CFP - Arizona New Directions

Call for Papers

New Directions in Critical Theory Graduate Conference, 2019

Timely Transformations: Looking Backward, Moving Forward

The University of Arizona, Department of English

April 5-6

Tucson, Arizona

“The time is out of joint--O cursèd spite, / that ever I was born to set it right! /

Nay, come, let’s go together.”

—from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet

The graduate students of the University of Arizona’s Department of English invite proposals for the annual New Directions in Critical Theory Graduate Conference. Held every spring, New Directions is an interdisciplinary conference organized for and by graduate students as a way of drawing together scholars, artists, and activists across diverse disciplines.

This year’s conference, entitled “Timely Transformations: Looking Backward, Moving Forward,” invites papers and performances that explore change in all its forms, with a special focus on conceptualizing change as a form of progress or as a response to an urgent need. We hope that our conference will provide an occasion for emerging scholars to share their work, cultivating in the process insights into the transformative power of both individual intellectual endeavor and academic community. 

Living in a world of both turbulent change and stubborn resistance to progress, we believe it is crucial to come together and consider new methods for engaging with this tension between the past and future. We hope that our conference will provide an inclusive model that welcomes not only traditional academic scholars from the humanities, but also scholars in other fields and non-traditional scholars, artists, and activists who would like to engage in a dialogue about moving forward while looking backward at the lessons of the past.

Possible topics for critical and creative presentations include but are not limited to:

ecology, environmental criticism, climate change, current events, trauma and recovery, nonhuman studies, affect theory, community resilience, collective resistance, activism, aesthetics, poetics, history, ethics, biopolitics, social media, digital humanities, print culture, representations in media and culture, borderlands and frontiers, pedagogy, (de)/(re)constructing identities and (dis)abilities, dystopia, utopia, economics, language, gender and sexuality, genre theory, temporality studies, intersectionality, mythologies and myth-making, ancient texts, folklore, national and transnational identities, religion and spirituality, prophetic speech in narrative and/or verse, purity and sin, space and place, rhetoric of resistance and transformation, semiotics/symbolism, translation(s), truth in nonfiction, visual culture and media.

Submission Guidelines

All proposals must be submitted by email to by 11:59 MST on February 25, 2019. We will respond with decisions by early March. Please use the following format for the subject line of your email: “Proposal [Last Name] [First Name]” (e.g., Proposal Christiansen Christopher). Please attach a single document in .DOC(X) format with the following information in the order listed below:

  1. Paper title; name; institutional affiliation; any degrees and granting institutions; email address; and phone number
  2. Abstract of the content and rationale for the paper, 300-500 words (presentation time for papers is 20 minutes maximum)
  3. Two to three-sentence scholarly biography of presenter, with personal pronouns indicated
  4. Indicate any audio/visual needs or special accommodations

For future updates, including speakers, find us on our website at


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