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2012 -- Communities (Borders and Beyond)

2012 University of Florida English Graduate Organization Conference 
Borders and Beyond: Considering Communities 
October 11-13, 2012 at the University of Florida
Conference Location:  Pugh 210
Keynote Speaker: Kristina Busse (University of South Alabama) 
Guest Speaker: Catherine Tosenberger (University of Winnipeg)

The Schedule

Thursday, October 11

1:15-2:15: Transgressions

Moderator: Shaun Duke

Craig Rinne: “The whole world’s on fire, isn’t it?”: Communal Disintegration in 1990s Western Films

Kayley Thomas: The Strange Case of Jekyll, Hyde, and the Victorian Gentleman: Policing Masculine Communities in Robert Louis Stevenson’s London


2:30-3:45: Affect, Artistry, and Abjection

Moderator: Andrea Krafft

Emily Glosser: A Limitless Sphere of Benevolence: Eliza’s “Fancy” for Liberal Sympathy in The Coquette

Lauren Rizzuto: Little Women Drawing Little Women: Family Portraits of the Artist in Alcott

Christina Quintana: The Culture of the Abject Mother in Simone de Beauvoir’s Short Fiction


4:00-5:15: Constructed Communities in Children’s Literature

Moderator: Casey Wilson

Rebecca McNulty: Ella Enchanted: Agency of Adaptation in A Cinderella Story

Alyssa Hunziker: Harry Potter: Social Stereotypes in Constructed Communities

Mary Roca: The Hunger Games: Inspiring Rebellion vs. the Search for Self-Identity


Friday, October 12

10:30-11:45: Postcolonialism and Race

Moderator: Mitch Murray

Francesca Marinaro: Confronting the Face of Race: The Mixed-Blood Family as Racial Unifier in Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Yellow Face”

Nelson Shake: Narrating Literary Transnationalism in Zadie Smith’s White Teeth

Rafael Hernandez: Evading Knowledge: Misrepresentation and Mutation in the Epistemic Structures of Colonial Discourse


12:00-12:45: Lunch Break


1:00-2:15: Queerings

Moderator: Francesca Marinaro

Mitch Murray: Tolerating the Intolerable Homosexual, or the Liberal Politicization of the Abject

Anna Ciamparella: Queers Against Queerness: Discovering Threads of Heteronormativity in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain

CJ Yow: With Cordelia in His Arms: Death and Gender Reversal in Shakespeare's King Lear


2:30-3:45: Between Children and Adults

Moderator: Anuja Madan

Rebekah Fitzsimmons: Experts on Children’s Literature: Communities without Children

Stephanie Evers: Man or Muppet?: The Liminal Mediation of The Muppets


4:00-5:15: Utopia and Dystopia

Moderator: Asmaa Ghonim

Donna Sprauer: The Community as Identity in Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1921)

Ryan Farrar: Imaginations Run Wild: Thinking of Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” in Eupsychtopic and Dyspsytopic Terms

Derrick King: Community and the Multitude: Utopian Figures of the Collective in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis


Saturday, October 13

9:00-9:50: Illness and Healing

Moderator: Carolyn Bradley

Mark Tabone: Healing the Community through Storytelling in Claudia Rankine’s Done Let Me Be Lonely

Walter Merryman: Living the Resistance: Discovering a Community Facing Death in Albert Camus’ The Plague


10:00-11:15: Nationalism and Migration

Moderator: Alyssa Hunziker

Ana Maria Diaz Collazes: Discontinuity in “settling”: Beyond the Nikkei as Japanese community in Colombia

Crystal Andrea Felima: African American-Hatian Blan: Negotiating Identity through Fieldwork Experiences in Northern Haiti

Riddhi Mehta: A Woman Traveler’s View of the East as Seen in The Turkish Embassy Letters


11:30-12:30 Lunch Break


12:45-2:00: Fiction, Fandom, and Utopia

Moderator: Kayley Thomas

Mary Stephens: In a (Im)Perfect World: Sexual Utopias/Dystopias in Boy Meets Boy and Freak Show

Asmaa Ghonim: We’re Not in Hogwarts Anymore: The Cult of Interconnected Hogwartian Webs, H. Potter Nostalgia, and Us

