Grad Conference at Duquesne in March: (anti)Foundations

*Note that this conference invites both graduate and undergraduate submissions. Deadline Jan 5, 2013.

The Duquesne University English Graduate Organization invites submissions to:

(anti)Foundations: An Interdisciplinary Conference

March 15-16, 2013

Duquesne University

With traditionalists hearkening for a return to founding principles while protestors of various stripes look forward to dismantling the very notion of norms themselves, questions about the foundations of societal structures occupy a central place in myriad contemporary debates. For the (anti)Foundations Conference—the Duquesne University English Graduate Organization invites considerations of societal structures, their foundations, and the ways that these structures are both reinforced and challenged by works of literature and culture.


We welcome proposals of academic papers from the humanities, arts, and sciences, as well as submissions of creative work from graduate and undergraduate students. Our aim is to establish a space of intellectual inquiry in which scholars can explore and subvert the idea of foundations as they reach across disciplines, genres, genders, religions, cultures, places, time periods, races, and classes.


Possible questions include, but are not limited to:


*How are nations made and unmade? How are borders and national identities constructed? How do literature and art create, reflect, or question the politics of nation and border?

*What is the significance of economic foundations? What issues can alternative economies—the home, the body, sexuality, desire, gifts—make visible? How do literary and cultural analyses create their own economies?

*How do institutions educate and/or discipline individuals and peoples? How do institutions discipline the subject and/or society? What are their foundational premises? How do social, political, and economic institutions shape and constrain education?

*How does literature participate in constructing or disrupting the foundation of the places and spaces we inhabit?

*How do social structures conceive normative bodies? How does literature create ways for disabled or non-normative bodies to transgress, alter, or ultimately reenact these foundational concepts?

*How do literary and social foundations converge to define sexuality and gender? How do readings of sexuality within texts question and complicate traditional foundations of gender norms? How does contemporary literary theory revise our understanding of texts that attempt to establish foundations of human sexuality?

*On what are notions of race founded? How can literature discuss race without affirming questionable premises of the very concept of race? How do cultural analyses of race present the relationship between individuals and societal structures?


Duquesne’s English Graduate Organization is honored to have Dr. Danielle St. Hilaire, author of the forthcoming book, Satan’s Poetry: Fallenness and Poetic Tradition in Paradise Lost, as our keynote speaker. She will present her keynote address entitled: “Against Justice: Pity in Shakespeare’s King Lear”on Saturday afternoon. We will also host a reading on the first evening of the conference.



Submission Guidelines:

Submissions must be received by January 5, 2013 and should include the participant’s name, institutional affiliation, e-mail, phone number, a proposed title, and indicate whether you are a graduate or undergraduate student. For academic papers, please send a 250 word abstract; for creative submissions, please send a 250 word abstract as well as a representative sample of creative work. Panel proposals should explain the panel topic in a 250 word abstract and include a proposed title and the name, institutional affiliation, e-mail, phone number, and status (graduate or undergraduate) for each student on the panel along with abstracts for each paper making up the panel.Please submit your abstract via e-mail to in a doc or pdf format and type “(anti)Foundations Conference Submission” in the subject line of the e-mail.


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

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