Economy: Moral Challenges and Opportunities

deadline for submissions: 
September 9, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Western Illinois University's English Graduate Organization/Sigma Tau Delta
contact email: 

Call for Papers

13th Annual EGO / ΣΤΔ Conference


Economy: Moral Challenges and Opportunities


The English Graduate Organization (EGO) and the Sigma Tau Delta (ΣΤΔ) chapter of Western Illinois University call for paper or panel proposals from graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty for our thirteenth annual conference in Macomb, IL on Saturday, October 1st, 2016.


Literary critics have long used the concept of economy in a multitude of ways to understand literary texts, from internal economies of forms and genres to the profound effects of economic structures that produce and constrain knowledge and literacy. From the production and distribution of writing to the funding of universities, economics is often the determining factor in what is written, what is read, and how it is all interpreted. Critical movements including Marxism and new historicism are steeped in economic understandings of literature and writing practices, while deconstructionists, gender and sexuality theorists, critical race theorists, and postcolonial critics all speak of both global economics and specific symbolic economies of meaning. Writing studies is also steeped in questions of economics that define the possibilities for literacy and social justice and that undergird all pedagogies.


Scholars of literature and writing studies are hardly dispassionate or uninterested ethical actors. At the heart of humanism are serious moral and ethical aspirations, but these are always defined and constrained in the last analysis by economics. From the history of colonialism to contemporary debates about the value of a humanities degree, meaning and money are always deeply intertwined.


Dr. Jennifer Ruth will deliver the keynote address “Flannery O’Connor’s Boxcars, Hannah Arendt’s Conscience” on Friday, Sept. 30th, 2016 at 7pm in Morgan Hall, Room 109.


This year, we invite proposals for papers or for complete panels that address literature, writing, ethics, and economy.


Possible topics include but are not limited to:

—Literature and Economics

—Writing and Economics 

—Literary Criticism and Economics

—Literary Forms, Genres, and Economics

—Literary Celebrity and Economics

—Canons and Economics

—Shakespeare and Economics

—Symbolic Economies

—Postcolonial Economies

—Literature, Writing, and Sustainability

—Economics and Pedagogies, Radical and Otherwise

—English Studies and the Economics of the Contemporary University


Please send 250-word abstracts or inquires to by September 9th, 2016.


The English Graduate Organization / Sigma Tau Delta Conference

The Department of English

124 Simpkins Hall

Macomb, IL 61455


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