CFP: The Comparative Literature Students’ Tribune

The Comparative Literature Students’ Tribune is a space of encounter and bilingual discussion in English and in French, where graduate students can share their research projects while reflecting on their discipline. At the first four meetings (organized alternatively in Montréal and Toronto since January 2015) students from a dozen universities presented their scholarly and creative work in both languages, taking different approaches and using a variety of formats.

For its 5th meeting, which will take place at the University of Ottawa on Thursday October 25 and Friday October 26, 2018, the Tribune proposes a new two-day formula. One day will follow the usual conference format of the Tribune, and the other day will be devoted to discussing a challenge specific to graduate students: this year, graduate students’ mental health.

The Tribune encourages comparative literature students to submit a proposal for one or both days. The Tribune encourages students to present their projects in a concise and original format, without any thematic requirement, so as to promote exchanges, debates, and discussions. This meeting is a space for trying out unconventional modes of presentation and for reflecting on the development of PhD or MA theses and other projects. The Tribune looks for presentations who would, for example:

• Explore an alternative mode of communication (for example, in the form of a discussion between two presenters or of a performance);

• Offer an overview of the conclusions or the structure of a research project;

• Define the limits or shortcomings of a research project, with or without suggesting possible solutions;

• Describe the theoretical, methodological, institutional or practical difficulties encountered during research;

• Develop a critical reflection on the current practices of presenting research in academia;

• Analyze the current context and challenges of comparative literature.

The Off-Tribune will discuss graduate students’ mental health, under the same short and original modes of presentation of the Tribune. The Off-Tribune will be the ideal place for:

• Personal testimonies and discussions of personal difficulties in relation to graduate studies (feeling of solitude, blank page syndrome, relationships with the institution, peer recognition, work-life balance, questioning of the intellectual’s place in society, competitiveness, professor-student power dynamics, impostor syndrome, burnout, stress and anxiety, addiction problems, discrimination, harassment, depression, etc.);

• Reflections on the effects of institutional structures on students’ mental health;

• Sharing resources and personal adaptation or empowerment strategies.

We welcome your proposals (150-250 words per proposal), however original and experimental, until August 6, 2018 at the following email address:

Please specify your university affiliation and your year of study. Your presentation should be a maximum of 10 minutes in the medium of your choice. We strongly encourage interested participants to embody the Tribune’s commitment to bilingualism in the very form of their talks: for example, by switching from French to English, or by including translations of key passages in a visual presentation. We welcome international submissions. However, the Tribune does not provide travel grants.