CFP: Post-Colonial Nostalgia

Posted on Aug 29, 2017

Special Issue on Post-Colonial Nostalgia - Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies Deadline: November 1, 2017 Simon Lewis and Giusi Russo, guest editors of the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies are seeking manuscript submissions for a special issue on post-colonial nostalgia to be published in the spring of 2019. During the Rio Olympic Games of 2016 a conservative British MP tweeted a map of the British Empire along with the words “Empire goes for gold.” This is only one example of how recent events have prompted some in the west to recall tropes and narratives of empires with a sense of longing for a supposedly better past. The British vote in favor of “Brexit” along with the French presidential election’s debate on how to unconditionally love the French past highlighted the enduring power of imperialist discourse and the contentious politics of the ways in which empire is remembered and invoked. In some European instances similar tropes permeate the longings of the once-colonized as well as the former colonizer. The current political situation in the US has also drawn attention to the problematic nature of appeals to nostalgia by revealing how a desire to "return" to a past marked by racial and gendered hierarchies can be deployed in an effort to deny democratic progress. While referenceUs to empire in US rhetoric may be less explicit than in European cases, the past is similarly re-presented as a moment of order, of clarity, and opulence. The special issue of the Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies “On post-colonial nostalgia” seeks to explore the relationship between contemporary history and the melancholy of empire, the specificities of this type of remembering, the position of who remembers vis-à-vis imperial and colonial administrations, and the modalities of remembrance. The editors will consider contributions in the humanities and social sciences that reflect on the following questions: What is it about the post-colonial present that creates the longing for empire? What is the purpose of post-colonial nostalgia and “whose nostalgia” is present in the public sphere? What is the place of violence and suppression of democracy in the personal and public memories of empires? How does nostalgia manifest itself in high/elite culture, and in popular culture, respectively? Can nostalgia ever be positive and represent resistance to present oppressive circumstances? Contributions to the Field “On Post-colonial Nostalgia” contributes to the field of colonial and post-colonial studies by analyzing the intersections between the history of empires and the history of the present. The modalities and purposes of nostalgia confirm the centrality of the relationship between empires, politics, and everyday life. Nostalgia also represents a continuum in the history of colonialism and challenges the notions of end of empires. Decolonization...

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CFP: ‘Women Write Now’

Posted on Aug 3, 2017

Call for Papers: ‘Women Write Now’ Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings You are invited to submit papers for ‘Women Write Now’, an issue of Moving Worlds: A Journal of Transcultural Writings which seeks to engage with the work of contemporary women writers in fiction, poetry, drama. Since 2000 we have seen Nobel Prizes for Literature, Pulitzer Prizes for fiction, drama, and poetry, the Man Booker Prize, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize awarded to women, significantly more than in any preceding decade. In the case of the Man Booker, Hilary Mantel secured the unprecedented achievement of being the first Briton, and the first woman, to be awarded the accolade twice. Inaugurated in 2006, the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa has been awarded to women writers in four out of seven instances. This increasing critical acclaim and recognition demands an examination of the current landscape of contemporary women’s fiction and poetry. Areas of interest for this special issue include but are not limited to: Examinations of how the work of contemporary women writers has responded to or represented the many conflicts and disasters (economic, environmental, political) which have arisen since the millennium. Treatments of history, heritage, and memory within contemporary women’s writing. Considerations of how contemporary women writers are (re)negotiating a relationship with domestic spaces. Notions of the local and the global within contemporary women’s writing Explorations of how the work of contemporary women writers engages with the experimental and the innovative, both formally and textually. Proposals for essays (250 words) should be submitted to Emily Timms (Editorial Assistant): by 15 September 2017. Contributors whose proposals are accepted will be notified by 1 October 2017. The deadline for submission of the essay is 31 January 2018. We expect to publish the issue by May/June...

