Call for Papers: Humanities and Social Change at Purdue University

REMINDER: Tomorrow, October 23rd, is the last day to drop a Fall Quarter class. See Campus Connect for more information.


Purdue University is pleased to invite all interested graduate students, scholars and professionals to submit abstracts for the 13th Annual Graduate Symposium, “Humanities and Social Change: How Literature Impacts Class, Gender and Identity.” The symposium will take place March 1-2, 2013, at Purdue’s West Lafayette, Indiana, campus. This year the Symposium Committee is honored to welcome Dr. Raúl Coronado from the University of Chicago as keynote speaker.

With its focus on the influence of literature on social change, the Symposium Committee encourages the submission of papers on a variety of topics and disciplines that explore Language, Literature, and Culture. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Gender and sexuality
  • Formation of nation
  • History and identity
  • Literature and visual arts
  • Performance studies
  • Cognitive approaches to literary texts
  • Politics in literature
  • Social oppression
  • Exile literature

Please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words to by December 7th, 2012. In your e-mail submission please specify the presenter’s name, institution of affiliation, e-mail address, and phone number. Please do not include any identifying information on the abstract itself. You will be informed of the committee’s decision after January 10th, 2012. A $30 registration fee will be charged for accepted papers.


AWP- A Community of Writers: Guest Post by Shane Zimmer

Haven’t had enough of the 2012 AWP Conference in Chicago yet? Neither have we! Following Jacqueline Maggio’s guest post on Tuesday, today we have another slightly different take on last week’s four-day writing conference from MAWP student Shane Zimmer. Thanks, Shane, for sharing your AWP reflections with Ex Libris readers.

I heard a lot of big talk about the AWP Conference for a couple of weeks before the event. Despite being skeptical of hype, I did attend, all three days in fact, March 1-3 at the Chicago Hilton. For me the conference lived up to its reputation.

It was educational and exciting. But the most surprising impact the conference had on me was that I suddenly felt part of a community.

Although the panels were interesting, I enjoyed the Book Fair much more. Each day I walked around the hundreds of tables and booths to peruse the overwhelming number of literary journals, publishing houses and presses. I filled my bag with about fifteen pounds of journals and talked to a lot of editors and publishers who were, it’s strange to say, not unlike me. They loved art, were presumably living modest lives, and were dedicated to the culture of literature.

It was inspiring to look beyond the bestsellers, the books-made-into-movies, and all the other popularized aspects of literature and instead to see a greater picture of our literary culture. To see it, yes, and to interact with it. I could actually talk with the editors of say, Tin House or McSweeney’s, or the many smaller publications that were just as cool, like locals Anobium and Artifice Magazine.

It was inspiring because so often I feel like I’m writing in a bubble. Sure, there is school and my few writer friends, but it’s a small group and they are sometimes eclipsed by the big, impersonal worlds of academia, the publishing industry and a global society in which a billion voices are crying out all at once.

Beyond school and my friends, there are the journals and presses, but really, who are these people? They seem to exist as abstractions in cyber space or as a mailed subscriptions two to six times a year.

But no. They are more than abstractions. They are everyday people like us. I’ve met them. They want to know what we’re writing. They want us to contribute to their projects and want, like we all want, to be inspired and to inspire others to create their best work.

Meeting these people, I found myself falling into a pattern that later I codified: 1. Talk to people openly. 2. Listen to them carefully. 3. Follow up.

Number three is important enough to repeat: follow up.

I talked with Courtney Davison, Editor at Paper Darts, who referred me to a story that “changed how [she] viewed short stories.” Later I met Christopher Wolford, Editorial Assistant at Bull who mentioned an essay in their latest edition that he proudly “championed and convinced the editors to accept.”

I read both pieces and went back to each person to share my impressions. They were delighted to be getting feedback and our resulting conversations went off in unexpected and satisfying directions.

A MAWP friend recommended I check out Open Letter, a publisher dedicated to translations. Because their books were only five bucks, I asked one of the staff, Chad Post to tell me which of all the books on the table was his favorite. He said that Scars by Argentinean author Juan José Saer “reinstated his faith in fiction.” I myself have had my doubts about fiction lately and so I bought it, got his email and told him that after I read it, I’ll write him with my reactions. And I will.

I believe that this one aspect of what people mean when they talk about building a community. Of course it doesn’t always have to do with reading recommended works, but it does always involve some level of engagement.

Engaging each other feeds the culture. Just like a culture of living organisms in a Petri dish needs its food, our culture of arts and literature needs to be fed by our efforts to talk and share, to encourage and help out, and to follow up.

The conference was synchronistic for me. I had decided about a month ago that late in 2012 I will start aggressively submitting to literary journals. This weekend I was able to collect a long list of places to submit. But much more than a list, much more than a collection of publications, I gained from AWP a sense that there is a larger world out there of writers and thinkers and artistic weirdos like me, and we are part of a living, thriving community.

Calls for Submissions from Chicago Writer’s Association & Emanations Anthology

The next quarterly edition of the Chicago Writers Association‘s online magazine, The Write City, is due out next month and all are invited to submit short stories, poetry, features, journal entries, interviews, bios, or anything else, even if you are not a member of the CWA.

The Write City Magazine is available via the CWA website for everyone to read (not limited to members), so your work will get a wide readership.

Deadline: Saturday, February 14th. Please submit your work via email to Juli Schatz at


Editorial Board of International Authors has announced a call for submissions for Emanations: Second Sight. Emanations is an anthology series featuring fiction, poetry, essays, manifestos and reviews. The emphasis is on alternative narrative structures, new epistemologies, peculiar settings, esoteric themes, sharp breaks from reality, ecstatic revelations, and vivid and abundant hallucinations.

The editors are interested in recognizable genres—science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, local color, romance, realism, surrealism, postmodernism–but the idea is to make something new, and along these lines the illusion of something new can be just as important. If a story or poem makes someone say, “Yes, but what is it?” then it’s right for Emanations. Essays should be exuberant, daring, and free of pedantry. Length is a consideration in making publication decisions, but in keeping with the spirit of the project contributors should consider length to be “open.”

The editorial vision is evolving; contributors should see themselves as actively shaping the “vision” of Emanations.

Send files with brief cover note to Carter Kaplan: at

Deadline: April 2nd, 2012

Emanations is a not-for-profit literary project and contributors cannot be compensated at this time. All proceeds from the sale of Emanations will support the efforts of International Authors to publish new voices from around the world.

Please post questions, suggestions and ideas. The project is a collaborative effort, and as we share ideas the “vision” transforms, evolves, and grows. When we write stories and poems we hope to bring to bear the entire battery of modern and postmodern literary devices. More simply: we like good, strong writing. Our essays are incisive, precise, keen, challenging, and driven by the writer’s desire to advance an intelligent audience’s understanding of important subjects.

The Fine Print:

  1. Submit files as follows: double space, Microsoft Word, Times New Roman 12 pt. The book will be formatted by the editors before publication.
  2. No simultaneous submissions (contributors should get fairly quick feedback anyway, especially if their submission meets our needs). Material that is obviously pulled from a file and has nothing to do with the goals of the anthology won’t get any feedback beyond the initial acknowledgement.
  3. Word count/line count? See details above. We’re flexible, but contributors should be sensible when considering what they send in. A novella? Well, maybe, and so on…. Rules of thumb: a) Stories: very short to 20-30 pages. b) Poems: send in 5-10 pages. c) Essays: 5-10-30 pages.
  4. Published as hard copy only—Emanations will be available on Amazon. Participants who make a substantial contribution of material, editorial work, or art will get a copy. It can take some time to get copies to contributors outside of North America. In the case of our first anthology, for example, it took forty-five days to get a copy to a contributor in to Nepal.
  5. In the past, International Authors has made it possible for contributors to purchases copies “at cost” using coupon codes, and so on. International Authors is a consortium, and as such every contributor is a “member” or our community, and contributors are encouraged to help promote the anthology by sending review copies to newspapers, journals and relevant Web sites.
  6. Copyright “reverts” to contributors upon publication. That is, after a piece appears in Emanations, the contributor can seek to publish their piece elsewhere. Contributors should understand that Emanations will remain for sale on Amazon indefinitely.


Emanations is published by International Authors. More information on the call for submissions can be found at

February Literary Events

Believe it or not, tomorrow is the last day of January. Literary-event-wise, it’s going out with a bang with what is sure to be a fascinating reading and reception with author Mahmoud Saeed at the Lincoln Park campus. Luckily, February will be packed with even more great literary events in and around DePaul. Grab your calendars and get ready for these upcoming literary events from the DePaul Visiting Writers Program, the DePaul Humanities Center, the Guild Literary Complex, and more!

February 2nd – DEPAUL POETS DePaul’s own Mark Turcotte, Chris Green, David Welch and Kathleen Rooney will give a joint reading, which promises to be the epitome of awesome. This event takes place at 6 p.m. at the new DePaul Art Museum, 935 W. Fullerton.

  • Bonus for current students in the MAWP program: After the reading, all MAWP students are invited to head to Kelly’s Pub, 949 W. Webster (just east of Sheffield) for an informal social gathering. People leaving from the reading will get there around 7:30-8pm, but if you have class that evening, you can still stop by afterwards. This is not a university-sponsored event, but rather a fun, informal meet and greet for students and professors to get together and socialize.

February 14th – HAKI MADHUBUTI and AMINA GAUTIER In an event co-sponsored by African & Black Diaspora Studies and the English Department, the renowned poet Madhubuti, author of more than 20 books, reads with our esteemed colleague, Amina Gautier. The fun takes place in room 300 of the Richardson Library, with a reading from 6-7:30 and a reception from 7:30-8.

February 15th – The Guild Literary Complex presents: Palabra Pura featuring Rey Andújar, Jorge Frisancho, & Juan Dicent. Under the theme Mutant Body/Cuerpo Migrante, the evening will present the body as a space for multiple questions related to the state of transition. What does the body leave behind in its translation/transfer? What does it acquire or adapt? In this sense language is an element that determines more than its sensory definition. It will take place at La Bruquena, 2726 W Division Street, at 7:30 pm. Free and open to the public.

February 17th – The DePaul Humanities Center’s Literature and Music Series and the New Music DePaul Series composer and 2011-2012 faculty fellow Kurt Westerberg present: the inaugural performance of Vision and Prayer (after the poem by Dylan Thomas). This unique concert will take place at 8:00 p.m. in the DePaul Concert Hall (800 W. Belden Ave).

February 29th – DAGOBERTO GILB In an event co-sponsored by the Center for Latino Research and the English Department, Gilb–the award-winning author of The Flowers, Gritos, Woodcuts of Women, The Last Known Residence of Mickey Acuña, and The Magic of Blood–reads from his new work, Before the End, After the Beginning. The event takes place at 6 p.m. in Room 115 of the John T. Richardson Library.

Hope to see you out at some of these great events!

NOTE: Last week Ex Libris incorrectly published the time and place of the Writers Guild meetings. The Writers Guild actually meets on Wednesdays from 7:30-9pm in the Arts & Letters lobby. They are always open to new members; review the details here.

Spotlight on: The Guild Literary Complex

Andrea Pelose is a second-year MAWP student and Marketing Director for the Guild Literary Complex, among other things. In today’s guest post, Andrea shares her experiences in the Guild Complex with us and explains how (and why!) to get involved.

As grad students, we’ve mastered the art of busy.  We have workshop pieces to write, polished works to submit, query letters to finish, and reading lists to stay informed on trends. Not to mention, we have jobs and families that generally like to know we’re alive. This is why it’s easy to get wrapped up in a blanket, stay in, and type until the faint signs of carpal-tunnel appear.

But being a writer is not just about producing new text. (Although that is certainly a crucial part of it.) Writing is also about community.  Luckily, here in Chicago, we’re blessed with a great one.  DePaul itself hosts several worthwhile literary events throughout the year, from professor readings to the Visiting Writers Series to student events like Threshold’s Annual Launch Party and EGSA’s Spring Conference.

And they are not the only ones. Over the course of the past year, I’ve had the pleasure of working as the Marketing Director for the Guild Literary Complex, a community-based organization for poets, writers and literature fans that thrives on vibrant programming and emerging voices, at an affordable price. That price typically being free.

Perhaps my favorite part of both working with the Guild and attending our events is its diversity. Our presenters and audience members are an infused mixture of all the best things about the city.  The programming is unique and original.  It is also one of the best ways to learn the city, since we host events everywhere from Wicker Park to Logan Square to Humboldt Park to the South Loop, and yes, even a block or two from DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus.

So what of this unique programming? Here’s a quick cheat sheet to some of our various events:

  • Palabra Pura—a bilingual poetry series, featuring both Spanish and English verse. Each event opens with an open mic opportunity for poets of all ages and experience levels to share their work, and audiences of any background are welcome.
  • Applied Words—a series that explores creative writing and its fusion with both non-literary forms (such as music) and even non-artistic subjects (such as health).  Each event features readings or performances related to the selected topic, as well as an open mic and audience discussion.
  • Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award—an annual open-submission poetry contest, held each Spring, with a live showcase of performances, an audience vote, and a chance to win $500.
  • Prose Awards—an annual fiction and creative non-fiction contest, held each Fall, with a live showcase of the finalist excerpts and chance to win $250 in each category.
  • Poetry Performance Incubator—poetry meets the stage in a collaborative project that brings poets together to create original theater. Past shows include “Tour Guides”  about the Chicago tourists never see (2010) and “Unnatural Spaces” about urban living and the environment (premiering 2012).

We will also be at AWP. We’re offering a panel on the challenges and opportunities of running a culturally-specific reading series like Palabra Pura. In addition, we’re hosting an off-site event on March 1st at 7:00 pm at Jak’s Tap with readings and performances by Poet and Guild Literary Complex Co-Founder Michael Warr, Poet and Tia Chucha Press Co-founder Luis Rodriguez, and Poet and formidable Performer Patricia Smith, as well as select Tia Chucha poets. The Guild constantly develops new programming as well, so be on the lookout for upcoming details about a university open-mic extravaganza and teaching artist series, both targeted with English students in mind.

Having a strong network of poets, writers, publishers, journalists, professors, performers, and several others has not only helped me network and gain a better understanding of Chicago’s literary landscape, but also continues to provide encouragement to keep at my own writing, and discover the number of new outlets available to share my work.

So how can you get involved with the Guild Literary Complex? The best way is to attend an event or share your work via an open mic opportunity or contest submission. We also have occasional volunteer opportunities or job openings.  For more details, visit our website, join our group on facebook or start following us on Twitter.

Have something you’d like to share in a guest post on Ex Libris? Send your ideas to Maria at

DePaul University 18th Annual Philosophy Graduate Student Conference

You are invited to attend the 18th annual philosophy graduate student conference on April 9th, 2011. The conference, “Urban Nature and the Praxis of Denaturalization,” will be held in the DePaul Student Center, Room 220 (2250 N. Clifton, Chicago 60614) from 9am-6pm. The scope of this conference makes it of interest not only to philosophers, but also those working in environmental studies, urban studies, geography, political science, anthropology, sociology, English, literature, and other fields.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Timothy Morton, of the University of California at Davis. Author of Ecology Without Nature and The Ecological Thought, Dr. Morton will be delivering an address entitled, “Philosophy in the Time of Hyper-objects: Ecology and the Future after the End of the World.”

Please direct any inquiries to Perry Zurn, conference chair (

Newberry Library Grad Student Conference in Renaissance Studies, A Reflection

Interested in graduate student conferences? Read first-year MAE student Melissa Smith’s take on the Newberry Center for Renaissance Students conference, which she attended in late January.

The Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St, hosted the Newberry Center for Renaissance Students 2011 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference from Jan. 27–29, drawing students from all over, including two of DePaul’s Masters in English students—Brianna Tonner and Diana Anderson.

I don’t know how many of you have been to the Newberry Library, but it’s beautiful. A stone façade with rounded archways, opening up into a foyer, with staircases, as well as rooms on the first floor. So beautiful that many weddings are held there each year. Tucked away to right of the entrance is Ruggles Hall, where I attended a panel at the conference. The rich tones of the room created the perfect atmosphere for listening.

Now, I wasn’t able to attend the whole conference, but it was interesting to see exactly what scholars at the M.A. and PhD level are studying and researching.

“The Women, Men and the Ideal Marriage: Didactic Gender Messages in the Renaissance Arts” panel was one of the first sessions of the conference, drawing about 35 people to support these scholars and learn more about gender issues in The Canterbury Tales, The Duchess of Malfi, and cassone panels. For those not well versed in art history, cassone panels are painted images from a now defunct tradition of giving chests as a part of the dowry.

The four students treated the panel as any professional would— reading their papers and explaining concepts that might not be clear to the audience, trying to make us understand, as well as be able to give accurate feedback on their work. At the end, the student presenters fielded questions from the audience.

Brianna Tonner (MAE) spoke about the spectacle of pregnancy in The Duchess of Malfi. While I was unfamiliar with the text, she did a good job of making the audience understand the differences between the prose and play version of the narrative, as well as highlighted key scenes that illustrated her point. Although my research interests are mostly in Romantic and Victorian prose, I left the presentation wanting to read the text to discover the gender and class issues myself.

The other presenters also entertained the audience with unique perspectives on the works they were researching, and I was introduced to new thoughts on various Medieval stories and tales.

It has been a while since last I read The Canterbury Tales and I can honestly say I know nothing about art history or cassone panels, but it didn’t matter. I was able to follow along. The students presented clear, concise ideas about masculinity in “The Millers Tale,” ecocriticism in “The Franklin’s Tale” and the parable-like images of the Continence of Scipio.

Sitting in the audience, it wasn’t as scary as I thought, well for me anyways. The presenters may have been scared but they handled themselves well, especially when they realized that the audience was there because we wanted to learn.