Kennesaw State University's Second World Literature and Film Conference
Judith Butler, in the recent monograph Frames of War, argues that the mass media in times of crisis, whether from war, natural disaster, or economic meltdown, iterates certain normative values that shape the ways we react to the loss of others' lives. In short, these media images work to normalize the conditions that make some lives "obviously" worth grieving over and others not. However, as she also contends, they do so in non-deterministic ways: "to call the frame into question is to show that the frame never quite contained the scene it was meant to limn […] The frame never quite determined precisely what it is we see, think, recognize, and apprehend. Something exceeds the frame that troubles our sense of reality."
The 2013 World Literature and Film Conference at Kennesaw State University, in responding to the ethic of Butler's work, will call into question the ways that certain texts frame women's lives, as they mediate, although never fully capture, our sense of women's embattlement in "scenes" fraught with economic shocks, sociopolitical upsets, and revolutionary violence. We thus invite scholars across disciplines to consider the representation of women in relation to the following topics, especially as they concern intermedia (e.g., novels, films, music, poetry, architecture, etc.) and transnational frames for valuing others:
The role of feminist aesthetics and criticism in making sense of geopolitical issues
The effects of revolution, catastrophe, or free market fetishism on women
The intersection of gender with race, class, age, sexuality, ethnicity, or disability
Queer, straight, or asexual expressions of women in transcultural contexts
The objectification of women in media utterances
The fear of menstruation or castration in media representations of women
The subjectivation of women in non-Western contexts
The treatment of women and women's issues in Leftist or Rightist discourse
Abjection or the monstrous feminine in relation to torture, terror, and collective trauma
Textual constructions of mothering, matriarchy, or infertility
Scientific, religious, or pornographic constructions of female embodiment
The male or female gaze
Conference papers should read no longer than 20 minutes. Please send a 300-word abstract and a 50-word biographical sketch to Larrie Dudenhoeffer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Khalil Elayan at email@example.com by January 23, 2013. Kennesaw State University is located in Kennesaw, GA (North-metro Atlanta area). The conference is tentatively scheduled for April 5th (the reception) through April 7th.