Resistance and Resilience: Envisioning the Future

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Graduate Student Colloquium of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, University of Maryland, College Park

Resistance and Resilience: Envisioning the Future

Virtual Graduate Student Colloquium of the School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

University of Maryland, College Park

March 5-6, 2021 via Zoom

This interdisciplinary graduate conference seeks to investigate how literary, cinematic, and other mediums interrogate, shape, and embody strategies of resistance and resilience and imagine alternative futures in contemporary and historical contexts across the globe. In the midst of a deadly pandemic, among other social, political, economic, and environmental crises on local and global scales, envisioning the future can become an act of resilience and resistance. From travel narratives and utopias to autofiction and speculative fiction, resistance and resilience take many forms. As Donna Haraway argues, this work of envisioning the future requires “staying with the trouble”—reconfiguring and reimagining our relations to the world around us. Envisaging the future thus requires not only resilience—“bouncing back” or recovering from present or historical difficulties—but also resistance, refusing to accept the status quo, taking action to change one’s situation or the world more broadly. Emerging from positions of precarity, such as the isolation of quarantine or personal or collective trauma, stories of adaptation, translation, dissent, compromise, and solidarity can envision varied potential futures for the individual and for society at large. 

The keynote lecture will be delivered by Dr. Nicole Seymour, author of Bad Environmentalism: Irony and Irreverence in the Ecological Age.

Possible topics and approaches may include, but are in no way limited to:

  • World literatures and film
  • Transformation and Transcendence through the Arts
  • Migration, Immigration, Transnationalisms
  • Translation and adaptation 
  • Utopias and dystopias
  • Models of sociability 
  • Narratives of resilience 
  • Speculative fiction and science fiction
  • Travel narratives and parodic/fake travel narratives
  • Graphic narratives and comics studies
  • Environmental humanities, ecocriticism, and medical humanities
  • Notions of identity
  • LGBTQ and Queer studies
  • Social and political movements 
  • History / Historical revisionism
  • Linguistic changes or resistance to change
  • Gender studies and feminist studies
  • Postcolonial studies
  • The arts and artistic exploration
  • Digital humanities and digital studies

Paper presentations of 15-20 minutes as well as collaborative presentations, creative submissions, digital posters of up to ten minutes, and multimedia projects are welcome. 

Submissions and presentations should be in English. Abstracts of 250-300 words describing the paper, media project, or artistic work should be emailed to no later than January 15, 2021. Creative submissions may include a 1-2 minute video excerpt to accompany the abstract, if desired. Submissions should include the presenter’s contact information and affiliation, as well as any accessibility needs. 

The School of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is pleased to offer free registration for this conference.

More information and updates can be found on our website,