The Enclave in the Anglophone World

International Young Researchers’ Conference – Cultures et littératures du monde anglo-saxon(CLIMAS) EA 4196, Université Bordeaux Montaigne
Bordeaux, March 11th – 12th 2016
An enclave is a portion of territory within or surrounded by a larger territory belonging to someone else. Access to this territory is difficult due to moral or social laws being different from those of the territory which it is isolated from. “Enclave” comes from the Latin root “to lock with a key.” This etymology conveys the idea that access is possible, albeit extremely restricted. Thus, the enclave provides its totally hermetic condition while simultaneously allowing for possibilities to enter. By virtue of its isolation from the rest of the world, the enclave is thus the privileged venue for particular phenomena that may only exist in this confined territory.
When the hermetic character of the enclave is exacerbated, whether or not the surrounding world has any influence on it, it is still possible to consider it an absolute alternative to the outside world. Thus, the enclave becomes the place for all fantasies; for all exaggerations. Since it is separated, sealed off, the enclave can serve as a place for experimentation — the radiant city or the laboratory of horrors; a utopia or dystopia. In any case, thanks to its isolation, the enclave has been able to claim the possibility of providing a new start. However, finding refuge in a utopian enclave brings up the question of escape or resistance. Behind this question lies another profound problem specific to the enclave: is the enclave a place in its own right, a removed place or a non-place? What relation links the enclave and the surrounding territory? Making a case of the enclave, taking into consideration a minority which takes its strength from opposing the surrounding majority is to acknowledge a territory in which its integration to a larger whole is problematic. Thus, the Enclave questions the notions of integration and rejection, especially if we consider ethnic enclaves which, due not only to their geopolitical but their social nature as well, have fluid borders which articulate these contradictory notions in a complicated way.
We have seen that enclaves create a gap between interior and exterior, and thus the possibility of a contrast which allows for magnifying certain aspects by comparison. The Enclave thus could act as a magnifying mirror. A paradox thus appears: is the Enclave the space of absolute difference, or does it simply reproduce societal phenomena in a finer and clearer manner, exacerbating these phenomena by smoothing out the surface of an exterior reality which is far too complex to be represented? The enclave does not only just bring about territorial ruptures, but above all it brings about a network of complex relations with its surroundings. Is it a privileged tool for representation or, on the contrary, a difficult place to chart due to its hermetic nature? Is it a refuge or a prison? What does it actually tell us on the concept of borders and affiliations? How does it develop its status of exception and claim its status as a minor territory in a larger and more united world? These geopolitical, ontological, and esthetic motifs of the enclave are what will be explored and developed at this conference.
Fields of Study :
Civilization: ethnic enclaves, reservations and concentration camps, transcendentalist societies; literature: enclaves in the adventure novel/lost worlds, esthetic experience as enclaves, linguistics: morphological and syntactical specificities, morphological specificities of dialects, mental spaces

We will consider the proposals in French and English from doctoral students and young researchers from all disciplines of English studies. Talks will discuss enclaves in the Anglophone world. Certain proposals will be selected to be published in Leaves: A Journal, Climas’s online review.
Please send all propositions (around 3000 signs including punctuation marks) along with a short CV to:, and by November 1st, 2015.
Organizing Committee
Remy Arab-Fuentes (CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne), Isabelle Gras (CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne), James Perosi-Doughty (CLIMAS, Université Bordeaux Montaigne).