CLE Warsaw 2016

Cultural Literacy of Migration: Affects, Memory, Concepts

Warsaw 18-20 May 2016

Workshop of the Cultural Literacy in Europe Forum, organised by the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences

Location: Warsaw, Staszic Palace (Nowy Swiat 72)

This workshop was held in Poland in 2016 as an event introducing and anticipating the main Cultural Literacy in Europe Forum conference at IBL PAN in 2017. The aim of the workshop was to jointly map and delineate research areas and research directions which could be of common interest and would then constitute a core of 2017 conference thematic strands. The format of the workshop was adapted to serve this aim. Hence we decided to structure it around keynote lectures, followed by short research interest statements and lots of time for discussions.

We proposed to focus this workshop on the issue of migration. We suggested looking at this issue through analytical, critical, and innovative tools predominantly grounded in the affect and memory studies (based on the research carried out at IBL and by CLE associates) but not limited to those approaches. The aim was to map the problem and to conclude with some ideas for research projects that could explore some of the problems further. We assumed that examining the discourse of reading and writing in relation to the current migration crisis is important for understanding contemporary migration in European societies.

We suggested to discuss those issues in panels dedicated to different aspects migration:

  • Affective experiences in the relations between migrants and locals. Affects precede what is rational and meaningful in human communication (Deleuze, Massumi, Theweleit, Ahmed, Berlant) and engage social actors in the problems related to migration (Bal, Ahmed) by causing incomprehensible reactions, picturing them with distinctive images and narratives.
  • (Re-)readings of the past in contemporary discussions on migration. How the past is used to shape, explain, justify or challenge political agendas and attitudes towards migrants.
  • Reading representations of migrants in literature, popular culture and the visual arts of the host country, and vice versa: reading analogical representations of locals in immigrants’ cultural output.

CLE Working Paper No.1:  A Compte-rendu of the Workshop of the Cultural Literacy in Europe Forum, organized by Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences by Madeleine Campbell