Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media 2020

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media - Northern Illinois University
contact email: 

Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media

April 3-4, 2020



Conference Date: April 3rd-4th, 2020

Deadline for Proposals: December 15, 2019

Theme: “Vision 2020: Seeing and Being Seen”

The 28th annual Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media (MCLLM) at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL, is currently accepting proposals for 15-20 minute presentations from individuals and panels. This year’s conference theme is Vision 2020: Seeing and Being Seen. This theme encourages argument-driven papers that explore topics concerned with representation and participation among a variety of identities (race, class, gender, etc.) in private and public spaces and across mediums (literature, film, television, etc.). Papers should look to address sociocultural or political issues as they relate to matters of representation throughout these spaces. What are the larger social or cultural implications of representation or lack thereof? How does a revitalized perspective affect the cultural mythos in terms of class, gender, and race?

We encourage a variety of approaches to these questions, including (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Literary and Narrative Foundations
  • Shifts in Public and Private Spheres
  • Historical and National Movements
  • Marginalized Voices and Challenges to the Canon
  • Transnationalism and Hybridity
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities
  • Political and Historical Change
  • Political, Public, and Private Identity
  • Art as Activism
  • Pop Culture and Academia

MCLLM welcomes proposals from a wide range of research in the humanities. Possible research areas include: literature and poetry, narratology, creative writing, linguistics, written and visual rhetoric, journalism, narrative and documentary film, music, games/video games, anime, television, radio, new and social media, history, and pedagogy in these fields.

This year’s distinguished guest is Dr. Robin R. Means Coleman, Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity, and a Professor of the Department of Communication at Texas A&M. Her 2011 book Horror Noirewas recently adapted into a documentary for the Shudder streaming service. We will screen the documentary Horror Noire at the conference and will follow the screening with a Q&A session with Dr. Coleman. Other works of note from Dr. Coleman include authoring African-American Viewers and the Black Situation Comedy: Situating Racial Humor (2000); Intercultural Communication for Everyday Life (2014) and working as an editor on both Say It Loud! African American Audiences, Media, and Identity (2002) and Fight the Power! The Spike Lee Reader (2008). Dr. Coleman is currently writing a book about the NAACP and its history of media activism.

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please submit a 200-500 word proposal by December 15, 2019, to mcllm@niu.edu. Include a cover page with your name, institutional affiliation, graduate student or faculty status, email, and phone number. Panel proposals should include a brief overview of the panel’s theme and purpose, along with an abstract and cover page for each paper.