A Changing Landscape: Shifting Borders and Slippery States

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Association of English Graduate Students at Southern Illinois Carbondale
contact email: 

Call for Papers

A Changing Landscape: Shifting Borders and Slippery States

Graduate Conference in English and the Humanities

Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

March 23-24, 2018

“It is not down on any map; true places never are.” ― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

“The test of life is not whether we can remember what we learn in school, but whether we are prepared for change.”—Andreas Schleicher

Our eleventh annual AEGIS Conference invites participants to engage in discussions of the concepts of land/landscape and border/boundary across a broad range of English (and related) studies. In a world that is ever more global, ever more connected, and simultaneously ever more separated and isolated, literature and communication may be more important than ever before. While literature offers new perspectives and windows into cultures and histories that are foreign, it also insists on the contraction of that set that is “Other” and can blur the lines between cultures and belief systems that seem, on the surface, deeply in conflict.

Just as borders and boundaries can be established, transgressed, adjusted, and blurred by literature and language, so too can land and landscape expand or contract with the language we use to explore and understand it. A landscape can be geographic, historic, aesthetic or political. Our human connection to land and specific landscapes can be mythological, spiritual, emotional and scientific. The triangulated tension in our understanding of place and position, their depictions, and the churn of change inspires our theme. As such, we invite a broad interpretation of landscapes and borders when exploring language, literature, or a related field. We also invite presentations and panels that embrace multi-modal forms of communication that transgress the border of the written text into visual and other mediums.

We invite the submission of individual abstracts and panels which explore iterations of change. Beyond this, we encourage creative, innovative, and even experimental explorations and approaches to our theme.  Possible themes and questions include, but are in no way limited to:



  • The Nation-State in Literature and Theory
  • Economic Systems and Globalization
  • Mobility and Stasis


  • Settings and Characters
  • Structure and Form
  • Social Structures and Identity Construction
  • Subjects, Politics, and Citizens
  • Colonialism and its Post-.
  • The Aesthetic
  • Immigration and Diaspora
  • Education & Pedagogy
  • Eco-Criticism




In keeping with our tradition, we welcome papers on a wide range of topics on literature, composition, and the humanities. 

Please send session proposals (~500 words) and/or individual paper abstracts (~250 words) to Constance Beitzel at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale: 1000 Faner Drive, Mail Code 4503, Carbondale, Illinois 62901 or electronically at beitzel@siu.edu.  For electronic submissions, please attach your submission as a Microsoft Word or Rich Text file.  The deadline for panel proposals is December 1, 2017. Individual paper abstracts are due by February 1, 2018.