Call for Papers: “Penser le Zouk”

Hanétha Vété-Congolo has announced a call for papers for a collection of academic essays— Penser le zouk. Following the symposium (of the same name) that took place in Martinique from April to November 2010, the committee solicits academic studies on the topic of zouk. Abstracts are due on September 30, 2011.

Description: At first glance and utterance, a Creole onomatopoeia, the term “zouk” seems to bear no specific meaning or significance. Yet, zouk refers to the modern form of music and dance created out of the sense of aesthetic and creativity of the French Caribbean countries of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Since its inception into the wider public and the world in the late seventies, zouk has, more often than not, been deemed insignificant and opposed to traditional rhythms. One tends to view zouk according to impressions, approximation, and beliefs. It leaves no one indifferent and has also its defenders. Standpoints about zouk are at the very least extreme be it negatively or positively. One of the reasons explaining the disparaging attitude toward and extreme positions about zouk is the fact that no extensive and academic study of the phenomenon has been conducted so far. Yet, it is also well established in French speaking Caribbean communities in the United-States and Europe and has been embraced by Cape Verde and many other African countries. For the fast changing and globalized Martinican and Guadeloupean societies, zouk has become a true cultural identifier. It is vested with identity meaning. It is therefore appropriate to examine the significance of zouk from the cultural, sociological, philosophical, anthropological, political, economic and psychological perspectives.

Authors are invited to submit abstracts on one of the following concentrations or on any other related topic of interest: zouk and development; the politics of zouk; zouk and identity; the sociology of zouk; the hermeneutics of zouk; the economic value of zouk; he literature of zouk; women and zouk; zouk and orality; or zouk and communication.

Abstracts should contain up to 200 words with a title, affiliation, and a short biography of up to 90 words. Please, specify the theoretical approach of the study. Authors whose proposals are selected by the reading committee will be informed no later than October 30, 2011. Complete articles will be submitted by March 30, 2012. Contributions may be in English or French, but contributors are very earnestly urged to use the language in which they can write more effectively.

All abstracts should be submitted electronically to the editor, Hanétha Vété-Congolo, through by September 30, 2011.

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