Classical works, as well as experimental texts in various genres, constitute the vivid map of world literature. Johann Wolfgang Goethe famously stated early in the 19th century, “National literature is now a rather unmeaning term; the epoch of world literature is at hand, and everyone must strive to hasten its approach.”
In the era of globalization, the internet, and social media, World Literature has not only been changed in terms of its production, distribution, and consumption, but also generated new ways of writing and historical inquiry. DAKAM’s Literature Conference invites scholars from all over the world to present their contemporary perspectives of literary texts of the past and present echoing the context they’ve been written.
Today, tens of millions of people are refugees, raising fundamental challenges for governments around the world. The definition of a refugee, as enshrined in the 1951 Refugee Convention, is someone who ‘is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’ But this definition has been regularly challenged over the past 60 years and is under constant review by academics, governments and humanitarian agencies. Many forcibly displaced people around the world do not easily fit within this formal category.
The conference takes a critical approach to questioning normative understandings and addressing empirical puzzles regarding how refugees and international refugee advocacy networks mobilize international and national law and policies to offer new understandings of refugee protection and vulnerabilities. All research seeking to deepen understandings regarding how national institutions define, mediate and respond to refugee legal concerns in crisis will be taken into consideration. In addition to the contemporary refugee crises, historical case studies will be an important part of the event.
Scholars from different fields such as political science, history, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, urban studies, architecture, literature, poetry, art history, life sciences and other fields are welcome to propose their interdisciplinary work at the conference.
Additionally, collective memories can also be regarded as a “floating gap” between memory and history. Therefore, remembering and amnesia play a significant role in defining the positioning of the memory. The “cultural memory,” comprises that body of reusable texts, images, and rituals specific to each society in each different time era which they can be in the form of the texts, rites, images, monuments and buildings that are designed to recall fateful events in the history of the collective. They are sanctioned as a common heritage of a society that is accumulated in the longue duree. As coined with individual and cultural memory “the idea of individual memory,” as Maurice Halbwachs states, “absolutely separate from social memory, is an abstraction almost devoid of the meaning.” How a nation remembers also defines a branch in memory studies because “nations can repress with psychological impunity; their collective memories can be changed without a ‘return of the suppress’”. Other than individual amnesia, we can speak about a social forgetting which links social, political and cultural factors at work.
The interdisciplinary character of the memory links itself to various areas from psychology, sociology, history, identity studies, literary studies, urban history, space history, media studies to discourse analysis and other relevant fields linking the subject with the use of memory.
In 2019, The DAKAM Memory Studies Conference, in its fourth year, aims to provide a platform for discussions and research, which consider various aspects of literature as a memorial medium to contribute to the larger discussion of the ways in which societies and individuals recollect their past and as a field of observation of personal memory to explore and experience the complexities of the mind and emotions.
Scholars from different fields such as political science, history, sociology, anthropology, gender studies, urban studies, architecture, literature, poetry, art history, life sciences and other fields are welcomed to propose their interdisciplinary work at the conference.
How do gender, race, class, sexuality and age contribute to the formation of social identities? What role do ensuing power differences between these factors play in our globalized and mediatized world? What measures have been taken, in the past and the present, in order to prevent discrimination and exclusion? And how do academic, cultural, artistic, journalistic, and policy-making institutions respond to these societal challenges?
Emancipation, the recognition of differences, and awareness of intersections of gender with other factors of identity-making (class, race, age, sexuality, etc.) are crucial tools in analyzing social and cultural relations in today’s postcolonial and post-secular societies.
The conference explores the ways that femininity and masculinity affect an individual’s thought process. This is relevant in a variety of realms, such as social organizations and institutions, interpersonal relationships, and understandings of identity and sexuality.
Power will also be explored as it relates to gender and other forms of identity, including sexuality, race, class, religion, and nationality as encompasses interdisciplinary fields, which include exploration of the histories and experiences of diverse women and men as well as studies of sexualities, masculinities, femininities, and gender systems in society. The conference will also welcome studies that analyze how gender plays out in politics, intimate life, culture, the workplace, athletics, technology, health, science, and in the very production of knowledge itself.
The relationship between gender and society historically and cross-culturally, and the changes now occurring in the roles of women and men, the participation of women in the major institutions of society, and women themselves are among the topics to be included. Historical, contemporary, and transnational analyses of how gender and sexual formations arise in different contexts such as colonialism, nationalism, and globalization can be mentioned as important points of discussion.
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