Modern Language Association
27-30 Dec., 2006, Philadelphia

Towards Elective Affinity as Transnationalist Practice

Post-colonial critics have argued that anti-imperialist theories employ
homogenizing models similar to the imperialist theories that they seek to
criticize. Yet how are we to employ this insightful critique to unsettle
global hegemonies? What happens, for example, to the potential of
transnational solidarity as a method of political change?
Difference theories and identity politics have done great service by raising
awareness of under recognized hierarchies and inspiring many groups to
increased resistance. Nevertheless, these theories are also at risk of
valorizing authenticity and defining increasingly homogeneous and
concomitantly ever smaller cultural units as the appropriate loci for
effecting political transformation.
This panel seeks to explore what remains of the potential for creating
change through parallels and similarity; through speaking very close to and
listening to the ones deemed one's neighbors. We particularly invite papers
that explore theoretical debates about the possibilities for global elective
affinities by mapping concrete instances of these cultural practices. Topics
could include (but are not limited to) explorations of transnational
alliances based on commonalities, investigations that question bases for
alterity, or reinterpretations of common conceptions of self and other.

Send abstracts of 200-300 words by March 1 to BOTH:

Dr. Marike Janzen       [log in to unmask]


Dr. Jennifer Ruth Hosek      [log in to unmask]

Marike Janzen, PhD
Assistant Professor of German
Eastern Mennonite University
Harrisonburg, VA  22802


The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
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