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Call for Papers: 36th Annual West Indian Literature Conference

The University of the West Indies-St. Augustine’s Department of Literary Cultural and Communication Studies (LCCS), Faculty of Humanities and Education has issued a Call for Papers for the 36th Annual Conference on West Indian Literature under the theme “Affect & Ethical Engagement.” The Conference takes place October 4 to 7 at the Teaching and Learning Complex (TLC) at the UWI-St. Augustine, Trinidad. The deadline for submission of abstracts is May 19, 2017.

Painting by Jean Antoine.


The Caribbean literary project is counter-discursive both in essence and in practice. It is how we compose and articulate ourselves. With it, we imagine the tasks of nation-building, interrogate traumatic histories, and navigate the myriad rhetorics of identity, politics, and space. A focus on affect enables fruitful enquiry within the field—and well beyond it. In response to literature’s sustained engagement with historical disease and contemporary suffering in broader social contexts, many questions emerge. Among other things, we may consider whether a heightened critical focus on affect and related embodiments of race, gender, and class could yield greater insight and depth of meaning in relation to classical and new fictional texts? Since fictional characters are by definition displaced from embodiment, how effective are the strategies used to capture affective experience within literary texts? Do texts that deviate from realist paradigms capture the depths of shame and emotion with greater effect? How best to probe the affective and aesthetic investments of readers and writers? Does critical sensitivity to intense emotion create a portal for articulation of affective assemblages of identity? In what ways does the affective focus support and / or challenge the insights of Caribbean thinkers, postcolonial, feminist and other critical schools?

The conference invites papers that include, but are not limited to topics such as: Caribbean poetics of affect, shame and emotion; Trauma, sensation and corporeality; Gendered embodiments, sexualities and eroticism; Distance, proximity, affect and transcultural relations; Transnational politics of empathy and ethical engagement; Aesthetic-affective moods, modes and tones; Affect and connectivity – non-human, impersonal and animal; Performativity and affect; Emotions and new media; Rhetorics of Caribbean Fiction; Literary Praxis; Evolving reading practices; and Canonicity literary aesthetics and judgments.

For full details, please click here.

For further information about the Conference, please email


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