UPDATE: [Graduate] Graduate Student Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Linda Neiberg and Jason Schneiderman
contact email: 


The English Student Association presents:
Talking Trash: Rethinking the Abandoned, the Recovered, and the Depraved

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Graduate Center, the City University of New York
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

“The earlier culture will become a heap of rubble and finally a heap of ashes; yet, over the ashes,
spirits will hover.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein

What is the fascination of the devalued and discarded? Is it simply the return of the repressed –
the object that returns to haunt us? Is it the terror of the void – the space we can never know?
>From the Christian obsession with the keystone that was once rejected to Alice Walker's
rehabilitation of Zora Neale Hurston's reputation to John Waters's gleeful declaration that his
work is "trash," there is a certain cachet to the recovery of the devalued and discarded. Does the
tastemaker need the humiliation of the trash heap from which to rescue the loved object and
prove a superior palate, or is the trash heap an accident that the archive is always seeking to
encompass? How do speech acts construct value and identity? This conference aims to stimulate
a broad field of inquiry ranging from New Historical approaches to Renaissance sanitation
practices to examinations of Lindsay Lohan's inarticulate Blackberry epistle. We seek to bring
together graduate students from a wide variety of literary, historical, theoretical, aesthetic, and
political perspectives in a rigorous attempt to think trash from every angle. While academic
papers are preferred, we also invite participation from practicing artists, filmmakers, and

Topics include, but are not limited to:
• Material Artefacts
• Bodies and Bodies in Parts
• Epidemics and Pandemics
• Sanitation Practices
• Religion
• Plebeian Culture
• Cinema / Theatre
• Hidden Histories and Forgotten Texts
• Canonicity
• Literature and AIDS
• Palimpsests and Textual Archaeology
• Manuscripts / Unpublished Works
• Alternative Forms of Publication
• Plagiarism and Imitation
• Slang and Standard English
• Curses / Speech Acts
• Scatology
• Dirty Jokes / Playing the Dozens
• Gossip
• Oral Culture / Written Culture
• Bawdiness / Baseness
• Affluence and Waste
• Consumer Culture
• Pulp Culture
• Blackmail
• Incarceration and War
• Genocide
• Marginalized Subjects
• Propaganda and Psyops
• Sexualities
• Dominatrixes and Drag Queens
• Pornography
• Pop Art / Recycled Objects and Images
• Music / Ballads
• Crime
• Politics
• Decadence
• Eco-literature

Please submit abstracts and proposals for panels to the conference co-chairs, Jason
Schneiderman and Linda Neiberg, at TalkingTrashConference_at_gmail.com. The deadline for
submissions is Friday, December 21, 2007. Acceptance notifications will be sent no later than
December 31, 2007.

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Received on Fri Nov 16 2007 - 11:19:01 EST

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