Call for Papers - Roundtable
Haiti after the Earthquake: the Shape, Role and Power of Writing
44th Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 21-24, 2013
Host Institution: Tufts University
In parallel with the historical construction of Haiti as an independent country, Haitian literature has been vibrant for over two centuries. Writers, poets, artists create and note the cultural vivacity of Haiti. The literature reaches different countries, is translated in several languages. Writers are internationally recognized and many receive famous literary prices. Then, on January 12, 2010, the earthquake shakes the earth, the ground of Haiti, shakes the bodies and the souls of people in Haiti and elsewhere. Immediately following the catastrophe, writers continue to write, start writing again, begin to create new works around the earthquake and its aftermath. Several articles, fictions, collective volumes are published. The strength and life of Haitian literature continues to engage readers, awakens new ones. Misery, pain, sadness and death populate the lines, but beauty, courage, vision and hope are also present. Words try to encompass the complexity of the new face of Haiti. Words try to capture the absence. But how is witnessing possible when the event is a catastrophe, when the event took the lives of so many, when the event is about destruction and death? What can writing, what can literature, do to capture death, the death of other people, to transcribe the memory, the loss. And how can literature capture the hope, the necessary survival?
This roundtable is devoted to works written after the earthquake, to the role and power of literature, to the necessity of writing that follows such a traumatic event. How can fiction, poetry, writing in general transcribe the memory, the witnessing? What is the role of literature, what is the role of the writer, when survival becomes central?
Please submit 250-300 word abstracts in English or French to Emmanuelle Vanborre:
Deadline: September 30, 2012
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)