Loading Events

SpokenWeb Symposium 2022: The Sound of Literature in Time: A Graduate Student Conference

The SpokenWeb Research Network (www.spokenweb.ca) will host an in-person and virtual graduate student symposium (academic conference) to be held at Concordia University in Montreal, 16-17 May 2022, on the theme of “The Sound of Literature in Time.”

Plenary Talk by T.L. Cowan: Technologies of Fabulous & Minor Digitization: Trans- Feminist & Queer Cabaret Cross-Platform Methods for Online Research Environments

T.L. CowanT.L. Cowan (she/they) is an Assistant Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Arts Culture and Media (UTSC) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, as well as a cabaret and video artist. Her creative-research practice moves between page, stage, and screen.

T.L.’s research focuses on cultural and intellectual economies and networks of minoritized digital media and performance practices. Notable commissions for their creative-critical work include the PlugIn Institute of Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Queens Museum in New York City, and Nuit Blanche in Toronto. She is currently completing two monographs, Transmedial Drag and Other Cross-Platform Cabaret Methods, and The Needs of Others: Trauma, Media & Disorder.Their most recent essays are published in Moving Archives (2020), The Routledge Companion to Digital Humanities & Art History (2020), American Quarterly (2020) First Monday (2018),Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies (2016), More Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women (2016, edited by Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars) and as part of Alexandra Juhasz’s #100 Hard Truths.

T.L. frequently collaborates with Jasmine Rault. Together, they hold a SSHRC Insight Grant (2019-2024), entitled “Networked Intimate Publics: Feminist and Queer Practices of Scale, Safety and Access,” and a SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2017-2020), entitled “Building a Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory for Minor(itized) Materials.” In addition to the Cabaret Commons, Cowan and Rault co-director another online research site: the Digital Research Ethics Collaboratory (DREC). They are also co-editors of a “Metaphors as Meaning and Method in Technoculture,” a special section of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience (Fall 2022) and a book entitled Heavy Processing, about trans- feminist and queer digital research methods and ethics. You can see early versions of Heavy Processing on the DREC.


For this year’s SpokenWeb symposium, we invite graduate students of all levels from both within and outside the SpokenWeb network to submit proposals for full-length papers (15-20 minute) that explore the concepts of sound, time and literature. Papers may develop the relationship between these concepts across a wide range of historical periods, cultural artifacts (texts, recorded sounds, etc.), and critical methodologies. Students whose proposals are accepted will be invited to participate in online feedback sessions with members of the Symposium committee to discuss approaches to developing proposal abstracts into papers.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Literary history as pursued through the sound archive
  • Representations of sound and voice in literary works
  • Literary soundscapes
  • Literary Listening
  • Voice and literature
  • Narrative and sonic time
  • Literary prosody and/or speech prosody
  • The history of metrics in poetry
  • Literary elocution, recitation, speech, performance, etc.
  • Sound poetry
  • Literature and sound art
  • Temporality and the literary event
  • Methodological intersections between literary studies and sound studies
  • Indigenous temporalities
  • Sound, literature and ideas of deep time (geological and environmental temporality)

Proposals are encouraged from women, Indigenous people, people of colour, LGBTQ2+, or other underrepresented groups. The conference will be free to attend and open to the public.


Individual papers will be between 15-20 minutes in presentation length. Panel sessions will be 90 minutes in duration,with time for discussion. Paper proposals, with title, should identify the topic, argument, methodology, object(s) of analysis, and explain the overall aims and materials that will be covered in the talk.

Please send proposals of no more than 250 words, plus a short biographical statement, including affiliation, degree stage, publications and other relevant information for each presenter as a single (compiled) Word or PDF attachment, to spokenwebsymposium2020@gmail.com.

Deadline: 1 March 2022

(Please use SPOKENWEB SYMPOSIUM 2022 as subject header for your email and, yes, spokenwebsymposium2020 is the correct email address.)

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!