[UPDATE/Extension] Luxuries of the Literary Mind: Readings of Commodity and Privilege
The deadline for McGill's Graduate Conference has been extended to January 14, 2011. The theme is luxury, commodity, privilege, and consumption in literature, film, and other texts and cultural artefacts.
We are honoured to be hosting Dr. George Toles (University of Manitoba) as our keynote speaker and to have secured a faculty address from Dr. Allan Hepburn (McGill).
Please find the call for papers below.
McGill English Graduate Conference Call for Papers Luxuries of the Literary Mind: Readings of Commodity and Privilege
"Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity." G. K. Chesterton, Defendant (1901)
The McGill English Department's Seventeenth Annual Graduate Conference on Language and Literature will take place from March 4 to 6, 2011. The conference will centre on issues of luxury, commodity, and consumption in literature, and other texts and cultural artefacts. Potential areas for study include, but are not limited to the following:
class and social standing
wealth and poverty, images of excess and need
human rights (sexual freedoms, disability rights, etc.) versus social privilege
the racialization of wealth and status
iconography, brands and branding, labels, and commodity fetishism
consumer behaviour and identity
binaries of public/private, high/low, male/female, and consumer/producer central to markets and marketing
literary depictions of shopping, markets, fairs
imperialism, colonialism, trade, and their effects (e.g., environmental degradation, exploitative labour)
gift-giving, treasure, hoarding
gender, the body, cosmetic technologies and practices
camp, ostentation, glamour, performance and performativity
cultural and aesthetic decadence
literature as a luxury (e.g., book-making expenses and practices, middle- and upper-class education as privilege)
How has literature shaped or complicated our sense of luxury and commodity?
How has literature responded to economic or financial fluctuations?
Gastronomy, Epicureanism, connoisseurship, and urbanity
Luxury goods and taxes
Lifestyle porn (e.g., luxury travel, culture, or celebrity narratives)
Conference presentations should not exceed twenty minutes. Proposals will be blind- vetted, and must include a double spaced, 250-word abstract plus a cover sheet with your name, university, contact information, and a brief biographical paragraph about your academic interests and achievements.
Please send your proposal as an email attachment in .doc or .pdf format to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 14, 2010.