UPDATE-SUBMISSION DEADLINE PUSHED BACK The Body Displaced: Northeastern English Graduate Student Association's Graduate Conference

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Northeastern University English Graduate Student Association

Theme: The Body Displaced
Sponsored by the Northeastern University English Graduate Student Association
Conference Date: March 21, 2020
Proposal Due Date: December 15, 2019
Location: Northeastern University, Boston, MA


In Bodies that Matter, Judith Butler speaks of “the abject…those ‘unlivable’ and ‘uninhabitable’ zones of social life which are nonetheless densely populated by those who do not enjoy the status of the subject.” For Butler the category of the human is defined through the exclusion of the not- or less-human. And this notion of abjection is routed through Julia Kristeva’s more famous treatment of the term, as the constitutive but horrifying movements which challenge the integrity of the body’s borders. The stability of the body and its social contexts are guaranteed through a series of crucial exclusions and displacements. In an age of global climate crisis, mass migration, and serious challenges to bodily autonomy and integrity as motivated by trans and disability activisms, we are compelled as scholars to consider the ways bodies and borders are thought and might be re-thought.

The Northeastern University English Graduate Student Association invites scholars to think through issues concerning bodies, locations, and borders at its annual conference. We ask scholars to consider these questions among others:

  • How do we understand the body’s constitution and the exclusions which present bodies as culturally legible? How do we approach national, cultural, and textual bodies and what is the relationship between the body politic and the individual human body? 

  •  What is the relationship between borders and the bodies that cross them? Is the border itself embodied as in Gloria Anzaldúa’s famous description of the U.S.-Mexican border as an “open wound?”
  • How might we think through the materiality of the body within and across borders? Through what technologies are bodies displaced or find belonging?
  • How do we conceive of belonging, home, and citizenship as well as displacement, diaspora, exile, and travel? 
  • Which bodies are capable of belonging or of being displaced? And can displacement ever be an intentional and subversive practice

The Northeastern EGSA invites papers from a diverse array of fields and areas including but not limited to:

  • English and Literary Studies
  • Composition Studies
  • Rhetoric
  • Black Studies and Critical Race Theory
  • Queer and Trans Theory
  • Phenomenology 
  • Disability Studies
  • Visual Culture
  • Decolonial and Post-Colonial Studies 
  • Feminism
  • Depictions and metaphorics of the body and space
  • Digital Humanities
  • Affect Theory
  • Global Studies
  • Diasporic Studies


Submission Information: Individual presentations will be approximately 15 minutes each. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to northeasternEGSA@gmail.com by December 15, 2019. Include in the submission your name, pronouns, department, and university affiliation as well as any accommodations you might require.