CFP: MELUS Panel ““New Ways to Conceptualize Diasporic and Migrant Subjectivities: Re-Departing to Re-Arrive” (Deadline 12.1.14)

RE-DEPARTURES PANEL FOR MELUS 2015 (Proposals due December 1, 2014)

Call for panelists: “New Ways to Conceptualize Diasporic and Migrant Subjectivities: Re-Departing to Re-Arrive”

Proposed Panel for the Annual MELUS Conference 2015 Athens, GA, April 9 – 12, 2015

In When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender, and Cultural Politics (1991), feminist, post-colonial theorist Trinh T. Minh-ha presents the identities of diasporic peoples as engaged in a process of re-departure. Revisiting suppressed or denied heritages, she argues, does not necessarily force hyphenated people to choose between singularity and plurality. On the contrary, it offers them an opportunity to “start again with different re-departures, different pauses, different arrivals” (14).

In my contribution to this panel, I explore the “re” in Trinh T. Minh-ha’s concept of “re-departures.” Drawing on the work of scholars in the fields of diaspora and queer studies, I argue that the tension between repetition and what I call “repetition with a difference” is one of the defining features of both diaspora and queerness. Reconceptualizing both diaspora and queerness from this perspective allows diasporic individuals to strategically deploy singularity and plurality to counteract the heteronormative pull of the nation-state and to depart from linear and essentialized views of time and identity.

In keeping with the conference’s topic on arrivals and departures, this panel welcomes submissions that explore how the notion of identity as a re-departure has been represented in the literature and film of diasporic and migrant populations. Some of the questions that this panel seeks to address are:

What does it mean to reconceptualize identity in terms of a re-departure? Does re-departing with identity necessarily entail doing away/parting with identity altogether? How does Trinh T. Minh-ha’s reconceptualization of identity as a re-departure intersect with other reconceptualizations of migrant and diasporic subjectivities by prominent scholars such as Gloria Anzaldúa, Paul Gilroy, Stuart Hall, and Gayatri Gopinath? How do the notions of re-departing and re-arriving intersect with issues of home and belonging? If departures and arrivals carry with them a certain temporality, what is the temporality of re-departure?

Please send your proposals of 250 words to Daniela Miranda by December 1, 2014. In your abstract, please include your full contact information: name, rank, email, institutional affiliation, and whether you request AV equipment.

Please note: All presenters, chairs, and moderators must be members of MELUS. Membership information can be found on the MELUS website at To be considered for the graduate student travel award and the contingent faculty award cc: Papers not chosen for this panel can still be submitted to the general pool by 15 December.

You can learn more about the conference at the conference website here:

Daniela Miranda, Ph.D. Candidate/Washington State University

Contact email: