• New geo-graphies of exile

New gep-graphies of exile. Displacements, re-placements and literary reconstructions od belonging


Elena dell’Agnese, University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy)
Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai’I at Manoa (USA)

Call for papers

“…writers in my position, exiles or emigrants or expatriates, are haunted by some sense of loss, some urge to reclaim, to look back…but, .. physical alienation …almost inevitably means that we will not be capable of reclaiming precisely the thing that was lost; that we will, in short create fictions” With these words, the exiled writer Salman Rushdie introduces his collection of essays entitled “Imaginary Homelands”. Indeed, experiencing exile, that is being banished from a place considered as “Home”, often suggests to a writer the literary re-invention of that place.

The positionality of the displaced writer is influenced not only by the feeling of difference, but also by questions of gender, time, nation; and by his/her capacity of overcoming the “frontier” between Here and There, of re-placing him/herself and of re-inventing new geo-graphies of emotions. Beyond the rhetoric of displacement, the experience of exile can invite the displaced writer into a new aesthetic experience and reframe his/her sensible world. Other people’s bread can be salty, as objectively remembered by Dante (since in Florence, bread is salt-free), but one can also learn how to appreciate its different taste.

The three panellists (Marcella Schmidt di Friedberg, Giulia de Spuches, Michael J. Shapiro) will interrogate in this perspective the works of the exilic writers Charles Selasfield, Nuruddin Farah, and Ismet Prcic. The session is open to papers concerning other exiled authors, who, in different times and space settings, re-imagined their lost homelands, but also learned how to re-place themselves into the new spaces in between.

This session is linked to the IGU Commission on Political Geography Research Network

Session code:

If you are interested in participating please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words by filling in THIS FORM and send it to the organizers before march 31st 2013 using this email: s21@eugeo2013.com
No one may submit or take part in more than two presentations.

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