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Annual Comparative Literature Conference

49th Annual Comparative Literature Conference

Connections and Intersections: Interdisciplinarity Within and Among Disciplines

April 24 and 25, 2014

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Conference Schedule 

Thursday April 24 2014
Registration Opens 8:30
Location: Anatol Patio

Session I—9:30-10:45
Panel 1:    Beyond Realism: Realms of Desire and Magic
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Vlatka Velcic, CSULB

1.     Disenchanting Capitalism: The Power of Advertisement in Emile Zola’s Au Bonheur Des Dames
Alan Gomez, CSULB
2.     Our Obsession with the Wicked Witch
Erika Torres, CSULB
3.    The Modern Yama-Uba: Redefining Mountain Witches in Contemporary Japanese Animated Film
Iavana Burgos, CSULB

Panel 2:    Negotiating and Practicing Interdiscipinarity
Location:  AS 384
Moderator: Elizabeth Dahab

1.    Inter/Intra-Disciplinarity and Super-diversity: A Proposal for Negotiating Difference across and within Disciplines
Andrew Ogilvie, UC Santa Barbara
2.    Intersections of Labour and Literary Studies in Contemporary Nigerian Literature: Depictions of Women in the Nigerian Skilled Labour Environment
Halima Buhari Sekula, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria
3.    Ouroboric Myopia? A Self-Reflection on Interdisciplinary Work
Vartan Messier, Queensborough CC (CUNY)

Session II—11:00-12:15
Panel 3: Inter Alia: Rhetoric and Thought from Cicero to Us
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Kathryn Chew, CSULB

1.    Cicero and the Science of Persuasion
Michael Boal, CSULB
2.     The Art and Import of Rhetoric: An Interdisciplinary Study
Steven Cruikshank, CSULB
3.     The Face of the Faceless: Ciceronian Humanitas and the Invention of the Human
David Kaufmann, CSULB
4.    Women in Cicero’s Letters: Historical and Classical Perspectives
Angela Robinson, CSULB

Panel 4: The Music of Liberation: German Poetry, Politics, and Music 1785-1824
Location: AS 384
Moderator: Ryan Adams, CSULB

1.     Poems, Songs and Symphonies: The Development of Beethoven’s Musical Adaptations of the Works of Goethe and Schiller
Adam Merki, CSULB
2.    A ‘small circle’ of Revolutionary Proportions: Beethoven, Kleist, Collin, and Liberation Art of the Napoleonic Era
Rebecca Stewart, CSULB
3.    Heinrich von Kleist’s “Germania to her Children”: An Angry Chapter in the History of German Freedom Anthems
Jeffrey L. High, CSULB

Session III—12:30-1:45
Location: Anatol Patio

Session IV—2:00-3:15
Panel 5:     Negotiating Trauma
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Elizabeth Dahab, CSULB

1.    Migrations of Trauma Memory: Psychoanalysis, Immigration, and Memoir Writing
Ljiljana Coklin, UC Santa Barbara
2.     Diaspora Studies: The Identity of Being In-Between
Sara Bitar, CSULB
3.     Peace Through Separation: A Study of the Peace Walls in Belfast
Claire Pelonis, CSULB

Panel 6:     Examining Contemporary Culture
Location: AS 384
Moderator: Vlatka Velcic, CSULB

1.    Baring One’s Soul: The Nakedness of Tinder and Love Poetry
Kelli Snyder, CSULB
2.     The Sound of Tomorrow, The Music of Today: Aura in Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories
Joe Cannon, CSULB
3.    Foucault and Skateboarding: The Relationship Between Space and Liberty
Jeremy Klemin, CSULB
4.    Video Games and Literacy
Bryanna Bynum, La Verne University

Panel 7:     Re-examining Stories and Narratives
Location: AS 385
Moderator: TBA

1.     Which Witch:  How Fables Transforms the Archetypal Witch Through the Action of Narrative
Amy Desuza, CSULB
2.    The Not So Savage Woman
Jennie Nguyen, CSULB
3.    Frankenstein:  Mary Shelley’s Ambivalence Towards a “Brave New World”
Laura Macarewich, Independent Scholar
4.    The Text of the Harem: An Interdisciplinary Comparison of
The Women of Algiers in Asia Djebar and Lalla Essaydi
Christina Alegria, CSULB

