Mennonite/s Writing VIII Announced!

September 25, 2016

The next Mennonite/s Writing conference will be held at the University of Winnipeg Oct. 19-21. 2017.


Mennonite/s Writing VIII:

Personal Narratives of Place and Displacement

Hosted by the Chair in Mennonite Studies and the Journal of Mennonite Studies

A Centre for Transnational Mennonite Studies Conference The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Canada

October 20-21, 2017


Miriam Toews Rhoda Janzen

Author of A Complicated Kindness Author of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress All My Puny Sorrows, and Swing Low and Mennonite Meets Mr. Right

Keynote Address by

Julie Rak

Professor of English and Film Studies at University of Alberta, and Author of

Boom! Manufacturing Memoir for the Popular Market Negotiated Memory: Doukhobor Autobiographical Discourse

Featured Evening on Thursday, Oct. 19 Deconstructing Soviet Narratives of War-Induced Dislocation

This international, interdisciplinary conference will focus on personal narratives in the context of Mennonite writing in Canada, the United States, Russia, and around the world. Participants are encouraged to explore the historical and literary significance of personal narratives – including biography, autobiography, diary, and memoir – in relation to the conference’s theme of “place and displacement.”

In particular, the conference focuses on texts arising from: 1) dislocation resulting from war-driven and violent forced migration; 2) dislocation from familiar local space resulting from social and cultural upheaval in peacetime. Other ideas regarding dislocation are welcomed.

Questions to be considered: How have writers of Mennonite descent recorded their experiences of war and forced migration, or, alternatively, of resisting the assimilatory pressures of modern society? How have they imaginatively grappled with their local community’s place in “the world”? What role have personal narratives played in connecting, sustaining, or challenging Mennonite communities and institutions? And what future spaces are opened by attending more closely to personal narratives within the context of Mennonite writing?

Please submit a 100-word proposal, complete with a short CV, to either Royden Loewen at r.loewen@uwinnipeg.ca or Robert Zacharias at rzach@yorku.ca by December 1, 2016.

Conference Committee: Daniel Shank Cruz (Utica College); Paul Doerksen (Canadian Mennonite University); Dora Dueck (British Columbia); Ann Hostetler (Goshen College); Royden Loewen (University of Winnipeg); Hildi Froese Tiessen (Conrad Grebel University College); Robert Zacharias (York)

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