The Department of Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies at Stony Brook University is pleased to announce its inaugural graduate student conference will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2010 at the Stony Brook Manhattan campus. We are also excited to announce that Lisa Gitelman, Associate Professor of Media, Culture & Communication and Associate Professor of English at NYU, will be the conference keynote speaker.
The conference will be structured around the theme of recycling, such that we will not only invite
graduate students to present papers on recycling itself, but also make space for interactive projects that use recycling practices to alter the proceedings of a conventional conference. We are currently soliciting papers that explore the significance of recycling as a cultural practice and as a metaphor for understanding artistic and literary production. We also welcome creative modes of presentation, including performance art, short films, musical acts, visual art, collages, video games, and other expressive forms.
In recent years, “going green” has become an increasingly popular buzz-phrase. Advice on resource and waste management is ubiquitous, coming from such sources as credit card companies, Greenpeace, reality TV shows, the Environmental Protection Agency, car manufacturers, and Facebook applications. A successful generator of capital in its own right, “greening” has become a pop culture sensation in a world poised on the brink of environmental collapse. How do discourses of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” take shape in a corporate culture premised on planned obsolescence? Might our relationship to waste change as we search for new sustainabilities?
As we are called to be conscious of our resource management, how might we become conscious of our idea management? Taking the notion of recycling as an environmental concept and applying it to the cultural realm, we want to explore how old and new media forms navigate their own forms of recycling. How does the concept of recycling, the act of reusing materials and/or ideas once considered “wasteful,” apply to cultural, artistic, and literary production? What happens when we characterize a once-useful idea with waste? What strategies enable us to recover a supposedly wasteful idea?
Concerning the problem of idea management, we invite proposals covering topics such as:
– copying of themes, tropes and characters in literature
– literary translation
– the “remake” in popular film
– the digital music mash-up
– the televised rerun
– the video game engine
– fan cultures (including fan vids, fan sites, fan blogs, fan discussion boards, fan events)
– technology law
– literary genres
– bootlegging, piracy
– appropriation, plagiarism
– literary and film adaptations
– virtual lives (e.g. Second Life)
– recycling of history
– mutation of myths over time and across cultures
All of these topics gesture toward cultural practices that may be thought of by some as recycling and reusing or as appropriation and plagiarism by others. These are just some of the possible areas ripe for examining the implications and intersections of intellectual, creative, and environmental “recycling.” We welcome submissions that play with the theme of recycling in creative and unexpected ways.
Concerning the problem of resource management, we invite proposals covering topics such as:
– the history of the slogans “reduce, reuse, and recycle” and “going green”
– case studies of recycling’s environmental impact
– waste disposal
– the history and future of environmental movements
– environmentalism in the developing world
– land appropriation and reappropriation
– the branding of environmentalism
– capitalism’s co-optation of environmental movements
– recycling as a form of cultural reconstruction and its impact on communities
– political and cultural attitudes toward sustainabilities and conservation
– the rise of Green Parties across Europe and, to a lesser extent, in North America
Please submit abstracts of 250 words (for individual proposals) or 400 words (for panel proposals) to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1st, 2010. Please include your full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation. If submitting creative work, please explain how you plan to present your work (paper, performance, installation, etc.)
Individual presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes. Panels should be no more than one hour.
For more information, please see the conference website at