CFP: Sexing the Book, McGill Graduate Conference on Language and Literature 2009, (1/16/09; 3/27-29/09)

by Jessica C. Murphy

The English Graduate Students Association of McGill University is pleased to announce its 15th annual Graduate Conference on Language and Literature. This year’s conference is entitled “Sexing the Book: Bodies, Texts, Practices.” The conference will be held in Montreal, Canada on March 27-29th, 2009.

From Chaucer to Butler and beyond, writers, critics, and theorists have been writing about sex in conventional as well as controversial ways. Within literary studies, a recent focus on sexual practices and sex work has reemphasized the material nature of sexual acts, providing detailed and fascinating examinations of sexuality’s particular socio-historical forms. In literary and extra-literary contexts alike, scholarship on sexuality continues to provide a forum for questioning broader cultural practices, the nature of human inwardness, and various kinds of social relationships.

At this year’s conference, we hope to bring together a variety of perspectives on human sexuality, including literary, sociological, anthropological, and historical views of sex. We warmly invite both literary and non-literary papers that address aspects of human sexuality from a range of disciplines, critical perspectives, periods, and genres. Possible topics might include:

Literary representations of sex work
Textual representations of sexual practices
Pornography as/and/vs. literature
Sex and technology
Sex and the spirit: sex and sin, religious ecstasy, libido
Sex and gender
Sexual spaces: brothels and bawdy houses, sex and/in the home, sex clubs
Sociology of sex: infidelity, monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, incest and other taboos
Censorship and criminalization
Sex and health/disease
Critical theory on sex: feminist criticism, queer and gender studies, power and discourse
Sexual metaphors of literary creativity

Our keynote speaker for the conference will be Professor William Fisher of Lehman College, CUNY. His award-winning book is entitled Materializing Gender in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (Cambridge UP, 2006), and he is presently working on a new book on sexual practices in the Renaissance.

Please send paper proposals (300 words) to Emily at or to Sara at by Friday, January 16th, 2009. If you are interested in applying to one of the specific panels listed on UPenn CFP list, please contact the panel coordinators directly at the address provided. Applicants with successful proposals will be notified by email in Early February.