Annual UCLA Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference

The 2017 Conference is replaced by preparations for UCLA’s hosting of the ACLA’s national meeting. The American Comparative Literature Association is coming to UCLA and we have plenty to do as hosts!


The American Comparative Literature Association’s 2018 Annual Meeting will take place at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California between March 29th and April 1st, 2018.

The ACLA’s annual conferences have a distinctive structure in which most papers are grouped into twelve-person seminars that meet two hours per day for three days of the conference to foster extended discussion. Some eight-person (or smaller) seminars meet just the first two days of the conference. This structure allows each participant to be a full member of one seminar, and to sample other seminars during the remaining time blocks. Depending on space availability, we may also consider accepting a limited number of one-day seminars, especially if they are innovative either in presentation format or in terms of theme. The conference also includes plenary sessions, workshops and roundtable discussions, and other events.


The ACLA offers several types of travel grants for ACLA members attending the annual ACLA conference.

  • ACLA Travel Grants ($200.00 each)
  • ACLA Travel Grants for Graduate Students ($200 each)
  • Haskell Block Grant [for International Graduate Students ONLY] (2 offered per year at $500 each)

The ACLA will begin accepting travel grant applications for the 2018 Annual Meeting at UCLA AFTER the seminars for the 2018 Annual Meeting have been selected.  The seminar selections process should be complete in September 2017, and travel grant applications will be open at that time to those whose papers have been accepted for the 2018 Annual Meeting.  THE TRAVEL GRANT APPLICATION PROCESS WILL CLOSE AT A DATE TO BE DETERMINED AS WE APPROACH THE START OF ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS.

To create your travel grant application, please log in to your ACLA account (  Once logged in, select the “Your Travel Grant” tab.
You will find the application link there.

More information can be found at the ACLA official site.


As an example of normal academic life, prior to the ACLA, last year’s call for the Comp Lit Graduate Student Conference read as follows:

The 2016 UCLA Comparative Literature Graduate Student Conference

“Mad Love”

February 19-20, 2016

The uneasy boundary between madness and love asserts itself throughout recorded history. The shifting relationship between these two phenomena exists across most (if not all) societies and epochs, particularly in literature and art. From lovesickness in the Middle Ages, to nymphomania and hysteria in the Enlightenment, to the stalker in modern-day horror films, the line between love and madness is continually conflated, contested, and blurred.

In keeping with recent critical attention to the history of the passions and the body, we are interested in the aesthetic representation – literary, visual, and oral – of love madness. How are these extreme states represented in literature and art? Where is the line drawn between passionate love and mad love? How has the representation of love and/or/as madness changed over time? What effect have these representations had on real-world treatment of the mentally ill? And how is space left for mad love as a positive force, if at all?

This year’s UCLA Comparative Literature Graduate Conference will explore the many manifestations of mad love in literature and cultural history. We invite graduate students to present papers on related issues. Topics on the intersections between social conceptions and artistic depictions of love and madness might include, but are not restricted to:

  • Love as a disease
  • Love, madness, and psychoanalysis
  • Bodies performing desire
  • Love, madness, and identity
  • Gendering desire and/or madness
  • Love, madness, and violence
  • Monstrous love
  • Creative production/inspiration and love/madness
  • The role of the sensory in love and madness
  • Mental Health and Human Rights

We are open to papers in all disciplines and treating material from all time periods. In addition to conventional panel presentations, we will offer performances and film screenings; interactive workshops on topics such as the history of psychiatry and an introduction to translation; and discussion sections on pre-circulated materials (primary and/or secondary).


Sponsored by the UCLA Dept. of Comparative Literature and CLGSA