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CFP: RAL Special Issue on Biafra and the Literary Imagination

Posted on Jan 31, 2017

Research in African Literatures Special Issue Guest Editors: Cilas Kemedjio and Anthonia Kalu On May 30, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwumeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the South Eastern Region’s military governor, proclaimed the creation of the Republic of Biafra at a champagne party in the city of Enugu, the first capital of the secessionist region. On January 9, 1970, Ojukwu handed over power to Chief of General Staff Major-General Philip Effiong. He fled the country and was granted asylum in Côte d’Ivoire. The Republic of Biafra would formally come to an end a few days later with the surrendering of its military leader in Lagos. For the millions fleeing for their safety, the Republic of Biafra was a legitimate defense against aggression. Seen from the point of view of persecuted Igbos and citizens from the Eastern Region, Biafra was a humanitarian citadel designed to shield its beleaguered residents from the abuses they suffered in Nigeria. However, to Lagos—then the capital of the Nigerian Federation—the proclamation of the Republic of Biafra represented an unjustified rupture of the national compact. It was an insurrection against the authority of the central government and national sovereignty. The war engaged by the federal government again the Republic of Biafra was therefore a deployment of legitimate violence to subdue the rebels and reestablish the authority of the state within its internationally recognized boundaries. The war that ensued was the result of these conflicting readings of the secession. Whether we agree or not with one of these competing legal or ethical viewpoints, we must acknowledge that this war was a devastating human tragedy for the people who lived in the Republic of Biafra. According to the January 1970 issue of Time magazine that covered “the end of the rebellion,” as many as two million Biafrans perished during the war with another 1,250,000 were pushed to the brink of starvation. Despite the magnitude of the humanitarian disaster, unresolved controversies surrounding the war have continued to make conversations about the Nigerian civil war difficult. Writers and poets such as Chinua Achebe, Flora Nwapa, Christopher Okigbo, and Buchi Emecheta lived through the war as active participants, citizens, or activists. The subsequent generation’s stories, such as Chimamanda Ngozie Achidie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, record another understanding of the tragedy. Creative writers largely embrace an uncompromising stance for our shared humanity. In this process, they repudiate both the directives of the Propaganda Directorate of the Republic of Biafra and the absolutist, if devastating, claim of national sovereignty, challenge the uneasy conflation of humanitarianism, politics, and the military, and make a bold stance for human dignity. By focusing on the banality of life in these moments of distress, these writers convey to the world...

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CFP: La Bande dessinée africaine francophone. Musée(s) du Contemporain.

Posted on Jan 30, 2017

Revue en ligne : Mouvances francophones Numéro spécial : La Bande dessinée africaine francophone. Musée(s) du Contemporain. Existe-t-il une bande dessinée africaine, qui plus est francophone ? Poser une telle énigme revient à indexer deux notions qui s’avèrent également à l’œuvre dans le locus discursif et historiographique du roman africain francophone : la notion de champ chère à Pierre Bourdieu et celle d’une esthétique qui serait authentiquement africaine ; en bande dessinée, on parlerait plutôt de graphisme. Si pour Massimo Repetti, qui analyse les pratiques scénariographiques africaines allant du sud-africain Conrad Botes au congolais Barly Baruti, les « African comics as homogenous entity probably does not exist. It is perhaps more accurate to speak of ‘‘comics from Africa’’ interest which has taken concrete form in various exhibitions and international festivals, as well as in the publications of comics albums and academic research » (Repetti, 2007) ; Hilaire Mbiyé, pour sa part, postule que « la BD africaine est une réalité et non un mythe, […] elle se lit, se vend, et […] elle existe sous différents formats » (Mbiyé, 2009). Le premier pose un « cosmopolitanism » tant thématique que graphique quand le deuxième relève les dynamiques symboliques, institutionnelles et sociales qui configurent « des œuvres méritant d’être cataloguées comme une expression authentiquement africaine. » On le voit, parler d’une bande dessinée africaine francophone est loin d’être aisé. Et une occurrence emblématique de cet écueil herméneutique est la série Aya de Yopougon de l’ivoirienne Marguerite Abouet et du bédéiste français Clément Oubrerie, récipiendaire du Prix du premier album au Festival d’Angoulême, en 2006. Succès critique et populaire, cette œuvre sérielle porte en son sein les principaux obstacles à une approche essentialiste du fait scénariographique africain : machine — au sens de Jacques Rancière — de la mimésis spatiale, poïétique transculturelle (l’hybridité culturelle de la genèse de/à l’œuvre), une édition française (dans la collection Bayou des éditions Gallimard) qui tendrait à inscrire cette série dans le champ de la bande dessinée franco-belge... Procès similaire pour la série Eva K de Barly Baruti et Franck Giroud. Toutefois à une telle pratique transculturelle, pourraient être opposée à des œuvres telles que l’hebdomadaire Gbich !, le Gorgorlou de TT Fons ou encore les planches de Papa Mfumu’eto 1er qui s’inscrivent dans le giron du populaire et connaissent une production ainsi qu’une distribution locale. Dès lors, la mention « Musée(s) du contemporain », pour désigner la bande dessinée africaine francophone, a l’avantage d’opérer sur deux surfaces. Une première surface qui serait une archéologie du regard qui exhumer, montrer et monter les images des sociétés africaines, de leurs pratiques culturelles et de leurs crises du passé et de l’avenir. La deuxième surface, quant à...

