Inter/Dis-connections

deadline for submissions: 
February 5, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
English Graduate Organization at University of Massachusetts Amherst

The UMass Amherst English Graduate Organization is happy to present their 2022 conference, titled Inter/Dis-connections with Keynote Speaker Professor Wai Chee Dimock (English Department, Yale University, and Center for the Environment, Harvard University). The conference will take place on April 30th, 2022.

The 2022 English Graduate Organization Conference interrogates aspects of interconnectivity and disconnection that manifest themselves either implicitly or explicitly throughout the planet. As much as COVID-19 seemed to have created a ‘new normal,’ the pandemic only served to normalize what we already know: we are simultaneously connected to and disconnected from each other in a myriad of ways. The plurality of socio-political, ideological, environmental, and public health conditions that we exist within, and has been accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, intersects with disparities in race, gender, and sexual politics. Moreover, the liminal nature of borders, islands, oceans, and maps already contextualizes our existence through considerations of non-human agents. As we are situated by materials that continuously alter and dictate our approaches from the global context, issues such as displacement, migration, nationalism, transnationalism, inter-imperiality, and competing internationalism (s) trigger other versions of how we are simultaneously inter-and dis-connected.  

Following these concerns, this conference looks for diverse connections, interpretations, perspectives, and possible solutions regarding the various manifestations of interconnections and dis-connections. Through these perspectives, we raise questions such as: How can we rethink our identities in relation to those whose identities are erased or distorted, or ignored? How can we reimagine the racialized and gendered global infrastructure? How can we visualize the impact of a global pandemic on archives that will be compiled? How do we remap our spatial and conceptual borders? Most importantly, how do we think nationally, internationally, or globally? 

In addition to these questions, the scope of this present call is purposely broad so as to welcome a wide range of approaches, particularly those of an interdisciplinary orientation. Possible topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • (Re)-imagining locality, globality, and planetarity

  • Migration, Dispossession, and Assimilation

  • Medieval Worldbuilding

  • American (un)exceptionalism

  • World Deconstruction and Reconstruction through SF (science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, and folklore)

  • Ruins and Revolts

  • Memory and Archives

  • Alternative Narratives and Futurities

  • Race, Ethnicity, and Empire

  • Rhetoric, Digital Media, and Social Justice

  • Pollution, Pandemic, and Politics in a pre-and post-COVID world

We invite contributors to submit their proposals through this google form link by 5th February 2022. Please feel free to direct any questions, suggestions, and concerns to the conference email address: ​​englishconference@umass.edu. We are looking forward to an in-person conference, but we are also planning for contingencies.