April 9, 2013


We want to thank everyone for supporting the 2013 GEO Conference this past weekend. The great success of the Creative/MFA events on Friday through the critical presentations on Saturday is the collective result of the work of all our presenters, plenary speakers and faculty, committee members, moderators, volunteers, and other participants. A special thanks to all the panelists who came from outside the UMD community--come back next year! Thank you so much for contributing to the success of the conference. Have a great remainder of the semester.


March 6, 2013

Program of Activities

Friday April 5, 4:00 - 7:00 PM, Tawes Fine Arts Building 

MFA/Creative Presentations
4:00 - 5:30 PM: Panel 1 - Imagined Realities - Room 1100 
 Moderator: Sarah Treadwell 

1. “Sea Change,” Rachel Waugh, University of Maryland, College Park 
2. “Polar Bear,” William Fargason, University of Maryland, College Park 
3. “The Big Murk,” Taylor Adams, University of Maryland, College Park 
4. Selected Poetry, M. K. Foster, University of Maryland, College Park 

5:45 - 7:00 PM: Plenary Panel - Room 1100 
Anguished Realities
Moderator: Taylor Adams 

1. “Dislocation, Dismemberment, and (Dis)reality in the ‘Captivating Plays’ of Kia Corthron,
    Professor Faedra Carpenter, University of Maryland, College Park (Theatre, Dance and 
    Performance Studies) 
2. Selections from The Man Who Walked Away, Professor Maud Casey, University of
   Maryland, College Park (Creative Writing) 

7:00 PM: Reception - 3rd Floor Lobby 

Saturday April 6,Tawes Fine Arts Building 

8:00 - 9:00 AM: Breakfast / Registration - 2nd Floor Lobby 

9:00 - 10:30 AM: Panel 1 

A. Constructed Bodies - Moderator: Andy Black - Room 3248 

1. “The Intersection of the Everyday and the Fantastic in Body Swap Fiction from 1882 to 
    1931,” Kara Wedekind, Johns Hopkins University 
2. “Against Depth Hermeneutics: Describing the Performance of Subjectivity and Gender at 
    the Surface of ‘Circe,’” John Macintosh, University of Maryland, College Park 
3. “Marvell’s Marvels: The Simulacrum of Gender and Sexuality,” Michele E. Reed, 
    Salisbury University 
4. “Technology and Personhood throughout the Human Trajectory: A Survey of 
    Frankenstein as seen by Humanism, Transhumanism and Posthumanism,” Nimisha
    Patel, Rutgers University-Newark 

B. (Dis)reality through Broken Time - Moderator: Nate Underland - Room 3250 

1. “J. Alfred Prufrock: A Modernist Re-Formulation of Reality,” Christian Detisch, Virginia
    Commonwealth University 
2. “Second Chances and Simulacrum in Jane Austen’s Persuasion,” Kelli Wilhelm, Salisbury
3. “Billy Pilgrim’s Flexible Reality,” Tatiana Cvetkovic, Rutgers University School of Arts and
     Sciences, Camden 
4. “Constitutive Subjectivity and the Redemption of History,” Sarah Snyder, School of Visual 
     Arts (New York) 

C. Traveling Identities - Moderator: Christin Taylor - Room 3252 

1. “A Ship Built to Scale in Francisco Goldman’s The Ordinary Seaman,” Sara Burnett,
    University of Maryland, College Park 
2. “‘The Danger of the Single Story’ Revisited: The Resurgence of the Comic Negro in the
    Contemporary Media and Cultural Imagination,” Christopher Allen Varlack, Morgan State
3. “‘Who Did That to You?’: Hypertext Thinking and Cultural Production in Django 
    Unchained,” Maureen Pearson, Howard University 

10:30 - 10:45 AM: Coffee Break - 3rd Floor Lobby 

10:45 AM - 12:15 PM: Panel 2 

A. Transgressing Gendered Boundaries - Moderator: Rachel Vorona - Room 3248 

1. “Constructing Alternate Realities in Chaucer’s Fabliaux,” Chelsea Lambert Skalak,
     University of Virginia 
2. “Modern Medieval Attitudes: Constructing Sexual Consent,” Nicole Sybesma, Rutgers
3. “‘Blessed Malelessness’: Transgressing Female Spaces in Toni Morrison’s Paradise,” 
     Shaunté Montgomery, Howard University 
4. “Living Within the Paradox: An Analysis of the Effects of Binary Logic in Traveller 
     Communities of the United Kingdom,” Rhiannon Basile, Rutgers University- Newark

