[UPDATE] Composing Spaces: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, 5/13/11

full name / name of organization: 
University of Cincinnati, Department of English & Comparative Literature

Friday, May 13, 2011

The purpose of this conference is to examine meanings of space in a time of cyberspace, non-space, third space, queer space, and other emerging formulations of space that challenge predominantly physical, material constructs. How do we understand our art, our craft, our work, our relationships, and ourselves in spaces that have been transformed in a digital age? To what extent do classic dichotomies such as city-rural, urban-suburban, and public-private hold up in contemporary life? As we create places in our reshaped settings and lives, what are viable ways to examine the meanings of space? We are interested in efforts at composing—creating, producing, mapping, arranging, writing, developing, shaping, designing—and in the various ways that space can be understood through these practices.

With relevance to literature, composition, rhetoric, and cultural studies, the composition of space can be understood as a significant and unifying concept across (and beyond) English Studies. Respecting this diversity of research interests, we encourage projects of all kinds, including (but not limited to) pedagogical experiments and practices; explorations of academic or graduate life; theoretical, spatial, rhetorical, or critical readings of texts and places; and poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or any hybrid thereof that addresses conference themes.

We encourage presenters to experiment with the genre of their presentations. In addition to delivering a paper in the traditional manner, presenters should feel welcome to take advantage of multimodal delivery. Presentations might take the form of a PowerPoint project, a short film, an interactive discussion or workshop, some combination of these, or other possibilities.

Proposals for individual and panel presentations might address the following issues/considerations:

    • How space is composed in literature/how literature composes spaces
    • Technology, cyberspace, and social networking
    • Postmodern and cultural geography
    • Spaces of resistance
    • The cultural significance of cities, rural areas, and frontiers
    • Map making and the mapping of meaning
    • Public space and counterpublics
    • Queer space
    • Theories of space, place, and non-space (freeways, malls, television, etc.)
    • Travel writing
    • Third space and cultural hybridity in postcolonialism
    • Public and private spheres, domesticity, and gender
    • Pedagogical uses of places and/or cyberspaces

All proposals should include your name, presentation title, university affiliation, mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, details of any technology you may require, and the anticipated format of presentation (paper, multimodal, interactive, etc.). Additionally:

    • Individual critical proposals should include a 300 word abstract.
    • Panel proposals should include a 300 word abstract for each individual presentation (3 to 4), and a 300 word abstract for the panel as a whole.
    • Creative submissions should include the full text of a work suitable for a 20-minute reading.

Proposals should be submitted electronically in .doc or .rtf format by Friday, March 18, to ComposingSpaces@gmail.com. Please send inquiries to the same address.