[UPDATE] Captivity Writing Unbound, October 11-13, 2012 Deadline for proposals extended to May 31, 2012.

full name / name of organization: 
University of South Alabama / Department of English

Proposals for panels and papers are invited for a conference entitled "Captivity Writing Unbound," to be hosted by the University of South Alabama's Department of English and held at its Baldwin County campus, which is set in the heart of the quaint artist community of Fairhope, overlooking scenic Mobile Bay. As conference organizers, we envision a relatively concentrated event in which select scholars working in various disciplines and historical periods will present new ideas about the general area of writing and captivity. We are particularly interested in papers that explore and extend the traditional boundaries of the study of captivity writing, whether these are conceived generically, geographically, historically, or in disciplinary terms.

Possible topics include but are not limited to the following:
• Literary and Filmic Representations of Captivity (Prometheus Bound, Exodus, The Odyssey, etc.)
• Captivity and Nationality
• Defining and/or Theorizing Captivity
• Animals and Captivity
• Fashion and Captivity (the corset, footbinding, etc.)
• Nature and Captivity
• Captivity and the Unearthly (alien abduction, etc.)
• The Erotics of Captivity
• Psychology and Captivity (phobias, eating disorders, addiction, body identity disorder)
• Captivity and Theory (Jacques Lacan's Mirror Stage, Georges Poulet's phenomenology of reading, etc.)
• Paradoxes of Captivity (illusory notions of escape and freedom, willing captives, S & M practices)
• Antidotes to Captivity (Existentialism, death, meditation, transcendentalism)
• Captivity as Metaphor
• Gender, Race, and Class as Forms of Captivity
• Genre as Captivity
• Pedagogy and Captivity
• The Captive Audience
• Narrative as Captivity
• History as Captivity
• Captivity and the Body (especially the obese, the diagnosed and/or medicated body)
• Captivity and the Carceral
• Captivity and Technology
• Transhistorical Captivities
• Captivity Narrative's Others (narratives of assimilation, captor narratives)

As much as we trust that this conference will generate exciting new scholarship, we also hope to foster a substantial exchange of ideas and perspectives among participants not only during scheduled sessions but also between and after. To this end, panels will meet sequentially rather than concurrently so that all participants will be able to attend all panels, and we strongly encourage participants to stay for the duration of the conference. We believe that much good work will come from the conference, and we intend to assemble a collection of essays in the months following the conference in order to share that good work with the widest possible audience. Kicking off the conference will be a keynote address by Michelle Burnham, Early American scholar and author of Captivity and Sentiment: Cultural Exchange in American Literature, 1682-1861. As early as 1997, Burnham was already thinking beyond the usual confines of the captivity narrative, and thus we are particularly happy to have her on hand as we talk, think, and write about new ways in which to conceive the captivity narrative.

Please submit proposals of 350-500 words either by email to pcesarini@usouthal.edu and bmclaugh@jaguar1.usouthal.edu or by snail mail to Pat Cesarini or Becky McLaughlin, Department of English, University of South Alabama, 5991 USA Drive, N., Room 240, Mobile, AL 36688.

New deadline for submissions: May 31, 2012.