Wednesday, January 16, 2013


English Graduate Conference at Southern Methodist University
March 23, 2013

Describing Kokovoko, the mysterious island home of Queequeg in Melville's Moby Dick, Ishmael states, "It is not down in any map; true places never are." The idea of "place" is a complicated one that has haunted and inspired the literary imaginations of countless writers and readers. This conference panel seeks papers that explore the significance of space, place, and geography in literature.

Possible paper topics include:
- Evolving geographies (both material and abstract)
- National boundaries & the formulation of national identities
- Spatial categories: public and private; urban and rural; natural and civilized; sacred and secular
- Gendered spaces: domestic space and female interiority
- Designed spaces: architecture; the landscape of the city; maps and cartography
- Imperialism, exploration, navigation, and the colonization of foreign places
- The cultivation of natural spaces (landscaping, gardening, agriculture)
- Tourism; landmarks; travel writing
- Liminal spaces; geographical / social / cultural marginalization; disenfranchisement
- Ideas of property and the ownership of space.
- Sacred and religious spaces
- Transatlantic and transnational spaces
- Cyberspace and virtual geographies
- Form: space as a poetic technique
- The aesthetics of space

Keynote Speaker:
Dorsey Armstrong is an Associate Professor of English at Purdue University. She is the author of Gender and the Chivalric Community of Malory’s Morte D’Arthur, is the editor-in-chief of Arthuriana, and sits on the board of directors of TEAMS (the Consortium for the Teaching of the Middle Ages).

Submissions from a range of disciplines are encouraged: literature, theology, history, sociology, etc.

Submission Policy:
Interested applicants should submit a 250-word abstract with their name, phone number, email address, and institutional affiliation to by February 22, 2013.
Conference presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.  

Image from Frank Norris's The Octopus:

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