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CFP: Spaces of Encounter, GSD Graduate Student Conference (April 26-27, 2013)

Keynote Speaker: Christian Hawkey, Pratt Institute

"We are two sternums, facing each other. Two ribcages. I do not know, at this hour, where the space my chest inhabits ends and his begins, where one language ends and another begins."

In Ventrakl, which he terms a collaboration with the Austrian poet Georg Trakl (1887-1914), Christian Hawkey stages an encounter across time, space, and language. Drawing on poetry, biography, and photographs, Hawkey seeks to reanimate Trakl, not simply by reading his words, but by translating them, by writing in the "between-voice" that is at once Trakl's and his own. As Hawkey describes it, the two poets sit across from one another in a "nearly empty" room, and out of this encounter, a text emerges. Liminal spaces figure prominently in the poems of the collection, and Hawkey deems the creation of such spaces essential to inspired writing, "[...] by clearing such a space, a linguistic utterance offers an invitation to enter, to collaborate, to fill or fill out the pointed-to space." Thus Hawkey's room is ultimately defined, not by its emptiness, but by possibility.

Spaces, whether physical or metaphysical, invite encounters among people, cultures, objects, and ideas. A face to face meeting can result in collaboration or altercation, connection or estrangement. Though the shaping of a space can help determine the nature of the encounter, as soon as an encounter occurs, the space is formed anew. Thus while encounters are ephemeral, spaces are constantly in flux across time, imbued with layers of meaning that bear the traces of previous encounters. This interplay between the site and the event is at the heart of our inquiry.

This conference will create a space for encounters across media and disciplines. We invite proposals for papers, creative works, or presentations in alternate formats. Questions to consider include, but are not limited to:

* How does interdisciplinarity create a space of encounter?
* Where does one find other "nearly empty" rooms: physical, textual, virtual, and ephemeral?
* How do perceptions of cultural norms or expectations in domestic and public spaces influence encounters?
* How do political, economic, or cultural values influence the potential for collaborations and altercations?
* How do museums and galleries stage encounters with an artist, an object, an idea?
* In what ways do stages or other performance spaces host encounters?
* How do translation and transcription shape various interactions with and interpretations of a text?
* How do objects allow for encounters that transcend time and space?
* How does one confront gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and religion in different types of spaces?

Please send abstracts of 250 words or less for 15-20 minute presentations to umn.gsd.conf@gmail.com by November 15, 2012.

Conference Website: https://sites.google.com/a/umn.edu/spaces-of-encounter/

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