CFP: The Arts of Community (1 – 3 October; Indigenous Literary Studies Association; deadline 15 June 2015)

The Arts of Community

The First Gathering of the Indigenous Literary Studies Association
Hosted on Six Nations of the Grand River Territory
October 1st – 3rd, 2015

We invite scholars, knowledge-keepers, artists, and community members to join us in generating new conversations about Indigenous literary arts and community engagement. Imagining literary creativity expansively, we welcome discussions of literature, film, theatre, storytelling, song, hip hop, and other forms of narrative expression. Our inaugural gathering seeks to move beyond academic lip-service regarding “community consultation,” which too often replicates colonial power structures, and instead to build relationships among educational institutions and Indigenous groups based on reciprocity and respect. In so doing, we seek to foster collaborative discussions among creators, teachers, scholars, and readers of Indigenous literatures to better understand how research can become more accountable to the interests, concerns, and intellectual pursuits of Indigenous communities. This gathering is conceived as a forum for discussion in this spirit and an occasion for celebrating the work of both established and emerging Indigenous narrative artists. Confirmed keynote speakers include Jeannette Armstrong, Joseph Boyden, and Daniel David Moses.

The Indigenous Literary Studies Association supports diverse modes of creating and disseminating knowledge. Prospective participants are invited to propose conference papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, and other formats for special sessions. Panel sessions will be 90 minutes in duration, with at least 15 minutes for questions and discussion. In keeping with our desire to enable dialogue and community-based learning, we welcome session proposals that utilize non-standard or alternative formats.

While open to all proposals dealing with Indigenous literary arts, ILSA encourages proposals for sessions and individual presentations that engage with the following topics:

  • the reciprocal influences of the arts on the meaning of “community” and of communities on the meaning of “art”
  • the role of narrative arts in depicting, defining, addressing, and creating Indigenous communities
  • the role of Indigenous communities in refining, expanding, and challenging understandings of art
  • the responsibilities of artists and/or scholars to the communities of which they are part and to the communities addressed by their work
  • the ethics of mobilizing and/or demobilizing community-specific Indigenous knowledge in scholarship or art
  • the capacity of methodologies and practices prioritized in Indigenous literary studies to serve the needs of Indigenous communities
  • Haudenosaunee narrative arts, the literary history (and future) of Six Nations, and the legacy of E. Pauline Johnson Tekahionwake

Proposals for individual presentations should include the presenter’s name, institutional and/or tribal affiliation, email address, and telephone number; the presentation’s title; and a 250-word abstract that should identify the presenter’s desired format. Proposals for special sessions and/or full panels should include the session organizer’s name, institutional and/or tribal affiliation, email address, and telephone number; a list of confirmed participants’ names and affiliations; the session’s title; and a 250-word description of the session’s goals, format, and significance. The deadline for all proposals is June 15th, 2015. All proposals should be sent to For updates, visit us at

Leave a Reply