Call for papers: 8th Annual Alabama Regional Graduate Conference in English

The University of North Alabama English Department
Announces the 8th Annual Alabama Regional Graduate Conference in English
February 24-25, 2017

Call for Papers:
Confinement: From the Prison Block to the Margins


From Charlotte Brontë’s infamous “madwoman in the attic” to Orange Is the New Black, stories of imprisonment, confinement, and discipline pervade literature and popular culture.  In its most literal from, confinement can represent imprisonment for a crime, but “imprisonment” as a concept manifests in different contexts and across a broad spectrum.  Various individuals and groups are confined to the margins of society or oppressed by structures of inequality, among other forms of confinement or disempowerment.  These ideas of oppression, marginalization, and discipline have shaped how writers represent imprisonment or confinement in diverse forms.

The University of North Alabama’s Department of English invites proposals for scholarly papers which investigate any aspect of this theme in language, literature, or other media.  For example, topics might include analyses of works that incorporate themes related to oppression, confinement, or discipline, among other similar topics within a broader context; analyses of specific genres or texts that use these themes, such as crime fiction and Gothic literature, are also encouraged.  We solicit submissions that focus on various types of texts, from canonical works to contemporary or nontraditional texts or media.  As for creative works, we recommend short fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry that explores these themes of imprisonment, marginalization, or oppression in its myriad manifestations.

Possible topics, foci, or texts may include (but are not limited to):

Postcolonialism                                             Imperialism and colonialism

Gender studies                                               Feminist theory

Queer theory                                                   Deconstruction

Race studies                                                    Disability studies

Globalization                                                  Prison literature and narratives

Social inequality                                            Nontraditional texts

Film and television                                       Crime fiction

Captivity narratives                                      Victorian literature and texts

Michel Foucault                                              Gayatri Spivak

Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar               Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

The keynote speaker for this conference is death row exoneree Gary Drinkard.


We welcome proposals from current students and recent graduates (within the last five years) of MA or PhD programs.  Presentations that utilize audiovisual elements are encouraged.  Please upload proposals of 250-300 words by December 30, 2016 to the conference website at [insert hyperlink here].  Suggestions for panels are also welcomed.  All proposals will receive a decision on acceptance by January 15, 2017.

Award for Best Paper:

At the closing session of the conference, presenters will be asked to vote on the three best papers presented at the conference.  Following the conference, a panel of judges will award first, second, and third place standing to these three papers.


Further information on the conference, the University of North Alabama, our department, and the Florence area is available on our website:


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