This conference seeks to examine the ways in which reading and writing intersects with conceptions of borders and border crossing. Interdisciplinary in nature, this conference seeks to explore and expand the horizon of understanding and questioning  identity construction and representation, by bringing together papers and participants from all Humanities-based departments!

Do borders truly exist – and, if so, do they inherently apply a binary, and on what terms? Is it possible to remove a border without removing one side, or to have two sides without a border? Is a postcolonial world moving towards a borderless world, and what would this mean? In terms of self-identity, can we choose (how) to inhabit borders or is ‘our side’ imposed upon us? Is there a political significance of writing and reading in a language other than your ‘mother tongue’? Does this idea itself create or reinforce socio-historical borders? And ultimately, is there a possibility of border-transcending literature, or are the borderlines of language, gender, religion and other areas too inherent and essential to literature?

The conference is being held at the University of Manchester on 20 September 2013 and will be the opening event of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Graduate School. The conference organisers are David Firth, Edmund Chapman, and Sarah Newport.


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