Hey, readers! You are invited to submit proposals for an upcoming conference:
Signum University’s Fourth Annual Texas
Literature & Language Symposium
26 March 2022
at the Norris Conference Center
2525 W. Anderson Ln
Austin, TX 78757
What is a “Moot”?
The word “moot” refers to a meeting or legislative assembly and also the place in which that meeting is held. It’s from the Old English -mot, which could be appended to the end of a word, as in “Texmoot.” It was made famous by the “Entmoots” of the tree-shepherding Ents in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Signum University sponsors regional gatherings called “moots” throughout the year. These are times of academic conversation and fellowship that often include creative presentations and special guests. Although these conferences may vary in flavor, they are united by a love of stories and the people who read them.
Starships, Stewards, and Storytellers:
How Imaginary Worlds Teach Us to Care for This One
DEADLINE: March 1, 2022
In 2022, Signum University’s Annual Texas Language and Literature Symposium (TexMoot) invites you to join us as we consider the ethical turn in speculative fiction: How do imaginary worlds teach us to care for this one?
From ecological concerns to social commentary, science fiction and fantasy offer readers a mirror through which to view our own world. For example, the struggles of a terraforming planet may remind us how precious and fragile is the one we live on. The real-world conflict between nature and technology comes to life on the page when trees march to war. We may find insights into how to interact with people around us by spending time with characters in a fellowship—or on a starship.
At TexMoot 2022, you will explore questions like: How do we relate to the Other—the “monsters” and “aliens” beyond the bulkhead door? What roles can technology play in preserving nature or reinforcing what makes us human? Do humans change the nonhuman environment, or are they inevitably changed by it? Is there really a clear line between the human and the nonhuman, anyway? And whose responsibility is it to preserve “civilization” and transmit its legacy to future generations?
TexMoot 2022 will also investigate the ways authors convey these commentaries. What literary techniques best serve the message; at what point does a work cross the line into propaganda? When does the message serve the story, and when does the story serve the message?
The TexMoot Team is looking for both traditional academic papers (of about 15 minutes) and shorter discussion prompts in which the presenter talks for 5 minutes and ends with a provocative question to start a roundtable discussion. Presentations and discussion topics can be more academic or popular, according to your preference and experience.
This year, TexMoot will be open to both onsite and offsite attendees and presenters. Please submit your proposal using the form linked here. If you would like to submit multiple ideas, please fill out the form separately for each one.
Registration for TexMoot 2022 costs $50 for on-site participants, $25 for online attendees, and $15 for students in either mode. To register, please click here.