INDICITIES/IND(O)ICES. Hybridity in Indian Ocean Literature (IND2009)

Venue: Escola de Postgrau

Location: Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain

Event Date/Time: Apr 23, 2009 End Date/Time: Apr 25, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Oct 31, 2008
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LITPOST, a research group in Emerging Postcolonial Literatures and other Arts based in the Autonomous University of Barcelona, is pleased to announce its first international conference.

Stories of the legendary Lemuria allow us to envisage the cultural systems of the Indian Ocean as a once unified whole. Sucessive waves of migration have created creolized populations where writing in English and French coexists with Shimaore and Kibushi (Comoros), Kreol (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues, Seychelles) and Malagasy (Madagascar). The geographical proximity of the east coast of Africa – Kenya and Zanzibar – leads us to include it in a study of the Indian Ocean as a contact zone.

A comparative perspective is ideal for grappling with the phenemenon of hybridity in such a complex cultural area. It also allows us to overcome both linguistic and academic frontiers embedded within the current fragmentation of literary studies. As Bernard Mouralis (2007) argues: “language separates, writing unites”. By confronting texts from diverse parts of the Indian Ocean we aim to break down these hermetically sealed compartments in order to disclose the convergences and divergences between literary productions and their traditional criticism. This also enables us to question the celebratory tone with which the phenomenon of hybridity is analyzed in literature and observe the silences and tensions inherent in the writings of this rich, and insufficently explored, cultural area.

Keynote addresses
the following writers have confirmed their presence:
João Paulo Borges Coelho
Ananda Devi
Abdulrazak Gurnah

We welcome papers which explore the following topics:

• Theoretical approaches and literary and cultural studies related to hybridity in the writings of the Indian Ocean area and the East African coast:
Hybridity as an ideological tool
Hybridity as a theme
Hybridity as a language. Linguistic and stylistic hybridity
Hybridity as a questioning of the links between language, literature and individual identity: new literary maps
Tensions and hierarchies between hybridized elements

• Hybridity in Caribbean and Indian Ocean spaces: convergences and divergences
• Cultural and literary relationships between the East African coast and the islands of the Indian Ocean
• Poetics of Indian Ocean insularity: islands within islands
• Formation and workings of hybrid Indian Ocean literary systems
• Hybrid authors: The construction of the figure of the author
• The limits of hybridity. Hybris as a space for creation

The official languages of the conference are English and French

A 250 word abstract in either English or French plus a short bionote should be sent to the conference email ( ) by October 31st 2008. Notification of acceptance will be sent by December 1st 2008.
Details of transport and accommodation will be available in September.

Maria del Mar García Felicity Hand
Departament de Filologia Francesa Departament de Filologia Anglesa

Edifici B
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193 Bellaterra


Campus, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona