Call For Papers


Please note this call for papers is

now closed


University of Victoria (British Columbia), September 25, 2020     
Keynote speaker, Cindy Baker
Deadline to submit, March 01, 2020 [DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 31, 2020]


“Whatever pain achieves, it achieves in part through its unsharability, and it ensures this unsharability through its resistance to language . . .” – Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain

The Cultural, Social and Political Thought program at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, is pleased to announce our annual graduate student conference to be held September 25, 2020. We situate our conference on the traditional territories of the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, whose relationships to the land continue to this day. We invite proposals for research papers, participatory projects, and artworks that address this year’s theme: the alterity of affliction. This conference seeks to facilitate an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary discussion about the limitations and new horizons of discourse on pain. How do we come to know and recognize pain in the other? In the self? And, how might we reconstruct what is lost after pain?

Potential themes and topics may include (but not limited to):

  • Literary, aesthetic and semiotic representations of pain and their challenges
  • Archives of hurt (e.g., Indigenous responses to the TRC, Abu Ghraib, Middle Passage, Witch Hunts)
  • Wounded attachments and the nation or community in pain
  • The materiality and/or corporeality of the body in pain
  • Inter-generational trauma or pain
  • Metaphorical limits of pain
  • The spectacles, speculations and spectral of injury or pain
  • Scenes of subjection and performances of healing
  • Regarding the pain of others and the visual fields of pain
  • Remaking: what comes after pain?
  • Masochism in feminism, queer theory, and post/colonialism
  • Disability, debility, and bodily capacities
  • Interventions of the medical humanities
  • What is pain? and phenomenological approaches
  • Animal models of pain and critical animal studies of hurt, affect, and trauma
  • Biopolitics, biopower, and posthuman perspectives
  • Ecological and environmental harm, or harmful human action

We invite submissions from graduate students from both the Humanities and Social Sciences, including but not limited to indigenous studies, critical black feminism, philosophy, theory, geography, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, cultural studies, literary studies, and history, in addition to visual artists who work within these topics. In light of our theme, we seek to assemble a diverse group of scholars, artists, and activists, in order to foster interdisciplinary discussions through artworks and presentations that are approximately 15 to 18 minutes in length.

Artists can indicate if they also want to give a 15 to 18 minutes talk on their work, though this is not mandatory for participation.

Submission Guidelines:

If you are interested in presenting at the 2020 CSPT Graduate Student Conference, please email the following information to by March 31, 2020 at 11:59pm:

– Your name, contact information, and affiliation (if any)
– An abstract of no more than 300 words
– A short biography of no more than 75 words
– A list of maximum five relevant keywords to your abstract
– Any technical requirements, including space, or other support your require while at the conference
– Dietary requirements and food allergies

Artist’s Submissions:

– The above criteria for abstract, biography, and keywords
– Indicate in your abstract if you would also like to be considered for a 15 to 18 minute artist’s talk
– Indicate and any space requirements for display (e.g., power supply, size, plinths or tables, etc.)