One World: Hybridity, Movement, Juxtaposition

“Creativity is that marvelous capacity to grasp mutually distinct realities & draw a spark from their juxtaposition.”
Max Ernst

Proposal Deadline:                            March 14th 2017

Conference Date:                              Wednesday, April 5th 4-6PM at the Halpern Centre

As the global migration crisis brings different peoples into contact, cross-cultural interactions have been placed under the spotlight.  In times of social tension, the ways in which such interactions are represented in fictions, films, and images become a measure of humanity’s willingness to forge connections.  Indeed, whilst the movement of peoples across national lines can spur the development of new understandings, and lead to cultural hybridization, what of divisions which remain counterpoised rather than blended, of peoples and values which remain juxtaposed?  Such is our conference theme: literary and cinematic works or cultural encounters which place social and artistic contexts side by side rather than melding them into a single vision of the human.

As a stylistic device, juxtaposition is often used in literature to heighten tensions, or reinforce otherwise fluid borders.  But if the juxtaposition of different cultures has the potential to exaggerate difference, it is also an invitation to promote empathy and to celebrate what is common to all peoples.   Given the potential fallouts of cultural juxtaposition, we invite papers from across disciplines to explore what happens to different human “realities,” identities, and themes when they are placed in close proximity.


We invite students of all faculties who have taken a World Literature course this academic year, or a course in a related program (i.e. the humanities, social sciences, history, film, theatre, etc.), to submit essays, projects, or presentations to the conference. All submissions will be treated with equal attention and confidentiality.

Papers should be 5-6 minutes in length (approximately 500-600 words), and may be interdisciplinary in nature: read an essay, speak from notes, offer a PowerPoint, deliver a joint presentation. Be creative!

When and where?

The Conference took place on April 5th 2017 at the Halpern Centre on SFU’s Burnaby campus and was immediately followed by a gala reception.