CFP: Gathering Diversities through Contestation and Coalition

In conjunction with the annual Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, CACLALS (the Canadian Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies) will host its annual conference from May 26-28, 2018, at the University of Regina, in Regina, Saskatchewan.

This year’s CACLALS conference will explore the broader Congress theme of “gathering diversities,” not only “in the spirit of building community” but also in the acknowledgement that community-building is often achieved through forms of contestation and coalition, migration and resettlement, or shared struggle. Indeed, the post-millennium period has been a time of heightened and intensified “gatherings” in at least two major forms: first, as protest and calls to action (e.g., the Arab Spring, Black Lives Matter, Idle No More); and second, as a result of new and devastating catalysts for migration and resettlement, which have produced precarious and often imperilled configurations of peoples, space, land, and identities.

We invite papers that consider “gathering” and “diversity” as interrelated concepts, where “gathering” might be read in terms of various platforms for protest, contestation, resistance or reconciliation; or as an aspect of (re-)settlement, particularly in light of the uncertain and temporary gathering spaces (e.g., refugee camps, holding centres, detention facilities, etc.) that have come to be a defining feature of 21st century movement and migration. Papers might also problematize the extent to which diversity itself continues to be a site of contestation or consolidation in arenas of racial and ideological conflict. Conversely, papers might offer new ways of thinking about diversity as it extends to include the non-human, the planetary, or other frontiers that help expand our understanding of such phenomena, either as they are informed by contemporary challenges, or linked to a historical continuum of past injustices and hegemonies.

CACLALS welcomes conference papers 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:

Uprisings, past and present
Literary activism
Coalition and community building
Intersectional or transnational feminisms
Utopic gatherings and affective politics
Queer assemblages
The production of solidarity and/ or resistance
Temporary’ settlements (e.g., refugee camps, ‘holding centres,’ waiting spaces, detention facilities)
Contesting diversity
Multiculturalism revisited
Ecological diversity
Forms of digital activism
Borders and Border Identities
Non-human and technological coalitions

We welcome any of the following: formal papers designed to be delivered in not more than 20 minutes; workshops; member-organized panels in which 3-5 members deliver 5-minute position statements related to a single issue or text and then open up discussion to the audience; and member-proposed special events. If the latter have funding implications, we ask that the proposal include ideas about how at least partial funding might be secured.

Proposals of not more than 350 words should be sent by January 15, 2018, as a Word doc attachment to with the subject heading of CACLALS Proposal at Congress 2018. Along with the 350-word proposal, please include the following: presenter’s affiliation and rank (for faculty) or program and university (for graduate students), contact information (email), presentation title, a 50-word abstract, 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 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 CFPs and Conferences tab. All graduate student proposals (clearly identified as such by program and university) will be considered for the prize, unless otherwise specified on the proposal.