UPDATE: [Graduate] Free Exchange Graduate Conference: Literature and Its Others

full name / name of organization: 
James Lange
contact email: 
freeex@ucalgary.ca

Literature and Its Others:
Inside, Outside, and Between the Disciplines

University of Calgary Free Exchange Graduate Conference
28-30 March 2008
For more information, please email freeex_at_ucalgary.ca
http://www.english.ucalgary.ca/FreeExchange (site still in development)

Literature exists within the wider frame of world events. Alongside its
interdisciplinary peers, literature comments, corrects, and coerces. We
are asking potential participants to think about the ways that literature
works in conjunction with the world around them. We ask that you think
about the margins in your consideration of different disciplines, genres,
and forms, both inside and outside of the boundaries of literature. Who or
what are literature’s Others? How do we read them? Why do we demarcate
between literature and its Others? What is the function of such
categorization?

Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

2008 Free Exchange Graduate Conference panels:

1. Spaces, Places, and Faces: Performance and Identity in the Post
9/11 Era
2. Modernism and its Others
3. Before the Law: Legal Consciousness and Literature
4. The Embodied Text from Manuscript to Print
5. Film and Literature: Reimagining the Relationship
6. A World Apart: The Space of the Child
7. In-between Spaces: Moving Literature into a Hybrid Location
8. Cartoon Literatures: Re-Animating the Discourse
9. Narrative and its Other: Images, Texts, and Contexts
10. Literature and the Body: Inside, Outside, and Between the Skin
11. Keeping the Ability to Respond: Ethics and the Creative Act
12. Undergrad Panel

1. Spaces, Places, and Faces: Performance and Identity in the Post
9/11 Era

Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is
completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex
and interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also
about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.
Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism
Performance studies is often thought of as one of literature’s
disciplinary Others; sometimes overlooked in favour of more traditional
and well-trod paths, the discipline offers a unique entry point into an
important and timely discussion of cultural criticism and ideology. As
Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett points out in her piece, “ Kodak Moments,
Flashbulb Memories: Reflections on 9/11,” the various ways in which
residents of New York City both chose to and were instructed to mourn
after September 11th, 2001, took on performative elements and transformed
the distressed urban space. Certainly, concepts of identity and
performance loom large in the post-9/11 era. We can easily think of the
performances of cultural figures and icons such as Islamic martyrs and
Christian fundamentalists, as well as the performances of spaces and
places—such as New York—as having political purposes. However, what is
more menacing is the expectation of performance. Who manages the image of
the martyr, the fundamentalist, and the urban space? How are images of the
dead commemorated, memorialized, and commodified? What political ends do
these images serve? How do we, through consumerism, art, and narrative,
support these performative expectations? More importantly, how might we
reject, subvert, or re-write them? Clearly, certain narratives and
performances are articulated more powerfully and more frequently while
others are marginalized, and still others excluded altogether. As an
interdisciplinary subject, performance studies offers an interstitial
space from which to examine these issues of silence, speech, and
Otherization. The panel invites the submission of papers that engage with
text-based, performance-based, or artistic material concerned with
identity, performance and politics in the post-9/11 world.
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Allison Mader ajmdr_at_mta.ca. Attachments should be in Rich
Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional
affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email. Deadline
for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

2. Modernism and its Others

Over the past decade, recent scholarship has begun to question our
scholarly assumptions about the connections between the Moderns and their
contemporary culture. The authors of early twentieth century often
traveled or lived as expatriates, communicated with a wide range of
colleagues and were engaged in detail social debates that resist the
notion of l'art pour l'art. This panel wishes to expand on recent
discussions of Modernism's social-orientation, or the artist's varied
response to their contemporary history and politics. Topics might include,
but are in no way limited to:
• Modernism and radio or cinema
• Modernism and canon formation
• Modernism and music
• Relationships between high and low moderns
• Representations of popular culture in Modernist literature
• The works of popular culture from 1900-1945
• The intersections of advertising and Modernism
• Technology and Modernism
• Works on less canonical authors of the period
Any other related topic under the panel's rubric is welcome. Please submit
250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length) to panel
chair Michael J Brisbois at mjbrisbo_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in
Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional
affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email. Deadline
for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