Alexandra Edwards: In the shadow of no fourth wall: RPF fan communities and the public articulation of a queer utopia


2:15-3:15: Occupation, Space, and Activism

Moderator: Joseph Weakland

Erin Murray: Warner, Wallace and Wall Street: Intersectionality and Opacity as Essential to Counterpublic Sphere Theory

Jacob Riley: Public Parasites: The Strategic Aural Occupation of Space in Do the Right Thing and Noise


Keynote Speeches Will Be Held in CSE E119


4:30: Guest Speaker Catherine Tosenberger

Paper Title: “The Show’s Gotta Go All Over the Place, or Something: Glee, Imaginative Expansion, and Social Justice”

About the Speaker:

Catherine Tosenberger is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg, a position she has held since 2008, and is attached to the Centre for Research in Young People’s Texts and Cultures (CRYTC). She received her M.A. in folklore from Ohio State University, and her Ph.D. in children’s literature from the University of Florida. She is the author of multiple articles on the topics of fandom studies, children’s literature, and fairy tales. Her research interests also include folk narratives, adolescent texts and cultures, erotic literature, and Neopagan religions.

5:30: Keynote Speaker Kristina Busse

Paper Title: “Fifty Shades of Fandom: Repetition and Originality in Transformative Fanworks”

About the Speaker:

Kristina Busse has a PhD in English from Tulane University and teaches in the Department of Philosophy at the University of South Alabama. Kristina is co-founder and editor of the online peer-reviewed academic journal Transformative Works and Culture and co-editor of Fan Fiction and Fan Communities in the Age of the Internet (2006), Transmedia Sherlock (2012), and the forthcoming Fan Fiction Studies Reader. Her work on media fandom and fan communities has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals, including Cinema Journal, Camera Obscura, and Popular Communication. Her current book project, Fan Fiction and Literary Theory, explores fan fiction against various theoretical backgrounds. 

7:30-9:30: Reception

Reception Will Be Held at Kenneth Kidd’s Home; Directions Available at Conference


Call for Papers (Submissions:  CLOSED)

Community is a concept that transcends boundaries between physical spaces, individuals, and academic disciplines. Communities can exist in geographical space, yet they can also be discursively constituted. As Benedict Anderson famously argues in Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism, “Communities are to be distinguished, not by their falsity or genuineness, but in the style in which they are imagined” (6). Extending beyond nationhood and mapped spaces, communities arise through socially and politically negotiated identities and through material practices of inscription and writing.

Frequently, scholars tie community to discussions of identificatory categories such as race, nationality, gender / sexuality, and religion. Much scholarship concerns itself with problematizing such categories and performing readings that subvert monolithic or hegemonic forms of identity. Does the formation of a community necessarily involve processes of exclusion and marginalization? Are there ways to imagine viable forms of inclusive community that resist such exclusionary practices? What insights do cultural texts provide into this project? What relationship do representations of communities have on the lived material conditions of humans and non-humans?

We welcome explorations into these and other questions that arise when considering the concept of community. We encourage submissions from graduate students working from a variety of focal points, including but not limited to literary studies, rhetoric and composition, cultural studies, women’s and gender studies, postcolonial studies, critical theory, film studies, comics and visual rhetoric, and creative writing.

Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:
  • Globalism / regionalism 
  • The effects of neoliberalism and / or consumer culture on community and group identity 
  • Protest culture (e.g. The Occupy movement) 
  • Fandom and participatory culture 
  • Social networks and digital communities 
  • Gaming and gaming culture 
  • Children’s culture 
  • The university (and other communities of institutional spaces) 
  • Human relationships with non-human and other-than-human life forms 
  • Gender / sexuality (e.g. women’s groups, gay pride, macho culture) 
  • Race / ethnicity 
  • Religion / spirituality 
  • Political communities 
  • Familial spaces 
Please submit a 250-word abstract for a 20-minute presentation along with contact information to by September 15, 2012. Please indicate any a/v requirements (DVD player and data projection available). Authors of accepted papers will be notified the week of September 23rd. For questions concerning the conference, please contact us at

Shaun Duke,
Oct 1, 2012, 6:25 PM
Shaun Duke,
Aug 20, 2012, 6:43 AM