[CfP] Form & Transformation Conference, CUNY GC, 17 November 2023

deadline for submissions: 
July 3, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Chiara Caputi, The Graduate Center CUNY

From antiquity, the concept of ἐνέργεια (energeia) as potentiality has guided and continues to drive our idea of form and change. Transformation allows us to understand the movement of form and thought, and likewise insists on new perspectives and epistemologies. We consider transformation as a concept that can encapsulate distinction, change, divergent ways of thinking and being. The question of transformation, then, requires us to reexamine the utility and function of form. Caroline Levine in her book Forms : Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network has suggested that “form can indicate essence, but it can also indicate superficial trappings, such as conventions […] always indicating an arrangement of elements—an ordering, patterning, or shaping.” 


The idea of form is returning to the Academy, revealing new paths and new tools for inquiry. This revival finds itself in different fields, for instance and not limited to English & other national literatures, Digital Humanities, Art History, and Political Science. Nonetheless, various spheres consider the theme of form, in certain respects, passé. Meanwhile, new approaches to Formalism explore emergent methods for analyzing content beyond text (providing new affordances for the relationships between form, theory, and politics). This debate has reignited timeless questions regarding the relationship between content and form. The idea of finality and/or the assertion that distinction is only apparent through form suggests that we ought to reconsider not only historicist approaches and aesthetic experiences, but also raise questions about the future of form itself. This rupture drives us to different approaches of form and, by necessity, transformation.


This conference welcomes presentations and topics relating to:


  • Anthropocene and Ecocriticism

  • Art History

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Critical Theory

  • Digital Humanities

  • Gender Studies and Feminism

  • Genre and Narrative Studies 

  • Intertextuality and Adaptations

  • Literary & Textual Analysis

  • Media Studies

  • Monster Studies

  • Movement, Performance, Choreographies

  • Poetry and Poetics

  • Political Formations and Ideologies

  • Postcolonial Studies

  • Posthumanism

  • Semiotics

  • Translation Studies & Translingualism

  • Transnational literature

  • Utopia/Dystopia

  • Visual Culture


All submissions must be sent at formandformation2023@gmail.com no later than July 3rd 2023 and they must contain the following items: an abstract (maximum 200 characters), a short bio, full name, email address, and affiliation. This conference will be held in-person on November 17, 2023.