Narratives of Movement and Progress

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Languages Literatures and Cultures Graduate Student Association (LLCGSA)

3rd Annual “Cultural Carolina” Graduate Student Conference

Languages, Literatures and Cultures’ Graduate Student Association (LLCGSA)

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures



“Narratives of Movement and Progress” (March 3, 2018)

Call for Papers – Deadline: December 15, 2017


“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” --- Frederick Douglass

Narratives define our understanding of cultures, societies, and everyday lives. Movement encompasses change, not only in social structures, but also in the physical act of moving, the migration of people, and the flow of technology and raw materials. Historically, narratives have illuminated different communities’ struggles for spatial and social mobility. Such movements have fostered a global community through advancements in technology, science, medicine, and other fields. Nevertheless, there are inherent issues of representation in all forms of art, and narratives are no exception. Keeping this in mind, narratives do not necessarily correspond to progress. Accordingly, placing hegemonic narratives under scrutiny can be a catalyst for further movement(s), inspiring counter-narratives, revisionist histories, and a more nuanced global understanding of different cultures.

This conference invites participants to initiate a productive conversation about narratives of social, cultural, and spatial movement within or across disciplines such as literature, linguistics, languages, history, geography, music, women’s & gender studies, cultural studies, sociology, philosophy, etc.

Papers might consider:

  • the advantages and disadvantages of investing in a narrative of progress
  • how “progress” is characterized in different media (cinema, the graphic novel, visual arts, social media, etc.)
  • human evolution, either in changing social contexts or within traditional frameworks
  • mobility as a facet of intersectional identity (gender, sex, race, class, etc.)
  • utopias and dystopias
  • literary genres associated with progress/movement (the Bildungsroman, the picaresque novel, etc.)
  • discipline, self-fashioning, and other technologies of the self
  • representations of travel and tourism
  • the idea of progression in music
  • discourses of decadence, degeneration, and regeneration

Please send a 250-word abstract (as a PDF or Word document attached) by December 15, 2017 to For panels, please submit a 250-word abstract for the panel and an abstract for each paper in the panel. Papers will be accepted in English only. In the body of your email, please include the following:

  • Full name
  • Academic title
  • University affiliation
  • Emai
  • keywords