CFP: Catastrophe! Living and Thinking Through the End Times

Catastrophe! Living and Thinking Through the End Times

Indiana University Bloomington | March 30-31, 2018

Keynote Speaker

Seo-Young Chu

Associate Professor, Department of English, Queens College, CUNY

We are issuing a Call for Proposals for scholarly and creative submissions for the 16th Annual Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference entitled “Catastrophe! Living and Thinking Through the End Times” hosted by the English Department at Indiana University Bloomington, March 30-31, 2018.

This conference aims to interrogate politics, rhetoric, and representations of catastrophe, disaster, apocalypse, and trauma. We aim to address not only these terms individually, but also their entanglements across historical moments and geographical locations.

How do we define and delimit catastrophe or disaster? What are the differences and similarities between trauma and disaster? What is the temporality of catastrophe and how do we imagine it? How does one teach through catastrophe or teach disaster? How is catastrophe coopted for political ends? How can we describe the catastrophic relationship between humans and the environment? How is apocalypse and cataclysm represented in art and literature? How do we think about beginnings in the end times? What kinds of historical representations surround or engage cataclysm and apocalypse? How do we categorize or frame the genres of apocalyptic and prophetic writings? What are the differences between personal, public, or global trauma? How does catastrophe encourage us to think interdisciplinarily?

We invite submissions from all disciplines addressing, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Rhetoric of catastrophe, rhetoric of trauma
  • Holocaust studies, genocide studies
  • Ecocriticism, environmental studies, slow violence
  • Prophetic representations, Theology, Eschatology, Rapture
  • Colonialism, Post-colonialism, Anthropocene
  • Late Capitalism, Modernity, Post-modernity
  • Virtual disasters, Technology and Hacking
  • Posthumanism, cyborgs, alien invasion, and mutation
  • Reproductive rights, gender and sexuality studies
  • Science Studies, Plague and Disease, Nuclearity, Biopolitics
  • Dystopia, post-apocalyptic, science fiction studies
  • Aesthetics and affects of disaster and trauma
  • Psychoanalysis, trauma studies
  • Women and gender studies
  • Queer potentials of cataclysms
  • Theater, drama, Late Style, Eventness
  • Childhood studies
  • Political movements, media, fascism, BLM, Antifa
  • Survivalism, Dooms-Day Preppers
  • Pedagogy, analysis as survival

We invite proposals for individual scholarly papers, creative works, and panels organized by topic. Please submit (both as an attachment and in the body of the email) an abstract of no more than 250 words along with the following personal details: name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email, and phone number.

**Submission Deadline: December 17, 2017 (email to

This conference is generously supported by the Department of English, Department of Anthropology, Department of American Studies, Department of History, and the Cultural Studies Program.

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