MCLLM: Narrative Foundations and Shifting Spheres

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Midwest Conference on Literature, Language, and Media
contact email: 

Midwest Conference on Literature, Language and Media

April 12-13, 2019




Conference Date: April 12th-13th, 2019

Deadline for Proposals: February 15th, 2019

Theme: “Narrative Foundations and Shifting Spheres”


The 27th annual Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media (MCLLM) at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, is currently accepting proposals for 15-20 minute presentations from individuals and panels. This year’s conference theme is Narrative Foundations and Shifting Spheres. This theme encourages argument-driven papers that explore topics concerned with levels of identity such as race, class, gender, private, and public. Papers should look to address sociocultural or political issues in tandem with asserting how and why these events happen.What are the origins and implications of these kinds of social shifts? How does a revitalized perspective affect the cultural mythos in terms of class, gender, and race?

We encourage a variety of approaches to these questions, including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Literary and Narrative Foundations
  • Shifts in Public and Private Spheres
  • Historical and National Movements
  • Marginalized Voices and Challenges to the Canon
  • Transnationalism and Hybridity
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • Political and Historical Change
  • Political, Public, and Private Identity
  • Art as Activism
  • Pop Culture and Academia

MCLLM welcomes proposals from a wide range of research in the humanities. Possible research areas include: literature and poetry, narratology, creative writing, linguistics, written and visual rhetoric, journalism, narrative and documentary film, music, games/video games, anime, television, radio, new and social media, history, and pedagogy in these fields.

This year’s distinguished keynote speaker is Joe Shapiro, associate professor of English at Southern Illinois University. Examples of his work include his 2017 book The Illiberal Imagination: Class and the Rise of the U.S. Novel, along with essays such as "White Slaves in the Late-Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century American Literary Imagination." Dr. Shapiro’s research traceshistorical shifts in ways of thinking about and expressing social class in American literature and demonstrates the relationship between class tensions and the development of the American canon.

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please submit 200-500 word proposals by February 15, 2019, to Include a cover page with your name, institutional affiliation, graduate student or faculty status, email, and phone number. Panel proposals should include a brief overview of the panel’s theme and purpose, along with an abstract and cover page for each paper.


Founders Award

The Founders Award carries a $500 prize, given to one graduate student attending the conference and presenting a paper. The award honors Chuck Bowie and John Carlberg, the co-founders of the MCLLM conference. All graduate students presenting at the conference are eligible. This award is given based on the strength of the proposal, particularly in terms of how it relates to the conference theme and the quality of the argument presented.