Annual Conference



5th Annual Graduate Center for Literary Research Interdisciplinary Conference

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

            In an era when civil wars, breakaway movements, economic upheavals, nationalist politics, and isolationist policies are at once thickening, erasing, and redrawing the lines that divide us physically and figuratively from one another, a unique opportunity arises for scholars to investigate critically what these lines mean for world communities and individual lives. The Graduate Center for Literary Research at UC Santa Barbara hopes to provide a forum for this scholarly inquiry at its 5th annual conference, Borderlines, and issues this call for papers in the hopes of gathering a variegated range of critical voices on the questions raised by the borders, real and imagined, that divide us. How do we overcome labels and defy categories? How do we bridge linguistic, cultural, and ethical divides? What does it mean to cross the threshold, transgress the boundary, hop the border, to deport or import, or to at once immigrate and emigrate? In short, what does it mean to cross the line?   


            Amanda Petersen, Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of San Diego, will open the conference with an address on spectrality and haunting in transhispanic space, making a case for the productivity of discussing the figure of the ghost vis-a-vis the border.


The closing keynote lecture by Jahan Ramazani, University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia, will bring together poetry studies, translation studies, and world literature to examine what we learn about borderlines from the comparative study of poetry. It will probe how literary language can be both a bridge and a wall between cultures.


            Interested graduate students from across the disciplines of the humanities should submit a 250 word abstract for a 15 minute presentation to Dustin Lovett, GCLR student coordinator, at by Friday, April 13th. Advanced undergraduates are also encouraged to apply.

Keynote Speakers

Amanda L. Petersen (PhD University of Colorado at Boulder) is an Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of San Diego and is affiliated faculty with the Latin American Studies and Gender and Women Studies Programs. A specialist in Latin American women authors, her research interests center on the difficulty of representing issues of gender and violence, in particular in contemporary Mexican short narratives by women authors. Her lines of investigation include spectrality, gender, visual culture, and border studies. Petersen is the co-editor of Espectros: Ghostly Hauntings in Contemporary Transhispanic Narratives and a forthcoming volume on Mexican author María Luisa Puga.

Jahan Ramazani is University Professor and Edgar F. Shannon Professor of English at the University of Virginia. He is writing a book on poetry in a global age. His five previous books are Poetry and Its Others: News, Prayer, Song, and the Dialogue of Genres (2013); A Transnational Poetics (2009), winner of the 2011 Harry Levin Prize of the American Comparative Literature Association, awarded for the best book in comparative literary history from 2008 to 2010; The Hybrid Muse: Postcolonial Poetry in English (2001); Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney (1994), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Yeats and the Poetry of Death: Elegy, Self-Elegy, and the Sublime (1990). He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to Postcolonial Poetry (2017); a co-editor of The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry (2003) and The Norton Anthology of English Literature (2006, 2012, 2018); and an associate editor of The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics (2012). He is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEH Fellowship, a Rhodes Scholarship, the William Riley Parker Prize of the MLA, and the Thomas Jefferson Award, the University of Virginia’s highest honor. In 2016, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Schedule of Events

Borderlines Poster, Title Center, left half purple, right half red

5th Annual GCLR Conference


May 10th, 2018

9:00AM – 5:00PM

Alumni Hall in Mosher Alumni House

9:00 – 9:10          Opening Remarks by John Majewski, Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts

9:15 – 10:00        Opening Address by Amanda Petersen: “Affective Borderlines”

10:05 – 11:20        Panel: New World Borders

Chair: Benjamin Chaffin

Alondra Sierra (UCSB) – “Three Dimensional Narratives: The Role of the Audience

Protagonist Bond in Uniting Cultural Disparities”

                                Nathan Frederickson (UCSB) – “The Fantastic Quality in Racial Fantasies: How the

Genres of Estrangement both Serve and Stigmatize the Marginalized”

                                Katie Wolf (CSUN) – “Decolonizing the Archive: Historical Records and Borders in

Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony and Almanac of the Dead

                                Cruz Arroyo (USC) – “A Feminist Reading of Latino Masculinity in the Plays of Marques

and Mayer”

11:20 – 12:20        Lunch

12:20 – 1:35          Panel: Old World Borders

                           Chair: Arpi Movsesian

Wendy Sun (UCSB) – “Tracing Past Hospitality: Jewish Diaspora in Shanghai”

Margarita Delcheva (UCSB) – “A “Passport” of Postal Waves: Appropriation of

Bureaucratic Symbols in Mail Art”

Cesar Osuna (CSUN) – “A Quixotic Endeavour: The Translator’s Role and

Responsibility in Bridging Divides in Its (Mis)handling of Translations”

Linshan Jiang (UCSB) – “Aporia in Translating Hiroshima through Three Movies:

Hiroshima mon  amour, H Story and A Letter from Hiroshima

1:50 – 3:05            Panel: Borders in the Eye, Ear, and Mind

                                Chair: Dalia Bolotnikov

Modje Taavon (CSUN) – “Convey Flames, Not Ashes: The Ethics of Translation and the

Poetry of Nizar Qabbani”

Jillian Fischer (UCSB) – “Raw, Cold, and Dead: Phenomenological Listening to

Distortion in Black Metal”

Sebaah Hamad (UCSB) – “Literary Colonialism and the Mirage of Fidelity: The Ethical

Role of Translators”

Ricardo Friaz (University of Oregon) – “The Work of Memory, Death, and Music”

3:15 – 4:30          Keynote by Jahan Ramazani: “At the Borderlines between Languages: The Place of

Poetry in World Literature”

4:30 – 5:00           Reception