Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Thank you!

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's OVER! The conference was a great success, despite some tech glitches at the last hour! We hope you all enjoyed your time at Maryland, and Katie and Maggie would like to sincerely thank everyone who attended and helped make the event fabulous. Our sessions were nearly packed at times, and the height of the conference saw nearly 70 people! Sarah Sillin won the Best Paper Award, and she'll be receiving a certificate to recognize her achievement.

David Shumway's keynote talk, "Crossing Social and Generic Borders 'Up in the Air'" explored the way in which the titular film uses but revises the traditional archetype of the lone hero. Shumway argued that Alex, the love interest of Ryan (played by George Clooney), actually remains the film's lone hero at the end, returning happily and seemingly without regret to her home and family in the suburbs. Meanwhile, the old-western-esque figure of Ryan is left to roam the skies with a clear articulation of loneliness. Shumway also argued for the film's distinction between class and status, as we find our main character's enticed far more by one another's frequent flier miles than actual economic class. In fact, the liminal space of air travel (and travel in general, as Shumway's clips from classic film showed) provides a unique opportunity for individuals to substitute status for class.

We hope you enjoy the pictures below, and thanks again!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Program for Saturday, March 12th


A Graduate Conference at the University of Maryland

Program for Friday, March 11, 2011

4:00-5:30 PM MFA Reading and Reception (Faculty Lounge, Tawes Hall)

Join us as the following MFA students share their work:

Catherine Bayly: 1. “A Bent Arm at 27” 2. “Total Lunar Eclipse” 3. “The Last of the Season”

Kim Calder: 1. “Burning Down the House” 2. “Mother’s Work” 3. “Train Scene.” Aditya Desai: “More Jaggery”

Thomas Earles: “Little Pomerania”

Jen Dempsey: “Five Hundred Crows and Captions”

Michael Gossett:: 1. “Condition” and 2. “In Memoriam M.H.H.”

Jocelyn Heath: TBA

Tim Jerome: “Joey Piccoletti and the Sickness”

Julia Leverone: 1. “Route 1A North” 2. “The Orchard” 3. “December Storm” 4. “Horseshoe River”

Jackie Orlando: “The Order of Things”

Adam Pellegrini: “Landscape and Nonplace”

Mary Lynn Reed: “Residue”

Allison Wyss: A Very Short Excerpt from a Short Story Entitled “Boobman”

This event is co-hosted by Film Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Program for Saturday, March 12, 2011

8:00-8:45 am Breakfast and Registration

9:00-10:30 am Session I

Reading Across Digital Borders - 3250 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Aaron Dinin

Amanda Visconti, “Digital Dos Passos: Re-Imagining the Digital Text," University of Maryland College Park

Nathan Kelber, "The Borders of Media: Don Bluth's Dragon's Lair," University of Maryland College Park

Porter Olsen, "Unnatural Worlds: Reading Virtual Geographies," University of Maryland College Park

John Robert Ladd, "There’s an App for That: Modernity at Large and in Your Pocket," Georgetown University

Social Justice, Government, and Individual Authority - 3252 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Jamison Kantor

Kim Calder, “Of ‘Horses’ and Horror: Dialectic of Enlightenment and ‘A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms,’” University of Maryland College Park

Peyton Joyce, "Blurring the Borders of History: Representing Herero Genocide in Thomas Pynchon's V," George Washington University

Andy Black, "The Border Patrol of Politeness: Anti-Methodist Literature and 'Giddy Mob,'" University of Maryland College Park

Rebecca Borden, "Reexamining 1914: Wartime texts and the 'myth' of Modernist Rupture," University of Maryland College Park

10:45-12:15 pm Session 2

The Boundaries of American Identity - 3250 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Tasos Lazarides

Christy DeSanctis, "Inspecting the Borders of Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton's The Squatter and the Don," University of Maryland College Park

Sarah Sillin, "Cosmopolitan Marriage and Maria Amparo de Ruiz Burton," University of Maryland College Park

Elizabeth Choy, "Puerto Rico's Borderland Status, the Mainland Passage, and Esmeralda Santiago's When I Was Puerto Rican," University of Maryland College Park

The Borders of Knowledge: Epistemology and Science - 3252 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Michelle Boswell

Adam Neff, "Recognizing the Limits of Authority: Book III of Gulliver’s Travels and the Political Consequences of Epistemological Presumption,” University of Maryland College Park

Nancy Stewart, "Old Narrative Modes for New Minds: Rereading Beckett's Molloy," University of Maryland College Park

Kisa Lape, "A Page a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Dr. John Moore's Career Change and the Humanities Cultural Capital,” University of Maryland College Park

12:15-1:15 pm Lunch

1:30-3:00 Session 3

Delusions of Gender: Boundaries of Propriety and Modern Identity
Formation -
3250 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Liz DePriest

Sarah McAfoose, "Persephone Pursued: The Plight of the Willful Female in Austen's Sense and Sensibility and Somerville and Ross's The Real Charlotte," Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Deborah Daley, "The Space of the New Woman in Amy Levy's The Romance of the Shop," University of Virginia

Paul Cote, "Faded Boundaries, Delusional Hearts, and Improperly Spelled-Kats: New Identities in ‘Krazy Kat,’" University of Maryland College Park

Kimberly Clarke, "South Asian Masculinity in the West: Finding (In)Visibility in Progressive Spaces," George Washington University

