Wilson College Humanities Conference
The Alien and The Aliens: Difference, Otherness, and “Little Green Men”
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Held in the Brooks Complex of Wilson College
sponsored by Wilson’s M.A. in Humanities Program
The theme of this year’s Wilson College Orr Forum is concerned with inequality, from social justice to wealth and status to the veritable “Eye of the Needle,” referencing the New Testament story about a rich man asking Jesus what is needed for salvation. Wilson’s annual Humanities Conference seeks to broaden this theme by focusing on concepts of alienation and alien-ing—on that which causes us to create or notice difference, and that which causes us to react to those differences as well.
The Other suggests that which is of society but still different from it—meaning that the Other is recognizable as an element of society, even if originating elsewhere. The Alien, though, suggests some things—beings, concepts, people, ideas, beliefs, values, systems—that seemingly differ so much that they must originate from outside of society—from other worlds and outer spaces, metaphorically or (in some cases) literally. Aliens, after all, in their most basic definition, are beings not of this Earth, and as such, they are strange to us indeed.
This conference looks to how the various fields represented by the Humanities explore our own relationship to these concepts of The Alien and The Aliens. How can we use the Humanities to make sense of that which seems so different? How can we use what we study to understand more about our own fears and fascinations for what is seen as dissimilar, and strange, and unusual? Or, conversely, how does the Humanities bridge the gap between The Alien and what is deemed socially normative, or socially desirable, or simply capable of being comprehended?
Please feel free to interpret the theme of this conference liberally. Our goal is to bring a group of Humanities scholars from around the region together to articulate and celebrate these always intriguing and confounding questions of difference, o/Otherness, inequality, alienation, and, yes, even little green men and women; we hope to use this conference to explore all relevant aspects of what is alien.
Faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars are invited to submit.
Undergraduate students may also submit abstracts, but their submission must be sponsored by a current faculty member at their institution. (For more on this, please contact the conference director.)
To submit a presentation, please send an abstract of approximately 200 words to the email address below.
Send abstracts to:
Dr. Michael G. Cornelius
Program Director, MA in Humanities
Submit the abstract as either a .rtf, .doc, or .docx file, or simply place it into the text of the email itself.
Individual presentations will last no more than 15 minutes; panels of up to 3 individuals may be submitted as well. Special panels or creative approaches are happily considered; please contact the conference director for more information. Each conference participant may submit only one abstract. Abstracts are due by JANUARY 15, 2017.
The conference is sponsored by Wilson’s M.A. in Humanities program, in conjunction with the Orr Forum 20176-17 Lecture and Performance Series.
Call for Proposals
“Considering Sydney Newman”
In light of the recent fiftieth anniversary of the long-running science fiction television series Doctor Who, it seems only fair that some attention be paid to its creator Sydney Newman (1917-1997). Newman enjoyed a long and interesting career in broadcasting and films. While his ‘claim to fame’ might very well be as creator of Doctor Who and Avengers, he also worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as Supervising director of features, documentaries and outside broadcasts (1952-1958), the Associated British Corporation as head of Drama (1958-1962), the British Broadcasting Corporation as head of Drama (1962-1967), and the National Film Board of Canada as a film editor (1941-1949) and as Commissioner (1970-1975). He then became a special advisor on film to the Canadian Secretary of State, and was Chief Creative Consultant for the Canadian Film Development Corporation (1978-1984).
His work at these institutions was important in the history of Canadian and British broadcasting, and popular culture. His influence was far-reaching. But thus far, while there have been some studies which have taken into account the particular roles which he has played during his career, no study has taken his roles together, to provide a more complete picture.
This peer-reviewed collection seeks to understand Sydney Newman in relation to his long career in Canada and in Britain. Articles can deal with specific aspects of his career, specific institutions, specific programs he developed, his influence as a producer/filmmaker, or administrator. Biographical articles are also welcome.
The aim is that the collection taken as a whole will provide a balanced look at his varied career in two countries during periods of significant development and change in the entertainment industry.
Proposals should be approximately two hundred words, and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 1st of September 2016. A decision will be communicated by the 15th of September, and final articles should be submitted by the 15 May 2016.
Gillian I Leitch, PhD
Co-Chair, Science Fiction Fantasy Area, PCA/ACA
Key Words: Canada, United Kingdom, National Film Board of Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, British Broadcasting Corporation, Associated British Corporation, television, film, policy, public broadcasting
CALL FOR PAPERS
CFP: Seeing What We’ve Become: Essays Examining Heroes and Heroes: Reborn
Editor Heather M Porter invites proposals or completed essays for an edited collection of scholarly works that explore Tim Kring’s Heroes (2006-2010) and the upcoming new incarnation of the series as a mini series Heroes: Reborn (2015). Proposals are sought on a variety of topics as diverse disciplinary approaches.
Though not prescriptive, the following list of topics may be productive to consider:
The reboot of the series in terms of production, narrative, and history of reboots. Multimedia platform presentations of the narrative (comics, web episodes and TV)
Personal Identity Race Relations
Group Identity (Us vs them) Philosophy and Ethics
Role of Heroes and Villains Psychopathology
Superheroes and Super Powers Production and Network Influence
Time Travel Fan Response
It is strongly recommended authors familiarize themselves with these publications to extend and/or challenge published analyses of the series.
- Johnson, David Kyle ed., Heroes and Philosophy: Buy the Book Save the World, Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, 2009
- Porter, Lynette, David Lavery and Hillary Robson, Saving the World A Guide to Heroes, Toronto, ECW Press, 2007
- Simmons, David ed, Investigating Heroes: Essays on Truth, Justice and Quality TV, Jefferson, McFarland & Company, 2012.
Queries and Submissions
Queries are welcomed: please email to PorterHeatherM@gmail.com and indicate that it is a “Heroes Query/Proposal/Paper” in the subject line. Send 350-500 word proposals or 5,000-7,000 word essays in Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format (RTF) to the same email address. Please provide a brief biography in a separate document or in the body of the email.
Proposals due: 15 January 2016
Notification of Acceptance: 1 March 2016