EXTRA//ORDINARY Deadline extended: 4/10

deadline for submissions: 
April 10, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
UCLA Friends of English Southland Graduate Conference

Deadline extended to April 10th!

UCLA Friends of English Southland Conference: May 10-11, 2019

Keynote Speakers: Professor Rei Terada (UC Irvine) and Professor Sarah Tindal Kareem (UCLA)

“What exactly is ordinary language? Is it possible to write in something other than
ordinary language? … And is it really true that in order to break the stranglehold of
ideology, intellectuals must use a special, philosophical vocabulary?”
–– Toril Moi, Revolution of the Ordinary

Ordinary –– from “order.” In literary scholar and philosopher Toril Moi’s Revolution of
the Ordinary (2017), she points out that ordinary language can shape the way
scholarship thinks about itself; turning, as Wittgenstein does, to the example rather 
than to the theory can allow a different kind of orientation to sticky intellectual 
problems. Usually, we only notice ordinary things when they get in the way of being 
orderly: doctor appointments; Twitter feeds; free samples; ugly feelings that resist 
climax, catharsis, or resolution. The ordinary can enable theory, but it can also resist 
and exhaust theory—the ordinary needs to be felt and done, in real time. The ordinary 
is orderly and messy –– things dismissed as unremarkable until we find ourselves at a 
loss to describe them except in allegory or exaggeration. Since ordinariness permeates 
(and perhaps constitutes) our everyday lives, we reach for an understanding of it                                                                                                                                      through the extraordinary event of narrative, even as the ordinary seems to exceed the bounds of language.


Scholars have often combed through records of ordinary events trying to find the 
beginnings of systems and historical movements, but perhaps the ordinary can also 
provide a frame for a more inclusive and richly textured chronicle of life across, within, 
and outside of dominant narratives. Is the ordinary closer to the “real” than the 
extraordinary? Who has access to the ordinary and the routine? What does it mean 
to crave the ordinary? What happens when the ordinary is undone, or when is the ordinary not enough? 

We welcome paper proposals from any discipline that consider these concepts as they 
might appear in various fields, including but not limited to:

-ordinary reading practices
-ordinary language philosophy
-queerness and the everyday
-ordinariness amidst apocalypse
-ideal ordinaries, domestic ordinariness
-commonplace books and writers’ notebooks
-moving between the ordinary and sublime
-climate change as everyday and/or sublime
-narrative temporality, novel time
-epic as ordinary
-genre as extra/ordinary
-routine, habits, cycles
-calendar time, clock time, apocalyptic/messianic time
-chronic illness, mental pain, exhaustion
-indifference, inuring, boredom
-the urban as ordinary and/or sublime
-parataxis, cognitive dissonance

Please send a 200-300 word abstract and bio to southland.conference.2019@gmail.com by
Wednesday, April 10th with your name, contact information, department, and institution.

Accepted papers will be pre-circulated to the panel and respondent a week prior to the
conference. Suggested paper length: 7-10 pages.

For more information, visit our website: https://southland2019.wordpress.com/