Beginnings and Endings: Embracing or Rejecting Change

deadline for submissions: 
January 28, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The Acacia Group at California State University, Fullerton

Beginnings and Endings: Embracing or Rejecting Change

The 2022 Acacia Group Annual Graduate Conference 

California State University, Fullerton 

March 18-19, 2022

“But for me, it was not over, I mean, over in the sense of beginning and ending, because to me there was no beginning nor ending to anything then.” William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (175)

As Faulkner notes, the lines between beginnings and endings can often be blurred, but what causes this disorientation? Our current era is marked by unexpected change, disorienting our academic, professional, and personal lives. Change occurs in cycles, marking beginnings and endings. Beginnings can mark the start of a new journey, a rebirth, or even a renewal while endings can be a time of closure, grieving, or an end of an era. Whether it be a new job, a loss of a friend or loved one, or a relocation–it is up to us to decide whether these events indicate beginnings or endings for us. When unexpected change occurs, such as the loss of a loved one, we can either see that as solely the ending of a life or also as the beginning of individual growth, where we will move forward with the memory and influence of the one who has passed,not only mourning their death but celebrating their life. Submitting to change and its inevitable movements can either come in the form of marking an ending in our life or embracing a new direction as a beginning for new growth opportunities. However, embracing change begins with our ability to situate these movements as influences that shape the direction of our lives positively.

For this year’s conference, we are looking for academic presentations from both graduates and undergraduates that will explore the idea of rejecting or embracing change, and how moments get marked as a beginning or an end. The following questions are a sampling of potential avenues for further inquiry: What constitutes a beginning or an end? What defines change, and how is it marked? What limits or potentialities are created by embracing the shifts and adjustments of a particular moment or season? Furthermore, is it possible to experience a beginning without an end, and vice versa? How might we revise or reverse our perspectives when confronted with change? How do we contextualize change in beginnings and/or endings, when experienced at different stages? 

Submitting Abstracts 

For academic presentations, please send a 200 to 300 word abstract as a .doc or .pdf attachment to by Friday, January 28, 2022. 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. 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. Each presenter will be given up to 12 minutes to present at the conference. 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.

**Conference will be held in person. Participants are required to abide by CDC guidelines of social distancing and face coverings due to COVID-19, pending Orange County and California State University, Fullerton guidelines at the time of the event.**