Skip to main content

Power Play: (Im)Balances of Power in the Romance World

26th Carolina Conference for Romance Studies

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

March 25-26, 2022


Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Federico Pous

(Elon University)


The conference is currently scheduled to be hosted in person at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 25th and 26th and will abide by any university, local, and national pandemic restrictions or safety regulations that have been set in place. However, we are prepared to pivot to hosting the conference online should circumstances change.

Questions surrounding gaining power, retaining power, or seeking power (whether real or imagined) are deliberated in countless literary and artistic works, and contemporary societal problems relating to power are unfortunately familiar as we discover that history, in fact, repeats. Similar fundamental concerns are laid bare and challenged as the result of purposeful mobilization as well as unforeseen crises. The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the resulting global consequences forcefully exposed severe socio-economic inequalities and inequitable public policies. Meanwhile, the Me Too movement and protests following the murder of George Floyd have called for public reckonings with the purpose of not only revealing and condemning abuses of power but also empowering those who have suffered those abuses and to demand justice and accountability.

While each generation experiences new challenges in changing contexts regarding power, the core issues remain consistent, tightly binding all pasts to the present and the future. These more recent events echo social movements and crises of past centuries in wrestling with new iterations of enduring questions as to distributions of power and authority. What can we as scholars learn from past and current examinations of power presented through literature, film, visual arts, creative writing, and other mediums of communication and artistry? Have structures of power evolved over the centuries or simply acclimated to new social and temporal contexts without significant systemic change? Who facilitates (or impedes) access to basic resources (such as healthcare, education, etc.) and through what means? What are the implications of control over the publication and circulation of information and, thus, the credibility of sources of information? Can obstacles to challenging power be overcome successfully so as to effect productive change? Through what methods might that change occur?

The 26th annual Carolina Conference for Romance Studies invites graduate students, professors, scholars, and artists to consider and to engage with these and other questions of power in all forms through presentations and discussions. Topics of interest and approaches may include, but are not limited to, the following fields and themes

  • Antropocene
  • Architecture
  • Biopolitics
  • Colonial, Decolonial, and Postcolonial Studies
  • Disability Studies
  • Ecocriticism
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Feminist Studies
  • Gender and Women’s Studies
  • Geocriticism
  • Global Studies
  • Historical Memory
  • Intersectionality
  • Medical Humanities
  • Linguistic Studies
  • Migration and Border Studies
  • Pedagogical Studies
  • Performance Studies
  • Posthumanism
  • Queer Studies
  • Sexuality
  • Urban Studies
  • Utopias/Dystopias
  • Violence and Trauma
  • Visual and Media Studies

Please submit abstracts of up to 300 words via the CCRS form below by January 16th, 2022. We welcome papers submitted in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish; however, in certain cases, submissions in English will be preferred in order to facilitate the creation of panels based on common subject areas rather than language concentration. Panel proposals and roundtables that are language- and/or topic-specific are also welcomed, and each participant should individually complete a submission form. Please direct any questions to

Submissions should be a single-page Word document in the following format:

  • Name:
  • Email Address:
  • Affiliation:
  • Classification: (Professor, Ph.D. Student, M.A. Student, Post-doc, independent researcher, etc.)
  • Presentation Title:
  • Abstract (300 words, single-spaced):
  • Relevant Time Period(s) and Country(-ies):
  • Keywords (up to six):