CFP: Mapping Globalization (Germany) (9/30/05; 5/18/06-5/20/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Helge Wendt
contact email:

Promotionskolleg „Globalisierung aus
kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive“, Universität

5/18/06- 5/20/06, Schloss Universität Mannheim

Deadline: 9/30/05

Call for Papers
International Conference

Mapping Globalization

The term ‘globalization’ has certainly not yet been
completely exhausted, its inflationary usage
notwithstanding. Consequently, the asserted goal of
this conference is to go beyond the
descriptive-diagnostic uses and test its analytical
suitability in cultural research. The implications of
the title are twofold: Globalization on a meta-level
is to be the focus of reflections within cultural
theory enabling an analysis of possible modes of
perception and observation of global processes in
different areas of (world) society. “Mapping,“
however, also refers to the semantics of cognitive
navigation systems and is to be understood as a
concrete method of organization and classification, of
mapping, determination and translation, which
transcends conventional territorially and nationally
coded borders of meaning and (re-)contextualizes
globality as a non-linear space-time-continuum of
breaks, overlaps and contemporaneity.
In this context, globalization does not primarily
refer to the phenomenological reality of the global
flows of communication and commodities or to global
network and exchange processes. Rather, it is assumed
that globalization’s actual explosive potential stems
from a fundamental unsettling of formerly reliable
categories. The vocabulary of such rigid signifiers as
nation, state, ethnicity, territory and sovereignty
becomes increasingly slippery. “Mapping Globalization”
is particularly interested in the potential for
disquiet and irritation that globalization represents
for the semantic repertoire of modern cultures. The
conference thus centers on the question of which
mental spaces are opened up when members of binarily
coded bodies of knowledge start to mistrust their own
modes of cultural perception and observation. The
erosion of cultural certainties – frequently diagnosed
as crisis – does, however, not preclude rigorously and
aggressively stated assertions of identity
(Nationalism, Regionalism, Fundamentalism).
Globalization as a reflexive term could provide a
perspective on the surplus, on the oscillation at the
borders of traditional structural pairs of opposites.
Moreover, it could focus on their productive and
functional mechanisms, which usually lie in the blind
spots of differentiated socio-cultural sub-areas.
Thus, the main research question the conference
focuses on is not what globalization is, but how
globalization is generated and negotiated in different
discourses and systems. Besides an approach to this
operative dimension of culture from the perspective of
cultural theory, the respective specific mediality,
presentational options, avenues of approach and rules
of cultural knowledge generation in relation to the
global are also to be focused on. Thus, social and
cultural semiosis in a continuing period of
globalization can be observed at the interfaces
between epistemology and aesthetics, between the
political and the imaginary, between science and
poetry. We are looking for contributors that are
willing to walk the tightrope of ‘between,’ a place in
which what can be said and thought is re-negotiable.
The contours of such a space of reflexive globality
can be seen in the popular imagination of movies,
television and best-selling literature, as well as in
the boundaries between the determinations of
classifications and genres (specialized book,
documentary fiction, science fiction) and cultural
demarcations (world literature, world music), in
medial and communicative transfer and translation
activities, and finally at the threshold of
differentiated sciences and cultural poiesis. The
conference is fundamentally concerned with questions
of ruptures and continuities in the epistemic
configurations of historical associations and seeks to
contribute to the complex and open debate on the
epochal attempts at periodizing and dating

Topics may include, among others:

- Periodizations: Globalization as break and
transition (post-modernity, modernity turned
- Structural metaphors of the global: network –
rhizome – system
- Concepts of particularity and totality: the whole as
- Facets of a geo-political realm of the imaginary in
politics and culture
- (Trans-)Formations of time / Time-Forms: the
temporality of globalization
- Between order and chaos: culture as complexity and
- Outlines of a cultural theory of the global
- Organisations and locations of space. Topographical
routing semantics of globalization.
- The poetics of world literature
- Hybridity and cosmopolitanism as dimensions of
cultural translation
- The media ‘hardware’ and user interfaces in an age
of globalization
- Regimes of territoriality and sovereignty
- World society and metaculture

Papers are limited to 30 minutes. Abstracts (300
words) and a brief academic Curriculum Vitae should be
sent to by September 30.

Promotionskolleg „Globalisierung aus
kulturwissenschaftlicher Perspektive“
Sprecher: Prof. Dr. Ulfried Reichardt
Schloss, Ehrenhof West, Zimmer EW 261
68161 Mannheim
Tel. ++49 621 - 181-2363

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Received on Fri Jul 29 2005 - 08:39:18 EDT

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