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CFP: “Bridges and Borders: Crossings in Language and Culture” (Deadline: 2/11/2022)

Carnegie Mellon University English Colloquia Presents "Bridges and Borders: Crossings in Language and Culture"

A Graduate Student Virtual Conference presented by the Department of English Colloquia

Conference Date: April 15th & 16th, 2022

Proposal Deadline: Submission Deadline: February 11th, 2022

“Caminante, no hay puentes, se hace puentes al andar.”

“Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.”

Gloria Anzaldúa This Bridge Called My Back

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already stark global inequities maintained through borders and bordering practices. Materially, physical barriers, biometric security measures, and racialized surveillance practices continue to proliferate at border crossings. But these borders are not fixed lines dividing geopolitical spaces, they move across geographies as ever-shifting entities with violent implications for those under their influence. Ideologically, borders execute power through law, language, and structural forces that restrict mobility, shape perception, and fuel xenophobia. When one crosses these material and immaterial borders, a bridge is built. A transgressive or fugitive act, bridge building, requires us to examine bordering practices and imagine new forms of coalition.

What can we, as humanists, do in response to these national and cultural divisions that continue to marginalize? How do we resist the violence that national borders and bordering practices maintains? How might we cross boundaries that are arbitrarily maintained through neoliberal mechanisms of power? How do we imagine scholarship that bridges the divides between nations, communities, and disciplines? How do we interrogate literary and cultural representations of how borders shape understandings of nations, race, and gender?

The organizers invite graduate students from a wide range of disciplines including, but not limited to, literary studies, rhetoric and composition, cultural studies, communications, and creative writing.

The organizers welcome proposals that consider the following keywords and concepts as they relate to borders and bridges:

  • Borders and COVID-19
  • Migration and mobility
  • Representing the border in literature, film, photography, or art
  • Carcerality and fugitivity
  • Identity and marginalization
  • Gender, sexuality, and borders
  • Borders of race and nation
  • Institutional power and transformation
  • Liminality and the space between borders
  • Bridges and borders in language
  • Silence and refusal
  • Collectivity, mutuality, and reciprocity
  • Climate catastrophe and slow violence
  • Fluctuating negotiations between nations, cultures, and the environment
  • Crossing disciplinary boundaries
  • Bridging borders in the classroom

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