Loyola University Chicago

Midwest Modern Language Association

Undergraduate Research Symposium

“Duality, Doubles, and Doppelgängers"  

Chicago, Illinois

14-17 November 2019

The Forum’s Goals and Rationale

The Midwest Modern Language Association is a regional affiliate of the Modern Language Association. Our annual conference hosts professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students who give presentations on their literary research. We invite proposals for the Undergraduate Research Forum for the 2019 conference in Chicago on any topic; we particularly welcome papers that engage with the conference’s theme of “Duality, Doubles, and Doppelgängers.” This is a professional development opportunity, one that is particularly useful if you are interested in graduate school.

To apply, please submit an abstract of approximately 250 words along with your name, year in school, institution, and faculty mentor’s name to mmla@luc.edu by 30 April 2019. The abstract should summarize a paper of 8-10 pages; if accepted, you will deliver your paper in a 15-20 minute oral presentation in a panel with other presenters. Please note that the Undergraduate Research Forum is intended as a venue to present work done by undergraduate students; current graduate students are invited to submit their work to the conference’s regular sessions (the CFP for which may be found here: https://www.luc.edu/mmla/convention/callforpapers/).

Please do note that despite the conference’s theme, it is the goal of the undergraduate research forum first and foremost to showcase and celebrate exciting new research by undergraduate students across the Midwest; we, therefore, accept papers on any literary topic and time period, regardless of its immediate relevance to the conference’s theme. Please propose your strongest work with the knowledge that the forum’s committee will do the work of organizing cohesive panels.

Duality, Doubles, and Doppelgängers

From the invention of writing to the society of simulation, doubles have been present in literatures and cultures throughout the ages. Whether in the form of alter egos, twins, doppelgängers, reflections, or look- alikes, doubles fascinate – in everyday life and culture as well as in literature. As Pirandello confirmed in One, No One and One Hundred Thousand, there are as many versions of one single person as there are others’ eyes looking on, perceiving, reflecting and judging. Individual and social worlds are comprised of a myriad of doubles.

Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:

Doubles, doppelgängers, twins, mirror images, reflections in world literature(s); double-meanings (linguistics, semantics, multiple interpretations); duality of texts and paratexts; double entendre: humor, jokes, dark humor, all aspects of laughter (laughter as a social construct, laughter as a cultural construct); Chicago, the Second City; literal/metaphorical; Transnational/ global/local; translations and translators (translating double meaning, cross-cultural interpretation, choosing the right word, translating the word vs translating the idea); and reproductions, mass productions, copies, reproducing the written word (printing press, mimeograph, electric pen, consumerism, capitalism).