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Colloque Re/membering Place

13-15 octobre 2011

Résumé :

The research group on Modes of Representation in English studies, CEMRA EA3016, from Stendhal University-Grenoble III is pleased to announce the organisation of an international conference on “Re/membering Place” to be held at Stendhal University on October 13-15, 2011.

This conference proposes to examine how the notion of “place” is reconstructed by memory, imagination, fantasy, desire, language, myth in a colonial or post-colonial context of displacement, migration, or exile. In The Location of Culture, Homi K. Bhabha discusses the detrimental effects of migration and diaspora which call for gathering in a different place, far from what migrants continue to refer to as Home. In his terms, the experience of migration involves “gathering the signs of approval and acceptance, degrees, discourses, disciplines ; gathering the memories of underdevelopment, of other worlds lived retroactively ; gathering the past in a ritual of revival ; gathering the present” (1994). This intersection between memory and place plays a significant role in narratives and the genres under which they are subsumed.

Depending on the particular historical period or geographical zone in which colonization occurred, displacement, dislocation, uprootedness and the sense of alienation and loss it entails, are experienced differently : by the diaspora, including colonized people who were forced to emigrate, descendants of peoples uprooted from Africa by the slave trade, or post-colonial authors who chose to emigrate and focus on the remembrance and reconstruction of place in their work ; British citizens who left their homeland for various reasons and variable durations, by choice to serve the Empire or under forced circumstances (transportation, poverty, forced emigration of women and children), experiencing a sense of exile from their native soil yet unable to reproduce a legitimate or authentic sense of belonging to the invented ‘homeland’ that emerged from their efforts to domesticate the colony’s alien landscape ; writers born abroad and who left for England and the Western world and express a sense of loss in their fiction, or writers who, in a colonial or postcolonial context, deal with the theme of exile. For colonized populations, the loss of home and the subsequent sense of rupture and alienation it entails can also occur within the homeland itself. This is the case for Aboriginal peoples expelled from and deprived of their ancestral territories, native populations estranged from a landscape continually defamiliarised by the new meanings (names, roads, boundaries, racialized spaces, colonial architecture, plantation agriculture, mining excavations) imposed on it by their colonizers, and stolen children taken away from their communities and families.

Place, however, can also be understood socially (one’s place in the social group or in the family, “to know or keep one’s place”) and culturally for people who feel alienated, rejected or “out of place”. This also raises the question of places exclusively devoted to memory and of commemoration (Ricoeur, Nora). It would also be interesting to consider the absence of space or representations of fragmented space which convey ideas of separateness, be it social, political, ideological or mythical.

Contributors are invited to explore the issue of the conference “Re/membering place” as a process of reconstruction which entails the recreation of memory (be it individual or collective), the re-appropriation of the past and of collective myths, the reshaping or reaffirmation of identity, and the representation of all the many aspects of this process in fiction and the arts (including painting, photography, cinema and a variety of literary forms such as fiction, autobiography, the travel narrative and the memoir), letters, essays, historiography, museography. Discussions will also focus on how memory and personal testimonies, oral as well as written, serve to fill in the blanks of historical discourse, give voice to a forgotten community, revisit historiography and question grand narratives which tend to exclude the (hi)stories of others, thus opposing centralizing monological discourses to the decentralizing polyphony of the postcolonial world (Bakhtin).


Thursday 13 October 2011

9.00 Registration

9.15 Opening and welcoming speeches

Reconstructing the Past, Chair : André Dodeman

9.45 Elisa Bariau, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand

“Mapping a Way between the United States and Ghana in All God’s Children Need Travelling Shoes by Maya Angelou”

10.15 Christine Lorre-Johnston, Université Paris III- Sorbonne Nouvelle

“Exile and Home in The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro”

10.45 coffee break

11.00 Anne Le Guellec, University of Bretagne Occidentale (Brest)

“Reclaiming the past and sowing the seeds of the future in Kim Scott’s Benang”

11.30 Jocelyn Martin, Université Libre de Bruxelles

“Re/membering Nation and Identity in Merlinda Bobis’ Fish-Hair Woman”

