[UPDATE] The Outlaw: Trespass, Disfigurement, Domestication [DEADLINE EXTENDED]; SUNY Albany; Wai Chee Dimock +

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University at Albany, SUNY; English Graduate Student Organization
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The Outlaw: Trespass, Disfigurement, Domestication

April 1-2, 2011


Keynote Speaker: Wai Chee Dimock
Creative Keynote Speaker: Doug Rice

"The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the "outlaw," the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order." —Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish

What is the outlaw? Today, the outlaw presents us with a number of paradoxes: politicians identify as "going rogue" while the U.S. engages in war with "rogue states"; atlases seem rigidly divided into "friend" and "enemy" while everywhere signs portend the collapse of foreign wars into the everyday by imploring their readers to "Report Suspicious Activity." The outlaw--and its pseudonyms and cohorts: the bandit, the brigand, the criminal, and the terrorist--circulate in complex, and often contradictory, ways. For instance, the outlaw threatens the sovereign and yet is sovereignty's possibility. Simultaneously alluring and terrorizing, the outlaw realizes and reorients desires while giving shape to national nightmares and personal terrors. What may be deviant to one is prophetic to another; while silenced as heretic and dismissed as irrational, the outlaw is also the opportunity for cultural, political, and scientific revolutions.

For our 9th Annual English Graduate Student Conference, we ask for submissions that address several trajectories. First, papers that consider how the outlaw appears thematically, figuratively, and/or historically in literature, cinema, and other media. Second, papers that renegotiate conceptual relationships of inside and outside as well as papers that address theories associated with or condemned as "outlaw." A special panel will seek to theorize the outlawing of disciplines and provide responses and/or innovative solutions to what has been called the "crisis in the humanities." Finally, we also are planning a creative portion of the conference and encourage creative submissions from graduate students that respond to the theme, particularly those that challenge notions of genre, performance, and poetics.

We encourage submissions from graduate students working in any field, historical period, genre, or scholarly discipline. Critical abstracts should be limited to 250-300 words; creative abstracts should include a 150-300 word description and a 2-3 page sample. Submit abstracts to: egsoalbany@gmail.com by February 14, 2011.

Keynote speakers will include Wai Chee Dimock (William Lampson Professor of English and American Studies at Yale University) and Doug Rice (Associate Professor of English at California State University, Sacramento).

Possible areas of inquiry may include, but are not limited to:

•Prostitution, outlaw sexualities, and the prohibited body
•Institutional and commercial appropriations of the outlaw
•Psychological, sociological, and statistical analyses of criminality
•The populism of the outlaw--public identification with outlaw figures and/or the romance of the outside
•Gender: transgression, plurality, and representation
•Cultural practices of "inherent transgression" (Zizek)
•Law, legality, and legal literacy
•Sedition, exile, state subversion, and treason
•Sovereignty, animals, and technology
•Prison writing; representations of incarceration in art and literature
•The subaltern as outlaw; identity politics in relation to the law
•The rhetoric and sociology of civil disobedience
•Popular culture and spectacle
•Object-oriented philosophy and other ontologies
•Rebellion in, beyond, and across states