B. Fictive Spaces - Moderator: Kirk Greenwood - Room 3250 

1. “The Urban Prairie: Terministic Screens and the Making of Place in Urban Land Use 
     Narratives,” Garrett Stack, Carnegie Mellon University 
2. “A curious neutrality of perception”: V. S. Naipaul’s Nomadic Impressionism in The Mimic
     Men,” Nathaniel Underland, University of Maryland, College Park 
3. “Stevens’ and Williams’ Use of Containers Within an Imaginative Reality,” William
     Fargason, University of Maryland, College Park

C. Shattered Realities - Moderator: Jeremy Metz - Room 3252 

1. “Water as Death and Life: Traces of the Atlantic Slave Trade in New World Funerary and 
     Baptismal Rites,” Isabella Proia, Georgetown University 
2. “An ‘Anti-Semitic Jew’? How Gertrude Stein Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Philippe 
     Pétain,” Alyssa White, Rutgers University-Newark 
3. “Trauma and Witness / in a Body / of Writing: A Performance Theory Analysis of Carolyn
     Forché’s ‘Letter to a City Under Siege,’” M. K. Foster, University of Maryland, 
     College Park 
4. “Excavating the Real: How to Read Trauma,” Jeremy Metz, University of Maryland, 
     College Park

12:15 - 1:00 PM: Lunch - 2nd Floor Lobby

1:15 - 2:45: Plenary Panel - Ulrich Recital Hall 
(Dis)reality: Past to Present 
Moderator: Professor Lee Konstantinou

1. “Rhetoric Unlimited: The Medieval Greek Rhetoricians on Language and Reality,” 
      Professor Vessela Valiavitcharska, University of Maryland, College Park
2. “To Be Born in Flames: Lesbian-Feminist Horizons at the Dawn of the Reagan Era,” 

    Professor Christina B. Hanhardt, University of Maryland, College Park (American 
    Studies/Queer/Gender Studies)
3. “What Was Digital Humanities?” Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum, University of

     Maryland, College Park (English/Digital Humanities)

2:45 - 3:00 PM: Coffee Break - 2nd Floor Lobby
3:00 - 4:30 PM: Panel 3

A. Cyber-Reality - Moderator: Porter Olsen - Room 3248

1. “The House of Her: An Altered Text,” Charity Hancock and Kathryn Skutlin, University of 

     Maryland, College Park
2. “Kurzweil, the Cyberman,” Kevin Kilroy, Rutgers University-Newark 

3. “Achievements as Personal Archives of Memory and Experience in Open World Video
     Games,” Nigel Lepianka, University of Maryland, College Park 
4. “Participatory Television: What is Meant by Access?” Eva Hageman, New York University

B. Deconstructing Orientalism - Moderator: Jonathan Williams - Room 3250

1. “Vathek with the Episodes: Erotic Utopia Imagined,” Travis Chi Wing Lau, University of

2. “Alterity in the Mughal Court: The ‘Firang’ Physician and the White Mughal Emperor,”

     Sukshma Vedere, George Washington University
3. “A Doppelganger in Ottava Rima: Byron’s Beppo and the Metaphysics of Parody,” Frank

     D. Simpson, Morgan State University

C. Discursive Realities - Moderator: Cameron Mozafari - Room 3252

1. “From Ovid to VOID,” Stephen Rojcewicz, University of Maryland, College Park 

2. “Deconstructing the Urban Frontier: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Role of Media Discourse
     in the Revitalization of Braddock, Pennsylvania,” Amanda Berardi, Carnegie Mellon
3. “The Birth of a Nation, The Birth of an Image: Post Emancipation Rhetoric, President
     Obama, and the Language of the ’Other,’” Sherri M. Arnold, Morgan State University

4:45 - 6:00 PM: Reception - 2nd Floor Lobby
Best Paper Award Presentation

**This event is funded in part by your Graduate Student Activities Fee.**

December 25, 2012

Deadline Extended

The GEO Conference Committee has extended the deadline for the spring 2013 (Dis)realities conference. Email abstracts to conference.geo@gmail.com by Thursday, January 31, 2013. Proposals for fifteen-minute papers from a broad range of disciplines and theoretical backgrounds are encouraged. Proposals on creative work must be a short sample from an original composition. Panel submissions (3-4 participants) are highly encouraged. Please limit individual abstracts to 300 words and panel abstracts to 500 words. Full papers may accompany abstracts. And please include three keywords at the end of the abstract to assist panel formation.

November 6, 2012

Plenary Speakers

The GEO Conference Committee is pleased to announce the plenary panel for its upcoming conference "(Dis)realities and the Literary and Cultural Imagination" scheduled for April 5-6, 2013. Panelists include Maud Casey of the Department of English, Matthew Kirschenbaum of the Department of English and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities, Vessela Valiavitcharska of the Department of English, Christina Hanhardt of the Department of American Studies, and Faedra Carpenter of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. All speakers are from academic departments at the University of Maryland, College Park.

November 2, 2012

Call for Papers

6th Annual GEO Conference 
“(Dis)realities and the Literary and Cultural Imagination” 
Department of English University of Maryland, College Park 
April 5-6, 2013

What is (dis)reality? In The Metaphysics of Virtual Reality, Michael Heim notes the multiple attempts to define reality in Western history. The effort to delineate reality begins with Plato’s notion of ideal forms as the “really real,” through Aristotle’s emphasis on material substance. Reality in medieval times is mirrored in the shimmer of religious symbols; efforts to catalogue the real mark the Renaissance, and the atomic bomb defines the reality of the Modern era. In contrast, material representations of the “real” are often surreal, intangible, and unregulated in Latin American, Caribbean and African literatures and cultures e.g. the work of Gabriel García Márquez, Ben Okri, amongst many others. In all these examples, perceptions and definitions of reality rely on a defined set of cultural codes.

These cultural codes continue to challenge efforts to move perceptions and interpretations of reality beyond their fixed boundaries. For example, in “Painting as a Libidinal Set-Up,” Jean-François Lyotard’s postmodern notion of material art as a conduit for unregulated desire and transformative sensation is an attempt to move reality beyond its boundaries into (dis)reality. However, as he points out, it remains impossible to escape the regulating effects of the “real” in the form of military power, capital, and language. If, as Lyotard suggests, (dis)reality is a principle that undermines what we commonly refer to as reality and the discourses that surround it, how is this principle expressed in literature and culture?

(Dis)reality is an imaginative category we would like to open to interpretation within various disciplines. This conference seeks to explore Western and non-Western notions of (dis)reality and its relationship to realities in various cultural and literary imaginaries. Questions to consider include, what do we mean when we say “(dis)reality”? Who and what delineate the constraints of (dis)reality? In what ways has “reality” been defined, upheld, or employed? In what ways has a “reality” been challenged, undermined, brought into play, and (dis)located by various writers and cultures? How do we understand the histories of Western and non-Western realities in the Digital Age?

Submissions that engage with all aspects of the title are invited. Presentations of creative work in Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Dance, Arts and Film are welcome. Topics of potential essays can include, but are not limited to:

·      Fictive spaces and temporalities
·      Cultural (re)interpretations of reality
·      Pedagogy and reality
·      Rhetorical Realities
·      Utopias and Dystopias
·      (Post)colonial conflicts over and/or redefinitions of reality
·      Discursive constructions of race, gender, or sexuality in various historical eras
·      Transnational identities and literatures
·      Subaltern, displaced, or dislocated realities
·      Mediating reality in drama: reading tragedy or comedy
·      Art and performance as representation or imaginative possibility
·      Reality and history through film, literature, or other artistic mediums
·      Virtual reality

The conference committee invites proposals for fifteen-minute papers from a broad range of disciplines and theoretical backgrounds. Proposals on creative work must be a short sample from an original composition. Panel submissions (3-4 participants) are highly encouraged. Please limit individual abstracts to 300 words and panel abstracts to 500 words. Full papers may accompany abstracts. And please include three keywords at the end of the abstract to assist panel formation.

Abstracts are due December 7, 2012 and should be emailed to conference.geo@gmail.com.