Concordia English Graduate Colloquium 2020

The Aesthetics of Anxiety

Concordia University

March 20-21, 2020

CFP Deadline: January 31, 2020

Proposal Responses: February 1, 2020

Ours is a time in which life on earth must actively confront the terror of cyberspace and contemporary technological and medical advances, the rise of mental health crises, the inevitability of interspecies cross-cultural exchanges due to globalization, and the reality of an ailing natural environment at the hands of human resource mismanagement. This is a time of uncertainty and of “crisis talk” discourse new and renewed. Despite all of this, can the anxiety that these uncertain times provoke be generative, restorative, even transformative? For the 2019-2020 year, SAGE and the department of English’s annual graduate colloquium focuses on the theme of “The Aesthetics of Anxiety.” We will examine the complex relationships between the senses, the affective, and the physical reactions to a myriad of events and entities that continue to solicit what can only be termed as anxious responses. There is, perhaps, an aesthetics, a kind of blue print that maps out human activity in times of societal disjunctions between the human and that which exists beyond our control. Perhaps there is no map at all. Our call for papers is interested in the way that literature and other disciplines continue to engage with these complicated paradigms across human history.

The 18th annual Concordia English Graduate Colloquium invites local, regional and international proposals and papers that draw on the issues central to this year’s theme. We also strongly encourage proposals from historically underrepresented participants including (but not limited to) Indigenous peoples, people of color, queer and transgender peoples.

Proposals and papers may also engage with the following range of subjects and related themes:

Social media and the self
Affect theory
Mental health and society, Neuroaesthetics
Morality and the ethics of care
Environment and race, Critical Race Theory
Ecofeminism and ecocriticism; ‘ecoanxiety’; ‘ecological grief’
Queer Ecology
Literary Activism
Literary forms and genres
Literary Criticism
Dystopian Fiction
Medical Humanities
Cross-cultural relations
Interspecies exchanges and transcorporeality
Migrant narratives; immigration; emigration and transnational writing
Science Fiction, AI and cyberspace
‘Cyberbodies’ and medicine
Digital Humanities
Environmental Humanities
Please send your 250 – 300 word proposals, or your papers of no more than 2500 words (20 minutes read out loud)to