Saturday, August 30, 2014

"Literature and Social Justice" Conference at Lehigh University. Abstract Deadline October 15, 2014.

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.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Theatre Research Symposium at Villanova. Abstract Due March 14, 2014

As you may know, we are quickly approaching the Villanova Theatre Department’s Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium event on Thursday, May 1st. This year’s event is particularly exciting as we will be hosting a conversation with our guest speaker Emily Mann, playwright, director, and artistic director of the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ. The goal of PTRS is to provide a forum for theatre scholars and practitioners to share their research and enter into a dialogue about current trends in theatrical practice and scholarship.

Every year, PTRS features a panel of Emerging Scholars, giving Villanova students an opportunity to present conference-style papers for a gathering of prominent theatre scholars. Papers presented at the conference will also be eligible for blind review publishing in Praxis: The Journal for Theatre, Performance Studies and Criticism.

PTRS is currently seeking papers to present for the Emerging Scholars panel for theatre research. The subject of papers should engage with theatre, performance, or dramatic literature including an engagement with dramatic critical theory.Please send abstracts of 250 words or less to along with a brief bio. Deadline for submissions is Friday, March 14, 2014.

Any questions or further interest can be directed to

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Revolutions!" Liberal Studies Conference at UPenn/Villanova. Abstract Deadline June 1, 2014

The Graduate Liberal Studies program will co-host along with the MLA Program at the University of Pennsylvania the annual Association for Graduate Liberal Studies Programs (AGLSP) Conference October 9-11, 2014. The topic this year will be “Revolutions! Past, Present, and Future.” This is an interdisciplinary conference. Here are the details:

The Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs 2014 Conference
October 9-11, 2014—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University


Philadelphia has long been home to revolutionary thought. Its most famous son, Benjamin Franklin—inventor, scientist, newspaper mogul, diplomat, political philosopher, educational reformer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, statesman—is the embodiment of the myriad revolutions that continue to shape human history, especially in modern times.

For the 2014 AGLSP conference, we will explore the theme of Revolutions. Appropriately, the conference will take place here in Philadelphia, birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, at the University of Pennsylvania, the university that Franklin founded (in the spirit of educational reform) and the home of the ENIAC—the first computer that revolutionized the face of modern technology.

We invite papers that explore a wide range of viewpoints on the topic of Revolutions, including the following:
  • Political
  • Technological
  • Economic
  • Scientific
  • Religious
  • Cultural / Artistic
  • Educational
  • Social
  • Sexual
  • Present and future revolutions – what might be the next revolution?
We welcome papers from multiple disciplines, including history, literature, the social sciences, the arts, and science, but in the spirit of Liberal Studies, special consideration will be given to papers which combine the perspectives of various disciplines, and which engage academic but non-specialist audiences. Proposals that address the integration of this theme into Liberal Studies curricula and classes are also welcome. Consideration will also be given to complete panels.

Presentations should be 20 minutes long. Visual and other media are welcome where appropriate, but prospective presenters are reminded to rely on PowerPoint only when it offers an appropriate enhancement to the material.

Please send a 1-2 page abstract to the conference organizers Marylu Hill ( and Chris Pastore ( by June 1, 2014.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Villanova Gender & Women Studies - Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference

Villanova University
Gender and Women’s Studies Program

Call for Papers
25th Annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Student Research Conference

Deadline for Submission: Friday, February 14, 2014 
 To Be Presented on: Friday, April 4, 2014

Each year, Villanova University’s Gender and Women’s Studies program hosts the annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference. This year, in honor of its 25th anniversary, GWS is joining forces with the Greater Philadelphia Women’s Studies Consortium to expand the conference and open it to students at area schools including the University of Delaware, Haverford College, Ursinus College, Temple University, and others. This is an exciting opportunity to showcase your work, discuss your interests with students and faculty from the area, and see the broad range of intellectual disciplines that Gender and Women’s Studies encompasses!

Submit your paper to compete for a CASH AWARD in one of the following three categories: 
  1. papers or creative works by first year undergraduates (4-10 pages) 
  2. papers or creative works by sophomores, juniors, and seniors (5-20 pages) 
  3. papers by graduate students (12-30 pages)
The Barbara Wall Award for Feminist Praxis A may be given to a paper that demonstrates a commitment to 
practical applications of feminist theory.

Essays and creative work must engage gender, sexuality, or feminist theories; a biographical or historical account of women or a woman is not sufficient. For example, a paper might: critically explore actions and reactions caused by gender prejudice or discuss how gender functions in some aspect of society; analyze a text using elements from feminist theory; or report an empirical study that engages gender. All papers must have been written during Spring or Fall 2013 or written specifically for the conference. 

We encourage submission of alternative forms of scholarship, including but not limited to original scripts, poetry, or films that engage gender analysis. If the feminist or gender analysis is not overt in the creative work itself, the work should be accompanied by an essay that explains the theory's application. 

Submission Guidelines
Essays should be formatted in Word, using 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1 inch margins, and age numbers.
  • Outside sources, documented in a bibliography or reference section, are strongly encouraged.
  • Include a cover sheet with the following information: student’s name, major or program and year of graduation, mailing and email addresses, phone number, and the name of the course and professor for which the paper was written (if any).
  • Marks of identification, except for the work’s title, should not appear anywhere else in the paper.
  • Please email the paper as a Word document to by February 14, 2014. 

All papers will be presented at the conference on April 4th. 
Attendance at the conference constitutes an excused absence from classes. 
Questions? Email us: or call 610-519-3815

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"Making Knowledge" Medieval and Early Modern Grad Conference at University of North Carolina. Abstract Deadline December 1, 2014.

“Making Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literary Culture”

The literature and culture of the late medieval and early modern periods were profoundly affected by the expansion of new artisanal and scientific technologies—innovations and ideas that would lead to the production and consumption of new forms of knowledge. In both periods, knowledge was conceptualized across a range of intersecting disciplines, including natural philosophy, astrology, mathematics, medicine, art, mechanics, and cartography, among others. Literature embraced, criticized, or participated in these fields in diverse ways, often examining how these new forms or categories of knowledge influenced the locus and ontology of the individual and social self.

Collectively, we will investigate the ways in which medieval and early modern literature engages with scientific, technological and textual processes of making and disseminating knowledge. In addition, we are interested in discussing the creation and development of modern/postmodern technologies through and around medieval and early modern texts. As such, scholars studying medieval and early modern texts, performances, and art—or later reassessments thereof— are welcome. 

This conference is part of a three-year collaboration between King’s College, London and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Previous conferences include “Shakespeare and the Natural World” at UNC and “Shakespeare, Memory, and Culture” at KCL. “Making Knowledge” aims to continue this collaboration and engage in critical discussion with graduate students from both institutions and from across the US.

Suggested topics include:
  • Technology or science’s effects on gender, politics, religion, magic, nature and preternature, economics, or epistemology 
  • Scientific observation and innovation, taxonomies, and literary form
  • Transmission of texts
  • Mechanics in literature and performance
  • Medicine, technology, alchemy, humours and prostheses of bodies in texts
  • The position of the self within material, vitalistic, or atomistic conceptions of the cosmos
  • Boundaries between the human and the machine
  • Nature versus artifice
  • The effect of modern and postmodern technologies on the dissemination and evolution of medieval and early modern texts
  • Medieval, early modern and postmodern intersections of text and technology
  • Genre and technology
Dr. Pamela Smith, a cultural historian at Columbia University, will deliver the keynote titled “From Matter to Ideas: Making Natural Knowledge in early Modern Europe” on Saturday evening, April 5th. Dr. Smith’s publications include Merchants and Marvels: Commerce, Science and Art in Early Modern EuropeThe Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution, and Making Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: Practices, Objects, and Texts, 1400-1800.

We invite papers on these and related topics. Abstracts of 300-400 words are due December 1st, 2013 to Participants will be notified on January 25th.

“Making Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Culture” will be held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from April 4th-5th, 2014. 

"Merging Borders" Graduate Student Symposium at Purdue. Abstract Deadline December 10, 2013.

Purdue University School of Languages and Cultures
14th Annual Graduate Student Symposium
March 7-8th, 2014

"Merging Borders: Language, Literature and Communication in Cross-cultural Contexts"

Keynote Speakers: Dr. Dov-Ber Kerler, Indiana University and Dr. Karen Thornber, Harvard University
Invited Speakers: Dr. Rafael Climent-Espino, Baylor University and Dr. Muriel Gallego, Ohio University

Throughout history, previously isolated groups have come into contact with outsiders, in terms of customs, religion, and language. These interactions can yield varying results based on the specific circumstances of the cultural meeting. How well do two groups unknown to each other successfully communicate across cultural boundaries? What are the literary, linguistic, socio-political and cultural outcomes of such communication? How do cross-cultural interactions alter the way original members of the same group communicate? Research into specific interactions of this type can reveal patterns in the nature of human language and communication, as well as provide an insight into certain aspects of cultural and literary production across merging borders.

The Purdue University School of Languages and Cultures invites graduate students to submit original research whose results contribute to an understanding of communication across cultural, geographic and linguistic boundaries. This symposium aims to foment discussion surrounding an issue of ever more importance in the United States and across the globe as technology and globalization shift the way humans interact toward an ever more connected society. The struggle between conformity and maintenance of individual and cultural diversity merits special focus in a time of such unprecedented social change.

Send abstracts to Lauren Miller at by Dec. 10th. 2013. Abstracts are to be written in English and limited to one page (an extra page may be allowed for references, figures and tables). Individual and panel submissions are welcome from a variety of fields, including but not limited to:

Language Acquisition
Second Language Studies
Applied Linguistics
Historical Linguistics
Cognitive Studies
Comparative Literature
Transatlantic Literature
Colonial Studies Gender and Sexuality Studies
American Studies
Cultural Studies
Film Studies

"Trespassing(s)" Graduate Conference at University of Maryland. Abstract Deadline: December 22, 2013

The Graduate English Organization (GEO) of the University of Maryland, College Park invites abstract submissions for the upcoming 7th annual interdisciplinary conference on March 7 and 8, 2014. The conference theme is “Trespassing(s),” focusing on ideas of “trespassing” as a category of physical, conceptual, or representational acts that attract the attention of various disciplines. The conference seeks to explore both the motivations for and experiences of trespassing as well as the structures of thought and power that define it. The conference will also include a plenary panel of established scholars from UMD and surrounding area.

To further recognize the accomplishments of participants, the conference committee will again present a best paper award at the end our the event. Send panel proposals or individual paper abstracts as a Word Document or PDF attachment by December 22nd, 2013 to the conference organizers at: For more information, please visit the English department website at and the conference website/call for papers at