New Writing Frontiers: Website Design, Classroom Blogs, and Creative Composition - 3252 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Martin Camper

Heather Lindenman, "Creative Composition: Writing from the Inside Out," University of Maryland College Park

Cameron Mozafari, "Personal Blogs in Classroom Contexts: The Problem of Genre Uptake,” University of Maryland College Park

Danny Synk, “Code Memories: Genre and Interfacial Rhetoric on the Web,” University of Maryland College Park

3:15-4:45 Session 4

Remapping World Literature and Art - 3250 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Kara Morillo

Yookyoung Choi, "A Postethnic Perspective in Nikki S. Lee's 'Projects,'" (Art History) University of Maryland College Park

Emily Yoon Perez, "From the Inside Looking In: Toni Morrison and Rewriting Heart of Darkness," University of Maryland College Park

Shanna Charles, "Hybridity in Claude McKay's Banana Bottom: Transcending Dichotomy," University of Maryland College Park

Briana Brickley, “Rhizomes of Resistance: Biopower/Biopolitics at the Margins of World Literature,” City University of New York

(Un)Stable Borders: The Limits of Genre - 3252 Tawes Hall

Moderator: Kelly Singleton

Navid Hassanzadeh, "Autonomy in Benjamin and Shamloo," Georgetown University

Mary Sweeney, "Discoveries in L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E: The Possibilities of Between in Lyn Hejinian's A Border Comedy," American University

Tawnya Ravy, "Bordering: Similarity and Almost Being in Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence," George Washington University

Rachel Leah Jablon, "Between History and Imagination: The Case of Yizkor Books," (Comparative Literature) University of Maryland College Park

5:00-6:30 Keynote - Ulrich Recital Hall

David Shumway, Carnegie Mellon University

6:30 Reception and Best Paper Award - 2nd Floor of Tawes Hall

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Conference Update

The GEO Conference committee has finished reviewing abstracts for the upcoming conference, "Borderlines," and we're very pleased with the outcome. We received over 50 submissions, including three panel submissions, from over thirteen different international institutions including UMD, George Washington University, Georgetown University, University of Virginia, American University, University of Hawaii, Texas State University, University of Southern California, and many others. We received so many excellent abstracts that we have added a fourth person to every panel.

During a blind review process, our four abstract reviewers rated and commented on each abstract and suggested panel arrangements. Thanks to them for their hard work and insightful comments. We'll be sending out notifications in the next few days, so watch your inboxes! We received an overwhelming number of submissions for certain time periods, making the selection process extremely difficult.

Thank you to everyone for your interest and support for the GEO conference. We know that this event will be a great success due to your participation, on the panels and in the audience. See you on March 11 and 12!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Submission Deadline Extended

The deadline to submit abstract for "Borderlines" has been extended to January 15, 2011. Please email all submissions to

Thank you!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Call for Papers

Call for Papers:

4th Annual GEO Conference


University of Maryland, College Park

March 11-12, 2011

The Graduate English Organization of the University of Maryland’s Department of English invites graduate students to submit abstracts for our fourth annual interdisciplinary graduate conference “Borderlines.”

In Derrida’s Aporias, he delineates three types of borders: those “that separate territories, countries, nations, States, languages, and cultures,” those “between domains of discourse,” and those among “conceptual determinations . . . and concepts or terms” (23). Students of languages and literatures constantly confront borders among time-periods, disciplines, critical approaches, and methodologies. Borders become problematic when they limit one’s ability to function—as scholars and citizens—outside the given strictures of traditional frames for the study of literature. Conversely, though, borders help to maintain focus on context and cultural specificity, avoiding the dangers of generalization.

How natural, we might ask, are borders? Perhaps some are, but others only seem natural from a certain perspective and disregard the migration of human populations, ideas, texts, and cultures. The instability of borders in the world of global capitalism seems obvious, but a world "before" borders merits consideration, too. The act of re-drawing borders also demands attention: wars, conquests, and political shifts constantly redraw both literal and cultural maps. Equally important is inquiring into the relationship between literal and figurative borders and boundaries.

But borders go beyond maps and geographies. Borderlines abound in texts. Historians of the book have taught us to question where a text ends and begins, where reading ends and begins, and how the world outside inevitably colors the text. Even within texts, narrative, form, genres, and single characters force the consideration of borderlines: Shakespeare’s plays vacillate between verse and prose even as characters seems to straddle multiple personalities; John Dos Passos’s U.S.A. trilogy blends four different narrative techniques within its novels; Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko and other early novels blur the line between history and fiction; William Blake’s illuminated poems deny the traditional borders of text and image; Toni Morrison explores the world of racial borderlines in order to interrogate what it means to be human. Literature invites us to question whether the borderlines between genders, genres, historical eras, disciplines or fields of study, national identities, or even between the self and the other are fluid or solid, natural or constructed. Thus, we might consider the ways that literature both enacts and rejects typical borderlines, particularly across different disciplines – and how this interdisciplinarity transcends Derrida’s neatly categorized archetypal borderlines.

The conference committee invites proposals for fifteen-minute papers from a broad range of disciplines and theoretical backgrounds. Presentations of creative work are also welcome. Panel submissions (3-4 participants) are highly encouraged. Please limit individual abstracts to 300 words for individual abstracts and panel abstracts to 500 words. Full papers may accompany abstracts. Please include three keywords at the end of the abstract to assist panel formation.

Abstracts are due December 10, 2010 and should be e-mailed to