ECONOMY OF FORM -- Thursday, October 29, 2009

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21st Annual Tufts University English Graduate Organization Conference
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Keynote Address: Professor Franco Moretti, Stanford University
Economy can imply plenitude or lack, wisdom or deprivation. Forms impose limits and shape possibilities, provide models and restrict meanings. Lately, the word "economy" has been synonymous with collapse and structural failure. As the world reevaluates the mechanisms of capitalism, we want to take this opportunity to reevaluate our systems of intellectual trade, to interrogate how our ideas are formed and how they function.

We seek to explore the connections between form, value, economy and meaning, to examine their origin and evolution. What forms of investigation add value to our research? How can humanistic and scientific inquiries inform each other? As we imagine the future of form, we are challenged to investigate the role of inherited systems. When evaluating the costs of this inheritance, we must ask, who pays and who profits? Can forms anticipate successes and failures? Are damaged systems worth saving? What does our investment in form buy us?

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

Bad Form
Formal Schemes—deception, hoaxes, plagiarism Politics of Form
Free form
The Literary Marketplace
Visual and Performing Arts
Parody and Pastiche
Utopian Communities
Wanting and Owning
Process—drafts, plans, practice
Adaptation and Translation
Reparative Criticism
Bodies and Systems
The Sublime
Building and Deconstructing

We are pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Franco Moretti, who teaches English and Comparative Literature at Stanford. Professor Moretti researches literature from a global perspective and his work challenges scholars to question accepted disciplinary approaches to literary study. He has given the Gauss seminars at Princeton, the Beckman lectures at Berkeley, and the Carpenter lectures at Chicago, and he contributes regularly to the New Left Review. Some of his most notable publications include Signs Taken for Wonders (1983), The Way of the World (1987), Modern Epic (1995), Atlas of the European Novel 1800-1900 (1998), and Graphs, Maps, Trees (2005).

Please submit a 250-500 word abstract, including your name, email address and affiliation by July 10, 2008. Please direct abstracts to:

Nicole Flynn
TEGO Conference
Department of English
East Hall 210
Tufts University
Medford, MA 02155

For further information, please contact Nicole Flynn at the above email address or Erin Kappeler at

Sponsored By:
Tufts English Graduate Organization
Tufts University English Department