Transforming Knowledge/Transforming Discourse: Trans through Writing - 3/22; 5/8

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Brooklyn College English Graduate Program

‪Transforming Knowledge/Transforming Discourse: Trans Through Writing‬
Friday, May 8th 2015‪
Eighth Annual Brooklyn College Graduate English Conference

Keynote Speaker: Michelle Ann Stephens, Rutgers University

The Brooklyn College English department invites proposals for the eighth annual graduate student conference. This year's conference aims to consider what the prefix trans means to us as critical thinkers.‬

The increasing centrality of trans in our contemporary lexicon is fascinating: why are we so compelled by movement, by the crossing of borders, and by exceeding boundaries? The answer is surely more complicated than a hunger for spiritual transcendence. There may be some root relationship: the ascension of the spirit implies that there is some basic falseness to our bodily identities; that we are more than or different from how we are perceived.

Trans is the movement beyond, across, over, or outside. It indicates an action of overcoming or surpassing. The question, then, is to what extent is trans essential to the establishment of modern identity? How is the very nature of modern identity dependent upon flux, change, and defiant movement against boundaries? To what extent is modern identity increasingly defined by the dismantling of concepts of identity?‬

‪We welcome papers that grapple with this prefix in an attempt to address the shifting modes that trans represents. We encourage interdisciplinary submissions including: literature, cultural studies, history, philosophy, and film studies.‬

Suggested topic areas may include, but are not limited to:‬

• ‪Transference - appropriation and cultural media (transposing traditional images and erasing their cultural content for entertainment); the process of cultural exchange; adaptation of the narrative text into new media forms; trauma and memory‬
• ‪Transitions - between modes, eras, and epochs; migrant literature and/or border literature; the natural hair movement
• ‪Translations - works that bridge distant societies; the ability to understand what is captured and lost in translation
• Transgender- identity preference and the increasing fluidity between anatomical sex and gender category; the growing awareness of gender expressions that weaken the masculine/feminine archetype
• ‪Transgressions - artistic and historic resistance, the reconciliation of fact and fiction‬

Graduate students may email proposals of 300 maximum words by March 22nd to