Session V—3:30-4:45
Location: Anatol Center
Introductory Remarks: Vlatka Velcic, CSULB

Featured Speaker:
Dr. Marina Antic, University of Pittsburgh

Session VI—5:00-6:15
Location: Anatol Center
Introductory Remarks: Carl Fisher, CSULB

Featured Speaker:
Dr. Ellen Peel, CSU San Francisco

Session VII—6:00-7:30
Location: Anatol Patio

Friday April 25 2014
Registration Opens 8:30
Location: Anatol Patio

Session VIII 9:30-10:45
Panel 8:    Interdisciplinarity and Intradisciplinarity: Integrated Approaches to Teaching Literature and Culture in RGRLL at CSULB
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Enrico Vettore, CSULB

Participants: Bonnie Gasior, Nele Hempel-Lamer, Aparna Nayak, and Enrico Vettore

Panel 9:    Digital Literature I: Re-encountering Film through Digital Literature
Location: AS 384
Moderator: Jordan A. Yamaji Smith, CSULB

1.    Musings on Technological Singularity: Spike Jonze’s Her with Oedipus Rex and Genesis
Samantha Ong, UCLA
2.    At the Intersection of Face and Interface: Spike Jonze’s Her as Digital Literature
Naomi Stark, UCLA

Session IX—11:00-12:15
Panel 10: Round Table Discussion on Interdisciplinarity
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Carl Fisher, CSULB

Jordan Smith (Comparative World Literature and Classics)
Beth Manke (Human Development)
Brian Trimble (University Art Museum)
Clorinda Donato (Russian, German, Romance Languages and Literature)
David Stewart (Religious Studies)
Kathryn Chew (Comparative World Literature and Classics)

12:15-1:00 Brief Lunch Recess

Session X—1:00-2:15
Panel 11: Theory in Multimedia Arts and Hyperspace
Location: Anatol Center
Moderator: Jordan A. Yamaji Smith, CSULB

1.    Life 2.0: Space, Identity, and Democracy in Virtual Reality
Shawn Zhang, UCLA
2.    The Internet: Everyone’s Neighborhood – Arcade Fire’s “The Wilderness Downtown” through the Lens of Graphic Novels
3.    Old Fields + New Media: Hyper-remixing the Classics
Ariel Ardin, UCLA
4.    On Mouchette: The Virtual Theater of the Oppressed
Sally N. Marquez, UCLA

Panel 12: Postcolonial Praxis in a Contemporary World
Location: AS 384
Moderator: Alan Gomez, CSULB

1.    Interdisciplinary Connections in Postcolonial Literature: Representation of Multi-Dimensional Impact of Colonialism in Kincaid’s A Small Place and     Devi’s Imaginary Maps
Sultan Alquthami, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
2.    The Mohajer’s Memoir: Comparing Arab and Iranian Women’s Memoirs from Across the Diaspora
Leila Pazargadi, Nevada State College
3.    The Poetics of Politics in the Kurdish Contemporary Literature
Amir Sharifi, California State University, Long Beach
Ali Ashouri, California State University, San Diego

Poetry Declamación: Poems Alive! — 2:30-4:00PM
Location: Anatol Center Lounge
Moderator: Jordan Smith, CSULB

Join us to celebrate National Poetry Month with poetry readings at this College of Liberal Arts Scholarly Intersections event. Faculty, students and visitors will be reading their favorite poems, in English and original languages. All CLA community is welcome to come read – we’ll have food and drinks to add to the atmosphere.


Conference Overview:

2014CSULBCompLitConferencecorrect-page-001Our global world presents us with complex issues that can be investigated only from multiple perspectives, resulting in the adoption of interdisciplinary approaches in many traditional academic areas and the formation of many new interdisciplinary fields.  Arguably, it is hard to accomplish substantial research in any discipline without addressing “interdisciplinarity” and using some interdisciplinary methods.

