FreeX 2005, the annual interdisciplinary graduate student conference hosted by the University of Calgary’s Department of English, is an exploration of how we align ourselves physically, internationally, ideologically, and artistically.
As we move into a new century, we find ourselves increasingly aware of alignment within and between nations, cultures, power structures, and our own bodies. FreeX will trace the lines that divide, that define allegiance, that guide our bodies to ‘normalcy.’ Within the organic structure of cultures, both kinesthetic and political, the line that defines the straight and narrow twists and curls, points in new directions.
The conference offers the opportunity to examine alignment from myriad points of view. How must countries conduct themselves to ensure they are on the ‘right’ side of the line? How do people within those countries align themselves with their state, the imaginary perforations that divide province from province, city from city, we from them? Let’s look at how the concentric circles of human history are pulled into a tidy grid. Let’s ask how we define crossing the line in the twenty-first century, and what motivates anyone, from the criminal to the pedestrian, to defy that boundary.
Examine, too, the lines of the body: the differing angles of elbows, the S-curve of a spine, the ways in which our bodies are made to toe the line. And let’s examine artistic reactions to this pressure to align. A line of poetry, the lines of an actor, the lines of a novel: they are all in constant flux, drifting back and forth over the grids of power, ideology, geography.
You are invited to submit papers that deal with political ideology, liminality, geography, ecocriticism, literature, the discourse of criminality, architecture, kinesiology, disability, postcolonial studies, film studies, representations of the other and of the body. We welcome creative proposals, including presentations grounded in the visual arts, performance and music. Proposals dealing with how the sciences perceive alignment and its attendant implications are also encouraged. We invite you to define the line, to question the line, to cross the line whenever possible.
c/o Department of English
Social Sciences Room 1152
2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB, Canada T2N 1N4
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