UPDATE: [Graduate] Step Across This Line - UNC Charlotte English Graduate Student Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Amanda Dykema
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Step Across This Line
The 8th Annual UNC Charlotte English Graduate Student Association
January 25, 2008

“In our deepest nature, we are frontier-crossing beings…The journey
creates us. We become the frontiers we cross.” -Salman Rushdie

Rushdie’s quote from Step Across This Line encourages readers to become
mindful of the boundaries within which they operate, and to consider in
what ways the act of crossing a line, boundary or frontier becomes an
integral part of the identity of both writer and reader. Recent years
have seen not only shifting boundaries of scholarship, but a fundamental
repositioning in our conception of boundaries; the characteristics that
connect texts, and creators of texts, are becoming as important as those
that divide.

What does this shifting of boundaries, this nascent emphasis on that
which connects rather than divides, mean for the study of language and
literature? The 8th Annual UNC Charlotte English Graduate Student
Association Conference is dedicated to exploring this concept of frontier
crossing as it relates to the “lines” we encounter in both creative and
critical writing. Our purpose is to seek out writers who explore,
evaluate, and challenge the boundaries under which we labor in the
context of creation. This conference will feature work that bridges the
traditional distinctions between form and content, creative and critical,
and will facilitate a forum for exploration and creative inquiry in the

Michael Martone, professor at the creative writing program of the
University of Alabama, will be our featured speaker. (More information
available at http://www.webdelsol.com/martone/)

We invite presenters to submit work that aims to reconsider and expand
conventional notions of academic writing. Submissions falling under the
designation of “critical creativity” might take several forms, including,
but not limited to:

• Papers of all types that deal with genre-blurring: critical
appraisals of literary and non literary texts that involve such blurring,
theoretical papers exploring the concept of genre, or papers that discuss
genre-blurring in the classroom.
• Experimental literary fiction and creative non-fiction that
extends the definitions of the respective genres, blurring traditional
forms, and enlarging the boundaries of reader expectation.
• Critical scholarship which intermingles the styles and forms of
creative writing with academic prose, or which examines how language or
rhetorical features are involved in such intermingling.
• Genre-blending work that celebrates the similarities and
contrasts of conventional forms.
• Literary, linguistic and rhetorical work informed by the
questions of frontier, journey, and risk.

We welcome broad interpretations on this theme, with the understanding
that innovation often resists categorization.

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