EXTENSION FOR PROPOSALS: Intersections, Tensions and New Dimensions: Encounters in the Contact Zone in English Studies 10/8-9

full name / name of organization: 
University of New Hampshire English Graduate Organization
contact email: 
unhContactZones@gmail.com

This graduate conference will explore the relevance of contact and contact zones for English Studies. As we move deeper into the twenty-first century, English Studies continues to see increasing discursive overlap. Understandings of identity and subjectivity have relied increasingly on syncretism and hybridity at the expense of rigid national, cultural, and periodic categories. As boundaries and concepts become more permeable, Mary Louise Pratt’s definition of “Contact Zones” gains increasing relevance and currency.

Almost 20 years ago, Mary Louise Pratt published both Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation and "The Arts of the Contact Zone," and since then, scholars in literary studies and composition-rhetoric have drawn on her work to conceptualize varieties of encounters. Broadly, “Contact Zones” reflect moments of spatial and temporal co-presence, often interactive and improvisational, characterized by coercion, racial inequality, and conflict. This conference aims to further explore the enduring relevance of Pratt’s concept of “Contact Zones” and to examine current applications of contact in literary texts, in critical theory, and in the teaching of reading, writing, and speaking in colleges and universities. How has the concept evolved? Why has it been adopted and adapted by so many scholars? How can it help us to address issues unrelated to post-colonial frontiers and cultural clashes?

We welcome presentations with some consideration of “contact” in, but not limited to:
- Academic Disciplines
- Desire and Sexuality
- Environments
- Epistemologies
- Exchange Systems
- Gender
- Genre
- Liminality
- Linguistics
- Nationalism
- Pedagogy
- Postcolonialism
- Performativity
- Spirituality
- Social Systems
- Travel Writing

Submission deadline: Midnight, Friday, October 1, 2010

We seek abstracts of approximately 250 words for 20-minute individual presentations or 60-minute group panels. To submit an abstract, please email the document in either .doc, .docx or .rtf format to UNHContactZones@gmail.com. Please also include contact information including name, university affiliation and email address.

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