Call for Papers: Panel on Édouard Glissant, “Re-Examining Opacity in the Caribbean Context”


Mariana Past (Dickinson College) invites abstracts for “Re-Examining Opacity in the Caribbean Context,” a session for the 45th Annual NeMLA Convention on April 3-6, 2014, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The deadline for abstracts is September 30, 2013. [Many thanks to Peter Jordens for bringing this item to our attention.]

Description: The late Martiniquan writer, poet, and critic Édouard Glissant (1928–2011) remains an extremely influential figure in Caribbean thought and cultural commentary. His Caribbean Discourse (1990) and Poetics of Relation (1997), which argued for new understandings of the Caribbean with respect to the wider world, have become part of a new canon of cultural criticism. Central to Glissant’s theoretical approach is the notion of opacité, or “opacity.” He consistently defended the right of Caribbean people to be “opaque” with respect to the West, refusing both the transparency and the imposition of Western thought. This panel will explore the resonance of Glissant’s notion of “opacity” within cultural production in the contemporary Caribbean context. How do texts by Caribbean and diasporic writers confirm or resist Western notions of “otherness”? Is “opacity” liberating or limiting? In what ways does Caribbean literature translate, or obfuscate, local realities for a global market?

Submissions are invited which specifically address this question in French, Spanish, English, or Creole texts, including (but not limited to) novels; dramatic works; poetry; theories and criticism.

Please send 250-300-word abstracts to Mariana Past at Dickinson College,

Please include with your abstract:

• Name and Affiliation
• Email address
• Postal address
• Telephone number
• A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

 For more information, you may contact pastm@dickinson.ed and visit

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