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Call for Papers

Caribbean Crossroads: Women’s Space and Time Re-imagined

Caribbean women’s writing espouses a vision of the region as a crossroads of space and time. Like Édouard Glissant’s carrefour d’espaces et d’ères or Paul Gilroy’s black Atlantic, this intersection evokes creolization, migration, errantry, liminality, conjunctions, and disjunctions. Our collection intends to bring together an array of women’s perspectives from across the area to articulate a distinct, enlarged conception of the spatio-temporal crossroads, one that encompasses the other-worldly, speculative, and counterfactual.

Caribbean thought – from pan-Africanism and Creolization to Relation and Chaos theories – contests imperialist discourse, but tends to remain phallogocentric. We are therefore seeking original essays attentive to gender that elaborate (on) alternative theories for the region. Contributions should focus on works that centralize marginalized voices, defy restrictive conceptions of space and time (e.g., dystopian or futuristic), and revisit the past or explore the possibility for social change, resistance, new futures and/or new homelands.

Of particular interest are readings of novels with fictional settings, such as Paule Marshall’s The Chosen Place, The Timeless People, Maryse Condé’s La colonie du nouveau monde, and Merle Collins’ The Colour of Forgetting. Newer works include Nalo Hopkinson’s Midnight Robber, Shani Mootoo’s He Drown She in the Sea, and Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo or Unraveling.

Essays on texts that ostensibly experiment with space and time in more recognizable settings are welcomed too; for instance Daína Chaviano’s historical romance/fantasy novel La isla de los amores infinitos or Rita Indiana’s time-travel, post-apocalyptic novel La mucama de Omicunlé. Other recent examples include Fabienne Kanor’s neo-slave narrative Humus, Yanick Lahens’ Bain de lune, Myriam J.A. Chancy’s The Loneliness of Angels, and Marcia Douglas’ The Marvellous Equations of the Dread: A Novel in Bass Riddim.

Exploiting tensions between the fictional and the factual, such contemporary works prompt us to rethink the Caribbean through the processes of de- and re-territorialization; they also bring awareness to (neo)colonial discursive practices of alterity (gender, race, class, sexuality, religion, culture, language) in the area whilst anticipating, however tenuously, a postcolonial feminist future. This proposed edited collection therefore invites papers to examine how and why female narratives remap space and time. It aims to put forth a unique pan-Caribbean feminist theory of the crossroads that addresses major challenges such as colonial legacy, governance, normative societies, environmental/natural disasters, migration, and globalization.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Reconfiguring gender dynamics, postcolonial feminism, identity politics in the re-imagined Caribbean
  • Historiographic metafiction, counterfactual and marginalized histories
  • Mythologies, folklore, the supernatural, and spirituality
  • Fantasy, science fiction, dystopia, utopia, and speculative futures
  • Mediating spaces: trans, liminal, door, crossroads, in-between, hybridity
  • Interior and exterior landscapes, topographies, and cartographies
  • Diasporas and migrations: the black Atlantic, (neo)slavery, (hydro)colonialism, and indentured servitude ● Environmental/land issues, island territories, nations
  • Alternative societies, marronage, religious communities, or space colonies

Send a 300 word abstract with a short bio to Dr. Tegan Zimmerman, tegan@ualberta.ca and Dr. Odile Ferly, oferly@clarku.edu by September 1, 2019. Completed articles will be due October 31, 2020. Manuscripts should be approximately 7500 words in length, including notes and bibliography.