Current Comparative Literature Conference

CFP: 57th Annual Comparative World Literature Conference

On Digital Pasts and Futures: New Perspectives in Literature, Technoculture, and Media  

Venue: California State University, Long Beach. Mainly in person with some Zoom participation.

Dates: Wednesday and Thursday, April 19 and 20, 2023

Keynote Speaker: Cassius Adair (Assistant Professor of Media Studies, The New School), “Reverse Engineering: From Trans Tech Histories to Radical Trans Futures.”

Technology and forms of expression continue to evolve in the digital age. What new frameworks have emerged to grasp, interpret, and challenge issues raised by these advancements? We invite conversation in and around digital humanities research and practice and other approaches that broadly explore “the digital.”

We welcome conversations on how past and present social contexts—i.e. the stresses of a global pandemic, structural racism, climate crisis, and anti-war and human rights struggles—have created new configurations of how we participate in, relate to, and are affected by technology, media, and various digital spaces. We also encourage explorations of how technology and technoculture upholds or challenges the status quo and other structures of exclusion and marginalization, and how digitally-informed inquiry can expose and subvert social inequities and systems of oppression.

Submissions for individual presentations and 90-minute sessions are welcome from all disciplines and global / historical contexts that engage with “the digital,” i.e. digital studies / humanities, new media studies, literary studies, critical race and ethnic studies, Indigenous studies, American Indian studies, Asian American studies, Black / African studies, Middle East / North African studies, Latinx and Chicanx studies, women and gender studies, disability studies, science and society studies, et al.

Possible proposals topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Digital humanities approaches to literature and cultural studies
  • Electronic literature, web-based narratives, and other forms of digital curation
  • Digital forms of journalism, protest / organizing, activism, and archives
  • Digital environmental humanities approaches to climate crisis and narratives
  • Ethnographic approaches to technological mediations and experiences
  • Online communities, social media platforms, identity making, and emerging forms of digital representation and art, i.e. NFT and crypto art markets
  • Reflection on the use of the digital in the diasporas: maintaining domestic space, sense of home and homeland in Asia and Africa; the use of the digital in maintaining cultural and historical homeland. 
  • Intersections with racial and criminal justice; surveillance studies 
  • Infrastructural and social inequities in technological access, digital cultures, and cyberspaces; anti-racist methodologies
  • Ethics of Big Data, A.I., coding, automation, etc.
  • Digital neo-colonialism and decolonization, Indigenous data sovereignty
  • Globalization, labor demand/markets, and inequity/exploitation in technological production
  • Feminism in Digital Spaces: use of the digital help in feminist coalitions across different spaces and nations; building movements via digital spaces
  • Cyberfeminist critiques, new approaches to cyborg theory
  • Queer digital cultures
  • Disability justice, access, technology, and media
  • Pedagogical approaches to digital humanities, digital literacy, and other multimodal practices and skills
  • Video games/gaming rhetorics, augmented reality, and simulation-based learning
  • New forms of media and digital storytelling, databases, and means of connectedness
  • Using the digital to preserve languages: digital spaces of translation; the conservation, circulation, production of digital media; using machines to translate; the digital futures of languages and literatures
  • Digital religion and spirituality: understanding religious or spiritual  practices in a digital world
  • Digital archives: gatekeeping; what is lost in digitization
  • Digital dystopia
  • (Future) digital landscapes used / addressed / predicted in science fiction and speculative fiction
  • Social media representation in narratives: where the digital usurps the personal
  • Streamer culture and digital fandom

Proposals for 15-20 minute presentations should clearly explain the relationship of the panel or paper to the conference theme, describe the evidence to be examined, and offer tentative conclusions. Panel proposals should articulate how the panel fits into the conference theme. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words (not including optional bibliography). Please submit abstracts as a Word document in an email attachment to comparativeworldliterature@gmail.com

Please do not embed proposals in the text of the email. Make sure to indicate your mode of preference (Zoom or in person) for planning purposes.

The conference committee will review all proposals, on a rolling basis, until March 1, 2023.