CFP: [Graduate] 22nd Annual GAFIS Symposium: (Un)Marked: Intersection of the Universal and Particular

full name / name of organization: 
Katy Prantil and Stephanie Spadaro

The Graduate Association of French and Italian Students
is pleased to announce the 22nd Annual

GAFIS Symposium
Un)Marked:Intersection of the Universal and the Particular

April 3-4, 2009
University of Wisconsin-Madison

What lies at the intersection of the universal and the particular?

Culture--a phenomenon that is simultaneously universal and particular,
unmarked and marked.

Culture permeates all human interaction: every human society has a culture,
a language, a literature, a song, a dance, an art. Yet each culture is
simultaneously highly particular, unique, unlike the others.

Culture is a phenomenon that is paradoxically marked and unmarked. The
unmarked, a linguistic term that also surfaces outside the field, refers to
a default or base linguistic form. In the realm of literature and culture,
this idea extends to a prototypical person, a universal person, a person
without cultural identity or nation to "mark" him or her.

Culture is a trait of the archetypal person, the unmarked person, the
hypothetical person who is able to speak X language, appreciate Y form of
art, create Z form of theater. Every human being has a culture. At the same
time, cultures vary widely in form, and each culture is marked by alterity.

We welcome papers studying aspects of French, francophone, Italian, and
italophone literature, language and culture that call attention to the
universal, the particular, or the area where the two intersect.

Submissions can include but are not limited to the following topics:

Unmarked / Universal
    *(Trans)national communities e.g. religious, political, economic
    * Myth and legend
    * Archetypes
    * Universalism
    * Globalization

Marked / Particular
    *Diasporine or minority cultures and languages
    *Definitions of alterity, otherness, strangeness, perversity
    *Fringe or peripheral cultures
    *Borderlands and frontierlands
    *Migration or (trans)nationalism

Symposium presentations should be in English, twenty minutes in length
(i.e., seven to eight pages double-spaced) and may address a topic from any
period or discipline. Please submit your 250-350 word abstract by e-mail
attachment no later than Friday, January 10, 2009 to the GAFIS symposium
co-chairs, Katy Prantil and Stephanie Spadaro, at

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Received on Sat Nov 22 2008 - 13:49:19 EST