Call for Papers: “Caribbean Meridians”

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[Many thanks to Mary Ann Gosser Esquilín for bringing this item to our attention.] The Australian Association for Caribbean Studies (AACS) will host “Caribbean Meridians” to take place February 7-9, 2019 at the Female Orphan School, Parramatta South Campus, Western Sydney University. Confirmed speakers are Alexis Wright (University of Melbourne), Michael Bucknor (University of the West Indies at Mona). The deadline for submissions is September 14, 2018.

Call for Papers: Recent conferences have taken the themes of ‘Land and Water’ (Wollongong, 2015) and ‘Interiors’ (Canberra, 2017). For 2019, we are encouraging presenters to think about the ‘meridians’ that connect the peoples, cultures, ecologies, and histories of the Caribbean with those of other places around the globe. Studies of Caribbean history and culture arguably have always been ‘transnational’, or at least oriented to thinking about the forces beyond the Caribbean that have shaped it. Most often this has been a matter of thinking about the relations between the Caribbean and the countries from whence its inhabitants largely have been drawn – especially Africa and Europe – as well as to the regional hegemon, the USA.

The concept of the ‘meridian’ is chosen to encourage presenters to think about the lines of connection that spread from the Caribbean out to the world as a whole. These encompass the Atlantic world but they also extend across the Western hemisphere and the Pacific to Asia, Oceania, and beyond. ‘Caribbean meridians’ encourage us to look for unusual, perhaps unexpected lines of connection or relation such as those that have spread south to Australia (‘meridian’ once meant ‘south’), as well as ‘South-South’ relations where ‘South’ refers to the ‘global South’. The idea of the meridian also reflects back on the Caribbean, which is criss-crossed with intra-regional connections that can escape scholarly notice. Presenters might also like to think about the way in which the term ‘Caribbean’ affects the term ‘meridian’. The latter tends to evoke the straight lines of longitude that have come to govern relations of time and space. How do Caribbean perspectives inflect and alter conceptions of time, space, and/or world? How have the peoples of the Caribbean imagined the world and the kinds of connections and affiliations that bind it? Are there specifically Caribbean meridians?

Abstracts on all subjects and from all disciplines within the field of Caribbean studies are welcome. [AACS conferences are interdisciplinary and consider papers on all topics and from all fields, including the natural sciences.] The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the abstract, not its relevance to the conference theme. Please send abstracts of no more than 200 words along with a short title and two-line biographical note to aacsconf2019@gmail.com by September 14, 2018.

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