UPDATE: [Graduate] Sacred and Profane Meditations on a World in Translation

full name / name of organization: 
Nathan Leaman

Call For Papers: Sacred and Profane Meditations on a World in Translation

March 22, 2008
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
Keynote Speaker: Mark Dery
Abstract Deadline: January 18, 2007

Salman Rushdie once wrote, “human beings do not perceive things whole; we are not gods but
wounded creatures, cracked lenses, capable only of fractured perceptions.” In this
interdisciplinary conference, we invite original works that explore the way we construct meaning
out of historical, theoretical, and literary works.

Rushdie also writes, “Meaning is a shaky edifice we build out of scraps, dogmas, childhood
injuries, newspaper articles, chance remarks, old films, small victories, people hated, people
loved; perhaps it is because our sense of what is the case is constructed from such inadequate
materials that we defend it so fiercely, even to the death.” Does this suggest that we construct
sacred texts out of everyday experiences? That through our fragmented perceptions, we elevate
the profane and the common to the sacred? These are some questions that this conference will

Panels will include an interrogation of sacred texts, ranging from holy words to canonized works;
the past as a sacred text; profane texts, which may challenge our definitions of literature as well
as our tolerance for profanity; and issues involved in the process of translation, from one
language to another or one time period to another. We invite submissions from visual artists
that interpret or explore these topics.
We also will accept proposals for additional panel topics.

Potential topics may include: ethnic studies, gender relations, multimedia, literature and the arts,

public vs. private space, identity politics, voyeurism, surveillance, 
postmodernism, orientalism,
regionalism, postcolonialism, world literature, religion and the sciences.

We are excited to welcome as our keynote speaker Mark Deryâ€"a stranger to neither the sacred
nor the profane. Professor Dery teaches journalism and media criticism at NYU. His expertise in
popular and unpopular culture will help us to some of our questions and concerns regarding
experience and text. His books, The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink
(1999) and Escape Velocity: Cyberculture at the End of the Century (1996), have catapulted him
to the forefront of cultural criticism. His essays and editorial contributions have begun
conversations both in the classroom and the barroom discussing the impact of technology on
class, gender and race.

 Each submission should include: One cover page and one 250 word abstract for a 10-12 page
paper, short story, selection of poems, art object, or 15 minute film. Please include your title,
contact information, and area of study on your 
cover page. Artwork should be submitted as
photos with the titles written on the back. 
Each performance piece is limited to 15 minutes;
please send a DVD. 

The deadline for submissions is January 18, 2007.

Send electronic submissions and/or questions to: sdsu.grad.conference_at_gmail.com, 

Send physical submissions to:
Crisis Carnival
c/o The Department of English and Comparative Literature
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182 


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Received on Fri Dec 28 2007 - 03:59:57 EST