7th Annual Graduate Conference: "alt/" (March 16-17, 2013; abstracts due 12/15)

full name / name of organization: 
Northeastern University English Graduate Student Association

"Alt," neither a word nor a prefix in the grammatical sense, has nevertheless been a generative concept in contemporary scholarly interrogations of non-normative ways of engaging with and inhabiting the world. Various fields and disciplines have begun to investigate the meaning, value, and application of alt, inviting critical discourses around questions of alterities, alternations, and alternatives. From considering relations with others to shifting theoretical frameworks to imagining alternate realities, alt complicates periodizations, genres, identities, subjectivities, epistemologies, and discourses.

The Northeastern University English Graduate Student Association's (NU EGSA) seventh annual conference, alt/, is interested in discussions of how a consideration of alt transforms the production, reception, and interpretation of cultural materials. In the spirit of alt, we seek work that examines or engages with such alternative conceptualizations, methodologies, and readings. Our conference invites papers from across the disciplines – including, but not limited to, literary studies, visual studies, rhetoric and composition, sociology, anthropology, psychology, philosophy, religion, political science, the digital humanities, gender studies, and cinema studies.

The keynote address will be delivered by José Esteban Muñoz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Performance Studies at New York University.

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words toaltconference2013@gmail.com by December 15, 2012. Include your name and institutional address along with your proposal.

Questions to consider might include:
• How do encounters with others shape identity and sense of self?

• How can the concept of the Other and Otherness be rethought outside of established cultural frameworks?

• How can the concepts of multilingualism and translingualism reshape composition pedagogy within the increasingly globalized classroom?

• What is the relationship between alterity and performativity? Is performance a way to confront alterity as something that must be overcome or to preserve it as something that must be valued?

• How do alternative frameworks for imagining political space outside of the territorially-bounded state complicate notions of identity and community?

• What can work in the Digital Humanities do to influence scholarly research practices?

• What can expanding and alternative notions of sexuality do to problematize what Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick refers to as the "calculus of homo/hetero"?

• How does the alternation and exchange of affect clarify understandings of the infrastructures of interpersonal communication and group formation?

• How do alternative realities complicate or extend our notions of space, reality, and ideality?

• In what ways do recent theories of globalization and supranationalism offer an alternative conceptual framework to postcoloniality?

• How do alternative pedagogical practices like multimodal composition revise understandings of the writing classroom and its goals?