Final Deadline Extension: Reckoning With Consent and Contract in Times of Instability

deadline for submissions: 
January 17, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Indiana University English Department

Reckoning with Consent and Contract in Times of Instability

Indiana University Bloomington | March 1-2, 2019

Extended Submission Deadline: January 17, 2019

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Amber Jamilla Musser

Associate Professor of American Studies, George Washington University

We are issuing a Call for Proposals for scholarly and creative submissions for the 17th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference entitled “Reckoning with Consent and Contract in Times of Instability” hosted by the English Department at Indiana University Bloomington, March 1-2, 2019.

This conference aims to interrogate the representation of consent and contract, especially in moments when those concepts are being culturally, politically, or socially reckoned with or renegotiated. We interpret these topics broadly, and we wish to consider them individually as well as their entanglements across historical moments and geographical locations. How does (or how did) the social contract negotiate consent, both between human subjects and even between the human and the non-human? How do historical moments of instability, including rapid technological, environmental, cultural, or political change, impact which subjects are allowed within the social contract and which subjects are excluded? How do marginalized groups resist a culture that excludes them from the safeties and protections of the social contract?  How are the rhetorics of consent and credibility intertwined in public discourse, especially in the wake of feminist cultural movements like #MeToo? How is subjectivity contractually negotiated across naturecultural divides? How do we renegotiate an unspoken contract between humans and the environment in times of global climate catastrophe? How can be attentive to issues of consent and contract in our pedagogy, particularly during moments of instability and/or when these terms are being reckoned with or renegotiated?

We invite submissions from all disciplines addressing, but not limited to, the following topics.

  • Sexual violence and harassment (#MeToo, Time’s Up, or similar movements throughout time)

  • Sexual contract, marriage law, reproductive rights, trauma

  • Nationhood, marginalization, migration, citizenship, and the colonial relation

  • Rhetoric of consent/contract, rhetoric of credibility and bearing witness

  • Technology, information, social media, consent in data sharing and security

  • Contract and consent between the human and the non-human, as well as the human and the environment

  • Constructions of subjectivity and agency in relation to phenomenology, new materialisms, metaphysics, or affect.

  • Pedagogy, composition studies, teaching and writing consent in the age of #MeToo

We invite proposals for individual scholarly papers and creative works (15-minute presentations), as well as panels organized by topic. Panel proposals should include a panel abstract as well as an abstract for each individual paper on the panel (3 papers at 20 minutes each or 4 papers at 15 minutes each). Please submit (both as an attachment and in the body of the email) an abstract of no more than 250 words along with a few personal details (name, institutional affiliation, degree, email, and phone number) to by January 6, 2019.
 Please visit our conference website ( for more information.

This conference is generously supported by the Department of English, Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, and the Cultural Studies Program.