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2018 “Stranger Things” Conference Schedule

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British Modernities Group Conference 2018

“Stranger Things: The Weird, the Paranormal, and the Problem of Belief”

 

Friday, April 20, Illini Union Ballroom 

8:30 a.m. – Check In, Coffee, and Refreshments

9:00 a.m. – Opening Remarks

9:15 a.m. – Panel 1: The Non-Human Weird: Ecocritical Perspectives

Consolidation of Authority: Hypnotism, Contagion, and the Logic of Immunization in Jeff VanderMeer’s Annihilation, by Ben DeVries, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Floral Figuring: Weirding Convention in Medieval Poetry, by Jo Nixon, University of Chicago

Feeling is Believing: Disrupting Wilderness Through Bigfoot Photography and Film, by Jessica Landau, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

10:30 a.m. – Coffee and Refreshments

10:45 a.m. – Panel 2: Fantastical Worlds and the Production of Difference

Curioser and Curioser: Representations of Split Subjectivity in Stranger Things, by Asiya Ikhsanova, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Little People, Big Problems: Portrayal of Little People in High Fantasy Films, by Niki Casady, University of Missouri at Kansas City

Shakespeare’s Weïrd Sisters: Witchcraft as the Chink in the Armor of the Male Action Hero, by Britt Garrett, University of Illinois at Chicago

12:00 p.m. – Lunch

1:15 p.m. – Panel 3: The Strange on Screen: Media and Social Change

“The Machines are Everywhere!”: The Outer Limits, Anti-Capitalism, and Cultural Counter-Hegemony in 1960s Media, by Augustus Wood, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The Ethics of the Hostage: Political Philosophy in Get Out!, Stranger Things, and The OA, by Daniel Gonzalez, University of Illinois at Chicago

Between the Ocean Waves and God’s Indifference: Reflections of the Irrational in Konstantin Lopushansky’s Visitor to a Museum, by Alejandra-Isabel Otero Pires, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2:30 p.m. – Coffee and Refreshments

2:45 p.m. – Keynote Address

Listening to the Dead: W. B. Yeats’s Communication with Spirits, by Dr. Catherine E. Paul, Professor Emerita, Clemson University

 

Saturday, April 21, Illini Union, Room 104

8:30 a.m. – Coffee and Refreshments

9:00 a.m. – Panel 4: Staging the Weird

The Tarot and Transnationalism in Yeats’ Early Symbolist Drama, by Julian Dean, University of Notre Dame

What Haunts the Scourge of God?: Marlowe’s Monster, Tamburlaine, by Jeffrey McCambridge, Ohio University

e.e. cummings’ Strange Goodness, by Alissa Babaeva, University of Granada

10:15 a.m. – Coffee and Refreshments

10:30.a.m – Panel 5: Religion and Secularism: The Problem of Belief

“The Vision of Joel has Been Fulfilled”: Vernacular Mormonism, Near-Death Experiences, and the Culture of Preparation for the Last Days, by Cameron C. Nielsen, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Postsecularism, by Sarah Buchmeier, University of Illinois at Chicago

Mind the Light: The American Quaker Reformation in the Age of Biblical Criticism & Inerrancy, 1790-1830, Joshua M. Reinke, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Singing with Spirits: Adaptation of the Paranormal, by Susan Bywaters and Elizabeth Gartman, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

12:15 p.m. – Lunch

1:15 p.m. – Panel 6: Growing Up Weird

Unworldly Things: Science and Girlhood in the Case of the Cottingley Fairies, by Elizabeth Grumer, University of Chicago

Looking to the 80’s for an Appreciation of Childhood: Nostalgia and Power Dynamics in Stranger Things, by Charley Koenig, Illinois State University

White Trash Fantasies: Identity, Class, and Magic in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Cycle, by Fiona Hartley-Kroeger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2:30 p.m. – Coffee and Refreshments

2:45 p.m. – Panel 7: Reading Reality through the Weird

Made from Monsters: Polyphemus in Statius’ Thebaid, by Stephen Froedge, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

When Hawkins, Indiana Turns Upside Down: the Horror of Everyday Life in Stranger Things, by Matt Sautman, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Chaos and Pathworking: Books as Sigils in Postmodern Fiction, by Aaron Burstein, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

4:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks

 

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Written by modernities

April 15, 2018 at 12:54 pm

Posted in conference, events

CFP: Stranger Things: The Weird, the Paranormal, and the Problem of Belief

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Stranger Things: The Weird, the Paranormal, and the Problem of Belief

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British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

20–21 April 2018, Urbana, IL

Keynote Presentation: “Listening to the Dead: W. B. Yeats’s Communication with Spirits”

By Dr. Catherine E. Paul, Professor Emerita, Clemson University

Additional speakers TBA

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students from all disciplines to present papers at its thirteenth annual interdisciplinary conference: “Stranger Things: The Weird, the Paranormal, and the Problem of Belief.”

Ghosts, spirits, and supernatural beings occupy much of our contemporary cultural imagination, as shown by the runaway successes of David Lynch’s revamped Twin Peaks and the Netflix original series Stranger Things. At the same time, the humanist modes of thinking that Western philosophy has relied on to make sense of the world have proven insufficient. What we have assumed to be inanimate, insentient, nonexistent, or even dead has come to haunt our previous theories and has helped to spur developments in critical thought that include object-oriented ontology, thing theory, and critical animal and/or plant studies. All these developments have troubled humanity’s relationship with the world in ways that may be termed “weird.” Indeed, these new approaches assure us, to borrow from Hamlet, that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies.

Our conference brings together innovative work in literature, film, philosophy, religious studies, history, psychology, and related fields to consider the significance of the weird and paranormal in art, culture, and critical theory. Some questions we hope to reflect on include: How do encounters with the weird and/or paranormal manage to inspire both horror and pleasure? How should we as readers account for the beliefs of an author, or the beliefs we ourselves bring to a work of art? Following Marx and Derrida, what sort of spectres haunt contemporary society? How might attending to stranger things help us imagine, and possibly create, alternate futures? What do we do with the weird—and what does the weird do to us?

The British Modernities Group invites novel paper proposals from any discipline and theoretical background. Past presenters have included Americanists, Classicists, Medievalists, and scholars from fields outside of literary studies. We would love to hear from a wide range of specialties! Possible paper topics, methodologies, and fields of inquiry include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Animacy
  • Belief, Unbelief, and Heresy
  • (Dis)Enchantment
  • (Dis)Embodiment
  • Fairy Tales and Myth
  • Faith and Skepticism
  • Ghosts, Hauntings, and Spirits
  • The Gothic
  • Hauntology and the Spectral Turn
  • Hybridity
  • Memory Studies
  • Monstrosity
  • Mysticism and Spirituality
  • Object-Oriented Ontology
  • The Occult
  • The Paranormal
  • The Postsecular Turn
  • Psychology, Parapsychology, and Madness
  • Religion in Art and Culture
  • Speculative Fiction and Science Fiction
  • The Trace
  • The Uncanny
  • The Weird

Please submit abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) to Patrick Kimutis and Sabrina Lee at modernities@gmail.com by 14 February 2018. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (https://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/ ) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

 

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January 22, 2018 at 11:43 pm

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Call for Papers: “‘Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject”

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“‘Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject”

British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 4-5, 2017 (*tentative dates)
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Keynote Speakers: TBD

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students to present papers at its twelfth annual interdisciplinary conference, “Changing the Subject’: Subjectivity, Habitus, Behavior, and the End of the Subject.”

Our conference brings together innovative work in ontology, literature, philosophy, psychology, and related fields of study to consider how scholars have responded to questions about subjectivity and ontology, specifically how behavior, habit, embodiment, and the mind affect our understanding of the everyday material existence of the ostensibly individual, coherent subject. As recent developments in domestic and foreign policy (such as the immigration ban) have reanimated questions of who is imagined to be the citizen-subject deserving of humanity, inclusion, and civil rights, our conference confronts the explicit and implicit stakes of reifying subjectivity–and the forms of being that the “subject” excludes and forecloses from our imaginary.

We hope to foster responses to questions concerning the subject, the abject, the reject, and the object. What does focusing on subjectivity in literature and other disciplines teach us? How do the oft-overlooked, banal, everyday categories of behavior, habit, and embodiment shape and determine the conditions of possibility for subjectivity and our lived orientation to the world? When exploring the forms of lived experience that constitute the ontology of the subject, what new forms-of-life along with their attendant interactions with and orientations to the world emerge? How might theories of the mind, behavior, psychology, disability, queer, and non-normative embodiments enliven and re-awaken conversations concerning the relationship between being and everyday existence? What new considerations of ontology as everyday lived practice might reading, writing, film, visual art, and other expressive genres foster? How do questions of being re-orient spectators to their own being-in-the-world? Do such reformulations of subjectivity disrupt or unsettle our understanding of the objects that surround us? How might historic and contemporary scientific studies attempting to define and explore what it means to be shape our understanding of literary texts, representation, and reader reception? Does a reformulation of subjectivity affect our understanding of the citizen, law, nation, and racialization?

The British Modernities Group invites novel paper proposals from any discipline and theoretical background. Possible paper topics and methodologies include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Learned behavior
  • Studies in subjectivity
  • Alternate subjectivities
  • Theories of the mind
  • Queer subjectivities
  • Non-normative bodies and minds
  • Cognitive theories
  • Disability and illness
  • Science and embodiment
  • Reflex and automatic behavior
  • Theories of the everyday
  • Affect and the mind
  • Object oriented ontology
  • Ontology and materiality
  • Forms-of-life other than the subject
  • Ontology in film, visual art, and expressive culture
  • Theories of reading and writing
  • Theories of racialization and subjectivity

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by Monday, March 6, 2017. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (https://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

 

Written by modernities

January 30, 2017 at 7:32 pm

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“Feeling Real” Conference Schedule

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April 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Call for Papers: “‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities”

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“‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities”

British Modernities Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

May 5-6, 2016Corazón

Keynote Speakers:

Professor Jonathan Flatley, Wayne State University

Professor Steve LaValle, University of  Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The British Modernities Group (BMG) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites graduate students to present papers at its eleventh annual interdisciplinary conference, “‘Feeling Real’: Affect, Literature, and Reimagined Realities.”

Our conference will bring together innovative work in affect theory, literary studies, and related fields to consider how feelings contribute to literature and how fictions feel real. As affect explores the cultivation, proliferation, and broader implications of both fictional and real-world feelings, literary scholarship has begun to consider compelling intersections of the mind and the material world that complicate the space between what feels “real” and what is.

Responding to these scholarly trends, we hope to foster reflection on all permutations of literary feelings and felt realities. What does focusing on affect in literature teach us? How do texts bring characters’ emotions to life? How do these literary emotions evoke affective responses in their readers? How do literary emotions move us and, in affecting us, effect real change on an individual or global scale? What is the relationship between feeling and fiction? How might literature contribute to reimagining realities? How can perception blur distinctions between the real and the fictional, and how does such blurring inform our definitions of what constitutes “reality”? How do modes from the pseudo-documentary to the fictional memoir undermine longstanding generic distinctions that separate the “real” from the “not real”? How can fictions come to supplant lived realities, and what are the consequences of such substitutions? How do unreliable narrators call attention to the subjective nature of reality and its dependence on personal feelings? Our conference will provide an opportunity for keynote speakers, panelists, and attendees to collaboratively explore these and related issues.

We invite innovative paper proposals from any discipline and theoretical background. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Affect theory
  • All aspects of studies in emotion or feeling
  • Affective realities
  • Queer feelings and queer realities
  • Non-normative bodies and minds
  • Reality and the mind
  • Virtual reality
  • Speculative realities
  • Cosplay
  • Genre (magical realism, realism)
  • (Non)fictional hybrids
  • Imagination
  • Reality television
  • Documentary film

Abstracts of no more than 250 words for individual papers (or 350 words for panels) should be submitted to modernities@gmail.com by Monday, February 29, 2016. Please include your name, along with your departmental and institutional affiliations, in your email. Conference papers must not exceed 20 minutes. Visit our website (https://modernities.wordpress.com/) or check us out on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishModernitiesatUIUC/) and Twitter (@BMGmodernities) for more information about the BMG.

Written by modernities

January 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

Posted in cfp, conference, events

Schedule of Events — “Bad Books: Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation,” May 1-2

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“Bad Books”:Mass Genres, Material Cultures, and Aesthetic Valuation

The British Modernites Group 10th Annual Graduate Student Conference


FRIDAY, MAY 1

2:00 – 4:00 PM: Seminar with Kevin J. H. Dettmar

(Pomona College)

Breaching the Firewall: Joyce’s Letters and the Reception of Dubliners

Location: Center for Advanced Studies

RSVP at modernities@gmail.com

5:00 – 6:30 PM: “Jane Addiction: Lost in Austen, Austen Fandom, and the Profane”

Faculty Lecture

Robert A. Rushing (Comparative & World Literature)

Location: English Building 160

 

SATURDAY, MAY 2

Events at the Independent Media Center

(202 S. Broadway Urbana)

9:00 – 9:15: Welcome

9:15 – 9:30: Opening Remarks (Ted Underwood)

9:30 – 11:00 Panel I: Approaching the Bad

Respondent: Ted Underwood

Noa Saunders (University of Maryland, College Park)

“Textuality and Reception of Nabokov’s The Original of Laura”

Kelly Budruweit (University of Iowa)

“The Failure of Magically Real Solutions: Joanne Harris’ Critique of the Veil in France”

Benjamin O’Dell (English)

“Bad Boz?: Charles Dickens and the 1830s”

 

11:00 -11:15 Coffee Break

11:15 -12:45 Panel II: Bad Women

Respondent: Vicki Mahaffey

Wendy Truran (English)

“Being Bad by Feeling Happy: Improper Feelings in the in May Sinclair’s The Three Sisters and The            Life and Death of HarrietFrean

Valerie O’Brien (English)

“Bad Romance: the Sadeian Fairy Tales of Angela Carter and Kathy            Acker”

Esther Dettmar (English)

The Better to Eat You With


12:45-1:45 Lunch Break & Poster Session

“Distant Reading and the Logic of Literary Value”

Ted Underwood and Jordan Sellers

2:00 – 3: 15 Kevin J.H. Dettmar, Keynote Lecture

“Two Modes of ‘Sincerity’: DFW and American Psycho

(W.M. Keck Professor of English, Pomona College)

3:15-3:30 Coffee Break

3:30 -5:00 Panel III: The Bad 19th Century

Respondent: Eleanor Courtemanche

Heather McLeer (English)

“Resisting Irish Middlebrow in Edward Martyn’s Irish Theater”

Kyle Killebrew (Northern Illinois University)

“‘Bad’ Imperialism as Imperial Burlesque in the Work of William McGonagall, the ‘World’s Worst Poet’”

Jonathan Brown (Eastern Illinois University)

The Curse upon Mitre Square: Pulp, Reality, and the Ripper”

 

In solidarity with Steven Salaita, Kevin J.H. Dettmar is donating his honorarium to the Steven Salaita Fund.

This event is co-sponsored by English, the Unit for Theory and Criticism, Communication, History, Comparative and World Literature, the Center for Advanced Studies, and Art and Design.

Written by modernities

May 1, 2015 at 9:07 am

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“Bad Books” Conference: May 1-2, 2015

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Written by modernities

April 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

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