CFP: So What?: Exploring the Importance and Implications of Humanities Studies in the 21st Century (11/15/2011; 2/24 - 2/25/2012

full name / name of organization: 
North Carolina State University Association of English Graduate Students

Call For Papers – "So What?: Exploring the Importance and Implications of Humanities Studies in the 21st Century"

Third Annual Graduate Student Conference

Submission deadline: November 15, 2011

The Association of English Graduate Students at North Carolina State University is pleased to announce the call for papers for our third annual graduate student conference which will be held February 24-25, 2012, in Tompkins Hall.

In this conference, we wish presenters and participants to examine and explore the continued need for humanities studies, and the place of humanities studies in societies that increasingly value technological advances in communication.

We encourage graduate students from all areas of the humanities to submit and share their research. We welcome submissions that reframe existing and emerging research to interrogate the significance of humanities studies, and the possible trajectories of the fields that comprise the humanities in the coming decades.

Potential questions may include any of the following: What significance does humanities research have within academia? How do individual genre & subject studies (i.e., Renaissance studies, eco-criticism, queer studies, colonial studies, socio-linguistics, etc.) bolster academic communities and, more importantly, society beyond academia? How do changes in literary/humanities research benefit scholars and non-scholars alike? What is the role of serious scholarship on popular culture and media, and how might it change entertainment, communication, and the shape of future research? How might the exploration of linguistic and/or rhetorical history, patterns, and evolution benefit society? What is the role of visual texts (moving and still pictures, sculpture, street art, etc.) in commenting on and reacting to cultural and societal shifts? How are patterns in creative writing, linguistics, and rhetoric/composition changing, and what are the implications?

In order to answer some of these questions, we are seeking submissions that address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

- The role of technology in the academy, i.e. digital humanities

- Needs for new modes of scholarship, collaborative study, inter/crossdisciplinary studies, new and emerging methodologies, and increased communication between the humanities and other fields

- How language shapes research in all fields

- Ways of knowing

- Communication between academic and popular readers

- Applied humanities

- Changing boundaries of "text"

- Reexamining categories based on authorship and readership, national identities, and political/cultural theories

- Reconciling historical perspectives with emerging trends

- Function of humanities in society at large

We welcome submissions from disciplines across the humanities: English studies, literature, linguistics, film studies, creative writing, scientific/technical writing, rhetoric & composition, cultural studies, interdisciplinary studies and others.

Abstracts for individual presentations should be approximately 300 words; proposals for panel presentations should include 3-4 proposals of 100 words, as well as one 300-word proposal tying everything together. Individual presentations should last 12-15 minutes, and panels will last 45 minutes, with 15 minutes allowed for Q&A.

Although our conference will address a broad range of topics, individual abstracts should speak to a specific issue or set of issues, and make a clear and concise argument.

Email your submissions to Include your name and institution in the body of your email; please remove all identifying markers on your abstract.

If you are an undergraduate who would like to be considered, you are required to submit both a abstract and a 10-12 page polished paper.

Deadline: November 15, 2011

We will send confirmations upon the receipt of your proposal. You will be notified of decisions by no later than January 15, 2012.