Archive Madness — ASAL Annual Conference
Where? The University of New South Wales
When? July 7—10 2010
Conference Organisers: Elizabeth McMahon and Brigitta Olubas
The theme of the ASAL 2010 conference is “Archive Madness”, and aims to promote and enable consideration of the limits of disciplinary borders andthe revival of the archive in literary analysis. The title echoes andredirects Derrida’s famous study “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression”.Archive fever is, for Derrida, is “a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgicdesire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, ahomesickness, a nostalgia for the return to the most archaic place ofabsolute commencement” (p. 91.) The archive is simultaneously a site ofrevelation and concealment, both of which are accorded the authority of theactual trace.
The conference theme is timely given the new role of the archive in digitalinformation systems and as a rubric to consider the archive of theliterary-disciplinary formation itself, which is currently undergoingradical revisions. The conference asks how we think about the trace of word,text and object in the formation of literary cultures? How do we account forour increasing attachment to the archival trace? And how are theseconsiderations inflected by questions of the national literature and theannals of nation-formation?We invite proposals for 20-minute papers and for 60 or 90-minute paneldiscussions (2—3 speakers) that address any aspect of Australian literatureand the archive in its historical, material and graphic forms, including thefollowing (if space in the program permits we will also consider papersunrelated to the conference theme):
o Australian literary disciplinarity
o Inter/disciplinary institutions
o Literature and the ‘sister arts’
o Australian literary inter/nationalism
o Colonial nostalgia
o National memory, conservation, amnesia
o Literary commemoration and monumentality
o Questions of national residence
o Australia’s diverse beginnings / arrivals
o Queer traces and Gender traces
o Unhomely archives
o Histories of reading and writing
o Virtual and new media orthographies
o Signature, inscription, citation, pseudonym
o Printing, publication, circulation and reception
Please send 200-word abstracts of papers or panel proposals, with a brief biographical note, to ASAL2010@unsw.edu.au by Friday 19 February 2010.
We welcome proposals from postgraduate students. Copyright Agency Limited(CAL) has generously provided ten postgraduate scholarships, covering costsof travel and accommodation, available to postgraduate students whose own institutions are unable to support their attendance. To enquire about postgraduate scholarships, please contact us.