Call for Papers: Graduate Student Conference on "Forging Collectivity: Belonging, Collaboration, and its Disconnects"

Call for Papers:
Forging Collectivity: Belonging, Collaboration, and its Disconnects
Date: Saturday, May 18th, 2024 (in person at UCSB)
The University of California, Santa Barbara’s Graduate Center for Literary Research (GCLR) is pleased to announce its annual academic conference: “Forging Collectivity: Belonging, Collaboration, and its Disconnects.”
Considering the expansiveness and complexity of conceptions of collectivity alongside the co-existence of its dispossessions in global contexts of colonialism and structural and systemic violence, this conference welcomes paper proposals that research collectivity and its shifting identities, representations, political, social, and class affiliations, and affects.
Collectivity—be it social or spatial—can be fluid and even conditional, and often is not bound to single- form representations or spaces. This can be seen in various participatory social projects uniting communities across geographies through shared experiences. This is apparent, for example, in the rise of transnational feminist collaborative art spaces throughout the 1970s, where the creation of socially engaged art programs, spaces, magazines, and feminist archives became new sites of solidarity. Another example can be found in commemorative objects like the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, which displays collectivity while evolving in form through time and space. Beginning in 1987, the quilt continues to grow as individuals contribute to it today in communal grief and memorial of lives lost to AIDS.
With these ideas in mind, this conference poses the following questions: How is collectivity imagined, built, and sustained in art, literature, performance, and film? What conditions are placed on the collective, and to what extent is individual participation negotiated? How does resistance manifest itself collectively when the site of community is dispersed, or disconnected from its roots? Alternatively, how can individuals resist being drawn into social identifications that no longer serve them?
The UCSB Graduate Center for Literary Research welcomes paper submissions that focus on these ideas and their various manifestations across interdisciplinary fields of study, including but not limited to art and architectural history, anthropology, comparative literature, film and media studies, religious studies, musicology, performance studies, and other fields within the humanities and social sciences. Topics may also range from, but are not restricted to, the following list:
● (Un)Belonging, Citizenship, and Rights
● Collaboration/Collaborative Aesthetics and Practices
● Conceptions of Collective Futurity
● Class and Class Struggle
● Mass Movements, Visual Culture,
and Popular Culture
● Space, Place, Landscape, and Dwelling
● Memory Studies, Memorials, Monuments, and
Objects of Remembrance
● Ritual, Practice, and Performance Studies
● Repatriation and Objects of Cultural Heritage
We invite abstracts of no more than 300 words for 15-minute paper presentations. Proposals from enrolled graduate students in any discipline will be considered: MA, MFA, and PhD. To apply, please submit an abstract and a CV to by Sunday, February 18th, 2024.
Successful submissions will be notified of their acceptance by March 1st, 2024. Please feel free to contact with any questions or concerns.