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September 20, 2013

CFP: Exilic Capitals: The Cold War Exodus and Beyond (seminar)

Deadline: November 1, 2013

The 2014 American Comparative Literature Association meeting in New York City offers a singular opportunity to address the city’s tenuous reputation as a global capital—and, more broadly, the notion that governance, finance, or culture can (still) be located in capital, in a capital, or in capitals. In what sense do we speak of capitals (and capital) at all? The difficulty of these questions is rooted in the semantic density of the term ‘capital’ itself.

The world cultural maps have been redrawn during the 20th century. The First World War and the Russian revolution were instrumental in turning European capitals, such as Paris, Berlin and Prague, into the intellectual and cultural centers for exiled artists, scientists and literary figures. The Second World War shifted the exilic centers of cultural and intellectual life to America; making New York and Mexico City the new capitals of ground breaking historical, scientific, and artistic thought. These asylum seekers, expatriates, and refugees collectively encountered their new home-cities using instead of fixed geographical maps their own writings, plays, films and paintings.

Building on the ACLA 2013 seminar “Attitudes towards the Center: Literary Maps of Central and East-European Cityscapes”, we will discuss how the city life of the post-national mega polis (Toronto, Sydney, Tel-Aviv, Moscow) reflects the artistic search of today`s artists-exiles and cosmopolitan voyagers.

Drawing on the works of the exilic writers, filmmakers, painters, and theatre-makers emerging in the post-cold war period, this seminar will examine the changes in the political and literary maps of the past decades based on such critical concepts as Michel Foucault’s “heterotopia”, Walter Benjamin’s flâneur, and Mikhail Bakhtin’s “chronotope” (among many) and applied to the 20th century exilic cityscapes as they emerge in the works produced in exile (Kundera, Sebald, Bezmozgis, Glowacki, Rubina, Hoffman, Rushdie, and Huston) and in the oeuvre presented “from the other shores”, by those artists who were labeled dissidents (Havel) or who were considered to be part of the counterculture (J.Topol, V. Erofeev).

SEMINAR KEYWORDS: exile, cultural capital, chronotope, heterotopia, post-memory, homecoming, dissidence, and cultural tourism

Deadline for Paper Proposals: November 1, 2013

Link to send your abstract: http://acla.org/acla2014/propose-a-paper/

Inquiries can be sent to

Yana Meerzon - ymeerzon@uOttawa.ca and Veronika Ambros - vambros@gmail.com

Posted by jmkirsch at September 20, 2013 12:02 PM