I am very excited to share the following conference panel CFP for the upcoming PAMLA 2016 conference in Pasadena, CA (November 11-13 2016). The panel, Silence in Oral Narratives, focuses on the figurative spaces created in the social unconscious by silence and purposeful lack of discussion on certain taboo or painful topics. The goal is to explore the harmful ways this silence and inability to pass on important information can hurt or prevent the healing of people and society.
This connection became apparent to me while studying indigenous literature and seeing the ways minorities have experienced a fracture in their cultural narrative when they have been overwhelmed by Western morals, religion, culture, and knowledge. My focus in researching this topic has always led me toward the exploration of narrative as it pertains to female-to-female relationships and how certain feelings of affection, anger, jealousy, and competition are actually created and fueled by this inability to openly discuss certain topics. The most obvious taboo topics including sex and sexuality, we can see how fear of public shaming can prevent women from openly speaking about these topics to their children or withhold specific information to alter the narrative to their liking and benefit. The eye of the public and the cultural/social identity certainly contribute a great deal to this intentional silence. I am very excited to get the chance to hear others explore the causes and consequences of this topic, whether it is in the realm of children's literature or not!
Please take the time to read the CFP and consider applying or sharing with those whom you think would be interested in contributing to this panel!
Thank you, and I hope to see you all at PAMLA 2016!
CFP: Silence in Oral Narratives
Oral narratives are an integral part of our cultural learning experience. Even with all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, parents take time to have “the talk” with their children, transforming a conversation into a ritual of sharing knowledge. Transcending the notion of telling a story, oral narratives allow people to see themselves in past and future generations, linking them through a shared culture, heritage, and experience. The sharing of personal narratives and purposeful opening of a past wound in order to impart hard-earned wisdom/lesson onto the next generation serves as the building block for well-informed and better-prepared leaders in society. When certain narratives are not acknowledged and shared for fear of experiencing pain or public shame again, the resulting silence creates anger, ignorance, and isolation in the social consciousness, which prevents healing and progress in society. This panel invites scholars in literature, history, anthropology, and cultural studies to share their research and reflections on this topic.
P.S. You can also explore other session topics for PAMLA 2016 here.