Southwest Graduate English Symposium
[Re]Inventing Communications and Communities:
Transmission, Translation, Transgression
Panel Call for Papers
For all panels, please submit to the same email address, but identify which panel you are submitting for. 350-word paper proposals are due by November 1. Please include your name, professional affiliation, home and office numbers, mailing address, and email address. Also, please include any A/V requirements with your submission.
All panels encourage creative and critical presentations, as well as approaches from a wide variety of disciplines.
Submit all proposals and questions to email@example.com
Appropriating Theory and the (Re)Invention of Communications and Communities: Transmission, Translation, Transgression
As theories give rise to new theories and understanding of a theory evolves, is there something lost in translation? How are theories appropriated i.e. neo versus original “form”? What does this mean for the original theory or the theories based upon the translated original? Is appropriation and adaptation a transgression about the original theory? Is it necessary for theory to be (re)translated and transmitted for thought and ideas to grow?
Demystifying Stigma: The Dilemma of Difference
“Multidisciplinary studies of stigma have revealed its three most important aspects: fear, stereotyping, and social control, which are its primary affective, cognitive, and behavioral components. These studies also assert that, alongside the usually restrictive effect undesired differences have on social realization and opportunities, the imposition of social control is decisive in stigmatization. Such an approach to stigma brings forth its complex relational framework and allows it to be understood as “not primarily a property of individuals as many have conceptualized it to be but a humanly constructed perception, constantly in flux and legitimizing our negative responses to human differences.”
~Maria Todorova “Imagining the Balkans”
This panel explores the critical factors in understanding stigma, both cross-culturally and intraculturally, as well as the psychological mechanisms of self-stigmatization and destigmatization. How does text (newspaper articles, travelogues, fictional work) reinforce or challenge the stereotypes associated with stigma?
Hermes’s Tongue: The Validity and Challenges of Art as Messenger
What are the challenges of using art to translate a message? How does art function as a language? What is lost or gained when it is transmitted to the audience? How does visual/ performance art fit into academia? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations, including visual and performance art, which explores these questions.
Hypertext and Intertext: Recasting the Master Narrative
Jasper Fforde’s popular series of literary detective novels, beginning with The Eyre Affair, popularized a little-studied literary trope: intertextual references and devices that subvert the linear master narrative. From farting bookworms to the “footnoterphone,” Fforde utilizes font types, footnotes, and misspellings to argue for a multi-textuality in his novels. How have other writers done the same? For what purpose? How does this practice affect us as readers? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore these questions. Topics may include self-referencing, online hypertext, multiple narrators, and much more.
The Immigrant Writer as Creator of Identity
To what extent do immigrant writers create/stabilize/challenge the identity of their respective immigrant group? What factors influence their involvement in the intercultural conversation between the host culture and the immigrant community? What are their responses to the issue of split or multiple identity? How does their choice of (writing) language support their views?
Material Culture and the (Re)Invention of Communications and Communities: Transmission, Translation, Transgression
How do we, as individuals or communities, convey our identities via the objects with which we surround ourselves? Can the creation of objects, such as “native” crafts, empower or give voice to people or communities who historically have none? How does the value of an object change as it is transmitted from creator to purchaser or recipient and beyond? Examples could include rafting communities, such as the current phenomenon of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, and attempts at economic empowerment, such as the efforts of Invisible Children, as well as historical experiences, as with sampler stitchers throughout the 18th and 19th Centuries.
The Pretty that Hurts: The Cult of Pain and Violating the Body
From self-mutilation to the rise of plastic surgery; from the Gothic genre to representations of pain in media and art, how has transgressing the body yielded consequences for artists and audiences? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore these questions.
Public Information Dissemination and the (Re) Invention of Communications and Communities: Transmission, Translation, Transgression.
During the Reformation in Early Modern Europe, the reformers used visual media, along with written texts, to disseminate their doctrine to the populace. The visual transmissions took form in woodcuts, pamphlets, and paintings and often contained lewd and controversial imagery degrading Catholic figures and beliefs. These visual Medias, however, also were accompanied with written text. Due to the limited amount of people able to read (most being either clergy or well-off), the visual medias, targeted at the populace in of themselves became vehicles of hierarchal reinforcement.
This instance of history begs the question: how does education or a lack thereof affect how one understands information being disseminated to them? Are hierarchies and class-systems reinforced or negated despite Medias being targeted to all audiences? In visual media, specifically, what can be lost in translation and is it done on purpose (and for what purpose)?
(Re)Inventing the Pronoun: Intersecting Gender, Society, Culture, Identity
How does the translation of social and cultural codes (re)invent gender? How does the (re)invention of gender affect existing communities and create new forms of communication and identity? What are the consequences of blurring and transgressing these boundaries? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore these questions.
The Task of the Translator in a Globalized World
“No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the listener.”
According to Walter Benjamin, “the task of the translator consists in finding that intended effect upon the language into which he is translating which produces in it the echo of the original.”
