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“Representations of Home Open Seminar” 9 | Belonging and (Un)belonging: Representations of “Home” in Text and Culture | 4 May, 2016 | 10 am | Room 8.1 | FLUL
RHOSE9

 

Date: 4 May, 2015
Venue:
Room 8.1, School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon
Organization:
ULICES

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The “Representations of Home” (RHOME) Project, developed by Research Group 4 of the University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES), invites you to attend the ninth “Representations of Home Open Seminar” (RHOSE 9) to be held on Wednesday, 4 May, in Room 8.1, at the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, from 10 am to 12 pm.

For this seminar, titled Belonging and (Un)belonging: Representations of Home in Text and Culture, we have invited the following speakers:

 

Margarida Martins

Representations of Home in The God of Small Things and The Inheritance of Loss

Recurrent themes in much contemporary Indian literature are that of the home, the family and generational differences. The home as a physical and symbolic space and as a place where a sense of belonging is constructed is a concept which is present in both Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss and in Roy’s The God of Small Things.

These spaces, as represented in these novels, span generations and feature grandparent and great grandparent figures as an imposing presence and a source of conflicting struggle with identity and belonging. Ancestors and the physical and symbolic spaces they occupy are important in both the preservation of values as also in the desire for change in restricting family and social structures. These spaces, containing memories and stories of the past and past generations, are fundamental in the reinforcement of a sense of belonging and in the preservation of these memories and values in both their abstract and material forms. But these ancestral figures, and the spaces through which their images are represented, also symbolize a resistance and a barrier to change, imposed on younger generations.

In this presentation, I am going to discuss the representation of the home in the post-colonial Indian novels mentioned above, with reference to other homes, as the social and cultural forms where individuals find meaning and identify, or not, with family, spaces and the inherited values these carry and which define them.

 

Sara Paiva Henriques

Leanne Simpson’s Island of Decolonial Love: Decolonizng Canada: Identity (un)Belonging and Self-Determination

The aim of my paper is to bridge Indigenous Canadian cultural experiences and literature, particularly the idea of (un)belonging, through the close reading of Leanne Simpson’s collection of short stories and poems, Islands of Decolonial Love. The text/s shall be read alongside their historical background and also in terms of how they interact with it. Therefore, the first part of my presentation will include an introductory contextualization of First Peoples’ history in Canada, providing a framework to my literary approach. In a second moment, I will reflect on the impact of the “Indian Act” (1876) in Indigenous Canadian communities, and will consider how these laws still affect First Nations (indigenous peoples of North America in Canada) communities in Canada. In Islands of Decolonial Love, Simpson, herself First Nation, focuses on the complexities of identity, belonging/not belonging and loss (cultural and individual) in Canada.

Drawing from the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s report on Canadian Residential Schools which, after six years of research and the testimony of 6,750 residential-school survivors, finally described the process of assimilating Indigenous children in Canada as “cultural genocide”, I shall also consider the roots of contemporary Indigenous writing as a means of reclaiming the past through literature, and the weight that memory carries in these stories.

 

All are welcome.

 
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University of Lisbon Centre for English Studies (ULICES)