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CFP: Cartographies of War and Peace in Eastern Africa

Posted on Dec 15, 2016

The 3rd Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies (EALCS) Conference University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 24th-26th August, 2017 Theme: Cartographies of War and Peace in Eastern Africa Call for Papers The Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies Conference Series brings together artists, media practitioners, literary and cultural studies scholars, students and teachers interested in scholarship in and on the Eastern African region. This conference is the 3rd in the series, building on the August 2015 conference held at Makerere University, Kampala, and before that, the inaugural conference held at the University of Nairobi, in September 2013. This year’s conference theme Cartographies of War and Peace in Eastern Africa invites participants to reflect on literary, media and cultural engagements with peace and conflict in the region. Eastern Africa—pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence—has been a region marked by shifting configurations of peace and conflict, resulting from different policy and political frictions in the region. Beyond periods of warfare and violent conflict, even peaceful nations in the region have had to bear the brunt of the structural violence of poverty, economic and political marginalization unleashed by problematic macro-economic and political policies. We invite literary, cultural and broadly interdisciplinary meditations on war and peace in Eastern Africa; through an engagement with key historical moments and policies in the region, including, but not limited to: slavery and early European struggles to control the Indian ocean, the two world wars, the Zanzibar revolution; the rise and fall of Ujamaa; the Kagera war; Structural Adjustments Policies (SAPs) and their impacts on everyday life; the Africanisation policies and Asian expulsions; the 1994 Rwanda genocide; the Lord’s Resistance Army and its activities in Uganda; post-election violence in Kenya; the historic 2015 elections campaign in Tanzania (mainland and Zanzibar); the Al-Shabaab phenomenon; the Darfur crisis; the South Sudanese conflicts; Somalia’s conflicts; the Ethiopian revolution; the Eritrean military encounters; and the recent Burundi crisis, among other landmark moments in the region’s histories. The 3rd EALCS, therefore, invites papers that explore how historical, cultural and political borders and maps have shifted as a result of these incidences and how new allies have emerged thus the new cultural and political cartographies. Topics include but are not limited to: Politics of identity including aspects of ethnicity, religion, or race. Violence, migration and exile. Language and Culture. Genres and trends in narratives of conflict Eco-critical readings of resource competitions Sexuality Popular arts New Media narrative engagements Autobiographical reflections on conflict African language literatures on peace and conflict Refugees, dislocation and displacement Human rights and Justice Representations of peace and militarism We invite abstracts (of no longer than 250 words) for papers that engage with the above topics and related concerns. We...

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