Our Graduate Student Organization proudly organizes and hosts this event providing graduate students working in the areas of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian literature and linguistics with an opportunity to share their current research and further their professional development. This year’s theme is “Reversing the Fall of Babel: Fragmented Unities”. The myth of the Tower of Babel reminds us of a time in which a common language peacefully united humanity. However, a desire to surpass human limitations brought about divine wrath leading to the destruction of the tower. Chaos, discord and confusion emerged from the rupture of humanity into disparate nations each with its own unique language. This myth has been perpetuated throughout history, from the projects of imperial and colonial expansion and their epic encounters with the Other, to the modern conception of the nation founded on unity, which ironically, continues to emphasize that nations are fundamentally fragmented.
We would like to offer literature students a space to think about the discourses, projects, theories and movements that have emerged, diverged or converged, as well as the processes of dispersion, deconstruction or construction inspired by the myth of the Tower of Babel. Likewise, we invite students of linguistics to explore present-day manifestations of this symbolic division as it relates to the outcomes of linguistic and cultural contact, variation and change.
Our keynotes speakers are:
Nicolau Sevcenko (Harvard)
Ana C. Zentella (UC San Diego)
José Quiroga (Emory).
Topics may include, but are not limited to:
Language Contact • Diachronic Variation & Change • Synchronic Variation & Change • Bilingualism • Language Policy • Language Typology • Language Attitudes & Ideology • Code-switching • Spanish- & Portuguese-based Creoles • Language Maintenance & Language Shift
Literature and Cultural Studies:
Myths of Primordial Unity and Ruptures • Foundational Literature and Forgotten Nations • Cultural Representations of Hybrid Identities • Diaspora, Migration and Exile • Utopias or Dystopias • Epic Encounters, Travel Narratives and Alternative Cartographies • Emergence of Scientific Discourse in the Humanities • Violence, Chaos and Fragmented Urban Spaces • Hygiene and Medical Discourse • Globalization, Displacement and Deterritorialization • Biopolitics, Gender and Race • Visual and Ethnomusicological Approaches • Discourse of New Media and Digital Technologies • Natural Disasters and Eco-Criticism • Postwar literature • Literature and Religion
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