Undergraduate Conference

Critical Intersections

Every other spring quarter, graduate students in the Comparative Literature Program host an interdisciplinary conference to showcase undergraduate research. Undergraduates present their work in a conference setting, receive mentorship, improve their public speaking skills, and add a valuable experience to their résumés or graduate school applications. For more information, please go to: http://criticalintersectionsconference.wordpress.com/

Call for Papers for 2016 Conference: Altered Natures: an undergraduate research conference

New: one paper will be selected as a recipient of the Graduate Center for Literary Research Award of $200.

We welcome projects from all disciplines tackling different types of media including literature & poetry, philosophy and critical theory, historical texts or artifacts, multi-media and digital works, computer games or programs, laboratory experiments, sociological or environmental studies, theater, film, art installations, performance art, music, etc. Papers and projects may address (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • How does identity vary when a landscape or environment is in a state of continuous change?
  • How do changing notions of identity and nature relate to your project?
  • How is alterity manifested in the media you engage with in your research? Through shifting, morphing, transformation?
  • The concept of the New Wilderness: What does “wilderness” mean in the the era we live in today? How is it reflected through different modes/media/mediations?
  • Can we relate to nature in a ‘pure’ way? Is every nature/relationship to nature already inherently altered? How so?
  • What is the relationship between internal/personal scenery and external/peripheral scenery? Where does a shift occur, a tipping point?
  • How are non-normative states of being treated in the culture of today? Is there acceptance, expulsion, disregard?
  • Explore the connection between ontologies and ecologies, and the spatial critique opened up for research on landscapes and social spatial relationships.  

Deadline: To participate, please email a short abstract (approximately 350 words) to critical.intersections.ucsb@gmail.com by 5:00 pm on February 1, 2016.

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2014 Conference:  Estranged New Worlds

We welcome projects from all disciplines tackling different types of media including literature & poetry, philosophy and critical theory, historical texts or artifacts, multi-media and digital works, computer games or programs, laboratory experiments, sociological or environmental studies, theater, film, art installations, music, economic studies of corporations, finance and capital, etc. Papers and projects addressed (but are not limited to) the following questions:

  • How is estrangement manifested in the historically, socially, and technologically constructed worlds that humans and/or nonhumans inhabit?
  • What kinds of worldbuilding does your research participate in? What kinds of estrangement does your project engage, interrupt, and/or create?
  • How do changing notions of kinship promote values of care, and self-care, as responses to hostile interior and/or exterior landscapes?
  • What kinds of worlds do humans and/or nonhumans build (utopias? dystopias? panoptic societies?)? How does your project interrogate these worlds?
  • Can we produce innovative understandings of human and nonhuman identities by employing interdisciplinary frameworks of study?

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2013 Conferences: Identities in a Global Age. The conference included projects from all disciplines tackling different types of media including literature & poetry, philosophy and critical theory, historical texts or artefacts, multi-media and digital works, computer games or programs, laboratory experiments, sociological or environmental studies, theater, film, art installations, music, economic studies of corporations, finance and capital, etc. Papers and projects addressed the following questions:

  • How are identities constructed historically, socially and technologically in today’s global culture?
  • Can we speak of a fixed, unitary and sedentary subject, or are we witnessing fractured and dispersed identities that transgress national, gender and racial boundaries?
  • What are the relationships established between individuals and the nation state, singular bodies and interconnected social spaces, localized identities and global entities?
  • How is the concept of human identity reframed by current non-anthropocentric discourses in animal studies, media and technology studies, ecology and posthumanism? Should other participants in the environment such as nonhuman animals and (in)organic matter be included in the discourse about identity and how will that shape our understanding of the world in a time of ecological crisis?
  • Can we produce innovative understandings of human and nonhuman identities by employing interdisciplinary frameworks of study?

For more information: <http://criticalintersectionsconference.wordpress.com/>