deadline for submissions: 
April 2, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
UCLA Friends of English Southland Graduate Student Conference

                                                                                           TIMEFRAMES: Southland Graduate Student Conference

UCLA Department of English  June 8-9, 2018  Los Angeles, California

Sponsored by the UCLA Friends of English

Keynote Speakers: Professor Ursula Heise, Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies, Department of English, UCLA, and Affiliate Faculty, Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; second speaker TBD


The study of literature is predominantly the study of texts produced in the past. Yet critics are often moved, for reasons institutional or ethical, to claim “relevance”—relevance to the now—for their work and its objects. Many literary works do the same: writers eager to imagine new futures look to the past to displace the present. In Archaeologies of the Future (2005), Fredric Jameson describes the “excitement that identifies a forgotten or repressed moment of the past as the new and subversive.” The way we imagine time is invariably entangled with how we tell it—how it is (or is not) standardized, secularized, and regulated—and the way we write history is never far from social, political, and ecological concerns. How do texts and critics bridge multiple temporalities to make meaning? 

In literary studies, texts often reanimate and recombine older forms to create the hybrid and the new. Trauma studies, for example, considers how the past circulates in the present, while ecocriticism relates humanity to the geological timescales of the planet. Beyond these subfields, literary studies asks: Which pasts are maintained and how? How does nostalgia shape our political imaginaries? How and where do writers find radical possibilities for the future in their imagining of the past? How do literary works propose alternative regimes of time? How do texts frame time to produce their effects?

The Friends of English Southland Graduate Student Conference is hosted by UCLA’s Department of English and serves as an annual opportunity for graduate students to present their research in a collegial, supportive environment. We invite submissions that consider these questions from a diverse array of fields. Topics that explore “timeframes” might include, but are not limited to, the following:

The archive
Everyday life/the ordinary

Reading Practices

Urbanization and Modernity

Standardization and telling time

Ideas of the nation
Scale and the Anthropocene
Speculative fiction
Postmodernism and metafiction

Email abstracts of no more than 300 words, for twenty-minute presentations, by April 2, 2018 to southland.conference.2018@gmail.com. Please include presenter name, email, paper title, academic affiliation, and a brief (100-150 words) biography.