Craft Critique Culture

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Awkward

Dr. Awkward is Professor of English at the University of Michigan. His diverse work has continually explored transitory moments in African American culture, politics, and literature. His most recent book is Philadelphia Freedoms, a text that explores the legacy of racial trauma in his native Philadelphia. In Soul Covers and other works, he has constructed arguments that blend literature and popular culture, valuing intermedial connections over generic conventions. 


We are pleased to announce the call for papers for this year's Craft Critique Culture Conference, to be held on April 7-8, 2017. Our theme is "Transitions & Transgressions," and we welcome papers with any interpretation of our theme. If you'd like to participate, please submit 300-word abstracts by January 6, 2016 to See below for details. 


17th Annual Craft Critique Culture Conference

April 7-8, 2017

Transitions & Transgressions

University of Iowa

CRAFT CRITIQUE CULTURE is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on the intersections of critical and creative approaches to writing both within and beyond the academy. This year’s conference will explore the boundaries that can both challenge and facilitate fluidity within interdisciplinary scholarship through an inquiry into transitions and transgressions.

Transition: To change from one form, state, style, or place to another.

Transgression:  A violation of a law, principle, or duty. The exceeding of due bounds or limits.

Transgression concerns violation and trespass, the capacity to disturb and subvert mores, themselves products of systemic and symbolic power. Transition implies movement, liminality, and states of becoming. Liminality, in particular, has been associated with processes of identity formation, as well as feelings of ambiguity and ambivalence. While transitions and transgressions can be uncomfortable, threatening, and even disruptive, they also serve as subversive and powerful acts, capable of facilitating both creativity and social change. On the other hand, transitions can seem smooth and subtle, yet still have palpable effects upon the people, places, and ideas involved.

Consequently, transitions and transgressions reveal the fissures, sutures, and eruptions of the in-between as well as the possibilities that these disturbances reveal. We seek submissions that prompt investigation into the transitional/transgressive acts that both connect and sever disciplines, departments, institutions, cultures, communities, systems, and conceptual categories. How can scholarship instigate, repair, or make use of the transitions and transgressions within these physical and conceptual spaces and communities?

We encourage diverse explorations of this question and welcome traditional scholarly papers, poster exhibitions, pre-made panels and roundtables, as well as submissions of film, video, music, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, visual art, artists’ books, theater, and performance.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

Literature and Intertextuality

Limits of Language

Borderlands, Liminality, and Geographic Spaces

Cultural Criticism

Hybridity and Transnational Identities

Digital Possibilities in Art, Film, and Video Games

Movement and Transition in Media

Engagement between the Academy and the Public

Transition and transgression in academia and academic conventions

Transgressions in/as Performance

Fetishism, Taboo, Degeneracy, and Censorship

Posthumanism and the body as a site of transgression

Queer Literature, Art, and Activism

Struggles over power and influence

Humor, Horror, and the Carnivalesque

Heterotopias and Spaces of Exception

Deviance and Criminality

Villainy and Monstrosity



300 word abstracts should be submitted by Friday, January 6th, 2017

Abstracts must include:

a) author(s)

b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the program

c) email address

d) paper title


Please email all submissions to:


Accepted papers will be notified by February 10th, 2017. We acknowledge receipt and answer all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week, please resend your proposal.

For further details about the conference, visit:



Many Thanks to Our Sponsors!

Department of English
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
Graduate College
College of Education
University of Iowa Libraries
James O. Freedman Fund
Carver Fund
Graduate & Professional Student Government
University of Iowa Student Government
School of Library and Information Science
School of Art and Art History
Department of Anthropology
Department of Communication Studies
Department of Cinematic Arts
Department of History
Department of Dance
Department of Religious Studies
Writers' Workshop

Past Sponsors

Department of English
James O. Freedman Fund
Graduate College
Graduate & Professional Student Gov.
Obermann Center for Advanced Studies
University of Iowa Student Gov.
Writers' Workshop
Cinema & Comparative Literature
School of Library & Information Science
World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Department of German
Department of History
Department of Religious Studies
The Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities
Department of Dance
Department of Communication Studies
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Digital Bridges for Humanistic Inquiry: A Grinnell College/University of Iowa Partnership funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
University of Iowa Libraries
Department of American Studies
School of Art and Art History
College of Education

Organizing Committee

Enrico Bruno, co-chair
Faith Avery, co-chair
Diann Rozsa, co-chair

2017 Conference moderators & volunteers: