"The Human and the Non-human": MEGAA Graduate Symposium, 3/22/2013

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Miami English Graduate and Adjunct Association (MEGAA)
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The 10th Annual Miami University English Graduate Student and Adjunct Association (MEGAA) Symposium

In Conversation with the 2012-13 Altman Program:

The Human and the Non-Human

March 22nd, 2013 -- Oxford, OH

"Beyond the edge of the so-called human, beyond it but by no means on a single opposing side, rather than "The Animal" or "Animal Life" there is already a heterogeneous multiplicity of the living or more precisely...a multiplicity of organizations of relations between living and dead" - Jacques Derrida

Recent conversations, including posthumanist and transhumanist theories, have raised questions about what the "human" actually is. The non-human as a category can often objectify human others, animal others, and machine others, placing them in a taxonomical hierarchy: that which is sub-human. As Derrida states above, there is a multiplicity of life that can incorporate and surround both the human and the non-human and, yet, we need not position them as opposites. How do we understand ourselves as living beings in relationship to the "lives," whether natural or artificial, alongside which we live?

To fully understand this interdisciplinary question, we solicit papers from all disciplines exploring the way we interpret the human and the non-human. What do the categories of human and non-human truly signify, and how does an understanding of these ideas permeate our daily interactions with the world around us? By considering the literary, historical, and cultural perspectives--in addition to sociological and scientific ones--of the human and non-human, we hope to better articulate the gap that exists not only between these two categories, but within the categories themselves.

Possible submissions may (but do not need to) address some of the following areas:

Human and non-human natures and environments
Human other/other human
The (in)humanity of colonialism/imperialism
Human and/or animal liminality
Mythological and theological representations of human and non-human
Human and non-human animal rights, law, ethics
Issues of human and non-human labor in a global economy
Monstrosities and depictions of humans and non-humans in film, television, advertising, and performance
Anthropomorphism as trope
Biopolitics, speciesism, and biological constructions of human and non-human

Translation between the human and the non-human

Human-machine relationships, cybernetics, and cyborgs
Intersections between Sciences and the Humanities

We are also looking to host several readings of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction, throughout the conference and welcome submissions of original work. If submitting creative work, please indicate you are doing so on the proposal submission form.

Both single paper and full panel submissions are encouraged. Along with proposals for traditional academic paper presentations, we encourage proposals for non-traditional presentations including performances, multimedia displays, discussion formats, interactive sessions, poster presentations, artwork, and video or photography installations.*

Featured Speakers
A list of featured speakers will be announced on the conference website at a later date.

Submitting Proposals
Download the proposal form here. Please provide all speaker information and presentation titles on the proposal form. Remove all personal identifiers from the proposal itself. Please limit both individual and panel proposals to 500 words.
Proposal deadline: January 31, 2013: 11:59 p.m. EST
Email completed forms: Symposium Committee, MEGAAblog@gmail.com
Hard copy submissions are also accepted and can be mailed to:
English Department
356 Bachelor Hall
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056

Official acceptances will be emailed to participants by February 14, 2013.

*If submitting visual artwork or a poster, you must be present with your work and be prepared to give a short introduction and answer questions at the end of the session.