CFP: [Graduate] Sacred and Profane Meditations on a World in Translation

full name / name of organization: 
Nathan Leaman

March 21-23, 2008
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
Keynote Speaker: Mark Dery
Abstract Deadline: December 31, 2007

Salman Rushdie once wrote, "human beings do not perceive things whole;
we are not gods but wounded creatures, cracked lenses, capable only of
fractured perceptions." In this interdisciplinary conference, we
invite original works that explore the way we construct meaning out of
historical, theoretical, and literary works.

Rushdie also writes, "Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of
scraps, dogmas, childhood injuries, newspaper articles, chance
remarks, old films, small victories, people hated, people loved;
perhaps it is because our sense of what is the case is constructed
from such inadequate materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to
the death." Does this suggest that we construct sacred texts out of
everyday experiences? That through our fragmented perceptions, we
elevate the profane and the common to the sacred? These are some
questions that this conference will consider.

Panels will include an interrogation of sacred texts, ranging from
holy words to canonized works; the past as a sacred text; profane
texts, which may challenge our definitions of literature as well as
our tolerance for profanity; and issues involved in the process of
translation, from one language to another or one time period to
another. We invite submissions from visual artists that interpret or
explore these topics.
We also will accept proposals for additional panel topics.

Potential topics may include: ethnic studies, gender relations,
multimedia, literature and the arts, public vs. private space,
identity politics, voyeurism, surveillance, postmodernism,
orientalism, regionalism, postcolonialism, world literature, religion
and the sciences.

We are excited to welcome as our keynote speaker Mark Deryâ€"a stranger
to neither the sacred nor the profane. Professor Dery teaches
journalism and media criticism at NYU. His expertise in popular and
unpopular culture will help us to some of our questions and concerns
regarding experience and text. His books, The Pyrotechnic
Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink (1999) and Escape
Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (1996), have
catapulted him to the forefront of cultural criticism. His essays and
editorial contributions have begun conversations both in the classroom
and the barroom discussing the impact of technology on class, gender
and race.

 Each submission should include: One cover page and one 250 word
abstract for a 10-12 page paper, short story, selection of poems, art
object, or 15 minute film. Please include your title, contact
information, and area of study on your cover page. Artwork should be
submitted as photos with the titles written on the back. Each
performance piece is limited to 15 minutes; please send a DVD.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2007.

Send electronic submissions and/or questions to:,

Send physical submissions to:
Crisis Carnival
c/o The Department of English and Comparative Literature
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182

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Received on Mon Nov 26 2007 - 12:49:24 EST