full name / name of organization: 
CUNY Graduate Center (Comparative Literature Department)
contact email: 

CUNY Graduate Center (365 5th Avenue, New York, New York)
November 10-11, 2011

Desire: From Eros to Eroticism
Keynote Speakers: Peter Brooks &David Konstan

The students of the Department of Comparative Literature at the City University of New York Graduate Center present an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on November 10-11, 2011.
The concept of desire has been the subject of much examination throughout centuries of literature. From the ancient Greek idea of eros to psychological analysis of the subject through contemporary negotiations of love and desire, the interpretation of desire has evolved, but it has always held a central role in literature and discourse. Desire serves as the motivation for action, and yet the most satisfying desire is often the one that remains unfulfilled. This conference will explore desire as it impels us forward in our pursuit of an end that may ultimately be unattainable.

We invite papers from all disciplines focusing on works from any period that explore desire as it is portrayed in literature, philosophy, theory, art, film, or society. Some of the questions this conference seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:

• How does desire serve as a motivating force?
• Must desire be fulfilled or does it serve another purpose?
• In what ways are the repercussions of desire demonstrated?
• How has the definition of desire evolved between different cultures or time periods?
• In what way does desire figure into political landscapes, contemporary or otherwise?
• What is the relationship between desire and cultural production and entertainment in the age of the Internet and other technologies?
• How does an author's desire factor into the creation of a text?
• How does a character's lack of desire affect the text?
• How does comprehension of desire help us to explore the human psyche?
• How is desiring the "undesirable" presented and addressed?
• How does desire relate to discussions of gender, sexuality, race, and other intersections of sexual politics?
• How does desire relate to other concepts such as love, seduction, intoxication, and pleasure?

Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 15, 2011 to desireconference2011@gmail.com. Proposals should include the title of the paper, presenter's name, institutional and departmental affiliation, and any technology requests. We also welcome panel proposals of three to four papers.

This conference is co-sponsored by the Writers' Institute at the City University of New York Graduate Center, an un-MFA program devoted to bringing together the country's most talented writers and today's most celebrated editors, and by the Doctoral Students' Council, the sole policymaking body representing students in doctoral and master's programs at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.