CFP: 21st Century Englishes

Graduate Student Conference: “21st Century Englishes” on Oct. 19, 2013
Location: Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
Contact email:
Proposal Submission Deadline: June 1, 2013

We invite proposals for scholarly and creative works and readings for a Midwest graduate student conference titled “21st Century Englishes” to be held Saturday, October 19th, 2013, hosted by graduate students of the Department of English at Bowling Green State University. Keynote speaker, Jason Palmeri, Assistant Professor of English and affiliate faculty in Interactive Media Studies at Miami University will discuss “Literacy Crises, Then and Now: The Multimodal, Multilingual Past, Present, and Future of English Studies,” historicizing contemporary conversations about multimodality and globalization in English studies to arrive at an activist vision for the Department of Englishes in the twenty-first century.

This conference’s focus on Englishes arises out of the fact that technological change and globalization have increasingly put us into contact with communities and cultures around the world, so that scholars of language and writing have begun to regard the term “English” as problematic. Emerging scholars are now contending with the heterogeneity of speakers of English, the Englishes they speak, and their participation in today’s curricula. This conference will offer graduate students the opportunity to explore Englishes through themes of diversity, difference, transition, resistance, and redefinition by exploring the new discourses and new realities of English, as well as how these are resituated in the traditional idea of “English.” Englishes are comprised of multiple discourses but can also be understood as the variety of disciplinary fields under the “English Department” banner, including literature, rhetoric and composition/writing, creative writing, lingui
stics, TESOL, technical writing, and media studies. Theories and schools of thought have at times led to disciplinary entrenchment, divisions, and camps, but also to cross-disciplinary and collaborative work that blossoms into scholarship and teaching. While it may be difficult to disentangle institutional silos, we can make in-roads to [re]define, imagine, and practice transdisciplinary Englishes, particularly through the rise of digital technologies and increasing access to others and their ideas.

Toward that aim, we welcome proposals that address how Englishes might manifest in theory, practice, and praxis. Additionally, the conference theme embraces changing conceptions: How might theory translate, or be transformed, into/by practice? What new English studies work extends previous English studies’ developments or challenges traditional conceptions of English studies? What developments outside of English studies have been instrumental in shaping current thought? We are especially interested in explorations that defy or reconceptualize more traditional approaches to scholarship and teaching and how changing landscapes affect disciplines such as literary studies, rhetoric and composition/writing, creative writing, TESOL, technical writing, and linguistics. We also encourage submissions that explore the conference themes through creative representations and readings, as well submissions that instruct others on the affordances of specific technologies in the Englishes.

Presentations may explore, but are not limited, to the following:

●      What are Englishes and how might we (re)define them?
●      As a graduate student, how do you see your disciplinary work changing? How do current debates in the humanities affect the future of Englishes?
●      How is English(es) pedagogy transforming (in) the 21st century?
●      How might/are we facilitating collaboration across disciplinary boundaries?
●      What new or non-traditional lines of thought in your particular field offer the potential to alter our idea of English(es) and how should we foster such potential?
●      How do digital technologies [re]shape the Englishes in areas such as collaborative work, pedagogies, disciplinary scope, etc.? How might a media studies approach inform these areas? How should we as emerging scholars concern ourselves with the digital divide?
●      What do literacies look like in the 21st century? In what ways are current literacies affecting or reshaping the various subfields of English?
●      What are the methodologies, methods, theories, pedagogies, technologies, tools, policies, and people that drive the state of 21st century English?
●      Do you have creative work (poetry, fiction, other) that addresses themes of diversity, difference, transition, resistance, or redefinition?

Panel Proposals: Please include a cover page with panel title, individual presentation titles, each presenter’s full name, the name of a moderator (if available), university affiliation, email address, phone number, and technology requests; the second page should introduce the panel with a 250-word description, followed by a 150-word abstract for each presentation (3 to 4 people). Please do not include any identifying information on the second page. Panel presentations should plan for 80 minutes total, including Q & A time.

Individual Proposals: Please include a cover page with the presentation title, your full name, university affiliation, email address, phone number, and technology requests; the second page should contain a 150-word abstract. Please do not include any identifying information on the second page. Individual presentations should plan on 15-20 minutes each, depending on how many people are on the panel.

Special Interest Group Proposals (SIGs): These more loosely-structured sessions can include 3–6 presenters/participants. Sessions can take any form, such as a roundtable discussion, a collection of creative readings with similar themes/topics, a workshop, a Q & A session, an interactive presentation, or networking and brainstorming for a future project. Please include a cover page containing your SIG title, each participant/presenter’s full name, the name of a moderator (if applicable), presentation titles (if applicable), university affiliation, email address, phone number, and technology requests; the second page should include a 500-word summation of what you hope the SIG will accomplish. Each SIG session should plan for 80 minutes.

We encourage presenters to take advantage of multimodal delivery. Presentations might take the form of a PowerPoint project, Prezi, installation or poster, short film, podcast, web design, creative performance, combination of these, or other possibilities, including traditional presentations.

There is no fee to attend or present at this conference.

*Please email proposals and questions to Proposal deadline is June 1, 2013. We will be sending out acceptance notices in mid-August.

*For more information regarding the conference, please visit our conference website at:

About Steve Mentz 1265 Articles
I teach Shakespeare and the blue humanities at St. John's in New York City.

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