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AUETSA/SAACLALS/SAVAL Conference
8-11 July 2007
University of Kwazulu-Natal
Durban

Worlds, Texts, Critics

In a combined spirit of homage and debate, the 2007 conference takes its theme from the title of a collection of essays by the late Edward Said. While no critical consensus on Said’s views is presupposed, participants are invited to speculate on the “worldliness” of texts as both deliberate aesthetic elaborations and as material ensembles which are at once enabled and constrained by complicated informing contexts. We invite papers which explore these webs of ‘worldliness’.

As Said himself might have observed, it is apt to address such affiliations in Durban, South Africa’s pre-eminent port city. Named after the colonial governor Benjamin D`Urban, this east coast city entered European history with da Gama, slowly developed as an ivory trading post, and saw settlers uneasily tolerated by indigenous people and their monarchs, Shaka among them. Later, the city was integrated into British imperial economies through the immigrant Indian labour and industry associated with sugarcane. In terms of literary history, writers linked to the city include Gandhi, Fernando Pessoa, B.W. Vilakazi, Rider Haggard, Roy Campbell, Ronnie Govender, Mazisi Kunene, William Plomer, Daphne Rooke, and Douglas Livingstone. The actual and imaginative routes from Durban to various centres, margins, and interiors are many, and as a once-colonial maritime city which fronts the Indian Ocean, Durban is an appropriate location from which scholars might reconceptualise the prevailing emphasis on the “Black Atlantic” as a dominant zone of economic-cultural exchange.

Panels
Participants are invited to submit proposals for special panels.
Should you wish to convene a special panel, please contact the conference
organisers by January 31st 2007 at the very latest.

Conference Organiser:
Matthew Shum
shum@ukzn.ac.za
http://academic.sun.ac.za/english/AUETSA2007/home.html

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