Thresholds, Borders and Boundaries
A threshold marks the end of one space and the beginning of another. Therefore, we may conceptualize a threshold as either a border or an entrance. Borders need not be physical or geographic: they may be ideological, linguistic, economic, psychological, or identified by another theoretical approach. For example, we may consider physical borders between countries or the boundaries between texts, identities, or communities. Boundaries may be immobile and limiting, or they may be transgressed and manipulated; for that reason, a threshold is a paradoxical space where meanings connect or collide. We may examine thresholds within textual content, or outside of the text with regard to literary response and interpretation (e.g. the collision of themes in a single text or the meshing of theoretical approaches or disciplines when interpreting a text). On one hand, borders may be thought of as limiting, restrictive, and divisive. On the other, we may consider them to be avenues of growth, transformation, and potential.
For this year’s conference, we are looking for academic presentations from both graduates and undergraduates that will explore thresholds in diverse contexts and disciplines. The following suggested questions are a sampling of potential avenues for further inquiry: What constitutes a threshold or a border? Who produces them and how? What limits or potentialities are created by the institution of borders? Furthermore, is it possible to transgress borders? How might we (re)imagine systems of borders and boundaries and the communities defined by them? What types of identities emerge when individuals cross thresholds and combine cultures/spaces/knowledges?
For academic presentations, please send a 200 to 300 word abstract as a .doc or .pdf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 31st, 2020. In your email, please include your name, institution, and academic standing (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral student, or independent scholar). Please include a brief bio of up to 50 words. Each presenter will be given up to 12 minutes. If your abstract is accepted, you will be asked to confirm your commitment to attend the conference and, ten days before the conference, to email a draft or outline of your presentation to your panel coordinator. To propose a panel, please send a 200 to 300 word panel explanation as a .doc or .pdf attachment, including its title, topic, and format, as well as the abstracts for each presentation, listing each presenter’s name, institution, and academic standing.