Calling into question the adversarial nature of Orientalism as defined by Edward Said, our conference will address the deterritorializations and reterritorializations (to borrow the concepts developed by Deleuze and Guattari in Anti-Odipus) through which the East reshaped itself in the West through its many reflections and reverberations. Our focus will not just be on what was lost and what was gained along the routes of such recuperations, but we also wish to chart in greater detail the routes themselves, the people who crossed them and the motivations underpinning these attempts at reaching, understanding and picturing the East.
The first of our series of two conferences on 'Eastern Resonances', to be held at the University of Montpellier 3 (30 May-1 June 2013), will focus on the Ottoman empire and Persia, while the focus of the second, to be held at the University of Paris Diderot - Paris 7 (5-7 Dec. 2013), will be on India and the Far East. These geographical frames have been chosen mostly for practical reasons, but in keeping with the subject of 'resonances', contributions which would cross these boundaries or challenge them will also be welcome.
Suggested areas of reflection for the first conference could include:
- Texts and their circulation/translation: What were the Arabic, Persian and Turkish texts which resonated in the West in this period? Through what channels did manuscripts and books travel? Why and how did they reach Britain in adapted or translated forms?
- Places and their memories: What did travellers look back to in historical and cultural terms as they embarked on their journeys to the East? What images did they bring back with them from their eastern encounters? How did these reverberate as literary and artistic artefacts at the receiving end of the journey?
- Actors and intermediaries: Who went East or West, and why did they? Who were their interlocutors or mediators there? Why and how were 'contact zones' created? On what terms was trust granted and collaborative research carried on?
- Dr Claire Gallien, University of Montpellier 3: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Pr Jean-Marie Fournier, University of Paris 7: <email@example.com>
- Dr Ladan Niayesh, University of Paris 7: <firstname.lastname@example.org>