - retains a firmly
>Eurocentric perspective. Cathy Caruth's claim, in her influential
>introduction to _Trauma: Explorations in Memory_, that "trauma itself may
>provide the very link between cultures" is not borne out by the founding
>texts of the field, which focus entirely on white Euro-American experiences
>and histories (predominantly the Holocaust) and exclusively employ critical
>methodologies emanating from a Euro-American context (e.g. psychoanalysis).
>This panel seeks to examine whether and how trauma studies can redeem its
>promise of cross-cultural engagement. We are particularly interested in
>papers that explore this question through the analysis of postcolonial
>trauma narratives, i.e. narratives produced by writers from the non-Western
>world that bear witness to the suffering engendered by colonial oppression.
>Panellists will ideally address theoretical and disciplinary issues as they
>relate to the analysis of individual works. Possible topics include:
>-- Does colonial trauma comply with hegemonic understandings of trauma? Is
>there a sense in which the current discourse on trauma is "culture-bound"?
>Do postcolonial trauma narratives present challenges to trauma theory?
>-- Much writing about trauma, memory and representation assumes that
>traumatic events can only be adequately represented in anti-narrative
>modernist forms. Do the textual strategies used for the representation of
>colonial trauma differ from those commonly used for the representation of
>traumatic Western events such as the Holocaust or 9/11 (e.g. disruption of
>linear chronology, fragmentation, narrative self-consciousness,
>hypersubjectivity, narration through visual images, non-closure)?
>-- How do postcolonial trauma narratives construe the relationship between
>colonial trauma and the Holocaust?
>-- How can postcolonial studies benefit from a rapprochement with trauma
>Please send a one-page proposal and a brief CV to both Gert Buelens
>(gert.buelens_at_ugent.be) and Stef Craps (stef.craps_at_ugent.be) by 1st
>This session has not yet been approved for the convention. We will submit an
>organized session proposal to the MLA Program Committee by 1st April 2006.
>Further information on the MLA's policies and procedures is available at
>www.mla.org. Please note that panellists must be members of the MLA by 7th
>Dr. Stef Craps
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