DEADLINE EXTENDED! Standing on Thresholds

deadline for submissions: 
December 31, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Universite de Montreal

Standing on Thresholds

16th Annual Université de Montréal English Graduate Conference

March 11th to 13th, 2019


Keynote speaker: Laura Fisher (Ryerson University)


By standing on thresholds, we can have insight into various facets of socio-cultural experience. Literature and art strive to create liminal spaces that blur preconceived binary notions of centers and margins, from which we can gain access to pluralistic points of view. We understand the term marginality as a way “to interpret and analyse socio-cultural, political and economic spheres, where underprivileged people struggle to gain access to resources, and equal participation in social life” (Somnath Sarkar 2016). However, the term itself “involves the risk that it endorses the structure that established the marginality of certain groups in the first place” (Ashcroft 2013). By deeming an author and/or work as marginal, we are creating a dichotomy between a center and a periphery. Ashcroft’s position is of significance in the way we understand margins, because the terminology reinforces a binary structure, instead of a multifaceted one. Thresholds offer a possibility to avoid binary thinking and to establish new ways of understanding artistic expression.

This conference will examine works of literature, film, or visual arts that dwell upon the notion of thresholds. How can art and literature create or serve as a threshold? How are marginalized works characterized and how should we rethink said categories? In which ways do literature and art challenge the center/margin binary?

We invite academic and creative submissions for papers in English or French that interrogate the notion of margins from multiple disciplinary perspectives. Topics for discussion include: Marginalized literatures (women’s writing; African American, indigenous; queer literatures); Resistance to dominant discourses of power (state, class, race, etc.); Agency in a context of political oppression (opposition, protest, activism); Spacialization; Silencing (strategies of punishment, regulation, and policing); Non-canonical genres (graphic novels, fanfiction, etc.)

Submissions should emerge from across these disciplines: Feminist studies; Queer studies; Indigenous studies; Postcolonial studies; Cultural studies; Literary and cultural theory; Digital humanities; Film and visual arts; as well as other disciplines deemed relevant in the aforementioned fields.

We are asking those interested in delivering 15 to 20-minute presentations to submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to by January 31st, 2019. Please submit your application through the survey at the following link: For any queries, please feel free to email the organization committee at egssconference2019.udem@gmail.comfor more information. We are committed to making this event accessible to everyone, therefore we do not charge any fees for presenters.