Contested Imaginaries

deadline for submissions: 
February 21, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Concordia University Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Conference

Call for Abstracts - EXTENDED


This conference is organized by students in the Humanities PhD Program at Concordia University, Montréal, Canada.

Conference Dates: April 24-25, 2020

EXTENDED Abstract Submission Deadline: February 28, 2020


Contested Imaginaries

As we enter the new decade, both hopes and anxieties run high. In this age of shifting paradigms, political uncertainty, and rapid development, thinkers across diverse fields are contesting ideas once taken for granted, calling for new modes of knowledge production, new frameworks of understanding, and new ways of being in the world. How do utopic ambitions intersect with worldly concerns? How are spaces of encounter and departure entangled with legacies of power? How might different domains of knowledge intersect, aid, resist, and/or challenge one another? How does the imaginary shape the possible?

This interdisciplinary conference seeks to create dialogue between scholars, artists, community members, and experts in all fields, bringing them together to share their expertise and unique perspectives.

Potential topics for papers, workshops, and performances may include but are not limited to:

• Alternative or speculative futures, queer futurities, Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism;

• Critical race, postcolonial, and First Peoples studies;

• Critical disability studies;

• Ecofeminism, ecocriticism, and the Anthropocene;

• Monuments, memorials, memories, and nostalgia;

• Trauma studies and theories of mourning;

• Hauntology;

• Popular culture and ephemera;

• Studies of political crises, sites of resistance, and contestation;

• Archives and/or archeologies of past, present, and future(s);

• Sciences and technologies of the past, present, and future(s);

• Human/non-human/post-human/more-than-human/cyborg/animal studies;

• Sensory studies;

• Materiality, immateriality, embodiment, and disembodiment.

Please submit your anonymized 250-word abstract to by February 21, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Submissions should be in .doc or .docx format. In a separate document, please include a 50-80-word bio.

Performances, creative pieces, interactive workshops, and experimental forms are welcome and encouraged. Please specify any materials you will need (e.g. projector, DVD player) and whether you will be presenting a 20 minute paper or an alternative form such as a workshop, screening, performance, or something else. If one of the the latter, please specify how much time you will require.



Conference Accessibility Statement 

The Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Conference is committed to making Contested Imaginaries radically accessible for all. Our conference is open to the public and is completely free for all contributors and attendees, regardless of whether they’re Concordia students.

The event will be held at the Milleux Institute for Arts, Culture, and Technology, located on the 11th floor of the EV Building (Visual Arts side). Both the building and the conference space are wheelchair accessible. The area in which the conference will take place is also modular, adaptable, and very spacious, and it includes an accessible, gender neutral bathroom.

In addition to ensuring an accessible venue, we are also asking that our presenters submit any written material in advance of the conference so that we can make copies in a large, accessible font for attendees to refer to. To the best of our ability, we aim to make this a low-scent space, and will be providing unscented soaps to each of the bathrooms in the venue space.

The event will be catered (breakfast, lunch, and snacks on Friday; breakfast, lunch, snacks, and a reception on Saturday) with vegan and gluten free options. We’ll have breaks between each panel, workshop, or presentation in our programming so that participants can move around or partake in the free food and drinks.

Presently, we are in the process of securing additional funds and support for additional access features, such as ASL interpretation, attendant services, childcare, and transportation to and from Concordia University. Should we receive the support we are requesting, we will release an updated statement with more details. 

If you have any access needs that are not covered above, please write to us at We look forward to exploring the imaginary with you!