What Remains Unsaid in Art & Literature

Written Proposal Deadline:       Sunday,  March 5th, 2023
Conference Date:                        Thursday, March 30th, 2023

LANGUAGE shapes existence, it provides a means to translate, elucidate, and express the human experience. So, what happens when one language doesn’t translate into another? How does art “speak” to us without words?  With these questions in mind, the annual WORLD LITERATURE STUDENT CONFERENCE is now accepting submissions for the Spring 2023 event, titled (UN)LANGUAGE: WHAT REMAINS UNSAID IN ART AND LITERATURE.


Language is an impartial and ubiquitous aspect of society; utilized by some as a tool of oppression, it is an equally powerful force in cultivating change.  Through World Literature we can explore the ways in which art mobilizes resistance by offering perspectives that transcend linguistic barriers.  But can art and literature effectively convert experience into expression?  Translation is the movement of meaning between forms—sensation to thought, feeling to words, language to language; and, so, this year’s theme invites presentations that explore the boundaries and possibilities of how language and culture interact with each other. How can words and images capture the depth and breadth of human experience? How do you put the feeling of looking at art into words? What does it mean to translate the untranslatable, to say the unsaid




This is an interdisciplinary event, and we invite students of all faculties and year levels to submit proposals that encompass literature, translation, cinema, and the image. We encourage different perspectives, including geographic, ideological, post-colonial, linguistic, psychological, or environmental approaches. Submissions from all departments 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 150+ words.  


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)