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Geography, Affect, and Diaspora

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Organizer: Melody Yunzi Li

Co-Organizer: Robert T. Tally Jr.

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As Alison Blunt notes in her Domicile and Diaspora, “The term ‘diaspora’ is inherently geographical, implying a scattering of people over space and the transnational connections between people and places.” Over the years, cultural critics, geographers, and historians examining diaspora have focused on such concepts as home and homeland, territory and territoriality, citizenship, migration, transnationalism, and cultural difference. These are also prominent themes in diasporic literature, film, and other media, yet comparatively little attention has been paid to the distinctive spatiality at the heart of these matters, particular with respect to the affective geographies implicit in diasporic identity and community. Drawing upon the insights of geocriticism, literary geography, and spatial literary studies more generally, this panel aims to explore the intricate ways in which diaspora interacts with space, place, and emotional attachment in various cultural forms.
Topics for discussion may include, but are not limited to, the following:

The ways in which diasporas seek to connect and re-connect with their “homelands” in literature, film, and visual culture.
How diasporic bodies and emotions interact with space and place.
How theories of affect change our thinking of diaspora.
Borders and border-crossing in diaspora literature and film.
Private and public sphere in diaspora literature and film.
Mapping and spatial representation in diasporic texts.
Affective and geographical impacts of the push-and-pull movement in diasporic communities.

Please submit your proposals through ACLA Portal. We look forward to your submission.

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