TRANS-AM :: Losing/Becoming Self (February 12-13, 2015)

full name / name of organization: 
Louisiana State University English Graduate Student Association

Individuals from around the globe travel to Louisiana early in the year to participate in Mardi Gras celebrations. Masks, costumes and reverie encourage participants to shed certain prefigured aspects of identity in order to become something new. Much of the excitement these traditions allow is rooted in the idea that one can undergo a personal, transformative experience by relinquishing a prefigured sense of self.

Recent theoretical efforts (Animal Studies, Object Oriented Ontology, Cyborg Studies, etc.) challenge notions of the knowable, privileged self, expanding concepts of subjectivity beyond the human. Such readings challenge us to abandon certain routine methods of human engagement with worldly objects and systems in order to conceptualize a new self: one that recognizes its own anthropocentric view of the world in order to distance itself from this given perspective.

Our call for papers this year is looking for graduate and exceptional undergraduate papers from all scholarly fields exploring not only performative processes of subjective becoming and transfiguration, but also larger, theoretical reworkings of individuation, autonomy, agency and selfhood.

● Identity and spatiality
● Intersubjectivity
● Methods of exchange with radical alterity
● Identity of/within networks or community
● Subjectivity as represented or performed across various media; subjectivity as determined by communicative exchange
● Subjective temporalities: steadfast or enduring selfhood; ephemeral, wayward, fading identities
● Negotiating and performing multiple identities

Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length. Please submit your abstract of 250-300 words as well as your University affiliation to the following email by December 19, 2014:
Dustin Zemel and Amanda Swenson Mardi Gras Co-Chairs
mardigrasconference2015@gmail.com

We are happy to welcome Ian Bogost as this year's keynote speaker.

Bio (excerpted from his website):
Dr. Ian Bogost is an award-winning author and game designer whose work focuses on videogames and computational media. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also holds an appointment in the Scheller College of Business. Bogost is Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, an independent game studio, and a Contributing Editor at The Atlantic. Bogost's research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on political games and artgames. He is author How To Do Things with Videogames, and Alien Phenomenology, or What it's Like to Be a Thing. Bogost's games about social and political issues cover topics as varied as airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu, and tort reform. His games have been played by millions of people and exhibited internationally at venues including the Telfair Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.