Extended Deadline: January 8th, 2016.
The graduate students of the Departments of Germanics, French & Italian, and Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media Studies at the University of Washington are pleased to announce their first interdisciplinary graduate student conference on 15-16 April
Insiders, Outsiders and In-betweens: Narratives Converging from Within and Without
Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Andrea Geier, University of Trier, Germany (tentative)
2nd Keynote Speaker: Dr. Habiba Ibrahim, University of Washington, USA
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).” Mark Twain, Notebook, 1904
This interdisciplinary graduate student conference, titled “Insiders, Outsiders and In-betweens: Narratives Converging from Within and Without” will focus on narratives at the intersection of migration and multipositionalities. We live in a world in flux. Globalization,
war, westernization, even digitalization—processes of homogenization and congruity—these forces displace individuals and populations, requiring them to reorient themselves vis-à-vis their dynamic surroundings. Moving inside or outside a given frame of reference,
how do we retain what remains unique (if it was ever there in the first place), or what does it mean to belong? The concept of multipositionality, developed by scholars such as Seyla Benhabib and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, refers to a position one occupies,
the standpoint from which one speaks, and the location in which one’s agency negotiates. This conference will examine personal narratives concerned with migration and other forms of transition, such as those dealing with information, symbols, capital, and
commodities. We encourage submissions that respond to the contemporary forces that challenge the insider-outsider dichotomy.
The contributions at the conference may investigate the following questions:
How have representations, definitions, and understandings of migration changed over time? How is the experience of migration shaped by the formation of a narrative? How is migration apprehended in social, political, aesthetic, medial, sexual, gender-related,
religious, or cultural areas of inquiry? How might this process influence genre formation in the arts or vice-versa? How is migration used aesthetically, politically, socially, or otherwise? What and where are the points of transition or convergence between
populations? What is gained and lost in the act of convergence? In what ways can migration be related to translation? How might the concept of migration be considered from the duality of the adjective peculiar, both unique but strange?
Our two keynote speakers are authors, editors and accomplished scholars in the fields of Rhetoric, Philosophy, Postcolonial and Gender Studies (Geier), as well as Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory and 20th Century African-American Literary and Cultural
Studies (Ibrahim). We therefore anticipate stimulating discussions of personal narratives concerned with migration and other forms of transition.
Possible topics include but are not limited to: - 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 encourage proposals submitted by graduate students from a broad diversity of disciplines, including, but not limited to, Asian Languages & Literature, English, French and Francophone Studies, Hispanic and Italian Studies, Germanic Studies, Scandinavian Studies,
Slavic and Baltic Studies, Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media Studies, Film Studies, Art and Architecture, History, Anthropology, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies. 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
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no later than January 8th 2016.
Department of Germanics
University of Washington
"The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one's key to the experience of others." James A. Baldwin