Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Lehigh English Department Graduate Program
contact email: 

The Lehigh University English graduate program is organizing our first annual conference on "Literature and Social Justice" for March 7th, 2015, to be held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. We welcome proposals for 15-20 minute presentations by MA and Doctoral students on all aspects of literature and social justice across any specialties within the discipline of English, comparative literature, or modern languages. Scholars working in all time periods, genres, and theoretical methodologies are welcome to submit abstracts. Potential topics could include, but are not restricted to:
-questions on whether literature should be socially or morally "useful"
-the current state of didactic literature
-issues of aesthetics and ethics
-questions on the status of "art for art's sake"
-the place of biographical criticism when evaluating a given text
-the place of race, class, gender, and religion when reading a text
-pedagogical concerns
-the status of marginalized voices
-the role of literature in political, social, and cultural movements
-the future of literature as an instrument of social change
-the "utility" of the study of literature
-issues of higher education and the changing nature of humanities instruction
-fictional depictions of social movements
-the evaluation of theory in relation to social justice
Lehigh University is located in the historic city of Bethlehem, PA, home to one of the most complete eighteenth-century historical districts in the United States, as well as the remains of Bethlehem Steel, future site of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Industrial History. Lehigh is less than an hour and a half drive from either Philadelphia or New York City. Currently enrolled graduate students should submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to Laura Kremmel and Ed Simon at by October 15th, 2014.