Shattering Silences: Challenging Traditions/ Inventing Worlds

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Queens College MA Program in English
contact email: 


The Fifth Annual Queens College Graduate Conference


Shattering Silences

Challenging Traditions, Inventing Worlds


Conference Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Blackwood, Associate Professor of English, Pace University

Submission Deadline: February 28, 2018


The fifth annual Queens College English Graduate Center Conference comes at a time where voices of the disenfranchised are finding the courage to speak out against sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace. Time Magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year highlights these brave figures as the silence breakers because their voices have sparked a movement in entertainment that has spread to other industries. Many women and men have been silenced by discriminatory transgressions for fear of losing their careers, trustworthiness, and respect among peers. However, those who have come forward by vocalizing these indiscretions demonstrate the power in numbers, and their fearlessness creates a platform for others to break their silence. This year’s conference hopes to continue the momentum by exploring texts, that have been muted, subordinated, censored, and repressed by social, political, and economic powerhouses. In what ways have writers throughout history broken their silence? How have writers worked with and against various genres and forms to convey their message?  We want to engage in a conversation not only about how texts and readers respond to pervasive, often oppressive beliefs, but the process of resisting those beliefs and working against accepted cultural norms.  


The QC English Graduate Conference is a chance for CUNY graduate students to share their research interests with the larger CUNY community. Submissions must be critical or theoretical works about literature and/or culture and can be portions of larger works or works-in-progress.

Possible submission topics include but are not limited to:

Silenced Voices

  • Feminist Interventions
  • Queer Dissent
  • Children’s Narratives
  • Intersectional Analysis


Literary Disobedience

  • Resisting Censorship
  • Building Institutions
  • Authenticating Lives
  • Speaking Truth to Power

Bodies and Space

  • Transnational Subjects
  • Migrant Imaginaries
  • Disability and the Body
  • The Body, Science, and Literature



 Genre Trouble

  • Hybrid Texts
  • Popular Literature
  • Comics and Graphic Narratives
  • Experimental Memoir

To Submit a Proposal                                                       

Please send proposals of 250 words or fewer to by February 28, 2018. Proposals should be pasted in the body of the email. Please include your full name and the name of your program and school.  All Queens College MA, MFA, and MS Ed students are welcome to submit, as well as master’s students from other universities. If you have any questions, please email


Keynote Speaker Biography

Sarah Blackwood is Associate Professor of English and Director of American Studies at Pace University.  She researches and teaches American literature, culture, and art with a particular focus on nineteenth-century visual culture, African American literature, and the history of inner life. She is currently working on a monograph titled The Portrait's Subject: Inventing Inner Life in Nineteenth-Century America.  She is co-founder and co-editor of the web magazine Avidly and co-editor of the book series (NYU Press) Avidly Reads. She writes literary and cultural criticism regularly for national outlets.