[Msa-discuss] CFP: Transatlantic Studies In the Era of Globalization (9/13/07; 2/21/08-2/23/08)

Shel Veenstra shel_veenstra at sbcglobal.net
Sat Sep 8 14:07:24 EDT 2007

Call for papers for a panel sponsored by Atlantikos: A
Journal of Transatlantic Scholarship at the Louisville
Conference on Literature and Culture since 1900,
February 21-23, 2008.

What does it mean to read twentieth- and
twenty-first-century texts through a transatlantic
lens? Transatlantic movement is often perceived as an
eighteenth or nineteenth century phenomenon, while the
twentieth and twenty-first centuries are most
frequently understood as belonging to the era of
postcolonialism and globalization.  Nonetheless, there
remains a distinctly transatlantic literary and
cultural movement throughout the twentieth and
twenty-first centuries, which is often subsumed by
competing theoretical frameworks focused on economic,
material, or political conditions.  

Examples of this movement are diverse.  The work of
expatriate artists such as Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude
Stein, and Josephine Baker was enhanced by the
cultural interchange produced by their movement
between European and American societies.  The impulse
to go “back to Africa,” advocated or followed by
figures such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, Malcolm
X, and even the comedian Dave Chappelle, highlights
the strong cultural influence that Africa has
continued to exert on Americans throughout the
century.  More currently, the novels of Zadie Smith
feature characters defined by their cultural ties to
both Britain and the Americas. 
Given this range of transatlanticism since 1900, this
panel provides the opportunity to create new
vocabulary and epistemological structures that
maximize, rather than minimize, the complex dynamics
of movement in, across, and around the Atlantic Ocean.
 Questions to consider include the following: 
Is there a transatlantic concept of nation that
differs from the categories provided by
postcolonialism (governed as it is by considerations
of the British empire) or globalization (whose
conception of a “democratic” global network often
negates or obscures individual and national
differences)?  Is there a transatlantic identity that
expands beyond the typical categories of race, gender,
nation, and sexuality?  Is there a unique
transatlantic aesthetic generated by the cultural
interplay and movement between sites bordering the

Please send a 200-250-word proposal with the paper’s
title to Shel Veenstra (veenst16 at msu.edu) before
September 13, 2007. Please include your affiliation,
mailing address, phone/fax, email address, and a brief
CV (no more than 2-3 pages).

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