Call For Papers: Trans- States: The art of crossing over

Alan Moore

Alan Moore. Photo: Pruneau

A Call For Papers has gone out for a conference titled Trans- States: The art of crossing over, which will take place at the University of Northampton, 9 – 10th September, 2016 – and whose speakers will include Alan Moore.

trans – prefix meaning: across, beyond, through, on the other side of, to go beyond 

state: a ​condition or way of being that ​exists at a ​particular ​time

An unabashed play on words, a trans- state is, among other things, a coincidentia oppositorum. An alchemical wedding that defines the fixed place, where boundaries are actively transgressed. 

In many ways, this very undertaking is where the role of the magician, mystic and artist collide. Down at the crossroads, where possibilities are collapsed into actualities, by the wondrous act of a conscious decision: there lies the place of suffering and surrender; of realisation and redemption.  

This is a transdisciplinary conference that will explore representations in contemporary visual culture of boundary crossing, liminality and queerification with specific reference to occultism, mysticism, shamanism and other esoteric and spiritual practices.

Two very exciting keynote speakers have been confirmed for the conference 

Alan Moore – World-renowned author and artist (titles include Watchmen, From Hell, Promethea and co-authorship of the upcoming The Moon and Serpent Bumper Book of Magic)

Dr Richard Kaczynksi – Author and research affiliate, Yale University. Dr Kaczynksi is an expert in social psychology, metaphysical beliefs and new religious movements, and is widely known for his biography Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley.


Dr Marco Pasi – Associate Professor in the History of Hermetic philosophy and related currents at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Dr Pasi is the general editor of the Aries Book Series (Brill), board member of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE) and an expert in modern esotericism and art.

Call For Proposals:

Proposals by academics, independent scholars, practitioners and artists are welcomed. The conference aims to promote not only the blending of disciplines, but also non-normative approaches to the theme. As such joint proposals, collaborations, practitioner-based activities, pre-formed panels and performances are very welcome, as well as individual submissions and papers. 

Also  welcomed are short film screenings; installations; visually interactive talks and workshops. 

The following list of ‘trans- states’ has been provided as inspiration for proposal ideas:  

  • Transcendental
  • Transformation
  • Transmutation
  • Transmedia
  • Transgender, Transexual, Gender Queer, Androgyne
  • Transitions and liminality
  • Transmissions
  • Transcultural
  • Transdermal and body modification
  • Transfixion
  • Transference
  • Transdisciplinary
  • Transfiguration
  • Transgression
  • Transhumanism
  • Transmigration and metempsychosis
  • Transnatural art and design
  • Transpersonal
  • Transubstantiation

What to send:

Abstracts or proposals should be 250-300 words and should be sent by Sunday 20th March, as an email attachment, in a text document, to the following: In the case of performances or other activities, please include details in your proposal of any additional requirements you may have. 

You should also include a short biog of no more than 250 words. 

Please use the subject line of: Trans- States Conference Submission

Applicants may be from any background, with no minimum education levels, although are expected to demonstrate expertise in their area of interest. This must be summarised in the biography.

The document should be sent in the following format: (1) contributor(s), (2) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, (3) mail, (4) title of proposal, (5) body of abstract/proposal, (6) biog.

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