The Future of (is) the Humanities: an interdisciplinary grad conference

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
The Future of (is) the Humanities: 2018 University of Idaho Graduate English Conference
contact email: 

The Future of (is) the Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference

University of Idaho | April 7th, 2018 | Moscow, Idaho


“…montage-like storytelling and fragmented poetry explores the cracks in the discourse of modernity through which the narrative of [our new age] grows like weeds on rubble.” -Gabriele Dürbeck

 We live in a fractured world. Emotionally fractured by nationality, by ethnicity, by socioeconomic class, and physically fractured by ecological exploitation, urban degeneration, and civil unrest. Yet, within these fractures emerges a new world, a world ripe with possibility for those with the vision to reach beyond existing boundaries and find new ways to bridge between what has otherwise been seen as bounded, as separate. For, it is in this ability to bridge these gaps and bring separate spheres of thought into conversation with each other that the arts and humanities emerge not merely as an independent field, but as an entanglement of all realms of thought and inquiry. As graduate students of the arts and/or humanities, we invite you to consider how literature, art, cinema, communication, and speculative thought might bridge these gaps and synthesize the fractured discourse of our current moment into a more widely-accessible translation or visualization. We welcome projects that will open a discussion of how to mend these fractures, how to test the boundaries of our academic disciplines and open connections with others, as well as explorations of how the arts and humanities might aestheticize these societal fractures and flourish among the fragmented “rubble” of modernity.


Possible questions for submissions to address include, but are not limited to:

 -       What does the new literature of this current moment look like?

-       How can art and/or literature answer questions and make connections that science cannot yet measure?

-       How can art and/or literature provide new ways of thinking, envisioning, and speaking our current moment?

-       How can we “translate” data from the hard sciences and synthesize it for a more public audience?

-       How is genre and form changing to reflect our current (and future) world?

-       How can art and/or literature challenge how we see our world and our place within it?


Possible areas of interest include, but are not limited to

-       Genre crossing (i.e. in creative or artistic work)

-       Work in the environmental humanities

-       Interdisciplinary literary scholarship

-       Work in the digital humanities

-       Multimodality (i.e. in artistic or pedagogical work)

-       Literature and narrative of the Anthropocene

-       Speculative fiction

-       Teaching composition/rhetoric to STEM majors

-       Artist collectives

-       Speculative visualization

-       Science communication


Keynote Panel:

-       Alexandra Teague, Department of English | Author of Principles Behind Flotation and The Wise and Foolish Builders

-       Stacy Isenbarger, Department of Art and Design |


We encourage paper/project proposals submitted by graduate students from all disciplines, as well as dance, theatrical, literary, and cinematic contributions. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words, for 15-20 minute presentations to by January 31st, 2018. Please include a paper/project title, presenter’s name and email, academic affiliation, and a brief (100-150 words) biography. Direct questions and concerns to Shannon Dryden, 2018 Conference Coordinator: