Transient Crossings: Exploring, Constructing and Deconstructing Borders

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
English Graduate Organization at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
contact email: 

Transient Crossings: Exploring, Constructing and Deconstructing Borders

The English Graduate Organization (EGO) and Composition and TESOL Association (CTA), in collaboration with the Department of English at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is proud to announce their 2019 Interdisciplinary Conference, “Transient Crossings: Exploring, Constructing, and Deconstructing Borders,” to be held April 5-6, 2019 at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP).  The due date for proposals is January 15, 2019.

The theme for this year’s conference asks us to consider “borders” in our work as scholars and teachers in English Studies and across disciplines. The term “borders” invokes several meanings within various chronological, cultural, and political landscapes, and a number of meanings for scholars across fields. Within English Studies, scholars and teachers of literature, composition, linguistics, TESOL, and cultural studies frequently confront and theorize borders in our classrooms, journals, institutions, and conferences. This conference provides an opportunity to explore, construct, and deconstruct the borders of our scholarly and pedagogical work. We invite submissions not only from members of the IUP community but also scholars outside the borders of IUP (undergraduate students, graduate students, independent scholars). Submissions may interpret the theme of borders broadly and may choose to observe or cross over boundaries related to (1) literature (2) literary history (3) critical theory (4) TESOL theory and/or pedagogy, (5) composition theory and/or pedagogy (6) applied linguistics (7) cultural studies (8) rhetoric and rhetorical theory.

Beyond these areas, we seek and encourage interdisciplinary submissions, from diverse fields across academic disciplines: those that bridge disciplines, as well as submissions that mix the academic and the public.

Submitted papers of high quality will be considered for a special-issue publication in Pennsylvania English.

We ask you to consider such questions as:

  • How do we engage borders and border-crossings when considering transnational writers and writing practices?  How do immigrants, emigrants, and refugees enhance our understanding of geopolitical and cultural borders?
  • What theories allow us to cross, construct, or deconstruct borders in our scholarly and pedagogical work?
  • How do individuals and groups use language and/or rhetoric in practice to engage and/or disengage with geopolitical borders?
  • What borders are enacted/disrupted in digital spaces of language use?
  • What borders are enacted/disrupted when non-native English speaking musicians make the decision to incorporate English into their song lyrics?
  • How are socially constructed borders such as gender, race, class, religion represented, upheld, challenged or subverted?
  • What kinds of borders prohibit or allow texts to speak to each other across time, geographical location, or genre?
  • How do borders come into being?  Who gets to decide on a border, and how do these borders become accepted or get rejected?
  • How are borders challenged or changed when a piece is translated across cultures?  Not just a direct translation, but a translation designed to be fully understood by the culture it’s being translated to.
  • Borders can both divide and define; some are antiquated and have vast histories-- others are newer, created in defiance of the old ways/methods.  Old borders can restrain our thinking-- do new borders push the boundaries of our thought? 
  • Do borders have value?  If so, what is the value of borders?   
  • Why is it important to cross borders at all? What knowledge can be gained from the crossing of borders? What are the consequences of failing to cross borders?
  • How do we cross the borders between our discipline in the academy and the greater public?  How do we cross the borders between English and other subjects?

To submit a proposal, send a 300-word abstract to iupgradego@gmail.com before January 15, 2019. Direct any questions or queries to Emily Rupp (gsqx@iup.edu) or Jim Swider (mkkw@iup.edu).