12.00 Lunch break

Narratives of Estrangement, Chair : Chitra Krishnan

14.00 Keynote speaker : John Thieme, University of East Anglia

“After the Bounty : Botany and Botanical Tropes in Caribbean Writing”

14.45 Catherine Pesso Miquel, University of Lyon 2

“Strangers in their own land : Aesthetics and Politics of Secession and Exile in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun”

15.15 Nathalie Martinière, University of Limoges

“Crumbling cliffs and identity-seeking in David Dabydeen’s Disappearance”

15.45 Break

16.15 Elodie Raimbault, Stendhal University - Grenoble 3

“Kipling’s Anglo-Indians and the displacement of Englishness : What should they know of England who only India know ?”

16.45 Valérie Baisnée, University of Paris 11 (IUT de Sceaux)

“Looking for ‘a home in this world’ : contemporary New Zealand women’s autobiographies”

19.00 COCKTAIL reception at City Hall hosted by Jean-Michel Detroyat

Friday 14 October 2011

Imagining new places : fantasy, allegory and myth, Chair : John Thieme

9.00 Keynote speaker : Chitra Krishnan, University of Madras

“The India of cabbages and kings – a panoramic view of the Indian construct/trope in the literatures of displacement”

9.45 Vera Benczik, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

“Re/membering Now : spatial echoes of the present in post-apocalyptical territories of exile”

10.15 Break

10.45 Robert Kusek, Jagiellonian University, Krakow

“Africa in the Guise. (Mis/Re)placement in The Master of Petersburg by J.M. Coetzee”

11.15 Claire Omhovère, University Paul Valéry – Montpellier 3

“The Memory of Landscape : Canadian Explorations on Site”

12.00 Lunch break

Cultural constructs of identity, past and present, Chair : Claire Omhovère

14.00 Adeline Vasquez-Parra, Université libre de Bruxelles

“Writing History, Re-presenting Trauma : historical representations of the Great-Upheaval (1755) and the contemporary Acadian identity discourse”

14.30 Anne-Florence Quaireau, University of Paris IV-Sorbonne

“Dis-location, re-membering, and re-forming in Anna Jameson’s Winter Studies and Summer Rambles in Canada (1838)”

15.00 Sheila Collingwood-Whittick, Stendhal University, Grenoble 3

“Disremembering the colonial past, appropriating Indigenous attachments to place : ’settler’ Australia’s search for identity”

15.30 Break

16.00 Gilles Teulié, University of Provence

“Collective Memory & National Identity in South Africa : Re- Membering the Zulu Military Past.”

16.30 Christine Vandamme, Stendhal University, Grenoble 3

“The Empire Harks Back : Memorial and Cultural Dis-Placement as Ethical Gesture in The Conversations at Curlow Creek”

Saturday 15 October 2011

Reconfiguring place : hybridity, in-betweenness, cosmopolitanism Chair : Catherine Delmas

9.00 Lilian Cameron, University of Melbourne, Australia

“Remembering post-migration and post-colonial places : changing conceptions of home and belonging in recent writing.”

9.30 Birgit Neumann, University of Passau

“The Sea is History” : Transcultural Remembrance of the Black Atlantic”

10.00 Emily Johansen, Texas A&M University

“’Muscular’ Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitan Memory and Shared Space in Andrea Levy’s Small Island’

10.30 Break

11.00 Biljana Djoric-Francuski, University of Belgrade

“The Westernized East Meets the Easternized West in Three Continents”

11.30 Suhasini Vincent, University of Paris 2 (Panthéon - Assas)

“Intertwining hi(stories) and East/West Displacement in Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss”

12.00 End of the conference

Organisers :

Catherine Delmas (Director of the CEMRA) and André Dodeman, Stendhal University-Grenoble3, 1180 allée centrale BP 25, 38040 Grenoble cedex 9, France Tel : 00 33 (0)4 76 82 68 17

secretary : Solange Amoussou, tel. 00 33 (0)4 76 82 68 17

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