CFP: Southwest English Symposium February 20th, 2016 (Abstracts due October 15th, 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Arizona State University
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Theme: Objects & Commodities

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ian Bogost

Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology

Our 2016 theme allows for a myriad of interpretations as we take into consideration the various permutations of both "object" and "commodity." What does it mean to think objectively, be objective, to objectify, and to be objectified? What is considered a commodity, how do we commodify, and who is commodified? We encourage a diverse range of proposals under the umbrella of the Humanities including (but not limited to) film analysis, creative writing, poetry, linguistic analysis, literary scholarship, rhetorical analysis, and/or multimodal presentations. This theme should encourage a questioning of societal views and display the unique perspective of a Humanities scholar.

We selected the theme of Objects & Commodities because because both "objects" and "commodities" are loaded terminology concerning things, people, and ways of knowing and so open many avenues of exploration. We are interested in seeing a variety of proposals focusing on the ways that objects get represented in fiction, nonfiction, pedagogical, and academic texts, creative writing, and film. Presentations could focus on the many narratives that are told about, of, and through objects. We invite proposals involving but not limited to the following:

  • Literary themes of greed and desire
    Emotional attachment to objects
  • Textual objects and/or texts-as-object
  • How objects "seem to be 'alive' and have 'bodies,' and... serve as embodiments, or material extensions, of their makers" (Horton and Gordon 109)
  • Cultural, familial, and/or societal histories or biographies of objects
  • The transition/line between an object and a commodity
  • Objectification of women and men in today's media
  • Commodification of people in digital and physical spaces
  • Bitcoin as an online commodity
  • Analysis of texts or films that value objects and commodities
  • Mediation of objects and commodities
    Material culture theory
  • Multimedia presentations or analysis of objects and commodities in films, online videos, video games, and/ or TV shows.

We welcome scholars from a variety of disciplines to submit proposals. Abstracts should be 200-250 words in length. Proposals are due by October 15th, 2015.

Submit your proposal here:

For more information see: