Unmasking Masquerade: Exploring Disguise and Display Across the Humanities (14-16 Feb 2014)

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McGill University English Graduate Student Association

"'Masquerades, I have generally heard said, were more silly than wicked,'" declares one respectable character in Samuel Richardson's novel Sir Charles Grandison (1754), "'But they are now, I am convinced, the most profligate of all diversions.'" Richardson's disapproval of the bal masqué's vulgar dissipation represents just one incarnation of a rich and multivalent concept. In various guises masquerade capers and creeps through the humanities, eluding any single form or function: noun or verb? literal or figurative? sinister or celebratory? deceitful or mischievous? We are seeking papers, panels, and creative projects that are inspired by this panoply of meaning to address the idea of masquerade in any way – material and/or theoretical. Submissions are welcome from all disciplines of the humanities, including but not limited to: literature, film, television, drama, visual arts, cultural studies, history, philosophy, geography, politics, religious studies, architecture, design, and digital humanities.

Submitters might consider, for example:

- festive masquerades: carnival, bacchanal, bal masqué, pageant, commedia dell'arte, holiday celebration
- temporal masquerades: anachronism, non-linear narration, tradition, myth and legend
- spatial masquerades: sets and setting, decoration, camouflage, dislocation, literary cartography
- masquerades of identity: gender, role-playing/role-reversal, authenticity, performance, fashion, costume, disguise
- masquerades of language: metafiction, translation, unreliable narration, double entendre
- masquerades of genre: adaptation, satire, religious ceremony, morality plays, mockumentary, reality television
- theories of masquerade: poststructuralism, postcolonialism, queer theory, posthumanism

Please send your 200-word abstract and a brief bio to mcgillmasquerade@gmail.com by 15 November 2013. Website coming soon, conference events TBA.