Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Ninth Annual Cultural Studies Graduate Student Conference and Workshop at the

University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

March 31 – April 1, 2017

Guilty Pleasures and Confessional Spaces:
Storytelling and the Digital Dionysus

Keynote lecture to be delivered by: (TBA)

Although cultural conceptions of shame, punishment, and voyeuristic pursuits have reconfigured themselves across different eras and cultures, the inherent and hidden pleasures of transgression remain—linking desires, actions, and modes of thought. Individual pleasures stand in stark contrast to socially defined constructions of guilt and shame—particularly in the generation of postmemory. Palimpsestic experiences of trauma, pain, and the past continue to shape our memories, expectations, and how we communicate. These recurring themes and the strictures that legislate how pleasure is performed in public and private spaces can shape the pleasures we derive from transgressing them.

This conference seeks to interrogate the implicit and explicit relationships between the crimes we commit, the structures we violate, and the stories we tell. Specifically, we intend to investigate the notion of space—both imaginary and concretely defined—and the role it plays in shaping contemporary discourses of pleasure and punishment. Additionally, this conference will engage with these discourses in the age of information. How does this liminal space—an online bacchanalia of obscured identities, open transgression of social and cultural norms, and hidden impulses writ large—function as a construct that facilitates unique and revolutionary means of seeing and communicating on a global level?

Possible session topics include but are not limited to:

  • Confessional acts as sites of pleasure
  • Pleasure and transgression as a form of escapism
  • Palimpsest, postmemory and collective trauma
  • Post-colonialism & memory/ narrative
  • Memory construction and storytelling in guilty societies
  • Biopolitics: state-controlled bodies and narratives
  • Cultural displacement and legislation of hybrid identities
  • Violating  and transgressing notions of space
  • Transgressive, anonymous and public identities in the digital world
  • Cultural memory and digital humanities
  • Voyeurism, orientalism and the exoticized Other
Conference Structure: This conference/workshop will be comprised of the keynote address and panels on Friday, followed by additional panels on Saturday. Central to the conference is a graduate seminar style workshop on Saturday. This workshop is led by the keynote speaker and designed to explore the issues presented and discussed in more detail and depth. Presenters are requested to arrange their travel so that they can participate in the entire event, including the workshop.  There will also be a closing reception Saturday evening, which is open to all participants and audience members.

Please send a 500 word abstract along with a brief biographical statement, in a separate document, to csconference.unm@gmail.com by January 27, 2017.  Selected participants will be notified by February 3, 2017.

You can also visit our webpage for additional information about the conference: (check for updates).  Note: Housing available with graduate students and limited travel funding may be also available, please inquire!