CFP Université de Montréal: Literature on the Margins, March 11-12, 2011

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English Graduate Students' Society, Université de Montréal
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CFP: Literature on the Margins, March 11-12, 2011

The 2011 EGSS (Université de Montréal) 8th annual Graduate Conference, "Literature on the Margins," invites submissions that consider notions of the marginal within both our contemporary moment and in the past. This conference seeks to address and interrogate the shifting relations between the centre and the periphery, culture and counter-culture, as well as the canon and its margins. It will also examine the manner in which what is conceptualized as marginal tends to replace the dominant once it becomes marketable, a movement often seen as robbing the margin of its oppositional (or dissenting) quality. Thus, while Deleuze and Guatarri argue that all literatures should seek to become minor, a gesture which would in fact obliterate the minor were it to be actualized, other voices (such as Smaro Kamboureli in her critique of the Multiculturalism Act) prove weary of what could be deemed a state-sponsored attempts to control and contain difference and diversity. Although this theme suggests a strong focus on postcolonial and sexual identity politics, this conference also wishes to extend the discussion to issues of genre, cultural studies, film, as well as canon revisions.

The questions this conference will address include: Must dissent always return as the same, or is there actual subversive power in the relation between the centre and the periphery? Must margins always be explored in their relation to the dominant? Are the margins of our society included, elided, or ultimately ignored? What does it mean to be marginal, and how is this experience portrayed in text, art and media?

We invite papers from a variety of disciplines and time periods. Our definition of marginal is intentionally open ended. Possible topics include:

* The definition of marginal: textual portrayals of exile, concepts of identity, theories of marginality, the politics of marginality
* Where marginality meets the mainstream: contact zones, power relationships, border crossings, translation
* Marginal genres: experimental poetics, graphic novels, hybridity, science fiction, the avant-garde
* The influence/effects of marginality in history: textual accounts of colonialism, slavery, encounters with the 'other,' rights movements
* The marginal in pop culture: cultural representations of ethnicity, fetishization, alternative culture, rebellion, utopias/dystopias

Please send your 250-400 word abstracts, along with a 50 word biographical statement, to  no later than 1 January 2011. Further information will be posted to, including information on keynote speakers and travel to Montreal.