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WHAT

Call for papers “Walls Have Ears: Historical, Cultural and Literary Barriers” (Marginalia: Notes from the Margins Research Cluster – La Trobe University).

TOPICS

This call for papers invites contributors to explore the concept of ‘wall’ in its variety of expressions, from historical, literary, cultural, anthropological and ecological perspectives. Additional disciplinary approaches are also welcome.

Since the early stages of human civilisation, walls have been erected for a variety of purposes: to define borders, defend property, isolate undesirable elements of society, establish hierarchies, and so forth. Walls can be thought of as psychological, social or literary constructs as well as material barriers.

They mark separations between cultures – the rural versus the urban, the native versus the foreign, the normal versus the irregular, the living versus the dead, the animal versus the human.

Walls are built to claim a presumed national supremacy, or reinforce deep ideological divisions but, at times, they are reduced to silent witnesses of executions and violence. Elsewhere, they become barricades raised to defend freedom against an oppressive regime. They can unexpectedly turn into vehicles of political protest and engaged forms of art, or simply stand as illusory *trompe l’oeil* and theatrical screens.

Walls are religiously charged spaces, sources of echoing narratives, places where the encounter with the sacred, the mythological, or the beautiful, in all shapes and forms, is expressed by countless mosaic fragments. In secular culture, instead, walls can be virtual windows where essential as well as futile aspects of our life are made public to as wide
an audience as possible. These are only some of the possible associations with the ‘wall’ theme, but further avenues are open for investigation.

APPLICATION

The contributors are kindly invited to provide a *short bio* and a *250-word
abstract* of their proposed article to l.gussago@latrobe.edu.au by *15
November 2020*. Notice of acceptance of the proposal will be sent by *30
November 2020*. The final version of the accepted articles (*7,000-8,500
words*) is to be submitted by *31 March 2021*.

The funding received by the research cluster will be allocated for the
proofreading, formatting and indexing of the final manuscript.


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