Conference Fall 2012
Comparative Literature Department and Italian Specialization
Graduate Center - CUNY
IN TRANS: Reading Between and Beyond
Keynote speakers: Prof. Leonard Barkan (Princeton University) and Prof.
Michael Holquist (Yale University)
The students of the Department of Comparative Literature and of the
Italian Specialization at the CUNY Graduate Center present the annual
interdisciplinary conference entitled IN TRANS: Reading Between and
Beyond, to be held on November 8 and 9, 2012.
The prefix trans- implies the fundamental patterns that lie at the heart
of artistic and other modes of creation and reception. It entails the act
of moving simultaneously beyond, between and through the limits of a
concept or an idea. From Translation to Transcendence, from
Transnationalism to Transsexualism, from Transcription to Transgression,
the study of phenomena that occur in between or beyond traditional
definitions and principles has captured the attention of the academic
world over the past twenty years. Words that begin with the prefix trans-
describe cultural and artistic creations that attempt to defy standard
notions of identity, authorship, completeness, meaning or interpretation.
This conference will explore the study of what lies between and beyond
the customary through the use of words that contain the very idea of
being "in trans."
We invite papers from all disciplines focusing on works from any period
that explore the multiplicity of the prefix trans- in literature,
philosophy, theory, visual arts, film, or social sciences. Some of the
questions this conference seeks to answer include, but are not limited to:
€ What role does transience play in the work of art as it goes from
the first draft to a possible final product? What does this condition
€ Do the notions that challenge standard definitions and principles
become immutable standards themselves?
€ How has literary theory dealt with the issues of deception and
sincerity? Can any cultural expression, whether literary, audiovisual,
philosophical, or political, be transparent?
€ How has the idea of national, racial or cultural identity been
challenged by literature, cinema, or the arts? How does transnationalism
affect contemporary cultural expressions?
€ How does transferring from one space to another affect the
creation and the reception of the work of art?
€ How have the theological concepts of transubstantiation and
transfiguration been developed in literature and the arts? Can literary
theory use these concepts to understand the problem of creation and
€ How are the identities of the author and the translator affected
by the shift from one language to another? How is the reception of a text
influenced by translation?
€ What happens to a work when it is transcoded from one symbolic
system to another?
€ How are transsexual modes of self-identification expressed or
challenged in a work of art?
€ What is the relation between the transcendent and the sublime?
Does the presence of transcendence push the limit of a work of art?
€ How is transmission, in terms of broadcasting, cultural
transplantation, or even disease, exemplified in art and literature? How
has transmission been approached by literary theory?
€ How does the author transfer his fears and desires to the work of
art and the reader? How can the processes of transference and transferal
€ How has the concept of transgression been portrayed and studied
by literature, the arts or the social sciences?
Please submit a 300 word abstract for a 15-20 minute paper by September 15, 2012 to
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>.
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.
Please refer to the website for further information:
This conference is co-sponsored by:
The Writers¹ Institute at the City University of New York Graduate
Center, a non-MFA program devoted to bringing together the country¹s most
talented writers and today¹s most celebrated editors;
The Sonia Raiziss Group Foundation;
The Doctoral Students¹ Council, the sole policymaking body representing
students in doctoral and master¹s programs at the Graduate Center of the
City University of New York.
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://grs.missouri.edu/resources/gerlistserv.html