Call for Papers:


Representations of the North

Guest speakers: Professor Sherrill Grace, Henry Beissel

This interdisciplinary conference, to be held at the Munk Centre,  
University of Toronto, May 17-19, 2007, seeks to examine and explore  
the various issues surrounding image construction, identity making and  
representations of the North in literature, as well as in the visual  
and performing arts.  Primary texts to be examined may include  
travelogues and other historical or geographical documents,  
philosophical writings, literary travel writings and popular fiction.   
The aim is to reveal the multiple aspects of the idea of the North as  
a discursive system created and shaped by cultures outside the North  
and from within.

For centuries the North has constituted a mythological space,  
constantly defined, and redefined, by centuries of writers and  
explorers.  Its literary beginnings are found in ancient Greek  
writings, followed by Biblical texts and Nordic sagas.  European  
cultures, especially French and German, subsequently undertook the  
task of defining the North.  More recently, this task was picked up by  
northern cultures, namely Scandinavia, Finland, as well as English and  
French Canada.  Today, the North has been brought into question by  
Aboriginal cultures.  These literary representations of the North go  
beyond mere descriptions of a geographic space, constituting a  
fascinating, multi-layered and multi-cultural discourse strengthened  
by centuries of civilizations.  Whether depicted as a land of vast  
resources ripe for conquest, an elusive space whose boundaries  
continually retreat to the horizon defying conquest, or included in  
the discourse of political self-affirmation and the fantastic, the  
understanding of the North, or lack thereof, has shifted over time and  
is based in a rich, universal discourse fashioned by centuries of  
Proposals for papers from various disciplines are invited.  As  
indicated above, possible topics may include but are not limited to  
the following:

Regional identity and ?Northerness?; images of single countries or  
specific regions in the North (e.g. German representations of the  
American North); the realist North; Northern myths; the medieval  
North; the spiritual North; the ?oriental? North; philosophy of the  
North and Northern philosophies; the romantic North; the Queer North;  
the gendered North; the uncanny North; the North in music; Northern  
images in photography and film; material culture/exploitation and the  
North; Northern stereotypes; staging/performing the North;  
psychoanalytical readings of the North; the North writes back.

Send abstracts (no more than 250 words) for proposed 20 minute papers  
in English by 25 October 2006 to [log in to unmask]  If an  
abstract is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper should be  
submitted by March 17.  Accepted papers are intended to be published.

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: