Minority Identities: Rights and Representation - one-day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference

A One-Day Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

University of Reading, Saturday, 7 May 2011

"Who has the right to a particular literary terrain, the right to define the terms of representation?" (Eric L. Sundquist, Strangers in the Land)

This conference aims to explore the interface between creative/critical forms of representation (such as literature, film, performance, art, history and philosophy, but not limited to these) and the claim to material/ontological human and animal rights. It will examine the concepts 'minority', 'identity', 'rights' and 'representation' and their possible intersections. It will also interrogate categories and politics of identity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, age, and disability, as well as the critical disciplines that invest in these, such as feminism, postcolonialism, and cultural studies.

All enquiries should be submitted to Amorella Lamount, Clare Reed, and Nicola Abram, at minorities@pgr.reading.ac.uk,


9.30-10.00: Registration

(Old Whiteknights House Common Room)


10.00-11.10: Keynote Lecture 

(Henley Business School Lecture Theatre)

Vesna Goldsworthy (Kingston University London), 'Life with Subtitles:

Minority, Identity, Individuality', introduced by Alison Donnell (Reading)


11.10-11.30: Break

(Old Whiteknights House Common Room)


11.30-1.00: Panel 1

Panel 1A: Political minorities

(Old Whiteknights House G09)

• Luminita Ignat-Coman (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), 'Minority

Identities in Romania during the Interwar Period'

• Tristano Volpato (University of Freiburg, Germany), 'A Reflection on the

Dynamics of Representation, Exclusion, and Recognition for the Afro-

Mexican Population of the Costa Chica of Oaxaca: A Theoretical Approach

to the Concepts of Community, Identity, and Race'

• Jennifer Goddard (Queen's University, Belfast), 'Disability and Participation

in the Changing Arts Landscape of Northern Ireland'


Panel 1B: Playing with minority identity

(Old Whiteknights House G08)

• Christina Olivieri and Jana Gigl (Independent Scholars), 'Seeking Sanctuary

Workshop: Presentation and "Play" of an Awareness-Raising Character-

Based Board Game on Seeking Asylum in the UK'


Panel 1C: Inhuman minorities

(Humanities and Social Sciences 86)

• Candice Allmark-Kent (Exeter), 'Can the Animal Speak? The Ethics of

Representing Nonhuman "Voice" in Literature and Criticism'

• Catherine Parry (Lincoln), 'A Minority of One: Animal as a Critical and

Ethical Aporia'

• Kathryn Bird (Leeds), '"To prove you had souls at all": "Bare Life" and the

Art of Being Human in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go'


1.00-2.00: Lunch

(Old Whiteknights House Common Room)


2.00-3.30: Panel 2

Panel 2A: Minority resistance through literature

(Old Whiteknights House G09)

• Silvia Pellicer-Ortín (University of Zaragoza, Spain), 'Anglo-Jewish Women

Writers: A Minority in Search of a Voice'

• Catherine Rashid (Cambridge), 'British Novels about Islam, and the

Perpetual Privatization of Muslim Identity'

• Yi-heng Chen (York), 'Disability, Marginality, and Normality: The Body and

the Nation in Albie Sachs's The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter'


Panel 2B: Religious minorities

(Old Whiteknights House G08)

• Mohamed Saleck Val (University of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdullah, Morocco),

'Gender and the Genesis of Islamic Sacred Knowledge: Al-Azhar Modern

Women Exegetes'

• Anna-Mari Almila (Aberdeen), 'Clothing Expressions Reduced: Muslim

Women and the Headscarf in Europe'

• Nicholas Dreyer (St Andrews), 'Humour and the Fictional Representation

of a Minority Ethno-Religion'


Panel 2C: Victimised minorities

(Humanities and Social Sciences 86)

• Christine Bell (Independent Scholar), 'Visible Women: Tales of Age,

Gender and In/Visibility'

• Clare Jones (Cambridge), 'Spoken For: Representations of Trafficked

Women in Britain'

• Anne Smith (Queen Mary, University of London), 'Rights and

Representations in an Applied Drama Project for Refugees, Asylum

Seekers and Migrants'


3.30-3.50: Break

(Old Whiteknights House Common Room)


3.50-5.20: Panel 3

Panel 3A: Images of minorities

(Old Whiteknights House G09)

• Natalia Lebedinskaia (Concordia University, Canada), 'Doubled Sense of

Resistance: Makortoff Collection of Photographs of Doukhobor Daily Life


• Lilla László (Babes-Bolyai University, Romania), 'Representation of Gender

and Otherness in Hungarian and Romanian Movies in the First Decade of

the 21st Century'

• Victoria Baltag (Birmingham), Faith and Flame: a short documentary film

about Roma minority in Romania


Panel 3B: Minority speech and language

(Old Whiteknights House G08)

• Alfred Cudjoe (Surrey), 'The Language of Postcolonial African Literature'

• Olga Castro (Exeter), 'Minority Identities in (Self)Translation: A Case of

Cultural/Gender Assimilation'

• Daniele Leggio (Manchester), 'The Romani Internet: Representation,

Identities and Languages'


Panel 3C: Minority sexualities and genders

(Humanities and Social Sciences 86)

• Charlotte Hammond (Royal Holloway), '(In)Visible Performances: Visual

Representations of Transvestism in Haïtian Vodou Practice'

• Tal Morse (London School of Economics), 'The Construction of GLBT

Collective Memory in Israel'

• Ming Wu (Surrey), 'Representations of "Tongzhi" and "Ku-er" Identity in

Paratextual Translations'


5.20-5.30: Concluding remarks 

(Old Whiteknights House Common Room)

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'Minority Identities' Postgraduate Conference

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