Fourth Annual Literature and Social Justice Graduate Conference - Intersectional Approaches to Literature, Race, and Class

Country: USA

City: Bethlehem

Abstr. due: 15.10.2017

Dates: 02.03.18 — 03.03.18

Area Of Sciences: Sociology; Cultural science;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Lehigh University English Department


We seek proposals that take an intersectional approach to the relationship among literature, race, and class. We are excited for papers that engage with literary representations of struggles for racial and economic justice in the United States and globally as well as the intersection of racial, economic, and other struggles for justice. We are also interested in proposals that explore anti-racist and anti-classist teaching practices, curricula, research, and criticism. Given the history of racism and classism within academia, including the coopting, neutralizing, and commodification of minority and working class culture, art, and literatures, we also encourage papers that discuss ways that students, professors, and staff are confronting racism and classism and creating more ethical ways of doing academic work. We strongly encourage students from historically marginalized groups, including but not limited to poc, women, lgbtq, and the differently abled, to submit. We hope to receive submissions from first time conference goers as well as more experienced students.

Our conception of “literature” includes diverse texts, modes, and genres. In addition to more traditional literature papers, we are excited about submissions that engage with film and television, visual art, spoken word poetry and other oral forms, hip-hop, comic books, graphic novels, and literature for youth. Whereas the conference theme is “Intersectional Approaches to Literature, Race, and Class,” we will also consider papers that fit more broadly into the overarching focus on “literature and social justice.”

Suggested Paper Topics Include:

  • Sites of difference, such as class, race, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability
  • Intersectional approaches to studying literature and doing academic work
  • Democracy and literature
  • Relationship between Literary Studies and Ethnic Studies
  • Spoken word and other oral literature and traditions 
  • Literature of diaspora, including immigrant and refugee stories/writers
  • Decolonial theory and literature
  • Literature and settler-colonialism
  • Composition and rhetoric pedagogy
  • Anti-racist/classist approaches to teaching literature 
  • Otherness, difference, solidarity, and identity 
  • Vernacular literatures 
  • Creating publics and counterpublics 
  • Teaching social justice through literature
  • Academia as advocacy
  • Wars and anti-war movements (including the wars on poverty, drugs, and terror)
  • Literature related to movements for social change
  • Free speech on and off campus
  • The resurgence of ideas and movements associated with white nationalism, the Alt Right, and/or white supremacy
  • Critical engagement with white allyship in anti-racist struggle, for example, recent

Conference Web-Site: