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

SAGE Statement regarding recent CBC article on Sexual Misconduct

Dear Graduate Students of the English Department,

We are writing in response to the CBC article that was published on February 06th, 2019 (date mistakenly cited at February 11th in our email). When we were elected to our positions, we all knew that the events and allegations from last year would continue to affect students, the English Department, and the relationships between us. We would like to begin by reiterating that we are in full support of the complainants and victims. SAGE is a student organization run entirely by volunteers and current graduate students, as such our time is limited, and we are unable to devote ourselves to developing solutions. That said, we have included some suggestions and requests below.

We would like to express our disapproval at the lack of transparency from Concordia and the Sexual Assault Taskforce that is currently evaluating the on-campus culture. The delayed release of the findings has resulted in the feeling of the University’s complacency and disregard for the victims.

Acknowledging the fact that Quebec law currently prevents the transparency we would otherwise demand, we believe that there is more that can be done by the University and the Department to support their students in this uncertain time. We would like to propose a website that will collect all the information that has so far been released to the public in an easy-to-navigate format along with resources for recovering survivors and victims. Clearly outlining the acceptable relationships and interactions between staff and students will allow for strong and navigable boundaries. This can also be used to streamline the process of information and complaints, both of which have been undeniably murky and contentious.

Another potential step that has been brought to the Department is a yearly mandatory in-person sexual assault and harassment training. In the effort of good faith, we would like to propose a similar one-day training program for incoming TA’s.

Institutions are slow moving, and the high turnover of graduate students and SAGE members can make it feel all the more so. With that in mind, we acknowledge that the process of repairing relationships between students and the department will be a long one. Professors can help accelerate the process by releasing their own statements in relation to their position on the allegations of the last year. We believe that this would be a first step in the direction of rebuilding the trust between students and faculty in the English Department.

Finally, we appreciate the statement that was released by the Chair of the Department yesterday and are looking forward to seeing the initiatives implemented.


Your SAGE Representatives

Fall Newsletter

Welcome and welcome back to grad school! Those of us at the Student Association for Graduates in English are looking forward to working with and for you in the coming year. To kick off the semester, here’s what we have lined up:

First, a few dates to note down: 

September 28: Elections, Annual General Meeting, Welcome Back Party;

September 30: Deadline to apply for Managing Poetry Editor, Fiction Editor, Visual Arts Editor, and Designer at Headlight Anthologies;

October 1st: Deadline to apply for the Colloquium Team

Welcome Back Party

Join us on Friday, September 28 at Kafein, located at 1429 Bishop St, Montreal, for a welcome back party. We will be meeting in the basement near the bar, however, Kafein also has a café located on the upper floor for anyone who wants food or non-alcoholic drinks. Doors open at 7:30 PM. Feel free to bring your partners and besties.

Fall General Assembly

Before getting ready to party, stop by the General Assembly on September 28 – Time TBA in LB 646. We’ll be providing an overview of what SAGE has planned for the year and how our finances will be distributed. This is also the time for bylaws to be proposed and adopted/rejected by vote, so do make sure you’re here to have your voice heard.

Elections for SAGE Council

SAGE is holding elections for the following positions on Council:

VP Administration: Records minutes, manages social media

Academic Representative: Represents graduate students in the academic stream, attends department meetings, and liaises with CASE, faculty, and staff

Creative Representative: Represents graduate students in the creative stream, attends creative writing faculty meetings, liaises with faculty and staff, and works with Speakers’ Committee

Involvement with Council offers students a direct say in their academic experience at Concordia, as well as the opportunity to engage in dialogue with faculty and administration.

The dates of the election process are as follows:

Nominations: Tuesday, September 18 to Monday, September 24

Campaign: Tuesday, September 25 to Thursday, September 27

Elections: Friday, September 28 in person in the Graduate Student Lounge or via email (details to be announced later this month)

For more information about the positions and current members, please check out the team or send us an e-mail at On September 28, when you join us for the General Assembly and our Welcome Back Party, make sure you take a moment to exercise your democratic right and vote!

Join the Colloquium Team

The 16thannual English Graduate Colloquium at Concordia is presently seeking team members to vet and edit papers and to help manage the event space during our conference on March 23 and 24, 2019, this year titled “Spectral Haunts: Issues of Lingering Pasts and Looming Futures”. The full details of the call can be found here.

If interested in the position, please submit a brief paragraph of intent stating why you would be a good fit for the team and detailing which tasks interest you to concordiacolloquium@gmail.comby Monday, October 1, 2018, at 11:59 pm.

Headlight Anthology

Headlight Anthology is a student-run literary journal that publishes poetry, prose, and visual art annually in print. We’re currently hiring a managing editor and treasurer. Interested students can send their resume and cover letter to headlightanthology@gmail.comby September 30.


The Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy aims to maintain an open dialogue between students, faculty, and administration on issues of representation and visibility. If this initiative is something you wish to get involved with, you can contact the organizers at



That’s it for now! In an effort to ensure that all English grad students receive notice of the goings-on in the department, please keep an eye out for our e-mails advertising the events we put together for you. You can also check out our website, which also boasts a bunch of resources and where we will keep you updated on the election results and events throughout the year.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments, or ideas/projects for the upcoming semester, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at We’re happy to hear back about what you want from your department.

Best of luck with the semester,

SAGE Update in Response to Sexual Misconduct at Concordia

We are writing in response to the release of the “Consensual Romantic or Sexual Relationships Guidelines” and the announcement of the Task Force on Sexual Misconduct and Sexual Violence.

As of January 26th, Concordia has released their Guidelines concerning student-instructor relationships. While these Guidelines were identified by Concordia administration as a key step towards mending the rapport between students, staff, and faculty, they ultimately fail to address the power imbalances of these relationships. It seems like there has been little change to the earlier “Code of Ethics and Safe Disclosure Policy Applicable to Employees of Concordia University” which previously governed these relationships. Those guidelines have already been in place and have failed—and will continue to fail—students. For this reason, SAGE’s current position on relationships between faculty and students is that they are not merely conflicts of interests; they are actually unethical.

Secondly, the Guidelines that are provided by the University remain ambiguous in their definitions and descriptions. For instance, in the case of a graduate student who occupies the role of “Instructor,” how would their relationship with a non-teaching graduate student (or “Student”) be interpreted in light of these Guidelines? A similar example would be that of a graduate student “Instructor” who has an undergraduate partner—according to the current wording, it is unclear whether this is a relationship representing a conflict of interest that should be disclosed. SAGE has requested clarification of the terms used in the newly-released Guidelines, in order to accurately reflect their impact on both Faculty and graduate students. Furthermore, the problem areas previously identified and raised by SAGE and CASE, such as off-campus events, remain entirely unaddressed in the most recent iteration of the Guidelines.

We are similarly disappointed by the manner in which the Task Force has been deployed. While a unit to address the instances of sexual misconduct at Concordia is welcome, we strongly disagree with the choice of letting the administration appoint the undergraduate and graduate students who sit on the Task Force. The selection process outlined by the call for applications indicates that the student representatives will be selected by the Chair and vice-Chairs of the Task Force. However, we firmly believe that in order to function ethically, student representatives should be elected or appointed by students—not by Concordia staff, faculty, or administration. Additionally, the CSU has made the compelling argument that the selection process as it stands is, in fact, illegal.

We hope the University administration will reconsider this course of action. While we desire a timely process, we cannot condone haste at the expense of care and diligence.

In solidarity,


CEVA Workshop

Thanks to everyone who showed up to the TA Teacher-Training workshop organized by CEVA and the Centre for Teaching and Learning on January 19, 2018. We’ll be writing up some more fully formed thoughts over the next couple of weeks as we process the knowledge and implement some of the practices in our classes, but we want to share the workshop resources with you in the meantime.

  • The workshop slides prepared by Alicia Cundell from the Centre for Teaching and Learning.
  • The Google Doc with all the resources Alicia prepared, the suggestions that came out of the activity, and links to further reading curated by CEVA.

If you have resources you’d like to contribute to our bibliography, please request editor access to the Google Doc or send us an e-mail at

SAGE Statement on Sexual Misconduct

On Monday, Concordia alumnus Mike Spry’s “No Names, Only Monsters” drew attention to sexual harassment within the Concordia Creative Writing program. This article came after other claims of gendered violence, including but not limited to Emma Healey’s 2014-article “Stories like Passwords”. The ensuing attention following Spry’s article has result in a response from Concordia University.

