Regional Becomings in North America
International Symposium to be held at the University of Toulouse Jean Jaurès, France
April 7-8, 2016
In this era of transnational consciousness and global connectedness, some have asked whether it is still legitimate to consider cultural practices in regional terms. Is regionalism a futile effort to close borders and exclude the alien and the new? Is it imbued with nostalgia and oriented toward an imaginary past, projecting “setting[s] outside the world of modern development, … zone[s] of backwardness where locally variant folkways still prevail” (Brodhead 115)? This symposium will consider the extent to which different constructions of region in North American literature, art, music, and other cultural practices could, on the contrary, be viewed in Deleuzian terms as “becoming” regional.
Regionalism has often been coupled with realism, so we can inquire how its cultural formations go beyond imitation. Do regionalist cultural productions record or create their communities? Do they tend toward idealization—returning to a mythical time and place of innocence—or can they be critical or confrontational? Does regionalism, as Fetterley and Pryse have argued, make a place for counter-hegemonic discourses? How do trajectories of deterritorialization and reterritorialization remodel regional identity? How do expressions of place make room for transformative incursions of difference? What associations or assemblages come together to produce or promote regional forms? Finally, to what extent do diverse forms of regionalism, including bioregionalism, undo conceptual divisions between the local and the global?
Send proposals with a title and a 150 word abstract to email@example.com by September 1, 2015
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