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CfP: ACLA Panel Parameters of Change: Perception of Minorities in Comparative Perspective

ACLA conference (March 29th to April 1st, 2012), deadline 15 November

Parameters of Change: Perception of Minorities in Comparative Perspective

Seminar Organizer(s):

  • Monika Albrecht (University of Limerick, Ireland, (, Giuliana Adamo (Trinity College Dublin, Ireland)

Integration, assimilation, and many related issues such as the recent European retreat of multiculturalism are subject to vigorous scholarly, political and public debates. While TV and TV film/series in many European countries nowadays prominently represent people with a migrant background, writers and other artists with origins in those countries tend to be rather hesitant to include ‘other’ Europeans in their works. All the more of interest are those who do. The panel shall focus on the question of how writers, filmmakers and other artists from a wide range of non-migrant European backgrounds are envisioning the development of an ethnically diverse Europe. We are most interested in their inherent visions of multicultural or ethnically diverse societies, that is, in their idea of how it could work and how it would not work, in the preconditions under which acceptance of difference is possible and in the conditions that make it more difficult. The panel should cover roughly the last four decades of cultural productions on ‘other’ Europeans with a special emphasis on changes and potential turning points throughout these years (including and beyond 9/11).

Overview articles are most welcome, but also papers on individual writers/artists. We are in particular looking for papers that address, but are not limited to, one of the following topics:

  • ‘guest workers’ in mainstream literature of the 1970s and 1980s,
  • processes of normalization and leveling of differences,
  • dividing minorities into good and bad, desired and not desired,
  • the new stereotype of the perfectly integrated migrant,
  • the migrants’ place in the collective imagination and fantasy of the ‘natives,’
  • merging of minority perception with other contemporary issues,
  • pros and cons of 9/11 as a caesura in the perception of minorities.

Any other means of engaging with the perception of minorities are welcome!

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