[T]o forge another word in the singular, at the same time close but radically foreign, a chimerical word that sounded as though it contravened the laws of the French language, l’animot.
Jacques Derrida, “The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow),” 409
Much has been made of the binary between human and non-human animals in literature, philosophy, science, and the arts. Early textual production used animal inks on vellum and parchment, indelibly tying these words and illustrations to animal bodies extrinsic to the economy of human cultural production. Even today, animal print figures prominently in fashion and decor, having implications of wealth and status.
Recent turns in narrative and scientific discourse have begun to refute the essential contrast between human and animal, exposing the extent to which this binary has justified violence against nonhuman lives and ecosystems. As a result, new ontologies of interspecies relationships have emerged, challenging and building upon centuries of representations of animals in our media, from Ovid’s Metamorphosis,to the didacticism of animals in Disney films, to Donna Harraway’s theorization of companion species.
The 16th annual Concordia English Graduate Colloquium invites academic and hybrid papers that reflect on the ostensible binary and co-dependent relationships between human and animal bodies in literature and media. How do narratives affect beliefs about animals, and how do beliefs about animals affect our media? How does media depict animals and animal bodies? Papers may also engage with the following:
- Animals in narrative and visual culture
- Animals as monstrous
- Animals as signifiers of monstrosity
- Animality as category informing human oppression
- (Non-)Human bodies and relationships to sovereignty
- Human and non-human animal labour
- Indigenous epistemologies of animality
- Global treatments of animals
- Ecology of book production and dissemination
- Materiality of medieval manuscripts (parchment)
- Bestiaries, fables, folklore, and fairy tales
- Animals in children’s media
- Animals and morality
- Animals in fashion
- Ecofeminism and ecocriticism
- The Anthropocene
- Cyborgs and cyberbodies
- Literary criticism
Deadline for submissions: Friday November 10, 2017 by 11:59 PM.
Please submit either a proposal or a paper (in case of multiple submissions, you may submit both papers and proposals) to email@example.com.
- Proposals should be between 300 and 500 words, providing an introduction to your topic, and a brief outline of how you intend to argue your thesis. Hybrid proposals should address how the artistic piece(s) engage(s) with the theme. If selected, you will be notified by mid-December. You will be required to submit a complete paper by Monday January 15, 2018.*
- Papers should not exceed 2,500 words. Presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. Please provide a Works Cited list at the end of your paper following MLA 8 style guidelines. Include an abstract of 250 words alongside your paper (for use on our promotional materials). If selected, you will be notified by mid-December.
Submissions should be in .doc or .docx format. Do not include your name on the submission. In a separate document, please include a 50-80-word bio. All submissions are read and vetted anonymously.
We welcome submissions from anywhere in Canada and abroad, regardless of institution, degree, or discipline, but priority will be granted to graduate students. We accept up to three submissions per author with the understanding that only the strongest one among them will be chosen for the colloquium. Papers will be judged on their content and successful engagement with the theme.
For further questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to reading your submissions!
*Select papers will be published in Animal Print, a special issue of Insight, our annual academic journal. If you do not wish to be considered for publication, please include a note in your submission e-mail. Even if you do not wish your paper to be published, we will still ask for your complete paper by Monday January 15, 2018 in order to accommodate various accessibility needs.