[Deadline Extended] Composing Underground: Inventions and Subversions

deadline for submissions: 
March 8, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
University of Cincinnati English Department Graduate School
contact email: 

Composing Underground: Inventions and Subversions


Deadline for Submissions: March 8, 2017


Contact Email: floyddg@mail.uc.edu


Conference Website: http://www.ucenglishconference.com


Keynote Speaker: To be announced


April 8, 2017


McMicken Hall, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH




“Composing Underground” is a graduate student conference that focuses on the hidden dimensions of composing in all forms. Writing is most often celebrated when it is highly polished, mainstream, adherent to norms, free of defect and uncertainty, but there is a great deal of writing that goes on below the surface: deemed unworthy, left behind, tossed away, forgotten, erased. However, this does not mean that such writing has no value; indeed, it can teach us or entertain us in ways that more traditionally accepted writing may not. Underground writing may simply remain hidden for political reasons or lack of public interest. Or the underground status may be a result of the author’s volition. Although frequently spurned, non-mainstream composition contributes valuable insights that have the ability to change academic fields, epistemologies, worldviews and more. Even if such forms of composition do not enjoy widespread renown in their contemporary moments, they are essential subjects for academic inquiry. Students are encouraged to submit work in rhetoric and composition, creative writing (poetry, fiction or creative/literary nonfiction,) as well as literature, theory, cultural studies or related fields.


Individual presentations will be approximately 15 minutes, and there will be a question and answer session following each presentation. Students may also submit panel proposals with multiple presenters.


Suggested topics:


  • What gets left behind during the composing process? What do we neglect or throw away? What is deemed unworthy of our consideration?  What do we do with the writing that gets left behind?
  • Which topics do we push to the periphery and why? Whose writing do we fail to consider? To what extent is this exclusion within and beyond the control of authors and academics?
  • How does creative writing exist in non-traditional environments? How do social media and self-publication undermine or feed into mainstream forms of creative writing?
  • How do underground forms of writing exist in or create a concept of digital space?
  • How does form or structure determine if writing - creative, academic, or otherwise - is considered mainstream?
  • How does the underground of writing operate in an institutionally academic setting?
  • Work that examines underground figures or movements
  • Work that celebrates the evasion of the mainstream or resists appropriation by the masses, including work that explores institutionalization or the resistance of institutionalization through a creative or critical lens
  • Work that focuses on the visualization of the underground, either creative or critical