The 39th Annual College English
St. Louis, Missouri, March 27-29, 2008
CEA hosts an annual general conference, offering panels on literature and film as well as pedagogy and the profession. For a full version of our call for papers, consult the CEA web site at http://www2.widener.edu/~cea/.
This year’s conference theme is “Passages.” We could have chosen various terms to investigate this theme--travel, sojourn, migration--but the word “passages” not only suggests the many journeys we hope to explore in literature and film, but also signals the importance of the transitional moment, when one must leap into the unknown and face/embrace the change that follows. Poets, novelists, dramatists, and directors have long been drawn to the idea of a rite of passage. Heroic quests, mythic journeys, and coming-of-age narratives abound in both classic and contemporary works: Virgil’s _Aeneid_, Dante’s _Inferno_, Woolf’s _To the Lighthouse_, Dickey’s _Deliverance_, Camus’s _Black Orpheus_, Hurston’s _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, ¬to name but a few. Travel literature follows suit, pairing literal passages (from covered wagon to rocket ship) with characters’ inner journeys. Think Homer’s _Odyssey_, Cather’s _The Song of the Lark_, Kerouac’s _On the Road_, Forster’s or Whitman’s _Passage to India_. Even the fantastical trips of Verne’s _Journey to the Center of the Earth_ or Le Guin’s _The Left Hand of Darkness_ provide another lens through which to analyze human folly, ambition, and desire. Of course, presenters need not explore a work solely devoted to this theme. Papers focused on the image itself would be welcome, for surely some new insight still waits to be discovered in the dark tunnel of the tardy white rabbit or the haunted chasm of “Kubla Khan.”
More important, the theme suggests the way our profession analyzes and memorializes these literary and cinematic journeys. Regardless of our theoretical backgrounds, we have all been trained as close readers. We privilege the passage, often with joy. Who doesn’t know the pleasure of a “red wheel / barrow / glazed with rain”; the taste of a tea-soaked Madeleine; the philosophical ruminations of a melancholy Dane? We believe that sometimes the part is worth more than the whole, and we celebrate that part in our classroom. Join us.
We invite papers on 1) RITES OF PASSAGE, 2) SPIRITUAL PASSAGE, 3) PASSAGE AS JOURNEY, 4) PASSAGE TO AMERICA, and 5) LITERARY PASSAGES, or any paper that focuses on the threshold moment and subsequent journeys (real, fantastical, or metaphorical) that follow any gateway experience.
In addition to our conference theme, we also invite scholars, teachers, and graduate students to submit papers that address any topic relevant to our profession, e.g., English, American, or World literature; film studies, women’s studies, and multicultural studies; literary theory; linguistics; book history and textual criticism; interdisciplinary studies; pedagogical approaches: class discussion, online courses, computers and technology, teacher education, English as a second language; composition and rhetoric; creative writing; popular culture; as well as those topics that relate to our lives as academics: student advising; grade inflation; assessment techniques (for student and teacher); administrative posts and service positions; or anything relating to the changing identity of the English department: how it is perceived, appreciated, or utilized by the university.
CEA prefers to receive all submissions (including those for special topic panels) electronically through our conference management database housed at the following web address:
Electronic submissions open on August 1st and close on November 1st. Abstracts for proposals should be between 200 and 500 words in length and should include a title.
Submitting electronically is a two-step process: 1) setting up a user ID, then 2) using that ID to log in—this time to a welcome page which provides a link for submitting proposals to the conference.
If submitting a panel, panel organizers should create user IDs for all proposed participants.
Though CEA prefers to receive proposals through the conference database (as it facilitates communication about the conference in a smooth and timely manner), we will accept hard copy proposals, postmarked no later than October 15th, via regular mail. Hard-copy proposals should include the following information:
--Institutional affiliation (if applicable)
--Mailing address (including zip code)
--Title for the proposed presentation
--Abstract of 200-500 words
--A-V equipment needs, if any
--Special needs, if any.
Panel organizers should include the above information for all proposed participants. If you are willing to serve as a session chair or respondent, please indicate this in your cover letter.
Audiovisual Requests: Please make all A-V equipment requests when you submit your proposal by checking the appropriate box in the online proposal submission form or by including your request in the hard copy proposal. Any participants offering PowerPoint programs must bring their own laptops. CEA cannot provide Internet access.
Address hard copy submissions and any other conference correspondence to the Program Chair:
Marina Favila, English Department
Keezell Hall 215, MSC 1801
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807
Office phone # 540-568-3761
(Put Program Chair in RE line.)
Fax # 540-568-2983
SPECIAL TOPIC PANELS
As with conference-theme proposals, special topic panel proposals should be submitted electronically through our conference management database housed at the following web address:
Special topic panels will be organized in the following areas. If your proposal addresses one of these areas, submit your proposal to the database (directions above) by November 1st. Note: Hard copy proposals will also be accepted, but must be sent through U.S. mail by October 15th to Marina Favila (address above).
Early American Lit
19th-C American Lit
20th-C American Lit
Medieval British Lit
17th-C British Lit
Restoration/18th C Lit
19th-C British Lit
20th-C British Lit
African American Lit
Children’s and Adolescent Lit
Hispanic, Latino, Chicano Lit
Book History and Textual Criticism
Composition and Rhetoric (theory)
Composition and Rhetoric (grammar and style)
Creative Writing (fiction and poetry)
Creative Writing (non-fiction)
Teacher Education and Pedagogy
Reading, Writing, and Teaching English on the Web
English as a Second Language
Film and Lit
Religion and Lit
SEA at CEA
Native American Lit
Food and Literary Imagination
The following special topic panels are being offered through the New York CEA affiliate. Like all other proposals, proposals for these panels should be submitted through the database .
Literature and Law
Literature and the Healing Arts
Literature and Criminal Justice
Anatomy of Violence: Examining Conflict
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Writing and Literature
Crepuscular Consciousness: Literature and the Obscure
Representing the Struggle for Human Rights in Literature
The "I" of the Beholder: Vision, Imagination, and Reaction in/to Literature
Questions? Contact Marina Favila at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Program Chair” in RE: line.
--To preserve time for discussion, CEA limits all presentations to 15 minutes.
--Notifications of proposal status will be sent around December 5th.
--All presenters must join CEA by January 1, 2008 to appear on the program.
--Conference registration material will arrive in January and will indicate registration fee payment deadlines at that time.
--Presenters must read their own papers at the conference.
--No one may read more than one paper.
--CEA does not sponsor or fund travel or underwrite participant costs.
NOTE TO GRADUATE STUDENTS
Graduate students must identify themselves in their proposals, so we may later send information about CEA’s Best Graduate Student Paper Award (which carries a small prize). Submission instructions will be sent to accepted panelists after the membership deadline.
Marina Favila, English Department
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
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