deadline for submissions: 
April 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Arpi Movsesian
contact email: 




5th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference of

The Graduate Center for Literary Research at the University of California Santa Barbara

Thursday, May 10th, 2018 


       In an era when civil wars, breakaway movements, economic upheavals, nationalist politics, and isolationist policies are at once thickening, erasing, and redrawing the lines that divide us physically and figuratively from one another, a unique opportunity arises for scholars to investigate critically what these lines mean for world communities and individual lives. The Graduate Center for Literary Research at UC Santa Barbara hopes to provide a forum for this scholarly inquiry at its 5th annual conference, Borderlines, and issues this call for papers in the hopes of gathering a variegated range of critical voices on the questions raised by the borders, real and imagined, that divide us. How do we overcome labels and defy categories? How do we bridge linguistic, cultural, and ethical divides? What does it mean to cross the threshold, transgress the boundary, hop the border, to deport or import, or to at once immigrate and emigrate? In short, what does it mean to cross the line?    


       Amanda Petersen, Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of San Diego, will open the conference with an address on spectrality and haunting in transhispanic space, making a case for the productivity of discussing the figure of the ghost vis-a-vis the border. 


The closing keynote lecture by Jahan Ramazani, University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia, will bring together poetry studies, translation studies, and world literature to examine what we learn about borderlines from the comparative study of poetry. It will probe how literary language can be both a bridge and a wall between cultures. 


       Interested graduate students from across the disciplines of the humanities should submit a 250 word abstract for a 15 minute presentation to Dustin Lovett, GCLR student coordinator, at by Friday, April 13th. Advanced undergraduates are also encouraged to apply.