Events organised by the various chapters are announced on the websites of the ACLALS chapters. Visit our ABOUT page for links to individual ACLALS chapters.
8-11 July 2007
University of Kwazulu-Natal
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
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.