DEADLINE TODAY - OUR STORIES: Central Illinois Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference 2018

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2017
full name / name of organization: 
Central Illinois Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at Illinois State University
contact email: 

Update: We've extended the proposal deadline to December 15, 2017!

The second annual Central Illinois Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, hosted by the Society of English Graduate Scholars, is now accepting presentation proposals. This year’s conference theme is “Our Stories.” The conference will be held at Illinois State University, March 23 & 24 2018.

Thomas King, in The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative, gives a recurring warning at the end of each of his chapters. He writes, for example, at the end of chapter 1: “Take Charm’s story... It’s yours. Do with it what you will. Tell it to friends. Turn it into a television movie. Forget it. But don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”

The second annual CIIGC asks us to consider the definitions, opportunities, complications, and limitations of our stories. What do we consider ‘our’ stories? Is it stories from within our discipline, our concentration? Do our stories cross boundaries? How do we know when a story has run its course? How do we emerge new stories, new approaches, new collaborations? How do we present these stories? Whose theories do we borrow from? Whose have we ignored?

As emerging scholars, there are implications to how we view the concept of ‘our stories.’ Through the conceptualization and practice of our stories, we emerge discourse communities, narrative approaches, and the scope of how far (and to whom) our work will go. Not only does that work impact society, but, in turn, it impacts who we will be, as King goes on to warn: “The truth about stories is that’s all [that] we are.”

This conference is open to a variety of disciplines and intellectual discourses. We seek broad and inclusive ways of doing ‘our stories,’ including, but not limited to:

  • Juvenalia studies: boundaries, borders, and power in children's lit and/or publishing, a meta-disciplinary approach (i.e. children's lit on the margins of academia); silence and silencing (i.e. who gets to tell stories for or about children?); movements in children's lit (i.e. #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices)
  • Life Writing: experiential, story as method, blended scholarship, autoethnography, relational life writing, bearing witness, spoken word, trauma studies
  • Creative work (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or hybrid forms): engaging with ideas of stories told or untold, the teaching of creative writing and questions of pedagogy
  • Collaboration: shared experiences, disciplinary collaboration, cultural collaboration, pedagogical collaboration, creative collaboration, discourse communities
  • Inclusion: diverse stories, language, silencing of stories, who gets to tell the stories, material limitations, language barriers, privileged languages, untold stories
  • Academia: joining academic discussions, starting new academic discussions, accessibility of academia, intended audience of academia
  • Retelling of stories: adaptations, validating narratives, fanfiction, reception of texts, “timeless” texts, selecting texts to retell
  • Digital media: social media, digital reactions/responses to stories, transmediation/multimodality, interacting with other’s stories, connecting stories
  • Linguistics: The mechanics and structures of our stories; power, ideology, and materiality of language; translingual and cultural stories


The conference will be held at Illinois State University in Normal, IL, March 23 & 24 2018. Registration is free!

Proposal Guidelines:

We welcome abstracts of up to 350 words. They are due December 15, 2017 by 11:59 pm and should be submitted here:

Scholars may only submit one abstract for consideration and your presentation time will be limited to approximately 20 minutes. Proposals are blinded before being submitted to the paper selection committee for evaluation.

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Please contact Jennifer Coletta at