Monday, November 14, 2011

2011 Graduate Conference CFP

This year's CFP can be found below:

Call for Proposals: “Occupied: Taking up Space and Time”

We are issuing a Call for Proposals for scholarly and creative submissions for an International Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference entitled “Occupied: Taking up Space and Time” to be held at Indiana University - Bloomington from March 22-24, 2012.  This 9th annual conference is hosted by the graduate students of the IU Department of English.

Recent calls to occupy space for indefinite durations have provoked us to consider what it means to occupy or to be occupied both spatially and temporally.  The current position of “occupy” as a political buzzword confers a multiplicity of new meanings onto a concept already charged with complex histories and forms.  This conference seeks to explore the cultural significance and interrelations of its many meanings and implications, from mental pre-occupation and obsession, to the physical spaces we occupy (locked bathrooms to occupied nations), to the ways in which we spend or take up time.  Tracing the theoretical, formal, and political implications of this issue necessitates a variety of methodologies and disciplinary perspectives, so we particularly welcome interdisciplinary approaches considering any time period. Below are some suggestions for possible topics. This list is by no means exhaustive; rather, we hope these ideas might inspire some exciting new thoughts related to the theme:

• Occupation as aggression, including military and colonial occupation
• Occupation as vocation
• Mental space; preoccupation, daydreaming, obsession
• Boredom, pastimes, and taking up time
• Pedagogical and Academic space
• Space/time continuum (and compression)
• Private and public spaces (domestic space, etc.)
• Nesting (and other ways of establishing or creating spaces)
• Clean and dirty spaces
• Regional spaces; rural/urban/suburban spaces and neighborhoods
• Imprisonment and incarceration
• Environment and Nature
• Digital, liminal, and imaginary spaces
• Protest and occupy movements
• Marketplace(s)
• Landscapes and soundscapes
• Moving between spaces; transiency, trespassing, the frontier
• Deep time and various conceptions of historical and linear time across different eras
• Velocity; modernity and freneticism, speed dating, slow food, “island time”
• Performance space

We encourage proposals for individual papers as well as panels organized by topic.  We also encourage the interaction of scholarly and creative work within papers or panels. Please submit (both as an attachment AND in the body of the email) an abstract of no more than 250 words along with a few personal details (name, institutional affiliation, degree level, email, and phone number) by January 1, 2012, to

Our website ( will feature more information soon!

We hope to see your proposals!

--The conference committee

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Creative/Critical Colloquium a success!

Thanks to all of you who made it out to the Creative/Critical Colloquium on Tuesday! We had a great time. Justin Wolfe read from an essay about watching television with his Alzheimer's-suffering grandmother, which Aaron Kessler then presented on, emphasizing Justin's use of repetition and recursion. Michael Mlekoday then performed several poems and John McGlothlin tied together some of the common themes and images across Michael’s work. Last (but not least!), Deb Kim read a short story about an unexpected transformation, paired with poetry by Bethany Carlson. Natalie Bainter then brought the common threads of their work together in her own interpretation. Those of you who did not make it to this event should absolutely join us in the spring!

And many thanks to GSAC’s Lynn Ramert for braving the crowds at Pizza X to bring us a smorgasboard of delicious pies! We raised a total of $104 for Adam Sarnecki’s family. (On Tuesday night, Pizza X amassed a total of $11,155 in sales and $3,425 in donations.)

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the theme is...

Thanks to all of you who came to our first conference planning meeting and contributed ideas for our theme! The theme of this year's conference is

Occupied: Taking up Space and Time

Keep an eye out for the call for papers over the next few weeks.

Even if you missed the meeting on Friday, it's not too late to volunteer to help at the conference! It's a ton of fun. Send an email to Lynn Ramert ( or to Shannon Boyer (, our conference coordinators, if you want to volunteer for one of the planning committees. There will also be more opportunities to volunteer closer to the time of the conference.

Last but not least, make sure to stop by the GSAC book sale, which runs through tomorrow and Wednesday (10-4) in Ballantine 419. Books are only $1 (paperback) and $2 (hardcover). The money from the sale helps fund the conference and other GSAC activities throughout the year!

