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Friday's Schedule of Events

Please note: Some panels are running concurrently. See the specific Zoom link associated with your session. 

Panel 1: Friday, 8:00 - 9:30 AM EST

Scarcity and Excess in Social Narratives

  • Jay Arns (he/him), University of Cincinnati

    • "Going Goblin Mode: Excess, Lack, and the Pleasure of Resistance"​

      • Abstract: In this paper, I offer a Marxist and psychoanalytic account of goblin mode as a multilayered resistance to late-capitalist worker exploitation.

  • Aditi Basu (she/her), Independent Researcher

    • "Redefining Agriculture in India: An Analysis of Capitalist Hegemony Resistance in Jharkhand"

      • Abstract: In the spring of 2020, the Covid-19 resulted in a global slowdown in employment opportunities and a temporary disruption of a number of industrial activities. India was not an exception and its eastern state of Jharkhand (with the highest population migrating to other states) was the worst hit. Covid-19 resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs and workers were forced to return to their homes. Lockdowns left people on the verge of starvation because of market closures which skyrocketed vegetables' prices. Eventually, people started exploring alternative opportunities which began with proper utilization of agricultural lands by growing fruits, vegetables, water-intensive crops and medicinal plants. Thus, the farmers, formerly workers, have embraced new and digital platforms to connect with consumers directly to sell their products that have added to their incomes greatly. Initially, they were able to supplement family income and ensure home consumption which saved them from starvation. Therefore, this research analyzes the role of agriculture in resisting capitalist exploitation and hegemony in Jharkhand in the 21st century.   

  • Annewsa Ghosh ​(he/they/she), Indiana University Bloomington

    • "My Working week and my Sunday Rest: The Influence of Protestantism on Labour Practices in the Early Modern Indian Ocean World (1600-1650)"

      • Abstract: This paper examines the influence of Protestantism on the working conditions of early modern maritime labourers. I take the example of East India Company merchants sailing to the Indies in the first half of the 17th century to show how Protestant doctrines codified work and rest hours upon the seas, enshrined leisure as a right of workers, regulated employee labour relationships, and contributed to the germination of labour consciousness and labour welfare in the early modern era. In this essay, I contend that although religion has historically served as the handmaiden of capitalism and colonialism, when it is asserted from below, it can amplify subaltern consciousness, bolster labour solidarity networks, mitigate the alienating effects of capitalism, and, most importantly, defend workers’ rights from their employers.

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  • Jason Michálek (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington

    • "The Vagrant as Goblin: The Tensions Between Homelessness and Social Narratives"

      • Abstract:  This presentation explores precisely how rhetoric can “locate a social value for disobedience" in discussions of the early operations of a mayoral administration that prizes “dignity.” Using an approach of critical discourse analysis (CDA) and the copia of Western antihomeless sentiments (Feldman 2018), I will show how the community drew upon pre-fabricated notions of justified demoralization to resist the novelty of a government centering on dignity. By tracing (dis)connections between spoken discourse and governmental actions, I'll show how the rift between the state and the community offers ways for re/solving the irresolution of a status quo.​​​

Panel 2: Friday, 8:00 - 9:30 AM EST

Goblins on Screen

  • Caleb Allison (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington

    • "Formal Slacking: Aestheticizing Idle Resistance in Richard Linklater's 'Slacker' (1990)"​

      • Abstract: This presentation reconsiders several highly stylized sequences from Richard Linklater’s 1990 cult film, Slacker, as a cultural and aesthetic precursor to the contemporary emergence of “goblin mode.” Slacker helps situate this unique cultural response to be just the most recent instantiation of an enduring subcultural resistance to hyperproductivity and widespread consumer trends.​

  • Claire Patzner (she/her), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • “'I’m the real thing!': Fan Studies, Identity, Consent, and the Culture of Japanese Popular Idols in Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue"​

      • Abstract: In 1997, Japanese filmmaker Satoshi Kon released the animated psychological thriller film titled Perfect Blue, addressing the growing concern of Japanese pop idol safety, especially as it pertained to the rising use of the internet at that time. In Perfect Blue, after Mima Kirigoe leaves her career as an idol to become an actress, an obsessive fan takes matters into their own hands to try to prevent her from doing so. This paper utilizes a cultural studies approach to examine how Perfect Blue examines darker elements of fan studies and whether there is a hopeful future for Japanese idol culture.​​

Panel 3: Friday, 9:45 - 11:15 AM EST

Transgressive Desire and Resistance

  • Bat Collazo (ze/zir/zirs), Independent Researcher 

    • “Come away, you wanton wives”: goblin mode, uncleanliness, and the English medieval and early modern goblin as sexual and political rebellion

