The graduate students of the departments of Germanic Studies, Slavic and
Baltic Languages and Literatures and Hispanic and Italian Studies at the
University of Illinois at Chicago are pleased to announce their first
interdisciplinary graduate student conference:

Converging Narratives:
The Personal Meets the National
April 10 and 11, 2015
Chicago, IL

Keynote Speaker: Graphic Novelist Marzena Sowa
2nd Keynote Speaker: TBA

This interdisciplinary graduate student conference, titled “Converging Narratives: The Personal
meets the National,” will focus on the theme of personal narratives in an age of transnationalism
and globalization. We will explore how the complex cultural configurations germane to a
globalizing world inform storytelling, and how contradictions arise between personal and national
narratives. Furthermore, we are interested in how national and transnational identities are
represented in literature, visual media and performance. The contributions at the conference will
investigate the following questions: How does the national delimit or particularize the personal?
Could the national be a source of personal identity crisis? What do we mean by “nation,” and does
this cultural container hold lasting significance for the individual in a transnational age? How does
a global setting influence the space between the Self and the Other? How do transnational
perspectives change national (literary and filmic) canons? How do globalization and
transnationalism transform “personal” and “national” narratives? Related topics of interest include
borders and borderlands, mobility, new media and migration.

Our keynote speaker is the author of, among other books, the celebrated graphic novel Marzi about
life growing up in communist Poland. We therefore anticipate stimulating discussions about the
graphic novel as narrative and visual medium and welcome papers and panels that focus on the
graphic novel as medium for articulating personal narratives in contested spaces and times.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- the graphic novel as a unique medium for personal storytelling
- narratives of longing and belonging
- borders and border-crossing
- diaspora and travel literature
- nation and nationality
- migration and mobility
- globalization and transnationalism
- multilingual and multicultural practices and representations
- digital spaces and new media
- personal and (trans)national identity
- the gender and race of citizen, immigrant and refugee identities
- orientation and dislocation
- minor and minority literatures, film and art
- national canons rethought from a transnational perspective

We strongly encourage proposals submitted by graduate students from all disciplines (including,
but not limited to, Hispanic and Italian Studies, Germanic Studies, Slavic and Baltic Studies,
French and Francophone Studies, English, Sociology, Film Studies, Art and Architecture, and
History). We also welcome dance, theatrical, literary, and cinematic contributions. Please submit a
mini vita (no longer than 50 words) and an abstract (no longer than 300 words) for a 15-20 minute
presentation to [log in to unmask] no later than November 30, 2014.
Pre-constituted panels of 3 or 4 papers are also welcome.

******************* The German Studies Call for Papers List Editor: Stefani Engelstein Assistant Editor: Olaf Schmidt Sponsored by the University of Missouri Info available at: