Maryland Graduate Forum: History as Text, Text as History

Conference: February 23rd & February 24th

Deadline for abstract submission: December 15th, 2006
email contact: [log in to unmask]

We are very pleased and honored to announce that our keynote speaker will be Dr Tom Bishop (NYU), Gould Professor of French Literature and director of the Center for French Civilization and Culture.

At the forefront of literary and cultural scholarship today stands the reevaluation of texts, which challenges their role as apolitical aesthetic works and redefines them as products of their representative cultures capable of reciprocally influencing their society. We have selected the topic “History as Text, Text as History” with the intention of exploring this dynamic relationship of History and Literature.
Furthermore, we do not limit our understanding of the concept of “text” to written documents, but instead will extend the notion of text to include architecture, various media of speech, films, music, official documents and dialects. We expect to organize panels focusing on the following topics: “Literature as Culture,” “The Visuals Arts as Text,” “Beyond the Facts: The Influence of Contemporary Discourses on the Recording of History,” and “Language Learning through Culture.”
The graduate students of the SLLC at the University of Maryland cordially invite the submission of papers from all disciplines that examine these different topics using the following questions as possible guidelines:

• Cultural influence in linguistic developments: How does this affect second language acquisition? What are the implications for anglophone, francophone, germanophone, hispanophone, Japanese, lusophone, russophone, and other speakers?

• Can one’s native culture influence his/her acquisition of a second language? How?

• Evolution in theoretical developments: romanticism to realism; modern (surrealism, existentialism, industrialism) to post-modern (post-colonialism; globalization; orientalism; post-industrialism); structuralism to post-structuralism; feminism to post-feminism; How are these theoretical developments defined in a text?

• Author interpretation of societal influences in a text (social, economic, scientific, political, etc)?

• How does one interpret various forms of the visual arts as a text? What is the relationship between literature, culture and other forms of art (architecture, film, painting, sculpture)? Is the adaptation of a literary text, such as a film adaptation, effected by the cultural context in which it is produced?

• How can one better understand gender relations (history vs. herstory) of a time by “reading” a text (that is listening to a musical score, looking at a sculpture, watching a film, reading a novel etc)?

These guidelines are meant to generate ideas and are suggestive rather than exhaustive. Proposals with a literary, historical, comparative, linguistic, language acquisition and interdisciplinary approach as well as from any time period are welcome. Please send a 150-word abstract in English by email attachment (Word preferred) before December 15, 2006 and any inquiries to the following address: [log in to unmask]

Please address all inquiries and submissions to:
Christina Wall
3215 Jiménez Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Important dates:
Submission deadline: December, 15th
Acceptance notices: January 15th
Conference: February 23rd and 24th