Call for Papers: Transitions and Transactions VII: Literature and Health: Mind, Body, & Planet

We invite community college teachers to submit paper and panel proposals for the seventh Transitions and Transactions conference. The Borough of Manhattan Community College English Department is pleased once again to host the conference in-person on our campus on April 5-6, 2024. The Transitions and Transactions conference is dedicated to helping community college teachers of literature flourish and excel as we envision, invent, and expand our ideas of teaching given the demands of the community college population, the challenges and constraints specific to our profession, and the myriad pressures of our particular historical moment.

At the 2024 Transitions and Transactions VII conference, we will focus on “Literature and Health: Mind, Body, & Planet,” soliciting papers that explore the crises in mental, physical, and environmental health that we currently face, and the interventions made possible by the teaching of literature.

The lingering effects of the Covid pandemic, the catastrophic effects of climate change, and the political assaults on our reproductive health are concerns that impact us daily. Our conference theme invites scholars to share how concern for the health of mind, body, and planet has led to pedagogical change, community engagement, and political activism.

Related questions include:

  • How can literature help our students interrogate and challenge these and other threats to our individual, collective, and global well-being?
  • What possibilities does literature offer for healing?
  • What kinds of pedagogy can promote an ethos of healing both inside and beyond the classroom?
  • How can new technologies be harnessed to develop a pedagogy of healing in the literature classroom?
  • What types of training and professional development opportunities are essential for educators to effectively integrate a pedagogy of healing into their teaching methods?
  • How might faculty in the sciences, social sciences, and health disciplines dialogue and partner with literature faculty, in order to promote healing?

We are also concerned about the ways administrative agendas influence and shape critical pedagogical decisions at this crucial moment.

We address the particular stakes we have in these questions at community colleges, where our students’ struggle for mental, physical, and environmental health is especially intense. The conference is an opportunity for teachers to come together and discuss the impact of pedagogical choices, opportunities, concerns, and rewards. As educators, we are charged with the academic responsibilities while navigating the challenges brought about by the dynamic changes unfolding in the world. This conference is a space where we can collectively work together as a community to address our concerns and questions and share our experiences and research to improve our practice. It is our hope that the knowledge we develop will bring about dynamic change that will effectively improve the learning and teaching experience.

Potential Topics for Papers and Panel Presentations:

  • Literature & the Environment
  • Literature & Mental Health
  • Literature & the Body
  • Body, Mind, & Soul in Literature
  • Nature & Healing in Literature
  • Literature & Healing the Planet
  • Literature & Survivors: War, Abuse, and Consequences
  • Literature & Stress
  • Literature & Trauma
  • Literature & Capitalism
  • Literature & Surviving and/or Thriving in the Digital Age
  • Literature on/by Indigenous Peoples and Health
  • Literature on Social Activism, Social Justice, & Health
  • Humor & Health in Literature
  • The New Canon & Health
  • Disabilities & Teaching
  • Literature & Dyslexia
  • Mental Health & Learning
  • Literature as a Way to Mental Health
  • Literature of the Pandemic
  • Environmental literature
  • Reproductive health
  • Gender, the body, and society
  • The aging body
  • Literature and psychoanalysis

This is an interdisciplinary call extended to community college literature and writing instructors, teachers of Freshman and Sophomore English, and graduate students. Panel proposals are welcome.

The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2024. Please include the name(s) of presenter(s), affiliation, email address, title of presentation, abstract of approximately 250 words, and a brief bio. Send to Nita Noveno, Program Chair: