College of Arts and Sciences


Fifth-Annual English Graduate Organization Conference 
November 8-9, 2008, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL

Keynote speaker: Martha Stoddard Holmes, California State University in San Marcos

The English Graduate Organization of Western Illinois University invites submissions to our fifth-annual conference, "The Body: Images, Perceptions, and Representations." The human body is a topic of both significance and curiosity amongst various disciplines and discourse communities. In history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, rhetoric and literature, the body serves as a symbol, metaphor, and inspiration for many larger aspects of human nature. For this reason, we will be hosting our annual conference November 8-9, 2008 to consider the roles of the body in literature and the overall fascination with the human form. Our keynote speaker will be Martha Stoddard Holmes, Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Advisor at California State University in San Marcos. Stoddard was trained as a fiction writer and scholar in Victorian literature and culture and specializes in Disability Studies. Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Disability Studies
  • The national and social body in literature
  • The role of literature in body, spiritual, and mental wellness
  • Aesthetics of the body
  • Roles or extensions of the body in labor and technology
  • Celebrated and oppressed bodies
  • Intersections of religion and the body
  • Colonialism and the body
  • Gender studies and representations of the male and female body
  • Accessibility in online environments
  • The body and science fiction studies
  • Pedagogy of the body
  • Rhetorical considerations of the body
  • The place of the body in popular culture

The EGO conference is intended to explore all areas of English studies, including pedagogy, cultural studies, literary studies, and critical theory. We welcome interdisciplinary interest and participation, and encourage scholars from all areas of the humanities. Please send 250 word abstracts to ego at wiu dot edu by October 1, 2008. There is a registration fee of $15 or $20 on the day of the conference. We welcome submissions by postal mail as well: English Graduate Organization, Department of English & Journalism, 1 University Circle, Macomb IL 61455-1390.