Multicultural and Transnational Literatures

Devoted to MTL at ECU and beyond

Archive for August, 2011

Call For Papers (from Joan Conwell)

Call for Papers

43rd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)

March 15-18, 2012

Rochester, New York – Hyatt Rochester

Host Institution: St. John Fisher College

Keynote speaker: Jennifer Egan, 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner, A Visit From the Goon Squad


Seeking papers on the convergence of transnational literatures, gender, and state power.


Particularly interested in:

*How literature and contemporary or historical world affairs influence one another.

*Whether the special qualities of transnational literature such as border crossing, hybridity, code-switching, and/or the erosion of cultural barriers situate it to confront political injustice.

*Investigations into the role of literature (broadly defined) and gender with regard to the 2011 Arab uprisings, major world elections, state repression, or specific human rights violations.


Deadline: September 30, 2011

Please include with your abstract:

Name and Affiliation

Email Address

Postal Address (optional)

Telephone Number (optional)

A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)


Please send 250-500 word abstracts or questions to:

Joan Conwell, East Carolina University

Email: or

Visit the website at:

Jefferson Fortner to present talk at the Southern Comparative Literature Association Conference

Our MTL student Jefferson Fortner will present a paper as part of a panel on “Exiles and Diasporas” as part of this year’s SCLA Conference in Charlotte.  He provides a brief description below:

In Dr. Deena’s class we read two plays by Athol Fugard of South Africa: Sorrows & Rejoicings and Valley Song.  Focusing primarily on the play Sorrows & Rejoicings and on details of Fugard’s life, I compared his work to the work and life of Hamilton Basso, a Southern novelist most active in the 50s.  Specifically, I focused on Basso’s novel The View from Pompey’s Head.  In both instances I focused on the intellectual exile of the liberal artist/writer who has to leave behind a stultifyingly conservative homeland in order to have a voice, but who cannot leave behind the impact and desire for the “homeland.”  I point out the parallels between Pre-Civil Rights era South Carolina and Apartheid South Africa and suggest a post-colonial nature for the American South at the time.  I also use brief passages from Reynolds Price and from Amitav Ghosh that highlight other similarities to Post-Colonial Indian and to the American South.

Henry Louis Gates coming to ECU

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. will speak at ECU on the evening of November 10:  With Salman Rushdie already scheduled for October 5, it promises to be an exciting Fall semester for students of multicultural and transnational literatures:  a “Voyage of Discovery” indeed!