Precarious Subjects: Borders, Interstices, and Instabilities in Literature and Culture, April 1-2, 2011

full name / name of organization: 
Eric D. Smith and Holly Flint/ Department of English Graduate Student Conference, University of Alabama in Huntsville
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Keynote speakers: José E. Muñoz and Ernesto Quiñonez

We invite graduate student submissions from all areas of literary and cultural studies and from all critical and theoretical perspectives that explore the capacity of the precarious condition to call into being new subjects or to articulate novel expressions of subjectivity. From its recent deployment as an organizational concept in the study of labor to its use more broadly to label a condition of self in the era of globalization, precarity has emerged as a central topic of interest for sociology, philosophy, and cultural studies. For those of us interested in the production and interpretation of literary and cultural artifacts, the notion of precarity has any number of disruptive or generative implications. For instance, what happens to traditional formulas for literary periodization, generic classification, or even disciplinarity itself in the precarious cultural moment? How does precarity invite a renewed interrogation of both canons and margins, of ethnic, national, racial, sexual, gender, or class identifications?

Papers may include considerations of the precarious, broadly conceived, in topics such as the following:
Critical race theory
Postcolonial studies
Film studies
Queer theory
Citizenship studies
Border studies
Science Fiction
Science and technology
Comics/graphic novels
Genre studies
Literary/historical periodization

Please submit a 200-300 word abstract by February 1, 2011, to