(Im)mobility and Violence

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
English Graduate Student Society University of Montreal
contact email: 

(Im)mobility and Violence 

14th Annual Université de Montréal English Graduate Conference March 16-17, 2017 

If one were to choose two terms to describe the world today, a recurrent answer would be violence and mobility. The 20th and 21st centuries are characterized by an unprecedented surge of violence that has permeated all aspects of life both at the local and global levels. From the Classics (Homer, Virgil) through the Renaissance (Shakespeare, “discovery” narratives by Da Gama, Caminha), the 18th century (Daniel Defoe, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu), the 19th century (Mary Kingsley, Joseph Conrad), the literatures of the 20th and 21st centuries (colonial, postcolonial, diasporas, indigenous literature), the twin themes of mobility and violence have occupied a distinct position in literary and cultural studies. In those various historical periods, (im)mobility has been understood as an expression of power, agency, and freedom but also as “uprooting and dislocation.” 

This conference is interested in investigating how mobility or the lack of it may represent a violent act and how do arts in general and literature in particular mediate violence when it is related to (im)mobility. We ask what happens when violence travels or becomes “mobile” and how can (im)mobility or travel be perceived as acts of violence. We welcome insights that particularly focus on the gendered, racial, and cultural experiences of violence and (im)mobility. Another central question consists in how the literary depicts, challenges, questions, and complicates the possibilities and effects of (im)mobility and violence in the context of globalization? How do these chosen or forced (im)mobilities fight or foster violence? 

This conference wishes to produce a conversation on (im)mobility and violence. We welcome creative, literary and theoretical submissions for papers, posters and performances in English or French that reflect innovative and thought-provoking work on the intersection of (im)mobility and violence. Topics to be considered may include but are not limited to: 

Travel writing throughout the ages: the other and the gaze Travel as a genre and a motif
Violence, (im)mobility and Human Rights
Women's travel writing throughout the ages 

Victorian writing and Imperial expansion Travel slave narratives
Indigeneity, mobility, immobility
The institutionalization of (im)mobility Border-crossings and violence 

Spaces and sites of (im)mobility and violence
Textual mobility, textual violence
The figures of the voyeur, flâneur and tourist
Global/local (im)mobility and violence
Embodied mobility, embodied violence
Virtual (im)mobility and violence
Technologies, techniques and structures of violence
Racial, gendered and class-based violence and (im)mobility Violence and collective traumatic histories 

Colonialism, postcolonialism, (im)mobility and violence Violence, migration, displacement, and diaspora
The aesthetics and ethics of violence
Border studies and mobilities studies 

Please send your 250 word abstract to egssconference2017.udem@gmail.com by December 15th, 2016. Include a brief academic biography of no more than 100 words and title of the presentation. Presentations will have a 15-20 minutes duration.