College of Liberal Arts

CFP: Graduate Conference in Comparative Literature

Tue, Apr 30, 2013

"What We Read: Materiality, Narrative, Text"

Keynote Address by Dr. N. Katherine Hayles, Duke University

We begin with narrative. Reaching backwards, we explore the way that history meets historiography and myth and novel. These stories travel over time and across borders, moving between nations and languages, but also between forms. They become fixed or transfixed as they take shape, embodied in manuscripts and pictorial narratives, photos and films and digital code. This year's conference is located at the intersection between narrative and material form.

In How We Became Postmodern, N. Katherine Hayles writes of the implications of dematerialization in the digital age. This conference addresses questions of materiality and narrative, the relationship between image and form, between form and content. Starting with the contemporary moment, we invite papers that take these concerns and explore them across literatures and historical contexts, looking at avant gardes past and present, at manuscript and book history, archival studies, non-written textual culture, and contemporary media studies.

Dr. Hayles writes that “now almost every aspect of work in the humanities can be envisioned differently.” In this conference, we encourage participants to embrace the possibilities for formal experimentation in their own work. We also strongly encourage applicants to propose panel topics to accompany their work, or to propose a panel in collaboration with colleagues.

We are particularly, but not exclusively, interested in seeing papers that address the following themes

  • The state of the field: implications of the
  • Translation across media digital age for literary scholarship
  • (De)colonial journeys
  • Writing without words
  • Archive and memory
  • Silence and sound
  • Utopia and dystopia
  • Concrete and visual poetry
  • Textual production, textual consumption
  • Hypertext and the digital humanities
  • Queering form, queering bodies
  • Cartoons, comics, and graphic novels
  • Zombies, vampires, cyborgs
  • The theatricality of space

The deadline for Individual Abstracts is June 15, 2013. All proposals should be submitted via email attachment to Panel Proposals may include 3 or 4 speakers and must be submitted by June 1, 2013. The panel leader must email the proposed title, topic, moderator (if available) and presenters for the panel. Each member of the panel must also submit their abstract via email.

For additional information about the conference, please contact conference organizers Cory Hahn and Hannah Alpert-Abrams at or visit UT’s Program in Comparative Literature website:

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