Elliptical & Ephemeral (Due: 3/1/2013)

An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference @ New York University

hosted by the

John W. Draper Interdisciplinary Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought

The Draper Student Organization is pleased to announce a call for papers for the spring 2013 graduate student conference, Elliptical & Ephemeral. The conference will be held on Saturday, April 20th, 2013.

Elliptical or ellipsis, meaning “the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous orable to be understood from contextual clues.”

From the Greek elleipsis and elleipein, to ‘leave out.’

Ephemeral, meaning “lasting for a very short time,” or “having a very short life cycle.”

From the Greek ephēmeros, ‘lasting only a day.’

The elliptic is a defining characteristic of the contemporary environment; bullet points, sounds bites, cliff notes, “take aways” “tl;dr”, etc. Likewise, Ephemera surround us, competing for our attention, one moment to the next. The reduction of knowledge into discrete, semi-contextualized bits alters our understanding of history, society, events, and texts. Extracting limited pieces from larger historical moments, movements, lives, and texts, we may or may not be able to adequately convey nuanced insight. Is it possible to be both concise and comprehensive?

We invite interdisciplinary papers and presentations by current graduate students from all disciplines. These may be theoretical, empirical, applied, or narrative (or a combination of the above). We are interested in work that crosses traditional academic boundaries, such as…

Artistic, media, and textual topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Close analysis of a particular piece of visual art, including bits of audio and|or visual media.
  • In-depth, close reading of short poetry, or passages (no more than several paragraphs) from larger works of philosophy, fiction, and nonfiction.
  • Word-by-word analysis of short, translated texts.
  • Unfinished works.
  • Close analysis|explanation of mathematical & logical formulae.
  • Other forms of abridged, symbolic communication such as: programming languages, musical notation, diagrams, infographics, etc.

Topics concerning history, politics, economics, and current events may include:

  • Sudden, unexpected, brief events.
  • Short lived people, places, ideas, organizations, social movements.
  • The politics and economics of small spaces.
  • Geographic bottlenecks.
  • Snapshot moments of lives, events or movements.
  • Analysis of one day|week|month within a major event|movement; the cause|effect behind that small period.
  • The sociopolitical “ingredients,” necessary variables, or limiting factors in much larger equations, catalyzing to engender monumental change.

In addition to papers, we encourage unorthodox formats, including artistic pieces, presentations featuring games or other interactive elements, as well as collaborate work and panel presentations.

Please submit a 150-300 word abstract for a 10 minute paper/presentation to dsonyu@gmail.com by March 1st, 2012. We will email responses within three to five days.

The conference will also feature work by selected contributors to recent print issues of Anamesa, the Draper Program’s interdisciplinary journal. Find more info about Anamesa at anamesajournal.wordpress.com.