UPDATE: [Graduate] EXTENDED DEADLINE for "Liminal Literature: Borders and Genre"

full name / name of organization: 
Eric Vivier
contact email: 

The new deadline for paper and panel proposals for this year's MadLit (Madison Graduate
Conference in Language and Literature) is January 23, 2009.


“Liminal Literature: Borders and Genre”

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison Conference in Language and Literature (MADLIT)
English Dept. Graduate Student Conference
February 26-28, 2009

The fifth annual University of Wisconsin-Madison Literature Conference (MadLit) invites paper
and panel proposals for this year’s topic, “Liminal Literature: Borders and Genre.”

The goal of this conference is to interrogate and critique the role of borders in literary and
cultural studies. We invite papers that consider the idea of the border from formal, social,
temporal, and/or geographic perspectives. Borders inform the way we think about genre,
periodization, gender, race, nationality, geographies, disciplines, and social forms, but how do
we account for things that cross, defy, or problematize bordersâ€"the liminal, the hybrid, the
transgressive? How do troubling texts break down, reinforce, or reform borders?

Keynote Speaker: David Wittenberg

This year’s keynote speaker will be David Wittenberg, Associate Professor of English and
Comparative Literature at the University of Iowa. He is the author of Philosophy, Revision,
Critique: Rereading Practices in Heidegger, Nietzsche, and Emerson (Stanford University Press,
2001). His research and teaching interests include 19th and 20th century literary theory and
philosophy, American literature, architectural design and theory, and cultural studies. He is
simultaneously working on two new book projects. The first is about the history and theory of
time travel narratives, tentatively entitled Time Travel: The Philosophy of Popular Culture; it
analyzes works from modernist and postmodernist literature, popular fiction and film, physics,
historiography, and psychology. The second book project, cautiously entitled Big Culture, is a
critique of very large objects and images in contemporary culture and space, as well as a theory
of the aesthetics of quantity; it explores such sizeable phenomena as skyscrapers, Hollywood
films, philosophical systems, disasters, pop stars, military machines, and Las Vegas hotels.

We seek proposals for 15-20 min. presentations and three-person panels on any aspect of the
way borders affect genre, periodization, geographies, disciplines, gender, and material culture:

➢ What texts (or even authors) have been marginalized, overlooked, or (mis)interpreted
because they exist at a thresholdâ€"generic, temporal, geographic, etc.? What texts have
benefited from this status?
➢ How are generic categories formedâ€"or deformed?
➢ What are the consequences of texts that exist between genres or on the threshold of
➢ What are the consequences or limits of categorization? Are categoriesâ€"generic, historical,
material, economic, racial, etc.â€"productive?
➢ What kinds of borders (regional, gender, race, period, nationality, economic, disciplinary,
etc.) influence generic borders?
➢ Are genres transhistorical? Are genders transhistorical? Are spaces transhistorical?
➢ What does transhistorical research reveal? What does it suggest about the limitations of
➢ What does it mean to be trans-gendered?
➢ How does one define places in relation to each other or in isolation? Can placesâ€"or spaces
â€"exist without borders? Is the presence of borders all that is necessary to turn a space into a
➢ How do textsâ€"or objects within textsâ€"cross borders, and what implications do these
crossing have?
➢ What are the consequences of analytical approaches that cross disciplinary borders? What
are the benefits of problematizing disciplinary borders within the humanities?

Please submit a 250-word abstract to Eric Vivier at vivier_at_wisc.edu by January 23, 2009. We will
announce accepted papers by January 31.

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Mon Jan 19 2009 - 17:36:36 EST