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Biography 26.4 (2003) 835-837
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Call for Papers. "Interiority in Early Modern England, 1500-1700." 15-16 Oct. 2004. Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada. The subject of this multi-university and interdisciplinary conference is the ways in which early modern English men and women experienced and expressed interiority in response to dramatic political, religious, economic, social and cultural change. During a period that witnessed religious reformation and confessional strife, civil war, republican experiment, the execution of one king and the forced exile of another, as well as commercial and imperial expansionism, many individuals sought stability by turning inwards. But how successful were these attempts to comprehend the self, and how fruitful were these quests for stability? Possible topics may include but are not limited to: intimacy, emotions, introspection, corporeal anatomy, conscience, individualism, midwifery, witchcraft, domestic space and architecture, devotional practices, autobiography, travel, and sexuality. Conference plenary speakers will be Jonathan Sawday (The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow) and Elizabeth Hanson (Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario). Selected papers will be published as essays in a special issue of The Dalhousie Review. Send 500-word abstracts, complete mailing address, including phone and fax numbers, and e-mail, to Goran V. Stanivukovic, Department of English, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 3C3; phone: (902) 420-5706; fax: (902) 420-5110; e-mail: Goran.Stanivukovic@smu.ca. Deadline for abstracts: 15 Feb. 2004.
Call for Papers. "Biography versus Fiction: the Value of Testimony." LISA E-Journal, June 2004. This theme focuses on the value and authenticity of historical testimony when it is conveyed by any kind of subjective literary form, whether autobiographical or the subjective interpretation of testimony through fictional literary works. The field of study discussed is that of American XIXth and XXth century cultural studies, directly linked with minorities and written testimonies coming from ethnic groups. We will first concentrate on the XIXth century, to observe how minorities express, in a direct or indirect way, their intimate historical traumas, and how their voice can be conveyed—or betrayed—by the fictional voice of a third person, detached from the group. For example, how do slave narratives, when used as a basis for the writing of abolitionist texts, actually offer an illustration of this interplay between authentic testimony and "reported" testimony; or how do the biographical or autobiographical texts produced by some Indian [End Page 835] Chiefs testify to the realities of their political and economic situation at the end of the XIXth century, but also to the interpretation given by some biographers who rewrote those oral testimonies to turn them into books destined to be sold as autobiographies? Is this "reported" voice, once transcribed, the same testimony, and does it have the same "value" as direct expression? The theme of "minority" groups expressing themselves—and the words "minority" and "minor" should be defined in the context of the United States and put into perspective—whether it be in a direct or indirect way, is still valid in the XXth century. Writers descending from minority groups have inherited the memory/ies of their ancestors: fiction thus becomes the ideal medium for many Black or Indian writers (we may also consider other minorities) willing to pass on this preserved Memory. Once again, the intimate relationship between "direct" and "indirect" testimony—inside the same community this time—is at work. Its aim, however, is different: it might be the survival of an ancestral and timeless cultural patrimony (the memory of Africa, of slavery, of the original tribal life, of the Great Plains, the transmission of the oral tradition, and so on). We will then try to unveil the mechanisms used to ensure this transition between past and future and the literary modes which seem to be effective in the preservation of this cultural identity. Contributions may be in French or English, and illustrations may be used on the express condition that no copyrights are to be paid. Proposed contributions to this project will be examined by at least two reviewers and may be accepted only on the understanding that the materials have not been submitted to and accepted by another journal. All...