Faculty of Linguistics and Literary Studies


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Of Fatherlands and 'Motherlands'. Gender and Nation in the Americas

The international conference “Of Fatherlands and 'Motherlands'. Gender and Nation in the Americas” focuses on the genealogy of interdiscursive relations between the concepts of gender and nation from the formative period of the American nations to the present time. It will lay specific emphasis on the profound transformations that have taken place in this field in the past few decades due to the impact of the new media, the international culture industry and the paradigm shift towards performative concepts of identity in the fields of Gender Theory and Postcolonial Studies (Butler, Bhabha). We propose to explore the extensive interdiscursive intersections between gender and nation on metaphorical, symbolic, and allegorical levels which have resulted from the function that both discourses have assumed in the (de-)legitimization of hegemonic orders.
The interdiscourse between gender and nation will be analyzed from the perspectives of American Studies, Latin American Studies, Literary Studies, History, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Political Science, Gender and Nation Theories. Central questions that will concern us are the following:

  • Which functions do the processes of Engendering and Degendering (on symbolic, metaphorical and allegorical levels) assume in the Americas in the context of the ‘pedagogy of the nation’ (Bhabha)?
  • In what ways have women participated in the discursive (de-)construction of nation?
  • In what ways do gay/lesbian and transgender issues relate to the narration of nation?
  • How do the cultural differences in the Americas make themselves evident with respect to the formation of the interdiscourse between gender and nation?
  • In how far does the interdiscourse serve in the construction of national alterities?

The conference will take place in the context of the Interamerican Studies Program at Bielefeld University and in cooperation with the Programa Interdisciplinario de los Estudios de la Mujer (International Program of Women’s Studies) at the Colegio the México.