PUB: CFP: ‘Going Local: African Texts and Cultures’, University of Birmingham. « Africa in Words

CFP: ‘Going Local: African Texts and Cultures’, University of Birmingham.

Going Local: African Texts and Cultures.
A postgraduate-led conference and workshop at the University of Birmingham, Monday 27th May 2013.

Proposals due: Monday 15th April 2013.

Theorisations of transnationalism, diaspora, the translocal and globalisation have all broken new ground in studies of African literature and other texts in recent years. But in our excitement to make African texts speak to the world, do we risk ignoring texts which speak to or about the local?

Some of the questions this conference and workshop seeks to address include:

• How do we read texts whose aesthetics, politics or forms can’t necessarily be understood by a global audience?

• Does the notion of the local (and, implicitly, the foreign or the global) have any relevance to the way we read African texts?

• How can texts from different locales speak to each other?

• How do African texts conceive of the idea of ‘localness’?

• Can we talk about the ‘local’ without it becoming a slippery synonym for ‘authentic’ or ‘exotic’?

This postgraduate conference invites papers from postgraduates and early career scholars interested in any aspect of ‘the local’ in African texts, with ‘texts’ having as broad a meaning as possible, to include:

• Literature

• Historical texts, travel writing and other ‘non-fictional’ texts

• Personal papers and diaries

• Art

• Music

• Film

• Material, media and popular cultures.

We are particularly keen to encourage conversations between scholars working in different African languages (including English, French, Portuguese and Arabic). Papers which discuss texts from any part of the African continent and its diaspora are welcomed.

The conference will take the format of panels of 20 minute papers, and a participatory workshop focusing on methodological and theoretical issues. We would also like to offer shorter slots for papers using innovative presentation formats such as visual art, film or interactive forms; please indicate in your email if you would be interested in such a slot.

To submit a paper, please email an abstract (or a statement of how you wish to present your paper, if not in traditional format) of no more than 250 words, and a short biography, to Rebecca Jones and Tom Penfold, by Monday 15th April 2013.

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