Signs, Representations and Other Biases: An International Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture

Saeed Ur-Rehman's picture
April 18, 2020 to April 19, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Philosophy, Literature, Linguistics, Indigenous Studies, Humanities

Call for Papers


The sign creates our world and represents our thoughts about this world.

The sign is an enabler, a limiter, and a producer of our biases.

The sign is the trouble.

If all signs are arbitrary, how can we distinguish between the signifier and the signified while using language? How can representation and its analysis be in the same medium? How can arbitrariness be implicated with biases? Do we need a universal metalanguage that can analyse the limits of language? Or have we reached a historical moment of aporia? 

This conference seeks to address representations and knowledge production in a cultural condition where the object of analysis is also the medium of analysis. If language does not help us represent reality, is it a hindrance? It is also possible that language—the tool with which we first construct and then understand the world—is limiting our access to what Lacan calls the Real, which is beyond the symbolic and the imaginary. It may be the case that, through the illusion of representation created by language, our cognition or consciousness creates a barrier between the world and our mind and calls it an orderly arrangement. We, as knowledge producers, encounter so many traps when we make any statement about the world that it seems that the function of our epistemic activity is to create illusions and biases. We, as an epistemic species, have displayed a remarkable inability to avoid speciesism, essentialism, anthropocentrism, egocentrism, and ethnocentrism.

We invite scholars from around the world to discuss the nature of language as a facilitator or attenuator of our abilities to produce knowledge. We hope to bring together scholars working in critical theory, literature, linguistics and cultural studies so that they can help each other understand the limits of knowledge production. We will provide a good venue for discussing ideas and will disseminate the proceedings in an edited collection.



Critical theories of representation

Modern and postmodern literature

Postcolonial studies

Representing Gender 

Diaspora and the  imaginary 

Linguistics and World Englishes

Language, culture and translation

Literatures in translation 

World Literatures

Indigenous culture and language preservation 

Representations of tribes, sects, castes, races  

Minoritarianism and majoritarianism

Imperialism and literature

First and second language acquisition

Language acquisition and pedagogy

Discourse analysis 



Post 9/11 literature 


Professor Dr. Muhammad Nizamuddin (Patron)

Professor Dr. Fehmida Sultana (Conference Chair)

Dr. Saeed Ur Rehman (Focal Person)

Dr. Asim Karim, Dr. Khalid Ahmed (Convenors)

University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan


Guidelines for Abstracts

Please send your abstracts of 250–300 words to by November 15, 2019.


Contact Info: 

Dr. Saeed Ur Rehman (

Dr. Asim Karim (

Dr. Khalid Ahmed (

Department of English

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

University of Central Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan