deadline for submissions: 
March 7, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Berkeley-Stanford English Graduate Conference 2022


Berkeley-Stanford English Graduate Conference 2022

April 30th, 2022

University of California, Berkeley

Keynote: Dr. John Alba Cutler, University of California, Berkeley


This year’s annual UC Berkeley-Stanford English Graduate Conference aims to reimagine the pathologizing connotations of “variants” as hopeful new directions and examinations of the splendid “variance” within the humanities.  We invite participants to consider variants/variance in literature broadly, encompassing variation of all kinds—temporal, spatial, identity-based, or formal.  How has literature marked, reflected, and inhabited variants and variance?  What can be defined as the “original,” and what as the “variant”?  How do texts explore the contours of difference, deviance, and nonconformity?  Has literature helped bridge these gaps or entrenched these divisions even further?


Such questions invite further considerations of our own field distinctions: What are the effects of grouping literary art by period, form, genre, language, or nation-state?  Is all literature comparative in a polyglossic world?  How do we grapple with translations of texts as possibly unique iterations of a work, or merely copies riddled with discrepancies?  From marginalia to tweets, where are the lines drawn around the form of a literary work in defining our field?  How do we understand political, social, economic, legal or psychological variations within the study of literature?  How do literary studies intersect with other fields?  What are our own positionalities, and what place do these positionalities play in the worth that we do?


With the understanding that with variance comes possibility, we encourage prospective participants from across the humanities to apply.


Topics may include (but are certainly not limited to):

  • Time and periodization

  • Canon formation

  • Poetic, dramatic, and novelistic forms

  • Margins and marginalia

  • Adaptation and revision

  • Language and dialect

  • Translation

  • Race/ethnicity studies

  • Disability

  • Queerness

  • New directions in the humanities

  • Media studies and overlapping art forms

  • Ecocriticism and evolution

  • Digital humanities

  • Borders and transgressions

  • Transnational studies

The conference is open to any student currently enrolled in a graduate program in English or a related discipline. For consideration, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words and a short biographical description by March 7th, 2022.  Abstracts, as well as questions, should be sent to the conference organizers at Please send your abstract as an email attachment in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. The file containing the abstract should not include any identifying information. The biographical note should be in the body of the email, and it should include your name and institutional affiliation.