3. Before the Law: Legal Consciousness and Literature

"we know neither who nor what is the law, das Gesetz. This, perhaps, is
where literature begins"
Jacques Derrida, Acts of Literature (1992)
This panel seeks to assemble critical opinions concerning the relationship
between literature and its relationship with the discipline of law from
the ancient to the modern, stipulating thus that the relationships between
law (and legal consciousness) and literature are not as distant as
imagined. From the period of pre-literate customary culture in Anglo-Saxon
Britain as reflected in Old English poetry like Beowulf, the late medieval
culture of legal-parliamentary retaliation in works like The Owl and the
Nightingale, Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules, right through the
legates against sedition, and criminality in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries respectively, such as William Godwin’s Caleb
Williams, to the modern era’s obsession with moot courts and legal trials
in contemporary novels like Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Toni Morrison’s
Beloved and John Grisham novels like A Time to Kill, legal consciousness
is reflected and refracted through the prism of the literary text, and
negotiates its value as both socially constructed edifice and the ruins of
postlapsarian human civilization.
Possible paper ideas can include, but need not be limited to the following
below:
• pre-legal consciousness and customary laws and practices in
literature
• parliamentary and political rhetoric in literature medieval to
modern
• trials and their portrayal in literature
• laws and statutes as literary texts, or the ‘literary’ in legal
documents
• literary definitions and explorations of law, legality and social
justice
• law as context/con-text
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Kevin Teo at nuovocp2_at_singnet.com.sg. Attachments should be
in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name,
professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your
email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

4. The Embodied Text from Manuscript to Print

This panel examines the association between the body and the text, between
literariness and corporeality, as a crucial theme in literary studies.
>From the manuscript illustrations of the Kells manuscript, the staged
corporeal effects of bleeding Hosts, crucified actors and murdered
innocents in the Digby Plays, the medieval Host desecration narratives and
Passion cycles, right through to William Morris and Dante Gabriel
Rossetti’s illuminated Pre-Raphaelite plates to their neo-Arthurian
literature, from modern theater’s privileging of installation art and
environmental-based staging, right through to the poetry of Michael
Ondaatje, the interchanges between visuality, corporeality and textuality
have been somewhat uneven and unique to their socio-historical milieu.
This panel seeks to focus on the obsessive albeit thwarted relations
between the body and the text as mapped out in literature from its
earliest manuscript versions to its latter print version after the advent
of the Gutenberg Press.
Paper abstracts for this panel might include but are not restricted to the
following:
• Inscribed and illuminated bodies in medieval manuscripts, and
modern illustrated ‘graphic novel style’ reprints of the literary classics
• Decorations to medieval chapbooks, manuals, latter-day print
versions, such as Bibles, and advice books
• Real or imagined bodies from medieval to modern drama
• Iconography and the written word
• Wooden plate illuminations to modern interpretations of
traditional romance cycles, such as the Pre-Raphaelites
• saints’ lives (medieval and post-medieval) and the valorizations
or demonization of the body
• functions of the grotesque, of eating, spitting, farting,
defecation, drinking, and swearing in literature
• environmental theater or adaptations of literature to theatrical
space
• the graphic novel
• novels and the ‘pornographic’, or pornography, such as Kiss of the
Spiderwoman
• nudity, its display and censorship in novels such as Salman
Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Kevin Teo at nuovocp2_at_singnet.com.sg. Attachments should be
in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name,
professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your
email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

5. Film and Literature: Reimagining the Relationship

When one considers the linkages between film and literature, it is often
difficult to think beyond recent highly successful adaptations, namely The
Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter movies. While adaptation is an
important aspect of the literariness of film, it is by no means the only
point of connection between the page and the screen. In this panel I am
looking for unique considerations of film as literature, film in
literature, or the literariness of film. The scope of this panel might
include everything from script and adaptation studies, to Shakespeare and
comic books adapted for the screen. Topics might include, but are in no
way limited to:
• The script as a literary work
• Books written after the film
• Adaptations: children’s literature, romance novels, westerns,
science fiction novels, comic books, autobiographies, religious texts, etc.
• Disney’s fairy tales
• Writers or literature in film
• Authors known for both their books and the movies made from them
(Stephen King, John Grisham, J. K. Rowling, Tom Clancy, etc.)
• Issues surrounding the 2007/08 writer’s strike
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair James Lange at jlange_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in
Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional
affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email. Deadline
for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

