2019 CFP

17th annual concordia english graduate colloquium

Spectral Haunts: Issues of the Liminal Past and Looming Future

“[E]ven the simplest notion about time does not come without a context: it will be accompanied by a retinue of hidden assumptions about the nature of reality”

– George Jaroszkiewicz Images of Time: Mind, Space, and Reality (6)

The porous nature of time allows for both the past and the future to inform and revise the present. The future is imagined and the past becomes untrustworthy, both combining in a constantly shifting and newly interrogated space, that we call the present. Societal fascinations around our understanding of time and its events can be seen in the popularity of historical dramas and the ever-evolving genre of science-fiction. Westworld shows examples of how a society presented with a virtual reality theme park uses it to escape to the often brutal, but historical and thus compelling, Western.

The “present”, then, can be theorized as a position both fixed by the determinations of the past and yet radically open to the horizons of futurity—a position that is paradoxically both unfree and free. In this way, we can begin to understand the critical force of various emergent speculative futurisms (Afrofuturism, Indigenous futurism, Latinx futurism, disability-themed futurism, etc) gathered in recent anthologies and represented by increasingly substantial bodies of literature and art.

The purpose of the colloquium is to invite papers that attend in very broad terms to the radically paradoxical nature of present time, with reference to:

Trauma theory

Ecofeminism and ecocriticism

The Gothic

Speculative futures


Queer futurism

Indigenous futurism

Latinx futurism

Disability-themed speculative fiction

Literary criticism



Post / anti / de + colonialism


The non-human animal

Spatial theory

History and meaning

Architectural studies

Deadline for submissions: Friday December 14th, 2018 by 11:59 PM (LAST CALL JANUARY 22nd 2019).
Please submit either a proposal or a paper (in case of multiple submissions, you may submit both papers and proposals) to concordiacolloquium@gmail.com.
Proposals should be between 300 and 500 words, providing an introduction to your topic, and a brief outline of how you intend to argue your thesis. Hybrid proposals should address how the artistic piece(s) engage(s) with the theme. If selected, you will be notified by the beginning of January. You will be required to submit a complete paper by February 10, 2019.*
Papers should not exceed 2,500 words. Presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length. The conference rooms are accessible by elevator and we will work with participants and presenters to meet any and all accessibility needs. Please provide a Works Cited list at the end of your paper following MLA 8 style guidelines. Include an abstract of 250 words alongside your paper (for use on our promotional materials). If selected, you will be notified by the beginning of January.
Submissions should be in .doc or .docx format. Do not include your name on the submission. In a separate document, please include a 50-80-word bio. All submissions are read and vetted anonymously. 
We welcome submissions from anywhere in Canada and abroad, regardless of institution, degree, or discipline, but priority will be granted to graduate students. We accept up to three submissions per author with the understanding that only the strongest one among them will be chosen for the colloquium. Papers will be judged on their content and successful engagement with the theme.

The Conference will take place on March 22-23 2019

For further questions, contact concordiacolloquium@gmail.com
We look forward to reading your submissions!

*Select papers will be published in Spectral Haunts a special issue of Insight, our annual academic journal. If you do not wish to be considered for publication, please include a note in your submission e-mail. Even if you do not wish your paper to be published, we will still ask for your complete paper by February 10th 2019 in order to accommodate various accessibility needs.