CFP: Reading, Art, and Writing Graduate Student Conference 2021

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Call for Papers
January 18, 2021
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Literature, Humanities, Fine Arts, Theatre & Performance History / Studies, Music and Music History


Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association

The University of Texas at Dallas

THEME: Hyperbole: Sense, Sensation, & Spectacle

No registration fee required

February 20th, 2021

Submission Deadline: January 19, 2021

The Arts & Humanities Graduate Student Association of The University of Texas at Dallas will hold its twelfth annual graduate symposium on February 20, 2021. The RAW: Research, Art, and Writing Conference is organized by and for graduate students and offers an opportunity for scholars to share their work and ideas with peers across the humanities disciplines. For the first time ever, the 2021 conference will take place in a virtual format. Presenters will upload their presentation videos beforehand, but the question-and-answer session following each presentation video will be live. No registration fee is required, but an abstract should be emailed to before 5:00 PM on January 19, 2021.

As interdisciplinary scholars, we encounter at every turn the classic rhetorical tool of hyperbole, understood in the sense of overstatement (“going over the top,” if you will) in the presentation of ideas. In every field of the humanities, we have the option of going to extremes in our use of words, images, and sounds designed to impress our own ideas upon the sensory apparatus of our audience. The compulsion to share our most intense perceptions with the other is a basic human trait; however, because we cannot share the first-person sense of shock that first impressed us, we language animals insert elements of hyperbole or overstatement that relay similarly heightened affective tensions of wonder, joy, anger, horror, and so on. The humanities provide the core site of investigation into the phenomenon of hyperbole. As researchers, we seek to understand how overstatement has provided the rhetorical impetus vital to the unfolding of historical, literary, and aesthetic movements. As artists, we incorporate shocking imagery to include our audience within the deep significance and emotional charge of the aesthetic event. As writers, we record the moments that destabilized us; one reliable tool in conveying a sense of the out-of-control is by jarring our readers’ perceptions via the artful use of hyperbole. As humanities scholars seek to demonstrate the value of our research to a wider public, it is worth noting that the scholarly imperative to understand hyperbole has become even more salient given our ever-evolving attention economy of screens and clicks.

As interdisciplinary scholars, we are constantly interrogating the uses to which hyperbole is put in history books, literature, museum exhibits, art galleries, public history sites, and other aspects of human culture. We seek to understand how specific overstatements have shaped the past and present, while also recognizing the power artistic shock and awe possesses to transform and inspire the future. Our holistic approach allows us the flexibility to contextualize the complexities of hyperbole as a figure not only of speech but also of form. How can artful overstatement find its way into verbal, auditory, visual, and other media and spaces?

This February, we invite you to showcase your exploration of hyperbolic expression. Whether it be your research, artwork, or writing, we would like to know how your work utilizes, engages with, or responds to the hyperbolic statements that permeate our communicative ecosystem.

Please submit a 200-word abstract proposal and 3-5 keywords that summarizes the research paper, artwork, or writing you would like to present.

We welcome individual and panel proposals (3-4 presenters). If applying as a panel, please include a brief description of the general topic along with abstracts and keywords for all presenters in a single document.

If you are applying to present your personal artwork, please include an image for reference along with your abstract and keywords.

Please email your submission to by January 19, 2021.

Notification of acceptance will be provided by January 29, 2021.

General suggestions for presentation and panel topics include:

Special effects and/or CGI in cinematography

Theatrical/cinematographic characterization or mise-en-scène as hyperbole

Propaganda and other extreme rhetoric, whether in historical records and contemporary media

Caricature in cartoons and/or graphic novels

Transmutation of ordinary historical events into legend and myth via heroic overstatement

Overstated visual elements in monuments and memorials in public space

Extreme aspects of material culture

Holocaust studies

The long civil rights movement

Identifying and confronting genocide

Avant-garde movements and overstatement

Hyperbole as a means of drawing attention to underrepresented or unacknowledged historical events/figures

Music as hyperbole

Visual and plastic arts as hyperbole


Tenth Annual Sherry Clarkson Prize Guidelines

Due date: March 5, 2021

Submission guidelines for the $500.00 Sherry Clarkson prize for best conference paper or creative work presentation at RAW 2021.

We are pleased to welcome submissions for the tenth annual Sherry Clarkson Prize for the best conference paper or creative work presented at the RAW Symposium. The prize is named in honor of Ms. Sherry Clarkson, who served for many years as the Graduate Coordinator in the School of Arts and Humanities.

Judges will rate papers on the following criteria:

  1. academic excellence
  2. clarity and fluidity of prose style
  3. significant findings and/or conclusions

Judges will rate creative/multimedia projects and/or performances on the following criteria:

  1. demonstrated skill/mastery in medium
  2. originality
  3. significant aesthetic statement

To submit a paper for consideration, panelists must send the submission as an email attachment in .pdf or MSWord format. We use a blind evaluation format, so please do not include any identifying information (name, university, college, or program) on the submission itself. Contestants submitting a creative project must ALSO attach a separate, five-page critical analysis of the project. Along with the five page critical analysis, contestants must also present a sample of their creative work. The critical analysis should discuss the process through which the project was generated. The analysis should address the specific artistic decisions the student made in the creation of the work, and should do so in theoretically informed language. All submissions must be addressed to

The winning paper or creative project will be announced within two months of the conclusion of the conference. The award is considered taxable income.

Students who are or have been members of the GSA Senate and/or the RAW committee during the academic year of the conference are not eligible for that year's Clarkson award. The GSA Senate and the RAW committee will each appoint two graduate students to serve on the judging panel. A faculty member will serve as a fifth judge.





Contact Info: 

Henry Hahn, Vice President & Conference Coordinator
Graduate Student Association
The University of Texas at Dallas
School of Arts & Humanities


Contact Email: