Call for Proposals: Death and Representation, a One-Day Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, University of Rochester

Death and Representation
Keynote Speaker: Dana Luciano, Georgetown University
Author of "Arranging Grief: Sacred Time and the Body in Nineteenth-Century America," winner of the 2008 MLA Prize for a First Book
Conference Date: March 26, 2010
Please submit abstracts (maximum 500 words) by November 15 via email to:
Jason Middleton,
Genevieve Guenther,

As Derrida has long since pointed out, in Western thought writing is seen as a dead thing: a being whose soul is absent, a corpse. Yet this very dead thing immortalizes both the people it represents and the authors for whom it stands as a metonym. Writing--and indeed representation itself--crosses the boundaries between death and life, absence and presence, loss and memory, time and eternity.

The Department of English at the University of Rochester invites
submissions for twenty-minute papers to be given at "Death and
Representation," a one-day conference that will explore how
representational forms--uncanny things of death and life--confront their own ghosts in representing death itself. We welcome papers from scholars working in any historical period and on any genre or mode (poetic, narrative, dramatic, cinematic, digital, or intermedial).

Possible topics include: the corpse and the figure; tragedy, death, and closure; death and race, gender, class, and disability; memory, memorials, and the literary; death in the anti-social thesis in queer theory; representing funeral practices; mourning and ideation; representations of death and the construction of national identities; rottenness, decay, and the aesthetic; death and humor; necrophilia; suicide notes and autobiography; death on film and video: documentary indexicality and ethics, cinematic violence, etc.; representing the undead (zombies, vampires).