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the time between rulers; a space between; the gap after one epoch ends and another begins; the tumultuous and exciting period after scholarly boundaries become fluid and before new academic disciplines are fully defined; the blog of New York University's Draper Program
Comparative Caribbeans: an Interdisciplinary Conference*
Emory University, Atlanta GA
November 3-5, 2011
This is why we stay with poetry. And despite our consenting to all the indisputable technologies; despite seeing the political leap that must be managed..., the full load of knowledge to be tamed..., at the bow there is still something we now share: this murmur, cloud or rain or peaceful smoke. …We cry our cry of poetry. Our boats are open, and we sail them for everyone.
– Édouard Glissant
Recent debates in Comparative Literary studies have brought the very idea and practice of comparison under scrutiny. What are the limits and possibilities of comparison in a time marked by an ongoing process of globalization? What is the status of “world literature” as a category of analysis? What are the epistemological, political, and ethical stakes in doing work across disciplinary, linguistic, and geo-political boundaries?
This conference seeks to contribute to this ongoing discussion by taking the Caribbean as its point of departure. As a region marked by linguistic, historical, and geographical differences and as a site of displaced origins and rhizomatic identifications, the Caribbean not only necessitates comparatist perspectives, but may also help us reconfigure how comparison is thought and practiced.
We invite work that cuts across linguistic and disciplinary boundaries, bringing Caribbean art, literature, and culture into challenging dialogues with other traditions in order to map new trajectories for further comparative engagement. We are particularly interested in highlighting work that does not subsume Caribbean cultural and literary production under the umbrella of “area studies,” but instead draws on Caribbean aesthetic and philosophical traditions in an effort to rethink some of the theoretical and methodological axioms that underlie contemporary comparative studies.
Professor Guillermina De Ferrari (Spanish and Portuguese, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Professor Natalie Melas (Comparative Literature, Cornell University)
Professor Mara Negrón (Comparative Literature and Gender Studies, University of Puerto Rico)
Professor Rubén Ríos Ávila (Comparative Literature and Hispanic Studies, University of Puerto Rico)
Possible areas of inquiry:
Please submit your abstracts of 300-500 words with a short bio to comparativecaribbeans@gmail.
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* Organized by the Graduate Students of Emory’s Comparative Literature Department