UPDATE: Wide Open Spaces (grad) (1/1/07; ESA, 3/30/07)

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ESA Conference 2007
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CFP: Wide Open Spaces (grad) (1/1/07; 3/30/07)

City University of New York Graduate Center
English Student Association Conference
Conference Date: March 30, 2007
Call for Papers

PLEASE NOTE: Deadline for abstract submissions has changed.

"Wide Open Spaces"

The recent success of popular fictions like Brokeback Mountain
and Deadwood has refocused audience attention onto the power and
meanings latent in the open space. These spaces are found not only in
the Western but also in narratives of exploration, of adventure, of
colonization and post-colonial resistance, as well as in genres of
the pastoral, of science fiction, and of ecological fiction, among
others.These "wide open spaces" frequently figure in the construction
and expression of desire or lack, law and order, creation and
recreation, bounded- and unboundedness, and definition and the

"Wide Open Spaces" is a graduate conference organized and sponsored
by the English Student Association at the CUNY Graduate Center,
located in Midtown Manhattan. This conference seeks to bring together
graduate students from a wide variety of political, critical, and
aesthetic perspectives as well as a host of different disciplines to explore how
open space functions in literature, film, television, new media, and
critical theory. We invite papers that investigate the uses
and meanings of this space.

UPDATE: We are pleased to announce as keynote speaker at this
conference: Miles Orvell, Professor of English and American Studies at
Temple University and author of The Real Thing: Imitation and
Authenticity in American Culture, 1880-1940 and After the Machine:
Visual Arts and the Erasing of Cultural Boundaries, among many other
works. His keynote address, "Roads and Crossroads: The Contested Space
of American Culture," "will explore the cultural meanings of place by
looking at literary and visual representations as well as examples
drawn from popular culture and media. What is at stake in such a
consideration are existential authenticity, cultural hegemony, and
ecological vandalism."

We hope to address the topics below, as well as many others:

The classic/revisionist Western in fiction, film, and television
Galaxies far, far away: science fiction frontiers
Literature and agriculture/ecology
Cartography and literature
Frontiers of identity (racial, ethnic, sexual, national, etc.)
Semiotic fields as open spaces
The open spaces and frontiers of critical theory
Narratives of exploration and conquest
Zones of cultural contact
The gendering of spaces: domestic, public, urban, rural
The sea as frontier
Border fictions
Constructions of the "rural" and/or the pastoral
"Middle" America
Diasporic communities
Vacant areas (physical, political, ideological, psychological,
intellectual, etc.)
Contiguous and overlapping areas
Queer Theory and open definitions of sexuality
The open space as a location of desire and projected desires
The open space as a location of the "creative"
The blank page
The "fields" of work/play/battle
The body as a field of exploration and colonization
Intellectual gap(s) and/or "gaps" in scholarship

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words to Neil Meyer and
Brooks Hefner at esa.conference_at_gmail.com by January 1, 2007.

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Received on Tue Nov 28 2006 - 18:46:50 EST

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