CFP: [General] MESS postgraduate conference

full name / name of organization: 
Michael McCluskey
contact email: 
messconference09@gmail.com

MESS
An interdisciplinary postgraduate conference sponsored by the
Department of English Language and Literature, University College London
Institute of English Studies, University of London
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/english/about/mess.htm

10 March 2009
Senate House, University of London
Bloomsbury, London

Keynote address by Prof David Trotter, University of Cambridge

Proposals welcome from a range of fields addressing, discussing and
exploring, in its many forms, the idea of MESS in relation to creativity,
constraint, product, process, chaos and conformity among other possible
perspectives. Some considerations:

'Mess and Creativity' There is a fascination with the places in which
writers/artists work. How tidy or messy are they? Creativity has been
associated both with mess and confusion, and with minimalism and
restraint. How and why do we interpret the interior design of the rooms in
which great works of art are created in order to imagine the interiority
of the minds that create them?

'How messy is your house/your community?' There is an increasing cultural
prominence
given to possible psychological categories/neurotic conditions that are
related to ideas of mess and tidiness. How is this related to cultural
constructions of gender, race, and class? How about the mapping/ordering
of the ‘messy’ landscape in representations and in relation to geography
and urban design?

'From messy manuscripts to tidy texts' Why/how is the idea or metaphor of
mess and order so central to our thinking about the editing process? What
wider issues are raised by the process of cleaning up texts, resolving or
at least illuminating textual complications, making messy handwriting into
neat computerised script, etc? How house-proud is the typical academic
publishing house? What about the idea of 'house style' in publishing and
film production?

'Formality, Informality, History' How is the process of
historicisation/contextualisation in literary studies akin to tidying up,
putting words/books/ideas/things in their correct place? What about form:
contrived mess, as in Joyce, etc? Does collage offer a method of creating
order while keeping a sense of chaos?

'Untidy Lives' How do biographies tidy up the mess of lived reality,
relationships, feelings, failures, untellable truths? For psychologically
driven biographies, is the manifest messy and the latent tidy, or the
other way around? What about the biopic, which takes an extraordinary,
‘messy’ life and constructs an ordinary and ordered narrative?

‘Mess, n.’: 1. A serving of food; a course, a meal; 2. An unappetizing,
unpalatable, or disgusting dish or concoction; an ill-assorted mixture of
any kind. (from the Oxford English Dictionary)

PROPOSALS NOW BEING CONSIDERED
Please send a 250-word proposal for a 20-minute paper to
messconference09_at_gmail.com

DEADLINE: 9 January 2009

 
 
 
 

Keynote address by Prof David Trotter, University of Cambridge

Proposals welcome from a range of fields addressing, discussing and
exploring, in its many forms, the idea of MESS in relation to creativity,
constraint, product, process, chaos and conformity among other possible
perspectives.

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Received on Wed Oct 29 2008 - 08:34:41 EST

cfp categories: 
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