Forbidden, Forgotten, Erased: Exposing Absences Graduate Conference

deadline for submissions: 
January 25, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Maryland-College Park

Forbidden, Forgotten, Erased: Exposing Absences

2019 School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Graduate Colloquium 

University of Maryland-College Park

April 5-6, 2019 

Keynote Speaker: Mabel Moraña, Washington University


For every cultural object visible in an archive, there are hundreds of lost and forbidden bodies and practices pushed outside the limits of what is seen and studied. Forbidden, forgotten, erased, these works reappear in between the breaches of texts, practices, and images demanding to be heard and seen.

The focal point of the conference is to understand what is visible and to question what goes unnoticed. To further illuminate the idea of that which is present and that which remains obscured and not readily or easily rendered visible, we propose to think about recycling and patchwork, montages and palimpsests, re-writings and duplications. There is an underlying potentiality in each body that awaits to be re-inscribed and re-imagined. We take this layering of meanings as inspiration to study texts, films, visual arts, and other cultural artifacts.

By exposing these absences, we also consider how we can look for prevailing and future readings and interpretations to create new objects of study. We ask ourselves, what is the role of interdisciplinary academia in times where hypervisibility tends to erase and diffuse knowledge? 

This conference is organized primarily by graduate students with the goal of providing other graduate students a space in which to reflect upon, discuss, and share their current research.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted to by January 25, 2019. Submissions should include the presenter’s name, institutional affiliation, contact information, and any audiovisual needs.

We encourage all submissions in English with topics relating, but not limited, to the following: 

  • Forbidden texts/narratives
  • Banned or censored books and films
  • Taboo subjects
  • Stories on the margins / of the marginalized
  • Erasures and reimaginings of boundaries
  • Clandestine texts
  • Obscenity and the law
  • Stories of silence and silencing
  • Hypervisibility
  • Re-inscriptions and plagiarism