Call for papers: 2012 ASAL conference

‘The Colonies’
3-6 July 2012
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

Before there was Australia and New Zealand there were the colonies – NSW, Victoria, Van Diemen’s Land, Queensland, South Australia, New Zealand. Now there are competing nationalisms (including internal ones), but countless filiations continue to span the Tasman – people, language, politics, sentiment, ecology, history, art, sport and literature. Can we revisit the literary history of our two nations and uncover the ways in which the ‘Tasman World’, as James Belich terms it, continues into the twenty-first century?

The theme for the 2012 ASAL conference is inspired by Grace Karsken’s history of early Sydney, The Colony, praised for its outstanding sense of place. Is it possible to disaggregate contemporary national binaries in ways that allow us to see the many continuities as well as the divergences with which we generate our sense of place? As critical writing shifts focus and gear – to eco-criticism, transnationalism, ‘field’, curriculum and emotion – do the old postcolonial verities and paradigms become less important?

Papers are invited on any aspect of the broad theme above, including:

– Colonial literature
– Eco-criticism
– Spatial theory
– Indigenous theory and methodology
– The indigenous nation
– Literary history
– Maoriland
– Transnationalisms
– City literatures
– Readerships
– Print cultures
– Pasifika and Asian connections
– Cultural cringe
– Literary nationalisms
– Regions and their voices
– Literary economies

Abstracts of up to 150 words are welcomed. Please send to by 2 March 2012.


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