[Final Deadline!] Undisciplined Readings: Rethinking Practices and Methods

deadline for submissions: 
December 20, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Department of Comparative Literature, University of Michigan
contact email: 

***Call for Papers***


Undisciplined Readings: Rethinking Practices and Methods

21st Annual CLIFF Graduate Conference

March 17-18th, 2017

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Keynote: Professor Ilya Kaminsky


Submission deadline: December 20th, 2016


Reading practices, in many ways, form the basis of our discipline. However, we often take them for granted, or remain unreflective about their consequences. Whether it is our close reading methodology or more broadly the perspective we adopt, ways of reading require renewed attention and scrutiny.


This conference seeks to explore reading practices at their most basic level, as well as in their most developed states, which may define entire fields; it also aims to highlight crucial differences between these practices, which are often neglected. Critical race or feminist methodologies, for example, seek not only to draw our attention to certain texts, but also to transform the reading experience itself.


How we read reflects the intended and at times unintended audiences of works, as well as the possibility of “reading against” texts towards alternative political or ethical goals. The objectives of our reading practices are at times just as ambiguous as our methodologies. How should we read,andwhat sort of readers should we be? And what are the consequences of these practices?


In drawing attention to this topic, we hope to reflect on our own methods and assumptions, as well as attempt to imagine new ways of reading. Proposed papers may be specific in their reference to one or a few works, or may more broadly address reading practices in various fields. We encourage papers from Comparative Literature as well as across a wide range of disciplines to help us respond to these questions.


This year we welcome Professor Ilya Kaminsky as our keynote speaker.


Ilya Kaminsky is a poet and Professor of Poetry and Director of the Creative Writing Program at San Diego State University. He is the author of Dancing in Odessa, which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award among others, and co-editor of a number of anthologies of world poetry. He has translated and co-translated several books, most recently Marina Tsvetaeva's Dark Elderberry Branch (Alice James Books), with Jean Valentine. Kaminsky’s work urges us to rethink the practices of translation and self-translation, and the political potential of reading, writing and translating.


Suggested papers may address but need not be limited to: reading practices; reader participation; complicit reading; self-reflective texts/authors; un/intended audiences; apostrophe; feminist methodologies; critical race methodologies; reading against canons; alternative canons; surface reading; close reading; hermeneutics of suspicion; paranoid/reparative reading; anachronistic reading; film studies; visual art; musicology/music theory; social sciences; metaliterature; translation as reading; writers as readers; characters as readers; literacy/illiteracy.


Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted by email to cliff2017@umich.edu by December 20, 2016.Please also direct any questions you may have to this email.


Adrienne Jacaruso, Yael Kenan, Duygu Ula, and Peter Vorissis

CLIFF 2017 Organizing Committee