SAGE 2024 Graduate Symposium Call for Papers

Information the SAGE-UW 2024 Graduate Symposium, Dis/Connections, which will be held at the University of Waterloo – Waterloo Campus on October 5th, 2024. Paper proposals are due July 5.

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.”

Herman Melville, Moby Dick

We seek out forms of connection in a time of profound isolation and disconnectivity. How do we connect, who do we connect with, and what does connection even mean to us today? The experience of social isolation drew personal and scholarly attention to the question of whether we can live and think alone. If not, how do different connections – whether among people, the more than human world, digital spaces, media, disciplines, or places – enable us?

Literary traditions thematize the experience of isolation or the relationality of identity; digital platforms share visions of deterritorialized community or individual exit (Sharma, "Going to Work in Mommy’s Basement"); postcolonial and diaspora studies trace networks of connection influence and resistance between “homelands” and beyond inherited networks (Anderson, Imagined Communities; Walcott, Black Like Who?); critical scholarship searches for ways of forming or reviving sociopolitical collectivity in a time of atomizing techno-capitalism (Kaba and Hayes, Let This Radicalize You); queer and feminist studies raise the meanings and possibilities of gendered bodies and voices connecting or reorienting towards one another in ways that conflict with law and the quiet hegemony of norms, as both private experience and living culture (Ahmed, Living a Feminist Life); and ecocriticism demonstrates again the material and elemental linkages that make textual and media worlds possible.

SAGE-UW invites your proposal submissions for academic papers and organized panels under the broad theme of connections.

This academic symposium hosted by SAGE-UW is interested in inter/multi/transdisciplinary academic works and encourages submissions from all areas. Participation/submissions from students from all disciplines, backgrounds, and experiences are welcome. SAGE-UW is committed to supporting LGBTQIA2+, BIPOC, and minority experiences, as well as first-time presenters. We hope our symposium can be both an opportunity to (re)connect with each other, and to foster a conversation on connection and isolation across research areas in English and overlapping fields.

Dis/Connections urges papers that explore a variety of manifestations of connections, including but not limited to:

  • Connections to the land, environment, space

  • Social media connectivity/community

  • Connections through representations (of self, others, identity)

  • Literary & cultural connections

  • Connections across time

  • Gaming/reality/virtual worlds

  • Gamified connection and exit in the design of new media

  • Connections through protest

  • Isolation, the struggle for connection, (dis)connection

  • Connections to the homeland/diaspora studies

  • Relationality

Individual Proposal Submissions should include a 200-250 word proposal, a presentation title, and a 50-word biography including name and school attended. Presentations should be 10-15 minutes in length.

If you would like to submit a panel, please include a short description, the panel’s name, a single document including presenters’ names, schools attended, titles of each presentation, 250-word abstracts for each presentation, and a 50-word bio for each presenter.

Submissions can be made through our submission form by July 5th, 2024.

Connection is why we’re here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The power that connection holds in our lives was confirmed when the main concern about connection emerged as the fear of disconnection; the fear that something we have done or failed to do, something about who we are or where we come from, has made us unlovable and unworthy of connection.

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly

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Student Association for Graduates in English (SAGE)

Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo