Illusion & Delusion: Boston University Romance Studies Graduate Student Conference

deadline for submissions: 
February 10, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Illusion & Delusion / Boston University Romance Studies Graduate Student Conference
contact email: 

BU Romance Studies Graduate Student Conference 

Call For Papers: Illusion & Delusion 

From the Coronavirus pandemic to the Russo-Ukrainian War, researchers are arguably more aware now than ever of their presence at the crossroads of perceived and misconstrued conflicts. The  global political and ecological crises that confront us are strongly linked to imperialism, colonization, capitalism, and exploitation of resources. Literature and film offer pathways to explore global conflict and as a result - whether on the page or the screen - lines are blurred between what is real and what is perceived. 

We invite presenters to consider the following quote from the famous psychiatrist Karl Jaspers: "Since time immemorial, delusion has been taken as the basic characteristic of madness. To be mad was to be deluded."* Considering the "madness" of the crises and trauma found both in our reality and literature, we ask presenters to investigate the role of illusion and delusion in literature and film. How are individual and collective experiences represented through the phenomenological experience of illusion and delusion? How are illusions similar and/or different from delusions? Do literature and film help us to shed delusions and illusions? Or do they help us to develop a sense of delusion/illusion?

This conference aims to bring together participants interested in perception, belief, imagination, and delusion formation as both abstract and tangible concepts within literature, art, and film. We will consider the implications of such illusions and delusions as they intersect with other areas of study. In addition to papers within these areas of study, the committee will consider papers addressing any chosen aspect of our topic. Possible approaches might include, but are not limited to:

  • Ecocentrism

  • Ecofeminism

  • Migration & Displacement

  • Anthropocene

  • Capitalism & Capitalocene 

  • Globalization, geopolitics, & poverty

  • Transliteration, multilingualism & translingualism

  • Queer Theory

  • Psychology

  • Colonialism/Neocolonialism

Please submit abstracts of 200-250 words for 15 minute individual presentations or panel proposals through our website: Submissions are welcome in English, Spanish, or French. The deadline for submission is February 10th, 2023. Submission decisions will be sent out no later than February 24th, 2023. The conference will be held on April 15th, 2023, both online and in person at Boston University.

 *Jaspers, K. (1963). General Psychopathology (7th edition). Manchester: Manchester University Press. P. 93.