MIGC 2014


February 21st – 22nd, 2014

University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee



            The two day Midwest Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference (MIGC) invites graduate student proposals for performances, installations, or readings to be presented the evening of Friday, February 21st, on the conference theme ANIMACY. The event will be hosted by Microlights, an open community art and screening venue in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee. We welcome art installations, short films, dance, comedy acts, slam, music, and readings of any kind that address the conference theme. All performances should be kept between five and ten minutes.

Derived from linguistics, “animacy” is the condition of being alive or animate, and serves in grammar as a way to classify or rank words on this basis (OED). Yet the rich and overlapping senses of “animacy”, e.g. animate, animation, animus, and animal, reveal the term to more broadly encompass notions of agency, expressivity, sentience, cognizance, and mobility. These notions are often categorized hierarchically, and are saturated with social, cultural, and political implications. Animacy is being increasingly invoked in contemporary discourses of posthumanist and nonhumanist theory, critical ethnic studies, affect theory, object-oriented ontology, queer theory, disability studies, animal studies, eco-criticism, etc. Animacy is a way of troubling the binary of animate vs. inanimate, and instead suggests a more complex system of inter-relatedness between things. As theorist and keynote Mel Y. Chen’s book asks, how does matter that is considered immobile, insensate, or deathly, animate our cultural lives?


Please send a proposal that includes a short description of the intended piece and its relation to the conference theme ANIMACY to themigc@gmail.com by November 20th, 2013. If possible, please include a sample of a past work(s) presented or displayed. Please include in your submission a title, your institutional affiliation, department, degree, and a CV. In addition, please list the length of your performance (5 or 10 minutes) as well as any needs that your piece requires, i.e. wall dimensions, floor space, microphone, other technological needs, etc. We hope that all artists can be present at this event, but it is not required.