CFP: [Graduate] CFP: The Politics of Crisis - Comp. Lit. Grad. Student Conference at UC Irvine

full name / name of organization: 
Sharareh Frouzesh Bennett
contact email: 


Please distribute widely.

The graduate students of the Department of Comparative Literature at UC
Irvine invite submissions for:

Politics of Crisis

University of California, Irvine
Friday, April 3 -
Saturday April 4, 2009

Paul Rabinow, Professor of Anthropology, UC, Berkeley
additional keynote TBA

In Transcritique, Karatani Kojin defines crisis as "a chronic disease
inherent in the capitalist economy, yet also a solution to its
internal defects. In other words, capitalism makes temporary repairs to
its innate problem by crises, thus it will never collapse because of it"
(157). This conference hopes to critically explore the concept and figure
of crisis as a disruption and/or confirmation of a
particular structural ideology, where the possibility and the
inevitability of crisis are created by the system against which the crisis
occurs. Does crisis then foreclose upon the possibility of
change? In this context, what kind of work does crisis perform?

This conference hopes to examine crisis by bringing together
perspectives of various fields of study. We ask to what extent can crisis
be a crucial point of engagement in the fields of critical
theory, literary studies, philosophy, cultural studies, anthropology,
sociology, and political science? In what ways can an analysis of crisis
inform our critiques of politics, culture and society?

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

--crisis in the legitimacy of the sovereign, state of emergency,
exploitation of executive power
--crisis in narratives, dramatic conflict
--crisis in language production, translation
--nuclear crisis, terrorism
--neuroses, hysteria, compromise formation
--eschatological crisis, endtimes and redemption, the Event
--Marxist eschatology, capitalist crisis, "disaster capitalism"
--predicting crisis/prediction technology, risk management
--double binds, undecidability
--representational crisis
--prophesies, ghosts, clairvoyance
--crisis as means of continuation
--bodily crisis
--memory and forgetting, trauma
--culture wars
--Malthusian catastrophe, contagious diseases, biological terrorism
--state of the field
--perpetual crises

Paul Rabinow is Professor of Anthropology at the University of
California at Berkeley. His work centers on modernity as a problem for
those seeking to live with its diverse forms and for those seeking to
advance or resist modern projects of power and knowledge. His most recent
project is on developments in post-genomics and molecular
diagnostics. It seeks to invent an analytic framework to understand the
issues of bio-politics and bio-security.

The deadline for the submission of a 250-word abstract is January 15,
2009. Presentations are to be 20 minutes in length.

Please send proposals to Please include your name,
email address, departmental affiliation, institution and phone number
along with the abstract.

For additional information on "Politics of Crisis," please visit

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Received on Fri Nov 14 2008 - 21:37:52 EST