Humanities Unbound 2018: Work and Purpose

deadline for submissions: 
March 16, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Old Dominion University's English Graduate Organization and Rhetoric Society
contact email: 

Humanities Unbound 2018: Work and PurposeA Works-in-Progress Graduate Conference - April 19-20th, 2018

Old Dominion University - Norfolk, VA, USA

Submission deadline: March 16, 2018

Our conference theme this year is Work and Purpose. We welcome graduate students’ papers or creative works that explore the intersections of disciplines, scholarship, and real world practices. The aim of the Humanities Unbound conference is to provoke critical conversations within, across, and for communities.

This year's conference will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Ellie Ragland, on April 20th. Dr. Ragland is Professor Emerita and former Chair of the English Department at University of Missouri-Columbia and the Fredrick A. Middlebush Professor of English. She is a practicing psychoanalyst and member of the World Association of Psychoanalysis.  With a foundational career examining critical theory, psychoanalytic theory and comparative & world literature, Dr. Ragland is the author of over 100 articles, has lectured nationally and internationally at over 100 universities and colloquia. She has held an NEH Grant, a Humanities Fellowship at the University of Illinois and has received other honors including the Gold Chalk Award from the University of Missouri for excellence in teaching. Dr. Ragland is the author of numerous critical works, most recently Jacques Lacan and the Logic of Structure:  Topology and language in psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2015).  She edited the first English-language Lacan journal, Newsletter of the Freudian Field, for eight years and is now coeditor of (Re)-Turn: A Journal of Lacanian Studies (

Submitted works should relate to the conference theme and may focus on (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • How can scholarship in the humanities be put to work for, with, and within our communities?
  • What purpose does scholarship serve to broaden understandings of the work we do and for
  • How can scholarship intersect with service and labor?
  • In what ways can we develop work that considers diverse identities and experiences?
  • What shape does activist labor take in scholarship?
  • What are the some of the politics of labor involved in digitization?

These questions may be explored through a variety of disciplinary and extra-disciplinary practices, including but not limited to:

  • Civic Engagement
  • Critical Race Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Embodiment
  • Film/Television
  • Gender/LGBTQ
  • History & Archives
  • Indigenous/Transatlantic Studies
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Local/International/Global Perspectives
  • Materiality
  • Media Studies
  • Networks
  • Pedagogy
  • Popular Culture
  • Rhetoric
  • Social Justice
  • Social Media
  • Textuality
  • Theory & Methods
  • Women’s Studies

The submission deadline is March 16, 2018. To respond to this call, complete the proposal form to submit a brief (150 words) abstract of a work-in-progress that you can describe in a 5-7 minute presentation.

Tag your submission with up to three of the practices listed above; add other relevant tags that would lend themselves well to a broader roundtable theme. Please include presentation title, presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information, A/V requests, and any special needs required in the proposal.

Participants will give brief (5-7 minutes maximum) presentations in roundtable format, after which a moderator will lead a conversation. Proposed presentations should be suitable for presenting at a distance and in person using presentation applications like Zoom, Webex, or Google Hangouts.

Responses will be distributed no later than by March 20, 2018. If you have any questions or need additional information, please email D’An Knowles Ball (, Daniel Hocutt ( or Dana Gavin (