UPDATE: Trans–– : Negotiations and Resistance (grad) (1/20/06; 4/7/06–4/8/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Mary-Ann Davis
contact email: 

Trans --: Negotiations and Resistance

19th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference
Association of English Graduate Students
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
April 7 - 8, 2006

* Keynote speakers
* Abstract deadline extension
* Conference website


We are pleased to announce critical keynote speaker Juana Maria Rodriguez, and creative keynote speaker Pireeni Sundaralingam, with Colm O'Riain.

Juana M. Rodriguez received her B.A. in Liberal studies from San Francisco State University, San Francisco in 1988, M.A. in English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, New York in 1991, and her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from University of California, Berkeley in 1998. She currently teaches in the Women and Gender Studies Program at UC Davis, and is the author is Queer Latinidad.

Pireeni Sundaralingam was recently named as one of America's "Emerging Writers" by the literary journal Ploughshares. She has won several awards and grants for her poetry, including the prestigious Rosenthal fellowship from PEN USA. She is editor of Writing the Lines of Our Hands, the first anthology of American South Asian poetry. Her work will be featured in the documentary film "Veil of Silence" and in The International Museum of Women in 2006. The poems in her forthcoming first collection (Margin Lands) move from fragmented personal memories of censorship and genocide in Sri Lanka to universal images of immigration and repatriation in the West. In her spare time, Pireeni is a cognitive scientist. Colm O'Riain, from the poetry and music performance group Word & Violin, will join Pireeni on several collaborative pieces.


We have extended the deadline for abstract submission to January 20, 2006. Please e-mail an electronic one-page abstract (250-words, double-spaced), including your name, affiliation, and contact information to uscaegs_at_gmail.com.



Please note that the dates for the conference and abstract submission are in the process of being updated.


Trans-- : Negotiations and Resistance

19th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference
Association of English Graduate Students
University of Southern California, Los Angeles
April 7 - 8, 2006

Keynote speakers:
Juana Maria Rodriguez
Pireeni Sundaralingam, with Colm O'Riain

Trans- is a prefix circulating with increasing frequency, not only in the titles and subject matter of our intellectual and creative work, but also in the terms we use to define academic and creative selves. Trans- articulates projects that intersect with, but also work across multiple disciplinary affiliations. This conference does not seek to reductively unify the reach and potential of trans- work. The work of trans-, irrespective of specific invocations, might be viewed as a unified movement of transition, a movement between, or a movement across, and therefore beyond the terms that trans- operates within. This movement between, across, beyond is not necessarily an easy process. Trans- work is only able to map alternate spaces through negotiation and resistance. What does trans- negotiate and resist? What resists and negotiates trans-? Why should and do we care about the work of trans-, the movement of trans-, and the creation of alternate spaces that trans- implies?

This conference poses trans- as a question to be explored from a multiplicity of positions, politics, and performances, utilizing multiple mediums, methods, and genres. Participants may be inclined to invoke the prefix and terms directly, or prefer to perform trans- work without directly referencing the prefix. Both proposals, and a combination / revision of the two, are welcome.

Some examples of terms and questions that potential conference papers may want to consider are:

transnational, transgender, transdisciplinary: What kinds of spaces, institutions, constellations, or new possibilities do we seek to create when we attempt to negotiate between and resist given identificatory categories such as gender, race, or nationality? To what degree are the discreet categories that we seek to challenge also held in place by the efforts of trans-?

What are the benefits or drawbacks of employing transhistorical, transfeminist, or transnational methods in our work? Why do employ these approaches and what are their goals?

translation, transfiction, transgenre: How can we imagine negotiations and resistance as emerging at the level of the text, and discourse in general? What are the politics of translation and how do we negotiate and use them? How are generic categories—film, poetry, performance, fiction, memoir, etc.—affected / resisted when we identify work as transgeneric or when we create transgenre work?

transcribe, transfix, transact, transcend(ence), transcription, transfigure, transmission: What trans-es seem out of fashion, less "of the moment," and why? Has trans- ever been in fashion?

transgressions, transformations: What does it mean to negotiate between or across disciplinary boundaries? Must work that effectively transcends or transgresses other types of boundaries also necessarily be transdisciplinary?

What are the differences between trans– and interdisciplinary work and what are the political stakes of that distinction?

Of course, the above terms and questions will transcend the temporary boundaries we've given them. In fact, we encourage critical and / or creative work that translates, transforms, transgresses, or works at answering some of the aforementioned questions. We seek proposals that will contribute to a truly transdisciplinary conference, including projects that attempt to transcend creative and critical boundaries.

***Deadline for Submission: January 20th, 2006***

Potential papers should run 15-20 minutes. Please e-mail an electronic one-page abstract (250-words, double-spaced), including your name, affiliation, address, phone number, and e-mail address to:


Decisions will be made no later than mid-February 2006.

* * * * * * *
"I can't help but dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it. It would multiply not judgments but signs of existence; it would summon them, drag them from their sleep. Perhaps it would invent them sometimes -- all the better. All the better. Criticism that hands down sentences sends me to sleep; I'd like a criticism of scintillating leaps of imagination. It would not be sovereign or dressed in red. It would bear the lightning of possible storms."

-- Michel Foucault, "The Masked Philosopher," from Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth (Essential Foucault v.1)

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sat Jan 14 2006 - 09:46:38 EST