      • Abstract: Many analyses of “goblin mode” neglect the phrase’s supernatural ancestors, despite significant continuity of meaning. This paper investigates the medieval and early modern goblin in English fairylore, literature, and culture, focusing on perceived human interaction or identification with Hobgoblin (also known as Puck or Robin Goodfellow). Examples reveal goblin-facilitated sociopolitical potential around rest, revolts, disruptive sexuality, and gendered class subversion. Though limitations are also discussed, sources depict a scandalous goblin providing justification and protection to humans who reject normative standards. This historical context reinforces modern goblin affiliations as opportunities for fertile resistance via messy, lazy, or salacious troublemaking.​

  • Tom Driver (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • "The Bride, the Bailiff, and the Bishop: Love, Transgression, and Confession in 15th Century Norwich"​

      • Abstract: The secret love affair between Margery Paston and the Paston family bailiff, Richard Calle, paints an evocative picture of love, transgression, and confession in 15th century England, but what is it about their so-called clandestine marriage that continues to resonate with audiences to this day? In the wake of Anne O’Brien’s A Marriage of Fortune (a work of historical fiction published in 2023 that centers on the affair), the lived experiences of Margery and Richard have been propelled into the mainstream, and as we reflect on what new perspectives the future will hold for the lived experiences of the distant past, we (as historians, as readers, as consumers of media) must be willing to ask ourselves: Just what are the ethical ramifications of mining history’s intimate relationships for today’s entertainment value?​

  • Audrey T. Heffers (she/they), Illinois State University

    • "Reading for Pleasure: Revolutionary Potential in Queer Graphic Novels"​

      • Abstract: The graphic novels The Princess and the Grilled Cheese Sandwich by Deya Muniz, Cosmoknights by Hannah Templer, and The Well by Jake Wyatt and Choo combine a form (graphic novels), a genre (the umbrella of speculative fiction), and an age category (young adult) that have each been traditionally dismissed as ‘not serious enough’ for academic study and intellectual rigor; instead, they have been relegated, in this false binary, to the realm of pleasure. However, these texts engage with a revolutionary queer sensibility, demonstrating how reading for pleasure can engage with resistance against hierarchies and oppressions.

  • John Mason (he/him), Northern Illinois University

    • "Wresting Control: Seduction, Desire, and Twisting Gender Roles in Bram Stoker’s Dracula"

      • Abstract: Prominent critical discourse generally focuses on the overt sexuality of Dracula and the homoerotic undertones apparent between the vampire lord and the character of Jonathan Harker, though little attention is given to how that pseudo-relationship affects each character and functions as the catalyst for both gender inversion in Harker and a dynamic role reversal for Dracula. Over the course of their interactions, the pair develop an obsession with one another that eventually morphs into a deviant type of love where the function is domination rather than honest affection.

Panel 4: Friday, 9:45 - 11:15 AM EST

Panel 4: IU MFA Showcase

  • Carlos Contreras (they/them), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • Bio: Carlos Contreras is non-binary, Guatemalan, and an MFA candidate in fiction from Texas. They are the lead fiction editor of Alien Magazine and read prose for Chestnut Review. Their writing explores ideas of identity, helplessness, and how people and places transform over time. Their work lives at the intersection between the ordinary human condition and surreal, imaginative circumstances, heightening reality to show how absurd our lives already are. Their work can be found in The Lumiere Review, Complete Sentence, Passages North, and elsewhere. When not writing, Carlos is almost certainly in a movie theater. 

  • Will Landau (they/them), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • Bio: William D. Landau is an MFA student in poetry from Berkeley, California. They received their BA in Gender Studies from Columbia University. Their work has appeared in Diabolical Plots, Sinister Wisdom, and Hanging Loose Press. Their work touches on topics including gender, magic, the Anthropocene, Judaism, and bacon. In their free time they enjoy baking, swimming, reading, and attending to their cats' every whim. ​

 

  • Pete Prokesch (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • Bio: Pete Prokesch is a writer from the Boston area. His fiction has appeared in Four Way Review, Evergreen Review, Soundings East, and TINGE Magazine, among others. He has received support from Mass Cultural Council, reads for Epiphany and Indiana Review, and holds a MS in Ecological Teaching and Learning and a BA in English. Before arriving in Bloomington, he worked in construction as a carpenter and taught green-building training courses. 

  • Santiago Valencia (they/them), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • Bio: Santiago Valencia is a Mexican poet, editor, and spiritual worker. They received a B.A. in English Literature and Creative Writing from Reed College, where their poetry was recognized by the Academy of American Poets. Their work develops a poetics of ritual and gnosis to explore queer embodiment, fractured ancestries, faith and mysticism, soul loss and retrieval, dreams, and death. They believe language is an alchemical tool for connecting with the sacred all around and within us, and for recovering lost enchantment. A Tin House Workshop and SAFTA alum, Santi is an Editor-at-Large for Nightboat Books. 

