49th Annual Comparative Literature Conference, April 24-25, CSU Long Beach

full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Vlatka Velcic, Department of Comparative World Literature and Classics, CSU Long Beach
contact email: 

49th Annual Comparative Literature Conference
Department of Comparative World Literature and Classics
California State University, Long Beach
April 24 and 25, 2014

Connections and Intersections: Interdisciplinarity Within and Among Disciplines

Our global world presents us with complex issues that can be investigated only from multiple perspectives, resulting in the adoption of interdisciplinary approaches in many traditional academic areas and the formation of many new interdisciplinary fields. Arguably, it is hard to accomplish substantial research in any discipline without addressing “interdisciplinarity” and using some interdisciplinary methods.

Comparative Literature has been an essentially interdisciplinary field since its formation as an academic discipline. Comparatists examine representations across linguistic and cultural borders but also incorporate methodologies from related and diverse fields such as history, psychology, linguistics, political science, art history, and many others. Interdisciplinarity enables comparatists to examine difficult and timeless but at the same time urgent or emergent questions on how humans represent and form their historical and cultural identities and how they interpret and construct meaning(s) in historically and culturally specific contexts.

We invite 250-word proposals for 15-20 minute individual presentations or one-hour panel discussions with up to 6 speakers on interdisciplinary connections and intersections in Comparative Literature and other academic fields. Specifically, the proposals might address some of the following issues and topics:

• What are the specific challenges of interdisciplinary research within Comparative Literature and other disciplines that envision themselves as “interdisciplinary”?
• How do Comparative Literature theorists or other academic disciplines define and use “interdisciplinarity”? What are the similarities and differences between different definitions of “interdisciplinarity” among different academic areas?
• Which specific interdisciplinary connections provide the most useful in research and pedagogical practice?
• How can the increasing urgency of global issues such as “technology,” “energy,” “medical care,” “poverty,” “violence,” “environment,” or “migration” not only benefit from but also demand “interdisciplinary” approaches?
• How do professors employ “interdisciplinarity” in their university classrooms?
• How does the new push toward the use of “on-line technologies” relate to and benefit from “interdisciplinary” approaches?
• How do administrators envision “interdisciplinarity” and how is it valued in current university models?
• Does “interdisciplinarity” relate to “marketablility,” especially for students with degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In addition to these potential topics, we are particularly interested in examples of effective interdisciplinary research and analysis, whether in Comparative Literature or other academic fields.

Send your proposals to csulbconf14@gmail.com. Deadline: March 15, 2014

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