full name / name of organization: 
Michael Petitti
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The First Annual Syntext/SynThink Graduate Student Conference
April 4-5, 2008
Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA
Calls for symbiotic modes of writing, thinking, performance

A two-day conference exploring emergent rhetorics in literary studies
feeding on the infusion of LIFE into literature.
Plenary lecture/performance by David Ornette Cherry (Jazz) and Susan Banyas
Symbiosis: intimate corporeal mergers between heterogeneous bodies;
singular partnerships through which new hybrid forms emerge; meld two
species into one, create a new genome.
The academic institution of LITERATURE is being challenged to reinvent
itself in terms of LIFE. Simultaneously, LIFE is getting a makeover:
evolution driven by symbiosis as much as natural selection; cooperation as
central as competition.
Thoughtful, robust minds in literary studies are evolving new sorts of
writing, in which literature comes to life, as life infuses literature.

Novel niches are emerging in the academic fitness landscape at permeable
boundaries between rhetoric and poetics, critical and creative modes of
thinking and writing.

It’s getting increasingly artificial to split off talking about music,
movies and media from writing about literature and theory.
It feels ludicrous to suppress the ludic when doing academic work.
In changing our critical mode, in opening up criticism to a new level of
play and playfulness, of common sense and sensuality, we let loose the Life
that alters our lives. It’s permissible, and even primary, to be primal,
personal, creative, sensual, in our most rigorous research.

Why symbiosis rather than synthesis? Synthesis implies an artificial split,
whereas symbiosis implies an organic, interdependent relationship between
two organisms that cannot thrive to their full potential without one another.
The relationship between the creative and the critical should not fall into
mere phoresy (one little buggie using another little buggie as a mini-van
across a leaf), but thrive instead through mutualism (symbiosis that
benefits both organisms, to the point one cannot survive without the other).

Think about the first book you ever loved. Think about it again.
Write through it now like you felt about it then.
Contributions welcome from graduate students in humanities and
critical/creative arts. Travel subventions for exceptional proposals.
Please send inquiries and 250 â€" 500 word abstracts to Michael Petitti at
Due date for abstracts: January 30, 2008
Notification: February 15, 2008

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Conference Committee
Laurence Dumortier/Daniel Krause/Ali Meghdadi/Mike Petitti/Rob Rabiee

Syntext Program
The LMU Department of “English” is founded on a dynamic interplay between
creative and critical modes of writing. The SynText program treats writing
as the emergence of permeable membranes shaped by parameters, constraints,
and context.
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SynThink Forum
SynThink presents interdisciplinary conferences on specific themes, where
creative and scholarly work is presented by artists, faculty, and students.

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Received on Mon Dec 10 2007 - 18:30:43 EST