CFP “Listening and Speaking: Postcolonial Circles of Conversation," CACLALS, Vancouver, Canada, 1-3 June 2019

Terri Tomsky's picture
July 1, 2019
British Columbia, Canada
Subject Fields: 
Humanities, Indigenous Studies, Literature, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies


CFP: CACLALS at Congress 2019

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, B.C.)

June 1-3, 2019

“Listening and Speaking: Postcolonial Circles of Conversation”


Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Dr. David Chariandy (Simon Fraser University)

Prof. Jasbir Puar (Women and Gender Studies, Rutgers University)


Postcolonial Studies has always been mobilized by theoretical and material “circles of conversation”— that is, it has come about as a field rooted in acts of listening and speaking. One might say that “postcolonial listening” is inherently dialogic, drawing on and contesting a wide range of disciplinary modes of inquiry, from the anthropological to the environmental. Postcolonial listening also takes place in the nexus between the local and the global, encompassing the national and subnational; and as we move toward an era of greater intersectionalities, postcolonial studies continues to listen for possible alliances, both within and beyond the academy. Postcolonial speaking, on the other hand, gestures toward the meta-critical nature of the discipline itself. Questions about speaking, the spoken for, speechlessness, and the spoken drive postcolonial conversations about power, appropriation, representation and subjectivity. As a fundamentally contestatory practice, postcolonial conversation is, often urgently, forged by critical discussion, modalities of dissent, and internal mechanisms of what Edward Said calls “scrupulous subjectivity.”  


In the spirit of postcolonial circles of conversation, we invite papers, panels, roundtables and workshops to reflect on critical, theoretical and creative acts of listening and speaking. What are the conversations that the “postcolonial” has failed to adequately address? What are the silences, gaps or points of erasure in postcolonial circles of conversation? What are the new conversations generated by or beyond the field, in terms of new theoretical crossroads or points of intersection, new forms of alliance, new acts of cross-cultural listening, new comparative mappings, etc.? How do we approach modes of listening in the context of indigenous knowledge (such as notions of “deep listening”)? How does listening occur across species boundaries? How does the aesthetic or creative, more generally, facilitate original modes of listening and speaking? 


CACLALS welcomes conference paper or panel proposals that address any aspect of the CFP’s central questions or issues. We also welcome proposals otherwise related to the Association’s broader mandate to examine postcolonial and global literatures. The following are suggestions in this vein:


—        Dialogue and Dialogism

—        Contested Speech/The Speech Act

—        Testimony and Trauma/Testimonial as Genre

—        Intergenerational Conversations

—        Ecology and Debate in the Anthropocene 

—        The Body, Debility and Disability 

—        Aurality and Sound/Sound Studies and the Postcolonial

—        The Politics of Representation/Appropriation

—        Empathy, Sympathy and Incommensurability 

—        Speculative Subjectivities and Solidarities

—        Cosmopolitanism, Transnationalism and Cross-Cultural Engagement

—        Listening and Post-TRC Indigenous-Settler Relations

—        Listening Across Boundaries (e.g., spatial, geographic, species) 

—        Language, Voice, Erasure

—        Multilingual Voices/Official vs. “Unofficial” Languages

—        New Comparative Mappings (e.g., linguistic, regional, diasporic, global, etc.)

—        New Cross-Disciplinary Approaches


Formal papers should be designed to be delivered in not more than 20 minutes; member-organized panels or roundtables should include 3-5 members and deliver 5-minute position statements related to a single issue or text and then open up discussion to the audience; member-proposed special events and workshops are also welcome. If the latter have funding implications, we ask that the proposal include ideas about how at least partial funding might be secured. We additionally welcome member-proposed panels that draw on a creative-critical interface, provided the submission includes a full description and rationale.


Proposals of approximately 350 words should be sent by January 15, 2019, as a Word doc. attachment to with the subject heading of “CACLALS Proposal at Congress 2019.” Proposals should also include the following information:  presenter’s affiliation and rank (for faculty) or program and university (for graduate students), contact information (email), presentation title, a 50-word abstract, a short bio, and an indication of any special media or other needs. Proposals are double blind-vetted. 


Conference queries should be sent to CACLALS President, Dr. Mariam Pirbhai: Please also see the CACLALS website and follow us on twitter @caclals_ca for more information about the association and for conference updates.


Membership renewal or new membership must be paid in full for inclusion in the final conference program. The automated membership system is available on the CACLALS website: Membership inquiries and fee payments can also be directed to CACLALS Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Henghameh Saroukhani:


The Annual CACLALS Graduate Student Conference Presentation Prize: Information about the Graduate Student Conference Presentation Prize can be found at under the “Graduate Students” tab. All graduate student proposals (clearly identified as such by program and university) will be considered for the prize, with the exception of previous winners. 

Contact Info: 

Contact: Dr. Mariam Pirbhai (CACLALS President)

Contact Email: