Thinking Its Presence 2017


Thinking Its Presence 2017
Conference on Race, Creative Writing, and Art to be held at the Poetry Center

The University of Arizona Poetry Center is excited to host the 2017 Thinking Its Presence Conference, to be held in October of this year.

From October 19-21, 2017, Thinking Its Presence will bring together the discipline and art of pedagogy and the arts in general with perspectives from critical race theory, poetics, performance studies, literary theory, literary history, ethnic literatures, and Native American and Indigenous studies. The conference’s mission is to foster a dynamic exchange among creative writers, artists, performers, and scholars.

The conference, founded in 2014, draws its name from Dorothy Wang’s book Thinking Its Presence: Form, Race, and Subjectivity in Contemporary Asian American Poetry (Stanford University Press, 2013). This award-winning book argues “that aesthetic forms are inseparable from social, political, and historical contexts when it comes to the writing and reception of poetry.” The title aptly captures our larger engagement with locating race in aesthetic discourses in an open forum for artists of all mediums, people of all races and genders.

Thinking Its Presence welcomes writers, poets, artists, performers, and scholars to propose papers, panels, performances, and readings on issues of race in contemporary prose, poetry, and art. The conference invites all work that engages race, creative writing, and scholarship in contemporary literature, and ccepted panels and readings will be incorporated and celebrated with receptions and Q&A events. Anyone interested in proposing one of these events can reach out to before the deadline on May 1, 2017.

University of Arizona Campus partners include the College of Humanities, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of Africana Studies, the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, and the Department of English.  

President of the Conference Board, Prageeta Sharma, said this about this year's gathering: "This conference is important because we are all thinking --right now--about how much creative work, scholarship, and practices hold conversations, ideas, attitudes, about how our imagination is part of experienced identity. Thinking Its Presence aims to have conversations about the shape of this practice, especially when creative endeavors are even more threatened due to legislative action and funding cuts. It’s more important than ever that we discuss what our institutions and framework will look like, and what kind of art we need to make now."

Please visit the Thinking Its Presence Conference website to learn more.