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Aesthetic Encounters
Kuwait, March 2001

"Aesthetic Encounters"

The Department of English at the University of Kuwait plans its first ever
international conference, for 17 - 19 March, 2001.  The provisional title
is "Aesthetic Encounters."  It aims to cover the following sections:

1. Re-Mapping Comparative Literature: 'In the new era of globalization and
multiculturalism, there is a pressing need to re-assess the position and
direction of CompLit studies'.

2. Appropriating the Other: 'Set within a colonial and post-colonial
framework .... Discussion to focus on the dialectic between the self and
the Other in its various forms, e.g. center/margin, First World/Third
World .... Issues such as Orientalism, hegemony, migrancy, diaspora,
English/englishes/indigenous languages ...'.

3. Mythopoesis: Comparative Paradigms: 'exploration of the revolutionary
power with which modern writers, from East and West, gave meaning to
archetypal myths and legends, and the cultural implications of these
mythopoeses [in the light] of 20th century critical methodologies'.

4. Literary Polemics of Utopia and Dystopia: 'utopian and dystopian views
and visions [in] literature and other disciplines such as painting, music
and the sciences'.

5. Gendered Discourse: Comparative Perspectives: Main focus on women's
discourse. Relevant topics include: 'identity, women as dangerous and
non-conforming ... incarceration and surveillance ... the impulse for
matyrdom, women and self-fashioning in urban/rural spaces, male/female
polarities ...'

6. Image of the Arab World in Travel Literature

7. Arab Writers in French and English: 'Questions pertaining to writers'
adaptations or appropriation of the foreign language, affinities with
Anglophone or Francophone literatures, expatriate literary discourse,
receptions of such writers, relevant critical methodology ... drawing on
current poco theory'.

8. Critical Acculturation: 'This section will investigate the phenomenon
of recent attempts at intraculturalism in critical theorization,
especially between postcolonial and other approaches, in the context of
the resurgence of nationalism and regionalism. Papers on critical
efforts/models seeking mediation and/or a counterdiscourse between
classical Arabic literary theories and structuralist/poststructuralist
western theories especially welcome .... overall aim is to open a
multidimensional perspective on critical theorization in the non-western

(Quotes taken from a draft proposal).

Length of paper should be such as would cover 20-25 minutes of
presentation time. Proposals plus abstracts (500-800 words) should reach
the organisers before November 30th, 2000.

Address for correspondence:

The Rapporteur,
CompLit Conference Committee,
Department of English,
Faculty of Arts,
P.O. Box 23558 (Safat),
Code: 13096,

If you would like further details, contact Piers Smith at