Signs, Representations and Other Biases: An International Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture

deadline for submissions: 
November 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

The sign creates our world and represents our thoughts about this world.
The sign is an enabler, a limiter, and a producer of our biases.
The sign is the trouble.
If all signs are arbitrary, how can we distinguish between the signifier and the signified while using language? How can representation and its analysis be in the same medium? How can arbitrariness be implicated with biases? Do we need a universal metalanguage that can analyse the limits of language? Or have we reached a historical moment of aporia? 
This conference seeks to address representations and knowledge production in a cultural condition where the object of analysis is also the medium of analysis. If language does not help us represent reality, is it a hindrance? It is also possible that language—the tool with which we first construct and then understand the world—is limiting our access to what Lacan calls the Real, which is beyond the symbolic and the imaginary. It may be the case that, through the illusion of representation created by language, our cognition or consciousness creates a barrier between the world and our mind and calls it an orderly arrangement. We, as knowledge producers, encounter so many traps when we make any statement about the world that it seems that the function of our epistemic activity is to create illusions and biases. We, as an epistemic species, have displayed a remarkable inability to avoid speciesism, essentialism, anthropocentrism, egocentrism, and ethnocentrism.

We invite scholars from around the world to discuss the nature of language as a facilitator or attenuator of our abilities to produce knowledge. We hope to bring together scholars working in critical theory, literature, linguistics and cultural studies so that they can help each other understand the limits of knowledge production. We will provide a good venue for discussing ideas and will disseminate the proceedings in an edited collection.

Guidelines for Abstracts
Please send your abstracts of 250–300 words to eng.conference2020@ucp.edu.pk.

Sub-themes:
Critical theories of representation
Modern and postmodern literature
Postcolonial studies
Representing Gender 
Diaspora and the imaginary 
Linguistics and World Englishes
Language, culture and translation
Literatures in translation 
World Literatures
Indigenous culture and language preservation 
Representations of tribes, sects, castes, races 
Minorities, democracy and majoritarianism
Imperialism and literature
First and second language acquisition
Language acquisition and pedagogy
Discourse analysis 
Sociolinguistics
Multiculturalism 
Post-9/11 literature

Professor Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin (Patron)
Professor Dr. Fehmida Sultana (Conference Chair)
Dr. Saeed Ur Rehman (Focal Person)
Dr. Asim Karim, Dr. Khalid Ahmed, Tahir Saleem (Convenors)
University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan