[UPDATE] English Graduate Student Association Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State University
Major Minors: Neglected and New Issues in Literary Studies
The 22nd Annual Mardi Gras Conference at Louisiana State
LSU Student Union
February 16th & 17th, 2012
Keynote Address by Meredith McGill, Rutgers University
The literary canon, that sacred body of texts and genres that we deem high art, stands surrounded today by rapidly expanding interests in newer or long-neglected works. A major form, a major author, or a major style of analysis often dominates and overshadows the lesser known and more obscure. Meanwhile, archival efforts and the expanding resources of the internet have made available works and authors otherwise inaccessible, opening study to vast materials heretofore unknown or ignored. Furthermore, popular culture has entered the field, as video games, romance novels, and comic books have all permeated our classrooms and our scholarly endeavors. Whether texts buried by time and tradition or new genres expanding the very concept of literature, these materials provide a significant point of access to cultural, social, and critical discourses.
With this in mind, the 22nd annual Mardi Gras Graduate Student Conference aims to explore areas that are often neglected in the critical discourse: works deemed low art, works and authors that have fallen out of critical favor, popular works or those deemed simply not as significant as the major works by major authors. Panels will explore these "major minors" in a myriad of ways, including but not limited to:
Authors: minor authors of any era, authors that were once deemed significant but who are no longer studied, major authors of an era who are deemed too "popular" to be part of the canon, etc.
Works: minor works by a major author, works of any era that have been little studied, works by major authors that have received little critical attention, major works that have fallen out of favor, minor characters in major novels, juvenilia, new or neglected critical approaches, etc.
Genres: any genre from any period that seems to be neglected by the critical tradition, for example: periodicals, theatre (especially Victorian), musical theatre, video games, comic books, science fiction, fantasy, popular music, television, pornography, material culture, fan culture, etc.
We are pleased to announce Meredith L. McGill, Director of the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University and author of American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1843-1853, as this year's keynote speaker.
We encourage papers from a variety of disciplines. Proposals for individual 15-minute papers as well as hour-long panel proposals organized by topic will be considered. Please submit an abstract of 250 words as an attachment along with contact information, including name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email and phone number, by December 9, 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are proposing a panel, please also include a 250-word abstract for the panel itself in addition to the essay abstracts.
Below is a list of our current special topics panels. If you would like to apply to one of these panels, please include the panel topic/title in your e-mail subject line.
Special Topic Panels:
Comic Relief: Comic Figures in Literature, panel chair: Andrew Banecker
Minor Moderns, panel chair: Mitch Frye
Revenge Tragedies, panel chair: Catherine Riley
Video Game Studies, panel chair: Catherine Riley
Rhetoric and Composition, panel chair: David Riche
Theatre and Adaptation, panel chair: Doris Raab
Victorian Literature & Folklore, panel chair Corrie Kiesel
Genre Fiction, panel chair: Kris Mecholsky
Anarchist Studies, panel chair: Kris Mecholsky
Food & Literature, panel chair: Helana Brigman
The Works of Denis Johnson, panel chair: Amanda Wicks
For more information, please visit our website:
Conference Co-Chairs: Doris Raab & Catherine Riley