MCLLM 2021 Call for Proposals

deadline for submissions: 
December 30, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language, and Media
contact email: 

April 2-3, 2021
Conference Date/Location: April 2nd-3rd, 2021 **Online**
Deadline for Proposals: December 30, 2020
Theme: “Third Space”

The 29th annual Midwestern Conference on Literature, Language and Media at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, is currently accepting proposals for 20-minute presentations from individuals and panels.

This year’s conference theme, Third Space, encourages argument-driven papers and original creative works that explore topics concerned with representation and participation among a variety of identities (race, class, gender, etc.) in private, public and third spaces, and across mediums (literature, film, television, etc.). Papers and creative works should address sociocultural or political issues as they relate to matters of representation throughout, and possibly beyond, such spaces. What are the larger social or cultural implications of representation or lack thereof? How does a revitalized perspective affect cultural mythos and/or ethnikos? We encourage a variety of approaches to these questions, including (but not limited to) the following:

• 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
• Natural and Artificial Ecologies

MCLLM welcomes proposals from a wide range of research in the humanities. Possible research areas include: literature and poetry (not limited to the English language), 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. Creative works may include poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, anime, dramatic shorts, short films and documentaries, as well as interpretive dance and art. While it will be assumed that creative works represent a culmination of research in a given area, creative presenters may choose to provide critical context for their work and to take an active part in the associated Q&A sessions, or not.

This year’s distinguished guest speaker, cosponsored by NIU’s Graduate Colloquium Committee, by the English Graduate Student Association, and by MCLLM, is Kent Bye, a philosopher, oral historian, and experiential journalist helping to define the patterns of immersive storytelling, experiential design, ethical frameworks, and the ultimate potential of XR. Since May 2014, Bye has conducted over 1500 Voices of VR podcast interviews featuring the pioneering artists, storytellers, and technologists who are driving the resurgence of virtual and augmented reality. You can follow his work on Twitter @kentbye,, and

If you are interested in presenting at the conference, please submit a 200-500 word proposal by December 30, 2020, to Include a cover page with your name, institutional affiliation, graduate student/faculty status, email, phone number, and topic. Panel proposals should include a brief overview of the panel’s theme and purpose, along with an abstract and cover page for each paper.