CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Marking the Event - 20th Annual Tufts University Graduate Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Laurel Hankins
contact email: 

20th Annual Tufts University English Graduate Organization Conference
Friday, October 24, 2008


Keynote Address: Professor Michael Warner, Yale University

The Event changes everything. And yet we have difficulty defining the
event. How do we theorize the transitory? As community members, we mark
events with ceremonies of celebration and mourning. As scholars, we
strive to leave our critical mark. Ultimately we must ask ourselves, do
we mark the event or does the event mark us?

In celebration of our conference’s 20th Anniversary, we are interested in
exploring methods and consequences of Marking the Event. We seek to
locate remarkable events in narratives of all kinds, from the textual to
the digital, from the literary to the historical. Is our experience of
an event limited to anticipation and retrospection? Is the event simply
a way to mark time, to give the infinite an origin and an endpoint? How
do we map the temporal geography of an event? Our abilities to make
meaning are often dependent on our ability to order events. But what
happens to this ability when marking itself becomes the eventâ€"when marker
and event, signifier and signified, merge?

We are interested in the politics that determine how events are marked or
denied. Do our habits of marking sustain or neutralize the event? Some
events are read as destructive, some as productive. Where do we locate
change and how do we mark the New? What position do we occupy when we
endeavor to mark?

We encourage abstracts that explore the concept of Marking the Event from
a wide range of fields and disciplines. Topics may include but
certainly are not limited to:

Subject and Event
Ritual and Tradition
Trauma, Memory, Catharsis
Post-Evental Scenes
The Witness
Teleology and Apocalypse
Bodies Marking Time
Public Art, Memorials, and Monuments
Surveillance and the Public Criminal
Multimedia Framing Devices
The Sublime
The Archive
Technological Events
Public and Private Commemoration
Mapping the Event
Recording History

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Michael
Warner, Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University.
Professor Warner’s research and teaching interests range from early
American print culture to public sphere theory to queer theory. His
scholarship investigates how social movements emerge from print and other
media. His current project addresses secularism today through a study of
early American culture up to the Civil War. Professor Warner is the
author of The Letters of the Republic (Harvard University Press, 1990),
Fear of a Queer Planet (Minnesota Press, 1993), American Sermons (Library
of America, 1999), The Trouble With Normal (Harvard University Press,
2000), and Publics and Counterpublics (Zone Books, 2002). He has also
edited The Portable Walt Whitman (Penguin, 2003) and has co-edited The
English Literatures of America (Routledge, 1997).

Please submit a 250-500 word abstract by July 18, 2008. Abstracts must
include your name, email address, and phone number. Please direct
abstracts to:

Laurel Hankins
TEGO Conference
Department of English
East Hall 210
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

You may also send your abstract as an email attachment. Please
include “TEGO Abstract” in the subject line and send to

For further information, please contact Laurel Hankins at the above email
address or Nicole Flynn at

Sponsored By:
Tufts English Graduate Organization
Tufts University English Department

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Received on Sun Jul 06 2008 - 23:49:22 EDT