CFP: Drawing the Line(s) (Long Beach, 1-3 Mar 12)

California State University, Long Beach, California, March 1 - 03, 2012
Deadline: Oct 31, 2011

47th Annual Comparative Literature Conference
Drawing the Line(s): Censorship and Cultural Practices

Plenary Speaker: Ilan Stavans
Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture, Amherst College

Special B-Word Public Lecture: An Evening with Azar Nafisi

“Freedom of speech means that you shall not do something to people either for the views they have, or the views they express, or the words they speak or write.” ~ Hugo L. Black, U.S. Supreme Court Justice 1963

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches” ~ Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“Censorship is never over those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.” ~ Nadine Gordimer

“Imagine books and music and movies being filtered and homogenized. Certified. Approved for consumption. People will be happy to give up most of their culture for the assurance that the tiny bit that comes through is safe and clean. White noise.” ~ Chuck Palahnuik

“Art is never chaste. It ought to be forbidden to ignorant innocents, never allowed into contact with those not sufficiently prepared. Yes, art is dangerous. Where it is chaste, it is not art. “ ~ Pablo Picasso

Call for Papers
The history of human culture has always been engaged with classifying and upholding the politically and socially acceptable, ethical and moral. On the flip side, it has also been equally engaged with what is deemed as forbidden, shocking, inappropriate, tasteless, improper, reprehensible and even scandalous. Censorship and freedom of expression are not just modern-day issues or debates. To be heard, seen, erased or silenced in written, spoken or visual form has vexed humanity since the Ancient and Classical debates on good governance and freedom of speech. In fact, from early Jewish, Christian and Islamic notions of iconography, destruction of books in Ancient China, Medieval inquisitions, Galileo’s defense of Copernican theory, Counter Reformation, Salem Witch trials, McCarthyism to the Culture wars of the 1980s and today’s concerns about technological communication, surveillance and scientific advancements, censorship has been at the forefront of cultural practices globally and through time.

“Drawing the Line(s): Censorship and Cultural Practices” is the 47th Annual Comparative Literature Conference, an interdisciplinary gathering of scholars, artists, and practitioners from all walks of the arts and the academy, that aims to consider censorship in a broad scale across time periods, disciplines and languages. It seeks to examine literature, images, visual objects and mechanisms, the political and social events from diverse cultures, across national boundaries, and within global contexts.

Among the questions to be explored are:

- Banned Books and book burning
- Censorship in ancient Greek Drama
- Censorship and art
- Censorship and museums
- Censorship, Sexuality and the Body
- Censorship and Surveillance
- Censorship and Visual representations
- Early Roman conceptions of censorship
- Early Modern printing press
- Early Modern regimes and citizenship
- Exploitation, Discrimination and Regulation
- Feminism and Censorship
- Government versus Inquisitions
- Imagined Communities and Censorship
- Literary representations of censorship
- New World Discoveries and Suppression
- Queer Studies and Censorship
- Religious persecutions
- Revolution and Censorship
- Silence and the spoken and written words

We invite proposals for papers that deal with the power and role of censorship and its relationship to the written and/or spoken word and other disciplines and methodologies. Participant from different fields — literary theory and philosophy, political science, history, creative writing, aesthetics, film studies, art history and theory, theater, fine arts, graphic design, culture studies, visual and media studies, digital media and electronic arts, sociology, psychology, and cognitive science — are invited to submit an abstract.
To propose a PAPER, please send an electronic 250-word abstract along with an attached brief one-page c.v. no later than October 31st, 2011, to Dr. Nhora Serrano and Dr. Nizan Shaked at the conference email:

Official “Drawing the Line(s): Censorship and Cultural Practices” Conference webpage:

In conjunction with the B-Word, conference registrants will receive a $5 discount to attend a public lecture: “An Evening with Azar Nafisi” on Saturday March 3rd, 2012 at 8pm at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center.

This conference is part of Banned, Blacklisted & Boycotted: Censorship and the Response to It (The B-Word Project), a campus-wide initiative coordinated by the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach. The B-Word Project is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Creative Campus Innovations Grant Program, funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Website:

CFP: Drawing the Line(s) (Long Beach, 1-3 Mar 12). In:, Aug 30, 2011 (accessed Jun 5, 2020), <>.

Contributor: Nhora Serrano, California State University

Contribution published: Aug 30, 2011

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