Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'll be talking about speculative fiction at the 12th Biennial Symposium on the Literatures and Cultures of the Asia Pacific Region. The conference title is a mouthful: Rewor(l)dings: Contestations and Reconfigurations in the Literatures and Cultures of the Asia Pacific Region.

-The Asia Pacific region has been the site of the enthusiastic production of literature and other cultural texts for the last fifty years but many of these productions have so far been just a token presence in the anthologies and scholarship outside the region. Even within the region, knowledge of each other’s literatures and cultures is minimal. Current theories have helped address the imbalance by privileging “Third World” or “postcolonial” texts, by exposing processes of containment, co-optation and mediation, and by suggesting solutions such as retrieval, negotiation and recuperation.

The conference seeks to up the ante by questioning the paradigms that have forced the writer and scholar in this region to retrieve, negotiate and recuperate, contesting the worlding that has relegated the region to the margins. It will explore possibilities of re-mapping culture so that no center has single dominance, and every center retains a fidelity to its people’s history and culture without negating a colonial past or current global imperatives.

Specifically, the conference will explore breaking away from popular paradigms for the creation and analysis of literature and culture. It will review concepts ubiquitously present in current discourse—globalization, for instance, and postcoloniality with its panoply of accompanying terms, such as hybridity, diaspora, dialogic. It will invite new discourses that promote reconfigurations and new visionings, e.g. the creation of “moving”/ “untranslatable” identities, translation as a globalizing force. It will cite regional realities that should inform this new cartography and the ways by which the writers, especially those in the “new” genres, have responded to them. -

And one of these "new" genres is spec fic - so I am happy to have been invited to give my two cents. And listen. And learn.



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