Proposal Deadline:                       Wednesday November 4, 2020
Final Presentation Deadline:     Thursday November 12, 2020
Conference Date:                           Friday November 20, 2020

The 2020 WORLD LITERATURE STUDENT CONFERENCE is now accepting submissions for its annual event.  This fall, the theme is ART & DEFIANCE: NARRATIVES OF DISOBEDIENCE.  As protests across the world continue to show us, defiance can be a violent act.  Should art be defiant as well?  Does art have to defy the stories a society tells itself?  Whether in art, media, culture, or social confrontation, cultural narratives arrange today’s complexities into a neat, linear package, pressing ideas and people that do not fit into the margins.  Can disobedient narratives force us to see a different image?  In our era of unstable social formations and cross-cultural exchange, stories shape and are shaped by the way we view the world.  At the same time, narratives of disobedience allow people to reassert themselves back into the stories they tell.  This interdisciplinary SFU conference seeks to examine conflicting narratives alongside contexts in which defiance acts as a medium of expression.

Whether you are taking a World Literature class or a course in a related program (social sciences, English, history, film...), we invite undergraduates across all SFU faculties & year levels to submit proposals for the conference.  ALL VIRTUAL FORMATS will be considered—artwork, creative texts or recordings, film shorts, recorded “papers” and so on!  We encourage presentations which use different perspectives, including geopolitical, postcolonial, linguistic, psychological, or environmental approaches.  All submissions will be treated with equal attention & confidentiality.  A completed project is not needed at the time of proposal, only a short abstract or description of 100+ words.


Pre-recorded presentations, sound pieces, or other digital media should be no more than 4-5 minutes, and written work 500–600 words.  Your proposed submissions can be interdisciplinary: you may choose to record a talk or a reading, create & record some sort of performance, or combine your own images & recordings as a single virtual file.  We look forward to seeing your interpretations of this year’s theme!  There will be a zoom Q&A on the event day — Friday, November 20, 2020.


Here is some inspiration in regards to topics & theses that past presenters have presented on. 

If you have trouble coming up with a relevant topic or thesis, compare the following topics and theses to their respective conference themes. 

  • The Road No Longer Taken: Do Oral Stories Still Have a Place in the Modern World? (Rodman Joseph, 2018)
  • The Paradox of the Passions: The Artistic Neutering of LGBTQ+ Cinema (Karina Asaikpuka, 2018)
  • Traduction Intersémiotique et Censure Dans la Poésie Catalane (Liza Siamer, 2018)
  • The Refugee's Tale of Hope (Hanna Choi, 2018)
  • Making an ‘Other’: Native Americans in Civil War Westerns (Jasper Cattell, 2017)
  • Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis: A tale of Freudian Regression (Jaiden Dembo, 2016)
  • Beyond Lonely Starbucks Lovers: Agency & Persona in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” Video (Melanie Hiepler, 2015)
  • Baudrillard’s Persona Simulacra: Investigating Richard III and In the Heart of the Country (Maya Gal, 2017)
  • Beyoncé and the Greeks: Using Femininity for Political Purposes (Brigitte Malana, 2016)
  • The Gardener & Garden: The Internalization of Man in Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals (Elda Hajdaravoc, 2016)