Keynote Speaker: Hortense J. Spillers,
Frederick J. Whiton Professor of English at Cornell University and author of _Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture_
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Difference gives form to the world, articulates the features of reality as distinct, legible, and accessible. But all differential relations — all fixed binaries and boundaries — are vulnerable to rupture. What we understand to be given or coherent threatens to dissolve into an infinite spiral of undifferentiated chaos. What does it mean, then, to conjure difference? Is it to confirm the consistency of reality, the stability of binary categories? Or does conjuring difference create a space where difference won't hold, where all binaries are haunted by the ghost of the other, where the possibility emerges of a new difference -- or of no difference at all?
We encourage abstracts that interrogate and problematize the phrase "Conjuring Difference" from a wide range of fields and interests.
Topics may include but are not limited to:
Psychoanalysis and Race
Communal memory, mythmaking, & cultural identity
Whose muse?: inspiration and invocation
Border crossings, interstitial spaces
Identity as self-difference
Fetishizing the exotic
The unconscious and the social order
(Re)figuring the feminine
The unstable utterance
Please send a 1-2 page, double-spaced abstract by July 2, 2004 outlining your paper or presentation.
ABOUT THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER
We are very pleased to announce that our keynote speaker will be Hortense J. Spillers, the Frederick J. Whiton Professor of English at Cornell University. One of the most influential critics in American studies, Dr. Spillers has contributed significantly to the fields of African diasporic literature and feminist theory. Her recent essay collection, _Black, White, and In Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture_ (2003), brings together psychoanalytic and race theories while subtly exploring the relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and class. In addition to her numerous critical articles, Dr. Spillers has edited or co-edited several anthologies, including _Conjuring: Black Women, Fiction, and Literary Tradition_ (1985) and _The Norton Anthology of African American Literature_ (1997). Her latest project is “The Idea of Black Culture.”
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