Can translators help break the myth of the Other via conscious, informed translations which take into account the Point of View of the original authors? How is translation conditioned by cultural, historical, or geographic variables? Is it possible to convey a work of art in another language without overlaying the resultant translation with the translator’s own cultural perceptions? If it is, can translation challenge, or even undermine, dominant cultural narratives in the United States and elsewhere by simply revealing the face of the Other?
Possible topics: Translation and globalization, the translator’s responsibility and/or purpose of translation, translation’s social effects, questions of fidelity in translation, the effect of technology on translation.
Theatre and the (Re)Invention of Communications and Communities: Transmission, Translation, Transgression
Each production of a play communicates meaning beyond the playwright’s original intent. In the transmission of text from page to stage, what gets lost in translation and what new meanings are invented? Does the work’s inherent meaning get changed and transgressed in staging, or is it merely communicated differently? Does the audience or community receiving the play take part in the (re)invention of meaning? Examples could include explorations of race, gender, staging techniques, translations, adaptations, etc.
To (Un)Make the Pain: The Language and Empathy of Suffering
In Elaine Scarry’s book Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, she claims that pain is language destroying, essentially establishing a barrier between the self and reality that eliminates meaningful communication with the outside world. Therefore, not only is it impossible to adequately describe pain, but the possibility of empathy is all but destroyed. This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore and engage the question: How can a subject effectively communicate the experience of pain? How can a community understand or empathize with that subject? Topics may include specific writers – such as Sylvia Plath or Philip K. Dick – or a more general theoretical study.
Transgressing the Canon: Giving Literary Credence to the Pulp
Stephen King is one author that has been accused of transgressing the canon. Is this a fair accusation? What other authors have been said to commit this violation, and to what end? What are the consequences to the literary community when standardization is applied to art and communication? What are the implications of graphic novels and other genres entering into academic criticism? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore these questions.
Transgressing Nature’s Body: Industrialization and the Violation of Mother Earth
Be it bodies of water or bodies of land, documentaries such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Leonardo DiCaprio’s The 11th Hour speak to humanity’s continued rape of the physical world. In what ways has industrialization prompted progress while damaging the planet? What are the consequences of violating any form of “natural boundary”? This panel seeks critical and creative presentations that explore these questions.
The “Transgression” of the Prose Poem
“My little crazy beloved was serving me dinner, and through the dining room’s open window I was contemplating the moving architectures that God fashions from vapors, the marvelous constructions of the impalpable. And I was saying to myself, through my contemplation, ‘All those phantasmagorias are almost as beautiful as the eyes of my beautiful beloved, my little green-eyed monstrous madwoman.’
And suddenly I received a violent punch in the back, and I heard a hoarse and charming voice, a hysterical voice and husky as if from brandy, the voice of my dear little beloved, which was saying, ‘Will you ever eat your soup, you goddamn cloud peddler!’”
-Charles Baudelaire “The Soup And The Clouds”
The prose poem is controversial by reputation and design. But what are we all afraid of? Why must a genre that intentionally subverts the conventions of poetry and the expectations of prose—a genre that subverts the definition of genre itself—rattle the rigid walls of the ivory tower?
We welcome passionate discussion of the prose poem. We welcome articulate discussion of conventional genres in literature. We even welcome discussion of “non-literature” or “would-be literature” limited to online or private publication (or to publication that is never actually seen because it is “outside” the “mainstream” and therefore has “no audience”) due to the stogy expectations of corporate, controlling, popular, contemporary publishing. In short, all—including “transwriters” (or writers of prose poems)—are welcome.
Translation in Literature
Fine literature does and should span centuries and continents. But have you ever played telephone? Have you ever played operator?
What is lost in the translation of ancient texts or even contemporary texts in different languages? How can the poems of Turgenev or the initially oral tales of, say, The Iliad retain their meaning through time and space? And if something is lost in translation, why must we strive for transmission in this ever-shrinking, wi-fy connected world?
Tuning Culture: Questioning the Transmission of the Everyday to the Foreign Eye, Ear, and Mind
Shall I read Things Fall Apart or The Poisonwood Bible to know what Africa is like? Should I listen to Vivaldi or peruse A Room with a View when curious about the country of Italy? How accurately is art and literature able to transmit culture? What wonder to feel empathy for sights and persons unknown—even without the literal touching of hands or treading of feet. What expectations and stereotypes are fostered or created by the media, the arts, and the language arts? What of the translation of humor among different cultures, different societies? Is transmission truly—or how is transmission truly—accomplished? What does our graphic art, our rap, and our poetry say about “us”…and can “others” truly understand it?
War and the (Re)Invention of Communications and Communities: Transmission, Translation, Transgression
How does the (re)invention of communications and communities intersect with issues of war? How can war, totalitarianism, or torture be reconsidered regarding transmission, translation, and transgression? Examples could include transmission of information to communities about war via media and visual images, translation of trauma to the body into writing or speaking, and transgression against the nation-state, religion, gender, violence, etc.