The University has outlined their process in an address from President Alan Shepard. The investigation will be conducted by a third party hired by the university and will provide recommendations to the University based on their findings. The administration has not yet released specific details of this investigation, such as the investigating party, the specific process, and the timeline. They have confirmed that more information sessions will be held in the coming weeks.

We have a number of concerns around the forthcoming investigation which we would like to see addressed. This process has the potential to re-victimize survivors of sexual abuse, harassment, and assault, as well as expose them to new harassment. It is currently unclear how the investigator will accommodate requests for confidentiality and anonymity. We are also concerned about the limited legal and financial resources available to graduate students.

For this reason, we are requesting that a legal disclosure form be released prior to the investigation so that we can review it with a lawyer to determine whether it addresses our concerns. This review of the disclosure document will be shared with students.

At this time, the courses assigned to the named professors have been reassigned, the books by these professors have been removed from the glass display cases by the English office, and the Department of English is reviewing the location of the Matrix office.

We acknowledge the exposure of sexual misconduct will directly or tangentially impact a variety of people in different ways. We would encourage those who need additional support to check out the list of resources compiled by CASE. Many of these resources are confidential and survivor-focused and can help inform those who might be struggling during this time.

Finally, we would like to say that we believe survivors of sexual violence and will support you and advocate for you to the best of our abilities.

We will be hosting a meeting on Thursday, January 18 at 5:00 pm in LB-659-4 to talk and listen.

In solidarity,


List of Resources

Centre for Gender Advocacy:

Provides respectful, confidential peer-to-peer support, advocacy, and resources for those who seek it with a focus on harm reduction, empowerment and self-determination.

Concordia Student Union Advocacy Centre:

Aims to help students who find themselves in difficult situations by accurately identifying their needs, as well as determining and executing the necessary course of action

Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC):

Provides confidential and non-judgmental support and services to Concordia   University students, staff and faculty of all genders and orientations who have been affected by sexual violence and/or harassment.

Sexual Assault Center of the McGill Student Society (SACOMSS):

Volunteer-run organization committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault and their allies through direct support, advocacy and outreach. Their services include Drop-in, DIAL hotline phone number, support groups, advocacy and outreach

Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Centers (RQCALACS):

Provides support services for victims and their relatives and close friends throughout the judicial process. According to the individuals’ needs, they may also provide support through health services, group support meetings and referrals to other organizations.

TA Teacher-Training

On Friday, January 19, 2018 at 2:00 pm, the Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy (CEVA) and the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) are partnering up to present a teacher training workshop in LB-646. Together with undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty, we’ll be troubleshooting difficult classroom scenarios and workshopping what we can do to make classrooms more inclusive. Even if you don’t hold a TAship for the winter semester, the skills learned in the workshop can be useful in future semesters, and your voice as a student matters regardless of whether you want to teach. Coffee and refreshments will be served. Hope to see you there!

November Newsletter

Included: Holiday Get Together | CEVA  |  Advocacy  |  Headlight  |  Concordia Colloquium  |  Misc.

Well, hello again.
It’s November now.
It’s been getting colder.
Some snow has fallen already.
Ice forming under the wheel wells of parked cars.
But its a sunny day today.
Stay optimistic.
Here’s what’s happening here.

Holiday Get together

We would like to get together with you sometime next month.
We don’t know when
We think it would be nice if you told us when works for you
Because we would like to see you.
We’re here for you.
We were thinking
A casual night out with friends at McKibbins
If you can’t go to McKibbins, if you have enemies there.
It’s ok, we can pick somewhere else.
We just need to know.
And we’re putting together a Secret Santa so names are important.
Keep your eye on our Facebook for our upcoming poll
Or check in with one of us

CEVA (Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy)

CEVA is organizing Inclusivity/Anti-Oppression Pedagogical Training in early January
Open to anyone who teaches/is a TA
Keep an eye out for more details and make sure you attend
It’s always good to learn more about teaching
(And we get no other formal training)
We’re also working on a document with resource links
To help you teach your students mindfully
Which we hope to release on the SAGE website
In the New Year
E-mail Jen (jen.tracy@hotm​ or Alex (
To get involved


It is important that you know where you can go if you have an issue.
These things happen.
It’s good to know what you can do.
For instance,
Did you know that the Office of Rights and Responsibility
Can help you resolve problems conficentially or make a formal complaint?
And that you can have your work regraded if you make a named complaint?
Or that you should meet with the GSA advocacy centre first?
We’ve added this info and links to our resource page.


