CFPs Postgraduate

CFP ‘Dissidence’ – UCL English postgraduate conference


Dissidence < Latin dissidēntia, < dissidēre to sit apart, disagree

featuring guest speaker Prof. Stefan Collini and second speaker to be announced

“The stories we are told today have stopped making sense” — Adam Curtis

As Britain staggers towards another General Election, the question of dissidence is more pressing than ever: drifting inertly in the face of unprecedented changes to higher education and our public sector, and after the convulsions of 2008 and 2011, have we as a society lapsed into indifference?

The 2015 UCL English Graduate Conference invites proposals for 20 minute papers on the theme of dissidence.

If literature has always provided a forum for dissent, rebellion and resistance and, as such, has frequently acted as a catalyst for change, how might models from the literary-historical past provide a framework for thinking about resistance in the present? Can we keep going as we are? Do we simply need “stories we can believe in”, or do we need to cultivate new methods of critique? And if so, how might literature or literary studies show the way?

This conference will therefore not only address the place of dissidence in literature, but also the place of culture in society and its potential as a site for critique. What kind of space for resistance can be opened up by literature and culture, and what does literary scholarship have to contribute? Are we, as scholars, dissidents – or were we ever?

The aim of this conference is to provide an opportunity for postgraduates working across the UK and internationally to present their own work – and to frame it within a wider conversation about the place of humanities in the twenty first century. Papers can address the topic of dissidence in any period of literary history, consider texts from any country, and originate from any theoretical perspective.

Proposals are particularly welcomed along the following strands, although other interpretations will be gladly received:

* Social/Political Dissidence — outsider figures / models of resistance / commitment

* Aesthetic Dissidence — generic shifts / cultures of dissent / outsider & oppositional aesthetics / canonical re-orientations / new media and literature / modernism’s afterlives

* Textual Dissidence — divergent readings / the readerly & the writerly / hermeneutics of suspicion

* Sexual Dissidence — queer voices / feminism / gender identity politics

* Spatial/Temporal Dissidence — subversive literary spaces / the space of literature / exile / diaspora / history / utopias / dystopias

Please submit 300 word proposals, accompanied by brief biographies, to dissidence.ucl.english@gmail.comby Friday 17 April.