Writing the empire: scribblings from below
An international & interdisciplinary conference at University of Bristol, 24-26 June 2010
Call for papers :
Over the last few decades, the study of texts has increasingly occupied centre-stage within the study of empires. Large numbers of scholars from a host of disciplines have explored the representations of peoples and places in travel writing, novels and a wide variety of other textual forms. The written word has thus been acknowledged as a key technology of power. However, while considerable attention has been paid to the ways in which gender shaped such texts, less attention has been paid to other forms of difference and inequality. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to address this gap by exploring how less powerful and less privileged actors in colonial and post-colonial societies made use of the written word. How, for example, did colonized peoples appropriate European forms of reading and writing, for what purposes and with what effects? What do the writings of subaltern imperial groups (e.g. indentured servants, transported convicts, ordinary sailors and soldiers) reveal about class and other related dynamics within empire? What were the relationships between orality, literacy and power in colonial and post-colonial contexts? How did relative powerlessness shape the production, reception and dissemination of texts? Rather than an exclusive emphasis upon the writing and reading of such texts, we also invite papers on their performance, including, in particular, the politics of performance in colonial and metropolitan streetscapes. Possible themes for papers & panels include: writing the colonial self; orality, literacy and power; writing, colonialism and modernity; popular print and empire; and street literatures, street performance & empires. We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on these and related themes. Please send proposals (400 words maximum) to either Kirsty.Reid@bristol.ac.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th 2009.
For enquiries & further details please contact the conference organisers: Dr Kirsty Reid, University of Bristol & Dr Fiona Paisley, Griffith University, Queensland. Or by post: Dr Kirsty Reid, Centre for the Study of Colonial & Postcolonial Societies, University of Bristol, 11 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TB, United Kingdom.