[UPDATE] "More Please: Explorations of Excess" University of Calgary Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference March 9-11, 2012

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University of Calgary Free-Exchange Conference Committee
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"More Please: Explorations of Excess": University of Calgary Free-Exchange Conference March 9-11, 2012

University of Calgary's Free-Exchange Committee will be hosting its annual, interdisciplinary graduate student conference March 9-11, 2012 at the University of Calgary and is looking for contributors to critically or creatively engage with and explore this year's theme of excess.

"Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess." —Oscar Wilde

"Excess generally causes reaction, and produces a change in the opposite direction, whether it be in the seasons, or in individuals, or in governments." —Plato

The 2012 Free-Exchange Conference aims to achieve an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas of, and perspectives on, any interpretation of the topic of excess. We seek both papers and creative presentations on the phenomenon of excess as it is manifested in history, culture and society, art and literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. We are especially interested in the productive or destructive nature of excess. What have, or what might have, ventures and pursuits carried out to excess contributed to (or detracted from) our understanding and comprehensition of the world and human nature? How do we define excess, and conversely, what constitutes "normal"?

Critically-acclaimed writer Margaret Christakos will serve as opening keynote speaker. Christakos has published eight collections of poetry and a novel, including Excessive Love Prothesis (Coach House), What Stirs (Coach House), and Welling (Your Scrivener Press). She has been a nominee for the Ontario Trillium Book Award and The Pat Lowther Memorial Award, and a winner of the ReLit Award for Poetry and the Bliss Carman Poetry Award. Since 2006 she has been teaching in the Creative Writing program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies where she teaches the course Influency: A Toronto Poetry Salon. She is currently also Associate Faculty with the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Dr. Michael Tavel Clarke, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Calgary, will provide a closing keynote address. Clarke teaches American literature and culture since the Civil War, with a special interest in cultural studies and New Historicism, theories of the body, and gender studies. He is the author of These Days of Large Things (University of Michigan Press), which "explores the centrality of size to American culture and national identity and the preoccupation with physical stature that pervaded American thought" (amazon.com). Clarke is currently at work on a cultural history of the iconic figure of the "little guy" that explores changing conceptions of class and masculinity in U.S. culture.

This year's conference welcomes multi-modal proposals: presentations may range from historical and theoretical explorations (e.g. academic papers) to creative interpretations of excess (e.g. poetry and short works of fiction).
Submissions that explore "excess" (and its obverse) from a diverse range of fields and disciplines are encouraged. Possible topics for panels or papers include, but are not limited to, the following:
-excess in the form of obsessive, compulsive, or addictive behaviour
-excess as transgression
-the ethics of excess
-the aesthetics of excess
-excess in the form of societal or cultural consumption
-literary or cultural decadence (e.g.: the fin de siècle, dandyism, prolixity/garrulousness)
-excess in pop culture
-excess as exceeding boundaries and limits of normalcy

For academic papers please submit a 250-300 word abstract or, for creative projects, a 100-200 word artistic statement as well as a sample of your work and list of publications, if applicable.

All submissions are to be submitted in an electronic e-mail attachment (preferably MS Word) to freeex@ucalgary.ca and are due no later than January 16th, 2012.

Hollie Adams
PhD Student
Department of English
University of Calgary

Jess Nicol
MA Student
Department of English
University of Calgary