24th Annual GAFIS Symposium at UW-Madison: Articulating Communities, April 15-16th 2011

full name / name of organization: 
GAFIS (Graduate Association of French & Italian Students), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Throughout recorded history – traversing time and space, cultures and nations – the notion of community has fostered both collaboration and conflict. Communities, much like the individuals who inhabit them, come into being, evolve and eventually disappear. As such, they are the philosophical, social, cultural and political representations of their members. Whether defined by their geographical borders or collective identities, they share common goals, beliefs and needs. The significance of community building, community belonging and community intersections is thus filtered into literature, art, music and film.

The 24th annual GAFIS Symposium seeks to explore community articulation in cultural productions and, most importantly, how our work as scholars might further our understanding of the human condition and the interplay between individuals and their community ties.

We invite abstracts in English ranging from 200 – 250 words that relate to or expand upon the topics suggested below. We encourage submissions from all related disciplines (such as French, Italian, Romance Languages, Communication Arts, Anthropology, Sociology, Comparative Literature, Theater, Gender and Women's Studies, African Studies, European Studies, Religious Studies and Global Studies).

Papers will be limited to 20 minutes and must be presented in English. In your abstract, please include your name, email address, academic affiliation, and AV requests. Along with your abstract submission, please suggest the category or categories to which you feel your submission is best suited.

Please address inquiries and abstract submissions to Loren Eadie and Trésor Yoassi at gafisabstracts2011@gmail.com. Abstracts must be received no later than February 4th, 2011.

Keynote presentation by Laird Boswell, Professor of History, UW-Madison

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

Defining communities:
•Exploring boundaries (national, familial, geopolitical)
•Language and dialects
•Inclusion and exclusion
•Identity politics

Establishing communities:
•Governing bodies, the EU, community leaders
•The birth and death of communities
•Revolution and change
•Diaspora and migrancy, hybridity of communities

Imagining communities:
•Cultural productions
•The cult of Personality
•Reinterpreting and rewriting
•Gentrification and community revival
•Virtual communities

Communities in conflict:
•War zones, occupation and genocide
•Socio-economic and political stratifications
•Extremism and fundamentalism