Headlight has its Call for Submissions​.
December 15th
Submit 3 poems or 2000 words of fiction or 3 visual art pieces.
We’re looking for editors as well.
To get involved. Get involved.

Concordia Colloquium Call Extended

You might have seen the email from Bonnie (thanks Bonnie), but in case you haven’t
Colloquium (Animal Print) has extended the deadline to December 1st.
Full call is here
Or e-mail
You’ve got half a month.
Get cracking.


Carte Blanche Non-fiction Contest
Deadline: November 30 at Midnight

Hip-hop Studies Conference​
Deadline: January 5

That’s all from us. Cheers!

October Newsletter

Included: Annual Graduate​ Party | Halloween Party | CEVA | Colloquium | Budget Proposals | Headlight Anthology | Writers Read | Donuts Short Story Hour | Misc

Hello everyone.
Is everyone doing well?
This is the newsletter.
For you.
Are you comfortable?
This is what is pertinent to us at the moment.

Annual Graduate Party

We heard about this through Bonnie.
Dr.s Furlani and Languay are hosting the Annual Graduate Party.
Saturday October 21st
7pm – 11pm
Save the date.
They’re going to announce who won the department prizes.
Come out and congratulate these people.
Get to know them.

Halloween Party

We’re throwing a Halloween Party!
Oct 28th. Saturday. 7:30-8pm or so.
At Sandra’s place.
Thanks Sandra.
Sandra’s place is 6652 Rue de Bordeaux.
That’s like a 10 minute walk South East from the Fabre Metro.
We can can comfortably fit 30 people.
We will set up decorations.
Very spooky, but inviting.
There are cats. Keep the door closed.
Everyone will have a nice time.
Candy. Sandra’s spiced wine (Thanks Sandra).
Bring stuff too. Pitch in. Be a good guest.
Put on a costume. You don’t have to.
Contest-[Costume] / Monster Mash.
Kenneth Anger DVD with the sound off.


The Committee for Equity and
Visibility in Academia is currently
looking for new members for the
2017-2018 academic year.
If you’re interested in being part
of this initiative, please e-mail
Jen Tracy (
by the end of this weekend.

Colloquium – Animal Print

It’s the 16th Annual one of these [Colloquiums].
There’s a Deadline for Academic Papers/Proposals
It’s Nov 10th.
A pretty detailed thematic explanation as well as all of the requirements and subsequent process…
essentially everything you need to know is here
If you do have any questions though, you can send them to

Budget Proposals

This is pretty exciting:
We have a 400$ surplus from last year.
There is an open call for what to spend this money on.
Deadline November 1, 2017
SAGE has previously funded:

CEVA (The Committee for Equity and Visibility in the Academy)
Concordia Write Nights
SAGE Coffee Talks
The Indigenous Lit Festival
The Media and Design Stipend
Student Stipends for Conference Travel


This comes straight from the top [Emily Crompton]

“Headlight is looking for a treasurer to
join the journal’s masthead.
If you are interested, please contact
Also keep an eye out for their call for
submissions that will shortly be released.”

Thanks Emily!

Writers Read Concordia

As of right now, we still have two readers in October:
Poets: Daphne Marlatt & Erin Moure
They’re both Friday, October 27th in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
We read them in class, and we really liked them.
“I think I saw one at a party, but I can’t be sure.”
If I don’t get to writing another one of these November (Cold season)
Playwright: Marina Carr (Co-Sponsored by the Department of Irish Studies)
Friday, November 3rd in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
Suzette Mayr
Friday, November 17th in the York Amphitheatre [ EV 1.605, 1515 Rue St. Catherine]
Details on their website.

Donuts Short Story Hour

These folks have a pretty good Facebook page
Join them for donuts and great stories


There’s like a billion things you can do in your life
Here are some things that crossed our desk in the last few days
Usually through Bonnie.

SLS Photo Contest

One lucky winner will receive free tuition to either SLS Georgia or SLS Kenya in 2018. Find more details on their SLS Facebook page

SLS Poetry and Fiction Contest

SLS, in connection with its upcoming programs in Georgia (July 2018) and Kenya (December 2018), and in conjunction with Fence magazine, is currently running its 2018 literary contest.