Cornell EGSO 2020 Conference: Proximity

deadline for submissions: 
January 24, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Cornell English Graduate Student Organization

Cornell EGSO 2020 Conference: ProximityMarch 6th - 7th, 2020Call for Proposals:

As knowledge travels through time and space, proximity emerges as an increasingly important category for critical inquiry. How does our understanding of proximity change our intellectual landscape? What issues seem distant from us? Which objects, texts, or historical moments feel more proximate in the present? How does the idea of proximity shape our understanding of political, economic, ecological, and social issues? Whether addressing the position of the humanities with regard to geopolitical conflicts or the ways in which history becomes entangled with the present, matters of closeness and distance must be considered urgent intellectual problems. 

The English Graduate Student Organization invites academic and creative submissions to its 2020 conference that will engage these problems. We are seeking to feature conference papers, fiction and poetry readings, and works-in-progress that deploy the category of proximity as a framework for creative and scholarly thinking.

This conference is sponsored by Cornell’s English Graduate Student Organization, and we encourage participation from graduate students in English and adjacent fields such as Romance Studies, Comparative Literature, History, Social Sciences, and Philosophy.

Please submit a 250- to 300-word abstract, institutional affiliation, and short biography.

Please email abstracts and inquiries to by January 24th, 2020.

We are excited to announce that our keynote speaker for the conference will be Nadeen Kharputly (Washington and Lee University).

Keynote Speaker Bio:

Nadeen Kharputly thinks and works at the intersection of literary and critical ethnic studies, interrogating the particular forms of responsibility attached to authors working in economies of narrative scarcity, to borrow Viet Thanh Nguyen’s language. She is particularly interested in the tensions between artistic prerogative and the burden of representation that Muslim American authors and cultural producers face. Her book manuscript, tentatively titled, The Burden of Humanization: Race, Representation, and Responsibility in Muslim American Culture, examines the growing archive of contemporary Muslim American literature in relation to broader multiethnic U.S. literatures, particularly Asian American and African American writers of the twentieth century.

Nadeen received her PhD in Literature from the University of California, San Diego. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Washington and Lee University, where she teaches 20th- and 21st-century American literature. She has previously taught in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego. Her work appears in Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures; Media, Myth, and Millennials: Critical Perspectives on Race and Culture; and Society & Animals.