6. A World Apart: The Space of the Child

The division of childhood from adulthood assumes that there is a marked
difference between the social, psychological and emotional existence of
the child, and that of the adult. The assumption of difference is
outlined within in the rhetoric of biology and psychology; yet it becomes
clearly defined within the marketing of literature, television and film
towards a specific age demographic. While targeted towards the young,
children’s literature and media are created, controlled and marketed by
adults, and based upon their notions of what childhood is/should be.
• How is childhood defined as different from the adult, both by the
child and by the adult?
• How does adolescence and Young Adult literature negotiate this
difference?
• What factors (such as nostalgia) contribute to the image of the
child as other? What do these factors suggest about society?
• How does geographic location affect the perception of the child as
other?
• How does the precocious child become isolated from both adults,
and their peers? Is this a “freaking” of childhood?
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Bethany Dewhirst at Bethany.Dewhirst_at_encana.com.
Attachments should be in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include
your name, professional affiliation, and contact information in the body
of your email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

7. In-between Spaces: Moving Literature into a Hybrid Location

“The margin of hybridity, where cultural differences ‘contingently’ and
conflictually touch, becomes the moment of panic which reveals the
borderlines experience” (Homi K. Bhabha, Location of Culture 296).
Bhabha uses hybridity to describe the spaces between assumption and
reality, as the means of encouraging a reciprocity between disciplines and
literatures. He is looking at the ways that hybridity can be used
theoretically in his examination of culture, and this ‘borderline
experience’ is the space between Literature and Its Others. It is this in-
between space that moves literature between culture and between
disciplines, in the effort to seek out those literatures that have been
marginalized, colonized, and ostracized. In fact, the in-between space of
The Other. It is here that “these ‘in-between’ spaces provide the terrain
for elaborating strategies of selfhood – singular or communal – that
initiate new signs of identity, and innovative sites of collaboration, and
contestation, in the act of defining the idea of society itself” (2).
Hybridity, in this sense, becomes a site of cultural empowerment. It
becomes a location from which to analyze the space between Literature and
Its Others, in the effort to find the hybridity of interdisciplinarity in
both literature and life.
This is an open topic, designed to encourage papers on the theme of the
conference. Paper topics could include:
• the philosophy of science
• marginalized literatures
• comparative literature
• adaptations and film theory
• mapping world contexts
• political border crossings
• literatures of encounter
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Natalie Wall at nwall_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in
Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional
affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email. Deadline
for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

8. Cartoon Literatures: Re-Animating the Discourse

 
>From the emergence of the children’s cartoon to the rise of the graphic
novel, cartoons have become centrally located in the realm of popular
culture. Today’s cartoons target a multitude of audiences from around the
world. Whether it is the morning paper or the newest action movie, you can
be sure that you’ve recently consumed some sort of cartoon literature. It
is incontrovertible: the cartoon is here to stay.
This panel is looking at the discourse of animation and the wider world of
comic media, as literature that is both other and othered. This panel is
committed to examining the space between the cartoon and its
representation, as a means to understand the role that the cartoon plays
in today’s world. What happens when we look at the cartoon as cultural
critique?
Possible paper topics could include:
• Satiric cartoons and the un-real. Why is it easier to criticize
graphically?
• Children’s literature and the effect of the Saturday Morning
Cartoon
• Anime and its global implications
• The Graphic Novel: how does this change the way we see literature?
• CGI and its impact on Hollywood
• Comics as literature, looking at how we read them
• Cartoon as allegory. Reading animation symbolically
• Animating the world and diverging from reality
• Reinventing the self: celebrity voices and their cartoon
counterparts
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Natalie Wall at nwall_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in
Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name, professional
affiliation, and contact information in the body of your email. Deadline
for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

9. Narrative and its Other: Images, Texts, and Contexts

W.J.T. Mitchell has written of images that “they must be understood as a
kind of language; instead of providing a transparent window on the world,
images are now regarded as the sort of sign that presents a deceptive
appearance of naturalness and transparence concealing an opaque,
distorting, arbitrary mechanism of representation, a process of
ideological mystification.” The image, then, may at once be seen as
literature’s complement (since it contains a wealth of quasi-linguistic
and narrative properties) and its Other (since it resists the
demystifying, expository impulses of narrative).
This panel seeks papers which explore the always fraught interartistic
relationship between image and text. Particularly welcome are those
proposals that examine the political and ideological implications of
verbal representations of art, or iconic representations of language. What
Others, for example, does the visual art object conceal, and how might
they be given voice by iconic or ekphrastic narratives? Conversely, what
narrative properties are iconic objects such as national flags or artistic
landmarks assumed to have by the contemporary iconoclasts who publicly
destroy them?
• Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
• The “sister arts” and sibling rivalry: relations and tensions
between image and text;
• Images of capital: talking pictures and the consumer;
• Visual representation as an ideological tool;
• The image as metonym: pictures in the service of cultural
identities and stereotypes;
• The rhetoric of the frame: what is revealed or concealed by the
act of visual or narrative framing;
• The “Mona Lisa Smile” syndrome: the lives of images and their
hidden narratives in the public imagination;
• The image in crisis: flag-burning, graffiti and even terrorism as
radical acts of contemporary iconoclasm.
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Richard Brock at rkbrock_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be
in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name,
professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your
email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

