Professor of American Literary Studies, Jesse Alemán’s 2021 PMLA piece titled, “The End of English” sparked inspiration for Rice University’s Graduate Conference in the English Department, which will be held February 26, 2022. Aptly titled, “The End of English,” the conference sets out to interrogate the dissonances in the profession of English Studies; to critique disciplinary models that enshrine outdated cultural and literary categories; and to imagine collectively alternative models of literary studies rooted in the voices, expressions, and expertise of scholars, writers, thinkers, and creators of color. Since its June 2021 publication, Alemán’s “The End of English” has received critical acclaim in response to his challenge to jettison English Department periodizations, curriculums, and assessment models that maintain and advance white power structures as venerated forms of literary value and cultural capital that are sequestered from questions of race and the ongoing problems of racial violence in the United States. The faculty and graduate students at Rice University are the first to take up Alemán’s call with a conference that sets out to redefine literary studies for the future by way of critique of our field’s present structures.
The deadline to submit a proposal is December 3, 2021, and Alemán will deliver the conference’s keynote address on site. For more information and to submit a proposal, visit: https://call-for-papers.sas.upenn.edu/cfp/2021/10/29/cfp-the-end-of-english-graduateconference