UPDATE: [Religion] The Machine in the Garden 2.0

full name / name of organization: 
Lindsay Cobb
contact email: 


University of North Carolina at Charlotte

January 30, 2009 ● 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Barnhardt Student Activity Center (SAC) ● 3rd Floor Salons

. . . So many inventions have been added that life seems almost made over
new . . . - Ralph Waldo Emerson

In his 1964 text The Machine in the Garden, Leo Marx investigates the
juxtaposition of the pastoral and the industrial in culture and
literature. He ultimately asserts the presence of the machine within the
garden â€" or rather, a machine that transcends the bounds of urban
industry. Thus, according to Marx’s text, life “seems almost made over
new” as the previously solid demarcation between the rural and urban
sectors of life disappears. Marx’s mid-twentieth century theory directly
applies to the current twenty-first century’s experience with rapidly
expanding technology and the conceptualization of a new digital world
without bounds.

The 9th Annual EGSA Conference aims to investigate society’s new digital
face and its ever-expanding presence within the field of English;
however, the broadened theme of the conference will encapsulate any study
of shifts in society that seem to make culture “over new.”

The conference will host two noted plenary speakers: Dr. N. Katherine
Hayles and Dr. Min-Zhan Lu. Dr Hayles is a professor of literature at
Duke University, whose work concerns the relationship between science,
literature, and technology. Dr. Lu is a professor of English, University
Scholar at the University of Louisville, whose work investigates the
distinct space of the composition classroom in a society laden with
cultural conflicts.

This conference welcomes submissions from all areas of English studies,
including literature, linguistics, rhetoric and composition, technical
writing, and creative writing. Though we encourage a broad interpretation
of our chosen theme, we ask the following questions to begin â€" but not to
exhaust â€" the investigation of the machine in the garden, version 2.0:

• How is literary criticism changing as a result of our society’s
dependence upon technology?
• Has the “Dystopia” foreshadowed in some literary texts arrived today as
a result of the technology age?
• How has critical analysis investigated shifts in society across any
historical period?

• What sort of linguistic shifts are expected as we move toward a more
technologically driven society?
• How does the advent of new jargons affect social interaction?
• How has technology opened new avenues for language studies?

Rhetoric and Composition:
• What implications will the digital shift in our society have on today’s
writing classroom?
• How might teachers need to adapt their focus in their classrooms to
meet the needs of students?
• How has technology impacted traditional rhetorical devices?

Technical Writing:
• How might the field of technical writing develop as a result of needing
more technologically savvy workers?
• How has the field of technical writing developed as a result of this
new shift in the society?
• How have these changes in society affected the writing of the

We also welcome any creative or technical writing pieces that investigate
our theme. We will have a reading of creative pieces, including but not
limited to: narratives of experiences with shifts in culture, short
stories depicting the shift in the digital world, or any genre of
creative writing that reflects the conference theme. We will also provide
a gallery to display submissions of technical writing.

Please submit an abstract or synopsis of approximately 300 words to
egsa_at_uncc.edu in the body of the e-mail or as a Microsoft Word attachment
by December 15, 2008, with “EGSA Conference” as the subject line of the e-

 From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
             more information at
Received on Thu Nov 13 2008 - 22:34:12 EST