Graduate Student conference in Comparative Literature, Crossroads VI: Conflicts, Contrasts, and Contradictions

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
UMass Amhesrt
contact email: 

Crossroads VI: Conflicts, Contrasts, and Contradictions
September 28-30, 2018
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Call for Papers

Conflict: a “competitive or opposing action of incompatibles,” also “the opposition of persons or forces that gives rise to the dramatic action in … fiction” (Merriam Webster);

Contrast: a “juxtaposition of dissimilar elements,” (Merriam Webster) also, in the medical context, a solution of iodine, barium-sulphate or gadolinium, rendering visible that which is otherwise transparent: thus, bringing things to light through negativity;

Contradiction: originating from “speaking against,” a logical incongruity in an utterance or performance, going against the expectation of internal consistency of speech.

In the sixth edition of the Crossroads Graduate Student Conference in Comparative Literature, we seek to investigate the theoretical problems situated at the intersection of the three concepts outlined above in literature, film, and other media. In the spirit of this anti-consensus approach, we seek contributions tackling heterodox positionings in scholarship, literature, and art. We are particularly interested in papers exploring representations of dissent, incompatibility, and internally flawed speech/discourse, as well as works, be they literary, filmic, or performative, that embody the contradictory, and resist consensus by emphasizing conflict as a productive strategy. Ranging from instances of dissent from the established opinions to theory encouraging us to question seemingly transparent concepts, the topics may include:

    Irony and war
    Humor, satire, and resistance
    Contrary discourses
    Alternative histories of modernities
    Histories of “powerless”, “invisible”, or “silent” subjects
    Theorizing excess
    Hermeneutics of contradiction
    Aesthetics of conflict and resolution
    Transgressive scholarship: theory and practice
    Narrative theory and conflict
    Theories and representations of trauma
    Marginality, deviance, and madness
    Performance and performativity: Embodiment and the three Cs
    Multiplicity, bodies and identities: Existence beyond binaries
    Posthumous editing and external framing (within anthologies, collected works etc.) as polemic

We also welcome contributions in the general fields of comparative literature, cultural studies, and critical theory.

Please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words to crossroads@complit.umass.edu by June 15th. Abstracts must include full name, contact information, institutional affiliation, and a short bio.

Participants will be notified of their acceptance by the beginning of July.