Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Call for Participation, Thinking Politically Workshop, UVIC, April 15-17, 2011

Call for Participation

Thinking Politically

Cultural, Social, and Political Thought Workshop

University of Victoria: April 15-17, 2011

Through the pervasive reach of social movements over the past few decades, it has become obvious that the problems that we struggle with in everyday life cut across arbitrary boundaries, such as those between public and private, us and them, and so on. In the context of North American universities, this realization has led many scholars to see disciplinary boundaries as getting in the way of meaningful studies of these problems. Interest in the proliferating approaches to interdisciplinary studies seems to be gaining momentum.

This “new” interdisciplinarity continually raises the question of how we think politically within these inherited contexts. Since 1989, this challenge has been posed at UVic through the Cultural, Social, and Political Thought program (CSPT) – one of the few interdisciplinary programs in Canada that explicitly politicizes interdisciplinary thinking.

The difference that the political makes, we suggest, is in how we approach our sites of study. Given the complexity of interdisciplinary problems, attentiveness to the political disposes us to see how those problems are of our making, including how they are conceived. In this sense, the political is not simply an object of study (as in Political Studies), or a dimension of contemporary problems (as it tends to be in Cultural Studies). Rather, our very ways of thinking can be understood as political – that is, with implications for how we live together. Over the course of this three-day workshop, we endeavour to create a venue for meaningful conversation about how problems are conceived (e.g. aesthetically, geographically, materially), and to what effects.

In this spirit, we are now seeking graduate student workshop participants of diverse (inter)disciplinary inflections, spanning areas of study such as Sociology, History, English, and Political Science. The question that will focus the workshop conversations is that of “Thinking Politically”, with each working group approaching this challenge through one of the following sites:

Under each of these six thematic nodes, we are inviting 2 MA students, 2 PhD students, 2 alumni or guest faculty, and 2 faculty members involved with CSPT to engage in a conversation about how they come to think politically. These working group sessions will be conversation-based, and thus we are not asking that you prepare a formal presentation for your chosen group. Instead, we are inviting participants to share a previous piece of work, in any form, that exemplifies how they have taken up the challenge to think politically. Circulated a few weeks before the workshop, this piece – accompanied by a brief description of how it relates to thinking {their chosen field} politically – will serve as a starting point for conversation.

All submissions must be received by January 10th, 2011, by which time we ask that interested graduate students submit both a 500-word Expression of Interest that speaks to how their piece relates to thinking {} politically, as well as the accompanying more substantial piece. Applicants need not be registered in CSPT at UVic to participate.

Submissions and inquiries can be directed to:cspt[dot]thinking[dot]politically[at]gmail[dot]com
You can also use the contact form available on this website (cf. http://thinkingpolitically2011.wordpress.com).

Call for Paper, Humanities, York University: The "Everyday": Experiences, Concepts, Narratives, 14-16 April, 2010

The Everyday
Experiences, Concepts, Narratives

Thursday April 14 – Saturday April 16
Graduate Program in Humanities, York University, Toronto, Canada

Ubiquitously presupposed by today’s critical and cultural theorists working in the fields of the Humanities, Cultural Studies, History, and beyond, is the assumption that a number of horizons of experience can be brought together under the umbrella of the ‘everyday’. The everyday can be thought of as natural, cultural, inspired, popular, authentic, unconscious, and mechanical, etc… However, implicitly and explicitly, the everyday too often continues to be uncritically presupposed by academics and non-academics alike as a quasi-authentic field of human experience free from the instrumental forces of capital and technology, or a banal site of repetition and habit that mechanistically organizes social-historical formations. As a result, we need to reflect on how the idea of the ‘everyday’ is theorized, used as a concept, and developed into narratives as it relates to politics and ethics, power and knowledge, ontology and history. Whether seen as a reality, or a concept, the everyday is given shape through multi-layered sets of assumptions, values and ideas rooted in various theoretical trajectories that are embedded in particular cultural contexts. Therefore, this conference seeks papers that problematize ‘the everyday’ along with the assumptions and values particular conceptualizations implicitly and explicitly presuppose.

The contours of the conference correspond to three broad sets of questions. First, what are the experiences, events and objects we ascribe to domains of the everyday? How can we differentiate the everyday from the exceptional; the ordinary from the spectacular; or the profane from the sacred? What does such a distinction entail? What are ontologies of the everyday, or rather, how can one think about the everyday from an ontological perspective? Second, epistemologically speaking, how can this concept be of use for cultural theorists, historians, anthropologists, and other scholars from the Humanities and Social Sciences? If the everyday is a given domain of experience, should it not be historically and culturally specific? How can we engage with the everyday in a trans-national or geopolitical context? And what approaches allow us to think about, say, the everyday of early modern peasants, or of Roman citizens in Antiquity? How do different methodologies and disciplines determine particular ways of thinking, speaking and writing about the everyday? Thirdly, from the perspective of narration, how is the everyday talked about in literature, film, judicial documents, popular culture, art history or through other communication media? How is it told and retold, or forgotten? Why is it meaningful, even as a common sense idea, to this day and in our globalized culture? How do the imaginary and real, conscious and unconscious stories we tell about the everyday relate to narrations of subjectivity, forms of embodiment, ecologies, or practices of sexuality – or more generally, forms of life and nonlife, identity and nonidentity, self and other?

