Call for Papers: The 33rd Annual West Indian Literature Conference


The 33rd Annual West Indian Literature Conference will take place on October 2-4, 2014, at the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill, Barbados. This year’s theme is “Literature, Culture and the Environment.” The deadline for submitting abstracts is May 17, 2014. 

Description:  “Living landscapes have their own pulse and arterial topography and sinew which differ from ours but are as real – however far-flung in variable form and content – as the human animal’s … the vibrancy or pathos in the veined tapestry of a broken leaf addresses arisen consciousness through linked eye and ear in a shared anatomy that has its roots in all creatures and all things” (Wilson Harris “Living Landscapes”)

The physical contours of the Caribbean have been so radically transformed by colonial conquest, plantation and state-sponsored “development” from the seventeenth to the present century that establishing a historically informed sense of place is inevitably fraught. Our interactions with the world around us are not only written on the environment, but in the textual and spatial expressions of our imagination.  The relationships across landscape and language, location and representation are significant to a Caribbean cultural praxis that contemplates notions of displacement and territory, routes and rootedness, performance and personhood.  In order to examine the social and cultural implications of the diverse interplay of environment and cultural/literary text, the 33rd Annual Conference of West Indian Literature invites papers and panel proposals on topics that are relevant to the conference theme.

Issues to be addressed might include: ecocriticism and environmental poetics; territorialising identities; geography and cultural iconography; literary cartography and Caribbean spaces; performing places, cultivated spaces; visual and scribal representations of the Caribbean; revisiting Sylvia Wynter’s “Plot and Plantation” paradigm; and inscribing the exotic on the “blank slate of the Caribbean archipelago” [OR Debunking the romanticization of Caribbean culture as a site of the exotic?].

Abstracts should not exceed 250 words in length, and should include (1) a title, (2) name, status and institutional affiliation of the presenter(s), (3) a contact email address, and (4) a mailing address. Please also let us know if you require any special equipment. Papers will be a maximum of twenty (20) minutes in length.

Abstracts or proposals for panels comprising three papers should be emailed by May 17, 2014 to;

[Many thanks to María Cristina Rodríguez for bringing this item to our attention.]

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