CFP: Fucking Artifacts (2/2/07; Calgary Free Exchange, 3/16/07-3/18/07)

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Spring Cleaning:
Rediscovering and Revitalizing the Artifact
University of Calgary Free Exchange Graduate Conference
16-18 March 2007
Calgary, Alberta
For more information, please visit Free Exchange at

Fucking Artifacts: Re-examining the Roles of Expletives in Culture and

Much Wine had past with grave discourse, Of who Fucks who, and who does
                                Lord Rochester, Poems on Several Occasions

How in the fuck should I know?
                                William Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Academic writing often excludes profanities, and often ignores them as the
subject of literary scrutiny, even though they are abundant within
literature and constitute a significant and legitimate portion of
vernacular language. Recently, the Wikipedia entry for "fuck" has provided
a surprising history for the contentious cultural artifact. It appears to
have started out as any other word might, appearing in 16th and 17th
century poetry and drama, early 20th century Louis Armstrong songs, and
the WWII military acronyms, "SNAFU" and "FUBAR." Despite its protracted
and prolific history, "fuck" was officially included in the Oxford English
Dictionary just over thirty years ago.
Typically, explicit expressions are taken for granted as gratuitous and
inarticulate, yet they usually evoke (or provoke) very specific references
and strong emotions. As the basis of various expressions, such as "a good
fuck," "fuck off," and "fuck up," the term "fuck," for example, is a site
of intersecting and conflicting meanings, including sexual gratification,
contempt, and failure. My hope for this panel is to question common
characterizations and presumptions of these colloquial artifacts.
A diverse range of approaches to the topic is encouraged: new historicist,
feminist, medievalist, film studies, etc. Papers may address, but are not
limited to:

- "fuck" as a term of both desire and spite (in relation to history or
literature or neither)
- swearing in academia, or simply "swearing in"
- the roles of profanity in culture or in so-called subcultures (such as
online gaming)
- situating artful/factual uses of, or attitudes towards, foul language
(i.e. as fetish?)
- censorship and/or desensitization
- "curse" words in religious/spiritual contexts
- obscenity as "expletive" or "explicit" artifact
- writing the "bawdy"

Deadline for submissions: 2 February 2007
Please submit 250 word proposals (for papers approx. 15 minutes in length)
to panel chair kevin mcpherson eckhoff at
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.

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Received on Sat Jan 06 2007 - 18:56:14 EST