Comparative Literature has been an essentially interdisciplinary field since its formation as an academic discipline.  Comparatists examine representations across linguistic and cultural borders but also incorporate methodologies from related and diverse fields such as history, psychology, linguistics, political science, art history, and many others.   Interdisciplinarity enables comparatists to examine difficult and timeless but at the same time urgent or emergent questions on how humans represent and form their historical and cultural identities and how they interpret and construct meaning(s) in historically and culturally specific contexts.

We invite 250-word proposals for 15-20 minute individual presentations or one-hour panel discussions with up to 6 speakers on interdisciplinary connections and intersections in Comparative Literature and other academic fields.  Specifically, the proposals might address some of the following issues and topics:

  • What are the specific challenges of interdisciplinary research within Comparative Literature and other disciplines that envision themselves as “interdisciplinary”?
  • How do Comparative Literature theorists or other academic disciplines define and use “interdisciplinarity”?  What are the similarities and differences between different definitions of “interdisciplinarity” among different academic areas?
  • Which specific interdisciplinary connections prove the most useful in research and pedagogical practice?
  • How can the increasing urgency of global issues such as “technology,” “energy,” “medical care,” “poverty,” “violence,” “environment,” or “migration” not only benefit from but also demand “interdisciplinary” approaches?
  • How do professors employ “interdisciplinarity” in their university classrooms?
  • How does the new push toward the use of “on-line technologies” relate to and benefit from “interdisciplinary” approaches?
  • How do administrators envision “interdisciplinarity” and how is it valued in current university models?
  • Does “interdisciplinarity” relate to “marketablility,” especially for students with degrees in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

In addition to these potential topics, we are particularly interested in examples of effective interdisciplinary research and analysis, whether in Comparative Literature or other academic fields.

Registration- CSULB Faculty & Students free

Faculty:    $50

Students: $35

Register at the front desk at the event.



The following hotel is the most convenient to campus:


5325 East Pacific Coast Highway,

Long Beach, CA 90804

telephone: (562) 597-1341

fax: (562) 597-8741


* shuttle within 5 mile radius * complimentary “Healthy American Breakfast Buffet”  *free wifi*

Special conference rate: $109/night standard rooms –code: “CompLit 2014”

24hrs reservation desk at 562-597-1341

Or email Nia Eng directly:



Near Cal State Long Beach (about 2-3 miles from campus):

Ayres Hotel Seal Beach 12850 Seal Beach Boulevard Seal Beach, CA 90740 800-706-4890 562-596-8330

Holiday Inn (by the Long Beach airport) 2640 Lakewood Blvd (Exit Lakewood Blvd from the 405 Fwy) Long Beach, CA 562-597-4401 800-465-4329

Marriott Hotel (by the Long Beach airport) 4700 Airport Plaza Drive Long Beach, CA 562-425-5210

The Pacific Inn 600 Marina Drive Seal Beach, CA 90740 866-466-0300 562- 493-7501 Make reservations online.

Hotels in Downtown Long Beach ( about 6-8 miles from campus):

Hilton – Long Beach 2 World Trade Center 562.983.3402 / 800.HILTONS

Hotel Maya 700 Queensway Drive; Long Beach, CA 90802 562.435.767 / 562.481.3903

Hotel Queen Mary 1126 Queens Hwy 562.435.3511

Hyatt Regency Long Beach 200 S Pine 562.491.1234 800.233.1234

Renaissance Hotel – Long Beach 111 E Ocean Bl 562.437.5900

Westin Long Beach 333 E Ocean Bl 562.436.3000 800.WESTIN1




Previous Conferences (websites):

48th Annual: Popular Culture(s), April 25th –26th, 2013

Plenary Speaker: Hillary Chute

Special Event Screening: “Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman”

47th Annual: Drawing the Line(s): Censorship & Cultural Practices, March 1st – 3rd, 2012

Plenary Speaker: Ilan Stavans

B-Word Project Event: Azar Nafisi

46th Annual: The Comic Spirit in the Modern Age, 13-14 April, 2011

Plenary Speakers: Judy Carter and Ray Lacoste

45th Annual: Visual Culture & Global Practices, 4-6 March, 2010

Plenary Speaker: W. J. T. Mitchell

43rd Annual: Arrivals and Departures, 24-27, April 2008

Plenary Speaker: Marjorie Perloff


Archives: Comparative Literature Conferences from 1966 – present

List of Previous Conferences