Skip navigation

Hybridity and Monstrosity

deadline for submissions:
December 31, 2016

full name / name of organization:
University of Texas at Dallas Arts and Humanities Graduate Student Association

contact email:

Conference website:

University of Texas at Dallas
Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association

February 24 and February 25, 2017

Keynote speakers: Dr. Nnedi Okorafor and Dr. Stephen T. Asma

Theme: Hybridity and Monstrosity

Submission Deadline: December 31 , 2016

Early Acceptance Submission Deadline: November 15, 2016

The Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association of the University of Texas at Dallas will hold its ninth annual RAW: Research, Art, Writing graduate symposium on February 24th and 25th at the UT Dallas campus in Richardson, TX. Organized by and for graduate students, RAW offers students from around the country the opportunity to share their work and ideas with peers across the humanities disciplines.

As part of our ongoing efforts to create access for graduate students and advanced undergraduates whose work challenges the boundaries of traditional academic endeavor, the theme for this year’s RAW symposium is “Hybridity and Monstrosity.” Hybridity of ideas or organisms is inherently creative, disrupting accepted cultural norms and producing new artifacts that may be mind-expanding, paradigm-shifting, or literally terrifying, but which always raise questions worthy of investigation. We encourage you to submit papers, artwork, or other projects that introduce new theoretical paradigms into the conventional discourse, that uncover the grotesque in the everyday, or that bridge the gap between seemingly incompatible modes of inquiry. We will, of course, also accept proposals for work that occupies the relatively tamer spaces in traditional humanities scholarship.

In this spirit of creative hybridity, we are excited to welcome two keynote speakers to the 2017 RAW symposium: Dr. Nnedi Okorafor and Dr. Stephen T. Asma.

Dr. Nnedi Okorafor is Associate Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and an internationally recognized author of African-based science fiction, fantasy, and magical realism for both children and adults. Her 2015 novella B inti recently won both the 2016 Hugo and 2015 Nebula awards for best novella. Dr. Okorafor’s many other works of fiction include Who Fears Death (winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and rec ently optioned for film), Akata Witch (an Best Book of the Year and also optioned for film), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award). Dr. Okorafor’s creative work knits personal elements drawn from African culture with the fantastical elements we expect from science fiction to tell old stories of our world from new perspectives.

Dr. Stephen T. Asma is Professor of Philosophy and Distinguished Scholar at Columbia College Chicago, where he is also a founding Fellow of the Research Group in Mind, Science, and Culture. Dr. Asma is a regular contributor to public radio and to many academic and popular periodicals; he writes regularly for the New York Times. His seven books i nclude O n Monsters: An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears (2011) and the best-selling B uddha for Beginners (originally published in 1996 and reissued in 2008). His eighth book, T he Evolution of Imagination, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2017. Dr. Asma’s work connects developing theories in the science of mind with the evolution of human nature; he also somehow finds time to pursue his other interests as both a professional jazz musician and a professional illustrator.

Each interested participant may submit one 200-word abstract for a 15-minute individual presentation and/or one submission of a full panel that includes three to four individual presentations. There are no limitations on topic, field, genre, or methodology.

Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

• excerpt of an M.A. paper or thesis • excerpt of a seminar paper
• excerpt from a dissertation
• animation, video, or film projects

• excerpt from a novel, play, or short story

• M.F.A. final project

• selection of poetry

• dance or other performance piece

• art work (paintings, ceramics, drawings, etc.)

• games

Proposals are due by December 31, 2016. Proposals submitted by November 15, 2016 will receive a response by December 1, 2016. Full-panel proposals have a higher acceptance rate. All proposals must include the following:

• A complete mailing address, e-mail address, phone number, field, and affiliation of participant

• An abstract of no more than 200 words for the proposed presentation; must include 3 to 5 keywords

• For creative pieces, the medium and space requirements for the work/presentation

Panel proposals must include a proposal for the panel, a short description of each presentation, and the above information for each participant.

Send submissions and questions to Registration information will follow. For additional information, see