English Graduate Conference 2019: Taking Up Spaces
CALL FOR PAPERS
Taking Up Spaces
Simon Fraser University, Department of English
June 7-9 , 2019
Deadline for submissions: April 15, 2019
S P A C E S
We live in them, move through them, occupy them, gentrify them, lay claim, then
reclaim them, tame them and maim them. We build them, enrich them, define
them, consign them. They can be first or final frontiers, domestic or foreign, and
they can even encapsulate moments—curvatures in time. Given that space is the
fundamental medium through which we live our lives, how do we define spaces,
and how do spaces define us?
Simon Fraser University is located on the traditional and ancestral territories of the
xwməθkwəy̓ əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh),
Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Katzie, and kwikwəƛ̓ əm (Kwikwetlem)
peoples, and understanding what it means to live, work, and study on this unceded
land is an essential part of defining our own relationship to space.
Topics involving the idea of spaces include safe and compromised spaces,
welcoming and dangerous spaces, and even the extra-terrestrial. Outer space, inner
space, mental space, workspace, common space, private space, space the likes of
which has never been seen before. It could be freeing up space on your hard drive,
needing more space in a relationship, planning out space to grow, finding a space
to call your own. It’s a lot. So join us, and take up some space in the discussion!
We invite proposals from graduate students at all levels, intellectuals both inside
and outside the university, and those who do not identify within these categories.
We actively encourage collaborative, creative, and multimedia work alongside
strictly academic work. We invite work that addresses the following questions
across disciplinary approaches:
● How do we approach ideas of space? What does space mean in your field,
and how might that definition be different from more generalized
● How are spaces given character, form, identity or agency?
● What does it mean to have spaces that are safe, inclusive, or restricted,
sacred or private?
● Is it even possible to create a “safe space?” Is it desirable?
● What tools do we have to help us understand our own relationships to
space? Do maps and projections define spaces? What other kinds of borders
matter to us, and what do those spaces mean to the non-human entities that
we exist alongside?
● What spaces restrict us as people, and what responsibility do we have to the
places we occupy?
● What does it mean to share space? To be a neighbor? To form a community?
● What spaces define you, what spaces do you define, and what sort of work
needs to be done in making or defining new spaces?
● How can we approach space exploration in non-colonial/imperial ways?
● What does it mean to “space out” and what effects can spacing out have on
the brain? What does it mean to be a “space cadet” or to be “spacey?”
● How can line spacing or letter spacing impact a work, in its printing or
● How do negative and positive spaces define works of art? Of poetry?
● What does it mean to make space for underrepresented voices?
● Cyberspace? That’s it, that’s the whole question.
Please send proposals via email or post, no later than April 15, 2019 , to:
Graduate Conference Committee c/o English Department
8888 University Drive
Proposals should include:
1. An abstract of no more than 300 words describing the genre and topic of your
2. Your name and details for your preferred mode of contact (postal address,
email, phone number, or literary code)
3. A brief biography of no more than 250 words
4. Any institutional or organizational affiliation (optional)
5. Any technical (Audio/Visual) requirements for your presentation
Note: these proposals may be for individual presentations or panels. Those who do
submit individually will be matched by our conference organizers.