[UPDATE] Enunciating the End: The Apocalypse, Textual Futures, and What Comes Next

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Concordia English Graduate Colloquium

Apocalyptic prophecies and futurist narratives have always had a special place in culture, from Y2K fervor to the periodically updated Rapture to the upcoming end of the Mayan calendar in December of 2012. In addition to the "real" end-of-the-world predictions, and perhaps in response to them, our literature and pop culture has spawned innumerable fictions of a future unaccounted for. This unknown future folds back upon our past through historical representations of colonialism's reconfiguration of territory, ownership, and identity. In the present, our cultural climate seems to speak to the end of the material world as we have come to understand it, as we transcend print-based media and move up into the digital media cloud. Furthermore, as social media continues to collapse the boundaries between public and private into one great field of liminality, we face questions of how to negotiate the creation and maintenance of personal and intellectual property. These issues raise a number of questions, including: do texts end? How and what does that mean? How do we resolve tensions between prediction and actualization? What role has prophecy comes to play in literature and culture at large? Can there be a terminal point for any construct, whether it be abstract notions or concrete teleologies? How does uncovering revelatory discursive practices relate to our shifting epistemology?

We invite papers on the following themes:

--Apocalypse: renderings of doom and resurrection in literature and society
--Utopia/Dystopia: history and impact of re-imagined worlds
--Media, Monographs, and the Printed Word: the end of text as we know it?
--Private spheres in the Public Spectrum: Individual Power and Social Media
--Ruptures, New Beginnings, and their Remnants

This year, Concordia University's English Literature Graduate Colloquium will investigate the concept of 'ending' as it pertains to us in literature, culture, and the scope of history. The keynote address will be delivered by Christopher Keep (Western), with a roundtable panel on "Comparative Apocalypses" featuring Marcus Boon (York/Cornell), Michael Van Dussen (McGill), and Lorenzo DiTommaso (Concordia). We invite all interested scholars to contribute to this interdisciplinary English Literature colloquium by submitting a 200-250 word abstract and a 50-100 word bio to enunciating.the.end@gmail.com no later than January 20th, 2012.

For more information, please visit our blog at www.enunciatingtheend.tumblr.com.