10. Literature and the Body: Inside, Outside, and Between the Skin

“Why should our bodies end at the skin, or include at best other beings
encapsulated by skin?” Donna Haraway, A Manifesto for Cyborgs
“And the men stepped out in colours up to their necks, pulling wet hides
out after them so it appeared they had removed the skin from their own
bodies. They had leapt into different colours as if into different
countries.” Michael Ondaatje, In the Skin of a Lion
The focus on the body in literature is nothing new to literary studies. As
Judith Butler notes in her introduction to Bodies That Matter “certain
classical tensions are taken up in contemporary theoretical positions”
(17). From the Renaissance to recent literature, the body serves as both a
literal image and figurative trope to embody political, theoretical,
cultural, sociological, and literary discourses that question the
construction and deconstruction of identity. The portrayal of skin as a
semiotic symbol complicates the epistemological framework of the body.
What is the relationship between the body and the skin? How do the body
and the skin resist confining structures of classification? Or as argued
by Claudia Benthien in Skin: On the Cultural Border Between Self and
World, how has skin become more and more an unyielding symbol?
This panel seeks papers on the body and the skin as sites for ideological
inscriptions. How has the cultural and metaphorical significance of the
body/skin changed in literature, philosophy, theory, medicine, etc? Papers
on the body, on skin, or combining both topics, are welcome. Suggested
topics for papers include, but are not limited to, the following:
• texts as bodies/bodies as text
• symbolic skin
• politics of bodies/skin
• performativity and the body
• bodies as sites of cultural production
• bodily Others
• literary bodies (canonicity)
• scripting skin/writing on the body
• monstrosity/grotesque
• history and the body
• health/disease
• abject/subject
• collective bodies
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Veronique Dorais at vdorais_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should
be in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name,
professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your
email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

11. Keeping the Ability to Respond: Ethics and the Creative Act

In his book, Totality and Infinity, philosopher Emmanuel Levinas suggests
that ethics must be based in a recognition of responsibility to the Other—
a willingness to respond to an-other. In kind, poet Robert Duncan defines
responsibility as keeping the ability to respond. Taken together, the
indication is that responsibility, as the core of ethics, carries with it
an obligation to be both committed and flexible, open and vigilant. While
these are terms we might also associate with artistic practice, how often
is art conscious of itself, as not only responsive but responsible to the
world around it—as having serious ethical bearing? One might even begin to
ask, echoing W.H. Auden, whether art really makes anything happen? In
underscoring the importance of response in notions of responsibility, this
panel seeks ultimately to explore the relationship between creative
endeavors and their sociopolitical, and/or ethical implications.
Considerations might include:
• How does, can or has art traverse(d) both its aesthetic role and
its responsibility to the world around it?
• What might a responsible art look, sound, feel or even taste like?
• What is the difference between reaction and response?
• Can highly aestheticized or experimental work have real social
impact?
• Does poesis (making) really influence ethos (social character)?
• What is a poetics of responsibility? A poetics of engagement?
• How can the personal really be political?
• Does the political or moral allegory still exist with any real
efficacy?
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair Mike Roberson at mroberso_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should
be in Rich Text or Word format only, and please include your name,
professional affiliation, and contact information in the body of your
email. Deadline for proposals is February 18th, 2008.

12. Undergrad Panel

This panel is intended to give undergrads an opportunity to present their
work in an unintimidating venue. Any topic under the conference’s theme
of “Literature and its Others” is welcome. Please submit 250 word
proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length) to panel chair James
Lange at jlange_at_ucalgary.ca. Attachments should be in Rich Text or Word
format only, and please include your name, professional affiliation, and
contact information in the body of your email. Deadline for proposals is
February 18th, 2008.

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Received on Wed Jan 16 2008 - 19:11:04 EST

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