Confirmed Keynote Speaker – Professor Miles Ogborn of Queen Mary, University of London will be giving a keynote lecture on Thursday April 14th.  Professor Obgorn studies the everyday from a global and local perspective within the context of cultural geography and cultural history. http://www.geog.qmul.ac.uk/staff/ogbornm.html

We encourage papers that move between cultural studies, critical theory, history, environmental studies, women’s studies, communication and media studies, post-colonial theory, religion, science and technology studies to grapple with the elusive (non)concept of the everyday, and how it contributes to producing cultures, histories and individualities.

Possible themes and topics for discussion may include:
-Ontologies of the everyday
-The question of ‘natural attitude’ in phenomenology
-Conceptualizations of difference and repetition
-The concept of ‘norm’, both from a biological, and a social perspective
-Habitus, the automatic, and the mechanical
-The eternal return
-L’histoire du Quotidien/The history of the Everyday/Alltagsgeschichte
-The exception and bare life in relation to the everyday
-Boredom, the ordinary, the dull, and the humdrum
-Rhythms, durations, theories of time and movement
-The material history of objects and spaces
-Gender, queer and trans gender theory and the everyday
-Landscapes and ‘still lives’ (Literary and artistic realisms)
-Micro-history, the local, and the popular in relation to the history of the everyday
-History of mentalities and the question of longue durée  
-History of carnivals and festivities
-Cultural inertia
-Quasi-objects and quasi-subjects
-Everyday geographies and mappings (cultural, imaginary etc.)
-The everyday and terror, terrorism, war, and surveillance
-Life, death, and the everyday
-Jouissance, pleasure, phantasmagoria, and the everyday
-Fashion, consumption, and trends
-The unconscious and the everyday (Freud, Lacan, and psychoanalysis)
-The irruption of the real and other traumas
-‘Homogeneous time’
-Everyday representations, procedures, networks and processes
-Everyday pathology, paranoia, neurosis, OCD, and depression
-Affects, sense and intensities
-Everyday bodies and embodiments: monads, the face, touch, skin, the grasp, BWO

Please submit 250 – 300 word abstracts to thinking.the.everyday@gmail.com by January 31st 2011. We also welcome the submission of organized panels and we will be accepting proposals and papers in both French and English. Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF format, and should include, along with the proposed abstract, a title, the author’s name, affiliation, email address, and a short bio (max 50 words).

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Call for Paper, Département de Français, UVic: Passages des frontières, 6-7 mai 2011

6-7 mai 2011
Universite de Victoria
Département de Francais

Passages des frontières

Graduate Students Conference/ Colloque estudiantin

Les frontières territoriales, linguistiques, culturelles, génériques sont‐elles établies et franchies dans le même geste? En quoi la notion de passage permet‐elle de penser la création? Comment les limites et délimitations servent‐elles leur propre dépassement? Le colloque accueillera des propositions dans les domaines de la critique littéraire, de la poétique des textes, de la linguistique, des études cinématographiques, des études theatrales, de la didactique, de la traductologie, des changements de public et de toutes sortes de transferts et transformations. Il explorera les nouvelles formes que prend le texte et les passages d’un domaine a l’autre (litterature de jeunesse, BD, webtextes, blogues, publications en ligne, litterature orale, entre autres), la pluralité des langues et des cultures, les nouvelles définitions hors norme et, peut‐être, hors genre. Seront abordés, notamment, les grands thèmes suivants : 
  • Transculturalisme, transgénéricité, hybridation, métissage
  • Écriture et réécriture, emprunts et contextes
  • Mythe et universalité, reprises et redécouvertes
  • Voyage et dialogue, récit de voyage et regard sur soi
  • L’oeuvre et ses lecteurs, théorie et pratique de la réception
  • La traduction, la transposition, l’adaptation: d’une langue l’autre, d’un genre l’autre, d’un support a l’autre
  • Transgression et contrainte; tradition et subversion
  • Langue et paroles: francais et francophonie, bilinguisme et identité

La conférence plénière portera sur les nouvelles technologies du texte et sera délivrée par Frédérique Arroyas (Université de Guelph).

Nous invitons des soumissions de 250 mots, à envoyer avec un titre provisoire, à Melissa Hull (mchull@uvic.ca) avant le 5 décembre 2010 minuit.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

LAB Film Screening Event: Antigone in Germany

Tragedy, Public Mourning, and the Exception: A Discussion Around
Deutschland im Herbst (1978)

With: Pr. Bonnie Honig (Sarah Rebecca Roland Professor, Political Science, Northwestern), Pr. Rebecca Johnson (Law, UVic), Pr. Bradley BRIAN (Political Science, UVic)
- When: Thursday January 28, 2010, from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Where: Social Sciences and Mathematics Building (SSM), A-110

Join graduate students and faculty members in an interdisciplinary forum to watch selected scenes from the movie Germany in Autumn (Deutschland im Herbst) and discuss contemporary politics of mourning, in the light of Dr. Honig’s reading of Sophocles’ Antigone

Dr. Honig’s ‘‘Antigone’s Laments, Creon’s Grief: Mourning, Membership, and the Politics of exception’’ (2009) in Political Theory, vol. 37 (1), is available online.

What is the ‘German Autumn’?
In the autumn of 1977, West Germany witnessed an intensification of left-wing terrorism (by the Red Army Faction) and the instauration of a proper state of emergency. The questions posed to the West German democracy by the kidnapping and assassination of industrialist Hans-Martin Schleyer and by the death of three imprisoned Red Army Faction leaders brought 11 filmmakers to make and screen a collective movie, Germany in Autumn, in less than 6 months. According to R.W. Fassbinder, the film was meant to combat the fear that stemmed from the events and the threat it posed to the possibility of public critique. The artists were thus stating that “people can and should and must go on talking, no matter what happens”.