Panel 5: Friday, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST

"Anti-Social” Behavior?: Medieval Individuals Gone Goblin

  • Benjamin Yusen (he/him), Indiana University Bloomington

    • “More Trouble Dead Than Alive: Killer-Hrapp and the Outlaw Lifestyle in Early Medieval Scandinavia”​

      • Abstract: In Ladxaela Saga, and Brennu Njals Saga, there exists a man—or perhaps three men— named Killer Hrapp. These three men are murderers, criminals, and outlaws. Appearing twice in Laxdaela Saga, and once in Njals Saga, they wreak havoc both during the narrative and ‘off camera.’ From murder, to burnings, illegal marriages and questionable living situations, and even returning from the dead, these figures partake in an impressive range of activities outside the pale of what was socially acceptable in medieval Iceland. In this essay, I posit the existence of the Ur-Hrapp: a man functioning as a commentary on outlawry. Appearing as three minor figures in sagas which share more than a few major figures, the Ur-Hrapp displays both the attractions of such a life, and the difficulties which can result from stepping outside the boundaries of social norms and legality—both for oneself, and for one’s family, even postmortem. Through an examination of manuscript history, Hrapp’s narratives, and socio-legal ramifications, I argue that the result is a warning of the dangers of pursuing crime in medieval Scandinavia.

  • Anna Davis (she/her), Western Michigan University

    • "Supporting Women's Wrongs: Exploring Self-Interest in Medieval English Female Criminality"

      • Abstract: A prevailing narrative in discussions of medieval English criminality largely dismisses the criminal activity of women, either seeing them as accomplices of men or committing crimes for the benefit of their household. This implicit view of women’s criminality dismisses their agency, preventing them from being seen as acting in their own self-interest. This paper seeks to explore alternative explanations for feminine criminality, highlighting their ability to take actions for their own benefit, even potentially at the cost of others.​

  • William A. Rogers (he/him), Western Michigan University

    • "Manipulate, Meditate, Madness: Merlin’s Isolation in the Vita Merlini"

      • Abstract: This presentation is an exploration of isolation and madness as a form of self-care within the "Vita Merlini", where going goblin-mode and behaving antisocially is a way to care for the individual. By removing himself from society and going “feral”, Merlin acts in his own best interests at the cost of his place in society and that society’s judgement.​

Panel 6: Friday, 1:15 - 2:45 PM EST

 Narratives Revisited

  • Sinchan Chatterjee (he/him), Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay

    • "Goblin 'Willfulness': Narratives of Autistic Masking and the Resistive Discourse of 'Goblin Mode'"​

      • ​Abstract: Autism researchers Amy Pearson and Kieran Rose define autistic masking as “the conscious or unconscious suppression of natural responses and adoption of alternatives across a range of domains including social interaction, sensory experience, cognition, movement, and behavior” (53). Known by various names such as ‘adaptive morphing,’ ‘compensating’ or ‘camouflaging,’ ‘passing,’ or ‘mimicking,’ autistic masking has also been described as the use of “strategies to hide autistic differences from other people” (Sedgewick 15). Numerous scholars have studied the detrimental psychological and even physical effect that prolonged masking has on the autistic subject, often pushing them to addiction, self-harm, and even suicidality. In this context, autistic unmasking may be seen as a deliberate political stance of rejecting the hegemonic neuro-normative modes of behavior, speech, movement, and sensory processing. By exploring the autistic representations of masking and unmasking, this paper will examine the political significance of the embodiment of ‘goblin mode’ in the broader socio-cultural context of disability. Using Sara Ahmed’s formulation of the ‘willfulness’ of a subject—as “a diagnosis of the failure to comply with those whose authority is given” (1)— this paper will analyze literary representations of autistic masking in two autobiographical short stories, titled “Stripping While Autistic” and “Becoming Less.” The primary question that this paper will seek to answer is: how can the notion of ‘goblin mode’ offer a resistive space of rest, pleasure, and ‘self-care’ for the disabled subject by ‘cripping’ time, space, and the capitalist discourses of productivity?​

  • Aisik Maiti (he/him), Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Bombay

    • "Mapping (Victorian) Leisure in Cross-Cultural Epistolary Practice: The Letters of Toru Dutt"​

      • Abstract: There can be ways of looking at the act of writing letters as a product of leisure. The present paper will look at a specific epistolary practice in nineteenth century Calcutta: the letters of the poet Toru Dutt. A close-reading of Dutt’s letters reflects how the act of letter-writing connected the larger cultural concerns of the time-period, while also bringing into perspective the larger ‘Victorian’ dialogue at this historical moment. In this way, my paper will attempt to read both the historical moment, and how it weaved into Dutt’s epistolary practice - to offer a transnational rhetoric of Victorian leisure.​

  • Kate Rutherford (she/her), Indiana University Bloomington

    • ​"Breeding Trauma: Mental Illness in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye"

      • Abstract: This paper examines Pecola Breedlove and her parents, Pauline and Cholly, in Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (1970) as mentally ill figures. I build on the work of scholars such as Jessica Horvath Williams, Jacqueline De Weever, Paul Douglas Mahaffey, and Aleksandra Izgarjan to discuss Pecola’s mental illness and its situation in relation to that of her parents. I posit that Morrison uses these characters to express holistically progressive views on mental illness, demonstrating the cyclical nature of trauma, illness, and reprehensible actions in a society plagued by racial injustice.​

  • Muhammed F. Salem, The American University in Cairo

    • "Writing Back to the Brontës in Windward Heights and Wide Sargasso Sea"​

      • Abstract: While the Brontës constitute a cornerstone in the English canon, their works had been reinterpreted by writers from former colonies to demystify them. Jean Rhys and Maryse Conde had tactically reappropriated Jane Eyre and Withering Heights to demystify the preeminence of Britain as a setting of both texts. Through relocating both narratives to Caribbean Islands, language, gender, and race are unraveled as pure colonial constructs. This paper holds that both works retain the savage-like traits of colored and mixed-raced characters only to establish them as resistance tools amid colonial power.​

Panel 7: 1:15 - 2:45 PM EST

The Politics of Consumption

  • Diana Andrews (she/her), University of British Columbia

    • "Loathsome Feasts and Cakes of Whitest Wheat: 'Goblin Market,' Cottagecore, and Consumption"

      • Abstract: Drawing on a term which emerged alongside “goblin mode,” I read Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” (1862) as a cottagecore poem nostalgic for traditional notions of womanhood, labour, and a pre-modern connection to nature. Through this deliberate anachronism, I argue that “Goblin Market” is a late-Victorian, reactionary expression of pastoral nostalgia, simultaneously anti-capitalist, feminist, and proto-fascist. “Goblin Market” seeks an escape from modernity, but it identifies capitalist patriarchy with racialized contamination, romanticizing pre-industrial religious tradition as fortification against foreign threat. My paper reads cottagecore as an aestheticized, nostalgic sister of goblin mode, one with roots stretching back to the nineteenth century.​​

  • Akshara Ramaseshan (she/her), The City College of New York and Jessica Rosen (she/her), Maastricht University 

    • “'Fury of the Small': Capitalism and Subversion in 'Goblin Mode'"​

      • Abstract: The popular culture phenomenon “Goblin Mode” is an attempt at subversion that ultimately leaves the proletariat more trapped. Through a visual analysis of goblins in media, we argue that these creatures – and the characteristics of “goblin mode” - are always targeted at vilifying the proletariat. The proletarian desire for sporadic instances of self-indulgence cannot be a liberatory act of defiance against the demands of hyperproductivity until the capitalists’ lifestyle of perpetual self-indulgence is reckoned with. By identifying language and ideology with which the capitalist class vilifies the proletariat, a greater understanding is gained of how to dismantle these oppressive systems.

Panel 8: Friday, 3:00 - 4:30 PM EST

Cultural Studies

  • Olivia Copeland (she/they), Indiana University Bloomington

    • ​"Interrogating the Incel-o-Sphere: The State of (Counter)public Spheres in the Digital Age"

      • Abstract: In critique of Habermas’s public sphere, Nancy Fraser offered the “subaltern counterpublic” – arenas of refuge from and counter-organizing against the wider public. But does this (re)configuration of the public sphere hold in the age of extremism on the internet? I examine the trajectory of incel from a term for lonely people finding each other via online forums to its capture by individuals (mostly men) incensed about their perceived unfair place in dominant sexual hierarchies. Through this exploration, I interrogate whether this extremist contingent follow Fraser’s subaltern counterpublic or if their online engagements create a new public sphere – the ultern counterpublic.​

  • Shawn Coughlin (they/them), Indiana University Bloomington 

    • "BYE H8R: Trans Temporality and Mark Aguhar’s Aesthetic Practice"​

      • Abstract: In her performance and video art, transfeminine multidisciplinary artist Mark Aguhar employs temporality as a medium of living and resisting under oppresive forms of medical and social violence. Through enactments of waiting, deferring, and looping time, Aguhar’s performances interrupt the linear, teleological temporal order that underpins these violences. In doing so, they produce a spatiotemporal form wherein self-reflection, adoration of transfeminity, and social reorganization become possible. Aguhar’s art offers an avenue for theorizing trans temporality beyond inaccurate and oppressive modes and towards those that enable trans peoples’ survival and fulfillment.​

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