Pennsylvania College English Association 2020 Conference

Engendering Narrative:

Transforming Image, Text, and Medium




"Living substance conquers the frenzy of destruction

only in the ecstasy of procreation."—Walter Benjamin

The Pennsylvania College English Association (PCEA) invites proposals for its 2020 Annual Conference on the theme of engendering narratives, or begetting, producing, and procreating narrative. We are requesting pieces that focus on what engenders narrative creativity while highlighting the importance of reading and better understanding artistic purpose and intent.

Recent studies argue that Roland Barthes’ notion of the "death of the author" and Michel Foucault’s ideas about the "author function" cannot easily dismiss artists’ political, social, and/or cultural commitments when engaged in narrative creativity. Critical theorists, such as Julie Sanders, discuss how artists transform texts from the past to create new narratives with distinct, ethical commitments. Helen Vendler also discusses how artists use various mediums to establish personal, intimate relationships with past artists. Michael Saler, too, explains that today’s imaginary worlds and virtual realities are extensions of creative projects that began with the "‘big bang’ of imaginary worlds that flared into existence" at the turn of the twentieth century. In these frames of knowledge, scholars explore how the artistic past and political, ethical, social, and/or cultural commitments engender the artistic present. These theorists posit how we can explore ways that narrative is created and engendered.

The 2020 PCEA conference will therefore focus on the question: "What engenders creativity and the production of narratives?" We encourage individuals to explore the ways that literary and other art histories, literary theory, and critical thought help to bring into existence new narratives in traditional as well as the burgeoning fields of English Studies.

We invite proposals from faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and independent scholars from all areas of English Studies for individual presentations, panel proposals, roundtables, and poster sessions, with particular emphasis on the following areas:

Literary History, Literature, Graphic Narrative, Film Studies, English Education, Critical Videogame Studies, Professional Writing, Composition, Linguistics, Book Arts, Comics Studies, Creative Writing, Pedagogy; Gender, Sexuality, and Identity Studies; LGBTQI, Queer Theory, Critical Theories of Race and Ethnicity, Ecocriticism and Environmental Justice Issues, Adaptation Studies, Popular Culture, Censorship, GamerGate and ComicsGate, and Theater and Performance Studies.

We especially welcome the reading of original Creative Writing. Proposals from undergraduate students will be considered when sponsored by a faculty member who co-presents or chairs the presentation panel.

Proposal Deadline and Submissions

Please submit a 250 – 300 word abstract and a brief biographical statement by February 2, 2020. 


Conference Information

The PCEA 2020 Conference will be held at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania from

April 22 – 24, 2020. Those accepted must register as a member of the Pennsylvania College English Association to present. For more conference information, please visit:

Proposal Deadline Extended! Submit by Sunday, Feb 2nd, 2020