Politics and Poetics of Difference: Approaches in Anglophone Literature, Culture and Linguistics
International Emerging Scholars Online Conference
Difference and diversity have a profound impact on every aspect of human activity. However, society’s response to them can be mixed, ranging from outright elimination or assimilation to affirmation. Differences can spark new trends, inspire innovative research, and bring fresh perspectives to the arts and sciences. Politics of difference highlights, among many other issues, social inequities that give rise to movements for change. Feminism, for example, emerged as a response to gender inequalities and the exploitation of women. Postcolonial studies, in turn, arose from the tensions between European and Indigenous cultures. Even collective experiences of nationhood, community, and cultural values derive, as Homi Bhabha argues, from “the overlap of the domains of difference” (The Location of Culture, 2). Poetics of difference denotes strategies and modes of expression used for communicating diversity and otherness. It might, for example, include subversive and disruptive forms, experimental styles or deconstructive discourses. Poetics of difference can also involve embracing a multiplicity of voices as polyphony (Bakhtin, Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics), where “a variety of conflicting ideological positions” are presented as equally important without being subjected to authoritative judgment (Lodge, After Bakhtin). The examples in which different perspectives on social and cultural issues changed the way of thinking are diverse; together, we can explore the ways in which difference shapes our world and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
By taking an inter-disciplinary approach towards ‘politics and poetics of difference,’ we aim to explore contemporary reactions to the most recent and captivating ideas in literature, culture and linguistics. Such an approach allows for additional scrutiny of the tensions between society’s well-established institutionalised frameworks and some fresher, alternative models of today. It will also contribute to the discussion on various modes of expression that are used for communicating difference and diversity.