Creative/Critical Colloquium tomorrow!

 A message from GSAC's Shannon Boyer:

As we come up on the Fall Creative/Critical Colloquium (tomorrow at 7 PM in Ballantine Hall 004), we at GSAC want to know if people would be interested in pitching in a few dollars towards getting pizza for the event.   As you may have heard, a driver for Pizza X South was shot and killed late last week.  The Pizza X South store is going to donate 100% of sales on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to a fund set up to support his fiancĂ©e and children.  We think the Creative/Critical Colloquium could provide a great opportunity for our department to contribute to this fund.  As we do not have money allotted for food at this event, we are writing to see if you would be interested in pitching in a few bucks to get pizzas from Pizza X South to enjoy while you listen to your colleagues and friends share their work. 
If you would like to contribute some cash and eat some pizza, please RSVP to Shannon Boyer ( regarding how much you want to pitch in by 9 o’clock tonight so we can get an idea of how many pizzas to get for the event.  At the end of this email you’ll find a short checklist about how much you would like to pay/eat and what kind of pizza you would prefer.  This is totally optional, so if you can’t spare the cash right now, no worries: come to our awesome event anyway!
Pizza X slices are about $1 a piece, so 1 slice=$1.  If you want some pizza Tuesday night, please check:
____I will bring $2
____I will bring $3
____I will bring $4
These are my preferred pizza toppings:

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Poll: To Blog or Not?

The first poll demonstrated resoundingly that Jonathan Elmer needs to step it up at the Halloween Party. But the ABDs weren't terribly far behind...

This new poll is slightly more serious. At the Fall Forum, we discussed potential uses of the blog and other electronic resources. It might make more sense to switch from a blog to an OnCourse site. A blog is good at disseminating information, but in some sense it might be redundant with englgrad. An OnCourse site, on the other hand, would allow us to have updates, store/share resources, and keep a calendar. Well, you're all familiar with OnCourse... I don't need to tell you it's potential and limitations.

Let us know what you think on the poll, and if you want to get more specific post a comment here!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Undergrad Coffee Hour

This is from Elise and Erik on our new Undergraduate Outreach Committee:

In an effort to build a community both between graduate and undergraduate English students and between the undergradutes themselves, we will be starting a weekly coffee hour at which one or two grad students can mingle with undergraduate majors, minors, and any interested student. We envision these coffee hours to be very informal affairs--a chance to become better acquainted with students who are already pursuing English degrees, as well as those minoring in English or considering becoming a member of the department. We want the atmosphere to be casual and fun and not a pressure-cooker for the undergraduates. After these coffee hours get off the ground and we have a better sense of how many students we can expect each week, we'll also encourage faculty to come and meet and chat with our talented undergrads.

We'll be kicking off these coffee hours next Friday, October 22, from 4-5 PM at the Pour House on Kirkwood. After next Friday, the coffee hours will continue every Friday at the same time and in the same location. Erik and I will certainly be there next week, but we'd like to establish a list of other interested grad students who wouldn't mind spending some time shooting the breeze with our younger colleagues. If you're interested in attending these coffee hours or are interested in any aspect of undergraduate outreach (more amazing and fun things are on the horizon!!), please respond to me at elonich [AT] indiana [DOT] edu. I'll put together a special email list to keep everyone up to date on our activities and schedule. Also, even if you don't have the time to attend any coffee hour, any publicity of these weekly get-togethers would be appreciated. It would be lovely to meet some engaged W131 and W170 students, as well as the students you may have in upper level literature and creative writing courses.

Thanks so much in advance, everyone, for your consideration. Erik and I are truly excited about building a stronger undergraduate-graduate community within the department, and we're looking forward, as always, to working with all of you to accomplish this goal. We hope to see you at a coffee hour soon!

Erik Bohman and Elise Lonich

Basgier Nuptials

Congratulations to Chris Basgier, former GSAC rep, on his marriage yesterday to Lacey!