Atelier Nouvelles littératures, Congrès de la SAES, « Revolutions » Atelier

Organisateurs : Christine Lorre-Johnston, Fiona McCann

Université Paris Nanterre
200 avenue de la République
92001 Nanterre Cedex

“Revolution(s)”, the key term for the 2018 SAES conference, is particularly appropriate in the context of New Literatures in English. Previously colonized countries, as diverse and geographically disparate as India, South Africa, Nigeria, Canada, and Australia (to name but these), have all experienced revolutions in various forms, both during the colonial period and after independence. These revolutions, among which the Canadian rebellions of 1837 and 1838, the 1857-8 uprising in India, the New Zealand wars between 1845 and 1872, the first chimurenga in Zimbabwe (1894-97), the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), and the Biafran war (1967-70), in some cases paved the way for later 20th century rebellions which led to independence and, at times, to further revolutions. The term revolution may also refer to the “settler revolution” (Belich, 2009) which, through settlement and colonization, transformed the modern world over the course of the 19th century, or again, to the feminist revolution of the 1960s and 70s, or the emergence of queer theory and activism in the 1990s, which launched another stage in the process of the redefinition of roles and identities in society.

The New Literatures panel invites proposals on the ways in which various revolutions and rebellions have been represented in contemporary postcolonial literature, but especially encourages papers on the diverse aesthetics deployed from within the vast postcolonial world which have actively destabilised, undermined, and reconfigured genres and canons previously dominated by British literature, and which continue to do so, thereby provoking revolutions within publishing and academic institutions. Papers might also consider the aftermath of revolution, that is to say the moment when the wheel comes full circle, in literary as well as historical terms. An epistemological and/or theoretical approach is also possible : one might consider the strengths and limits of aesthetic revolutions in postcolonial literature and theory.

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