The Ethics and Poetics of Self-Writing Narratives

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Organizer: Jayshree Singh
Co-Organizer: Vinita Chaturvedi
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The narratives recounting the shared history of post-independent nation illuminate post-colonial self-writing. ‘The Selfhood’ as a stakeholder, an educator, a learner, a facilitator or a precariat elaborates the confessional mode in the context of the psychological dimension and the actual experiences relating to displacement, resettlement, voicing the personality or understanding the authority. The ethics and poetics of self-narratives demonstrate historical consciousness for ‘unhistorical power of time and space’. The text and textualities of fragmented, discontented people set disjunctions and discordance and subvert timelessness and universality. While being in co-existence, they suffer from cultural conflicts and internal crisis. Even at times ‘subversion of selfhood’ grows writer to question genealogy of morals in order to hold oneself as a single entity, the truth of life is deconstructed as according to vulnerabilities of an individual. All categories whether belonging to hegemonic, minority, ethnic or an individual understand their emotions of connections with the past and their acclimatization in terms of ‘differance’. They filter their ethnic conflagrations to integrate their space of elevation, social experiential realities, to reflect upon their social environment and circumstances. The seminar will explore social criticism and the shared domains of private and public space in women’s text that nurture revisionist and individualistic engendered selves, the crossing-borders text in the post-modern era, the autobiographical text of exceptional lives, the narratives that illustrate an individual as ‘the exceptional others’, the postcolonial self-writings that not only script physical and metaphysical turbulence, but also contest the historical shifts and the notion of nationalistic outlook. The Seminar proposal will examine such narratives from the following perspectives: - How far do the political struggle and struggle with virtues affect the interest of the people who choose cross-threshold zones in place of comfort zones? How can foreignness or nativity transcend territoriality and time? How do the time-frames and cultural contexts employ implications in understanding the spirit of nationalism? How does the character or protagonist or the narrator in an autobiography cope up with the disciplinary boundaries and the historical/social events around which their life is built? How does the generic idea manifest selfhood, historical consciousness, masks the truth, deconstructs the vulnerability, conjoins differences, and implies the sense ethical and pedagogical relevance? In what way do the genealogical methodology interlock ethics and poetics, text and textuality, when writing the ‘Self’ or underwriting the ‘Self’?

Abstracts for paper submissions through the portal will open Sept. 1 and close Sept. 21. The American Comparative Literature Association's 2018 Annual Meeting will take place at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California between March 29th and April 1st, 2018.


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