CFP: Graduate Student Conference: “Converging Narratives: The Personal Meets the National”: Chicago, IL: April 10, 11, 2015 (Deadline 1/9/15)

CFP: Graduate Student Conference: “Converging Narratives: The Personal Meets the National”: Chicago, IL: April 10, 11, 2015

Deadline: January 9, 2015

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                             

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 no later than January 9, 2015.

Pre-constituted panels of 3 or 4 papers are also welcome.