[ACLA 2020] Post-Magical Realist Worlds: Contemporary Postcolonial Story-Telling Modes, Critiques, and Perspectives (ACLA 2020)
Organization: American Comparative Literature Association
Event: ACLA 2020
Born in the mid-twentieth century in Latin America, magical realism quickly became “the literary language of the emergent post-colonial world” (Bhabha 7). It developed as a means of capturing and representing the experience of living in worlds marked by both colonial conquest and anticolonial resistance, and in which “improbable juxtapositions and marvelous mixtures” (Zamora and Faris 76) exist side by side. Since then, magical realism has circulated widely, picked up by authors in formerly colonized nations around the world and adapted to their own, local, representational needs. Today, literary authors and critics even speak of modes like Aboriginal realism and decolonial realism, which draw on certain conventions of magical realism but separate themselves from the Eurocentric binary logics of “magic” and “realism” that it upholds.
This panel seeks to explore multiple modes of representing, mediating, or distorting the postcolonial worlds that magical realism was initially developed to capture. We are particularly interested in post-magical realist modes of representation in contemporary media, literature, cinema, and the arts, as well as popular culture. The question of what has come after magical realism is central to this conversation. We ask: What representational modes emerge as a response to the recognition of Eurocentric conceptual binaries that “magical realism” reifies? Is magical realism, as Bhabha, Slemon, and many others have argued, a “global” postcolonial phenomenon, or a culturally-specific, regionally-grounded mode of artistic expression? What is the role of magical realism in cultural politics? Is it merely a stereotype perpetuated by the global market, or a useful and vibrant theoretical and artistic tool for engaging contemporary postcolonial realities?
Topics for this panel may include: magic(al) realisms (Flores; Roh), the marvellous real (Carpentier), Indigenous/Aboriginal realisms (Ravenscroft; Maufort), animistic realisms (Garuba; Quayson), decolonial/anticolonial realisms (Ciccariello-Maher), postcolonial realisms (Bjerk), and other artistic or theoretical interventions which disrupt the cultural traditions of European realism married to the tropes naturalism or scientism, or which react against magical realism’s now-widespread popularity and exoticization. We are also interested in exploring different critical responses to and interpretations of magical realism as an international commodity or a particular kind of world literature and cinema.
Please submit 300-word abstacts on approaches to or reactions against magical realisms in literature, cinema, the arts, and popular culture by Sept. 23 via the link at ACLA 2020 website.
Please contact us with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org , email@example.com
Bhabha, Homi K. Nation and Narration. Routledge, 1990.
Parkinson Zamora, Lois and Wendy B. Faris, eds. “Editor’s Note.” “On the Marvelous Real in America,” by Alejo Carpentier, in Magical Realism, edited by Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B Faris. Duke UP, 1997, 75-7
dr Justyna Poray-Wybranowska, dr Agata Mergler