CFP: Interdisciplinarity and Discourses of Globalization (3/1/04; collection)

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We invite papers for possible inclusion in an anthology tentatively
GLOBALIZATION. The main focus of the anthology will be on the potential for
interdisciplinary, cross-cultural exchange of ideas and discourses to
overcome barriers to mutual intelligibility among disciplines and
discourses concerned with globalization. Do economists, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), antiglobalization activists, proponents of
transnational corporations, intellectual historians or other cultural
theorists always mean the same thing when they speak about globalization?
If not, what are the points of incommensurability? Even if transcultural
or interdisciplinary discourse is possible, what lingua franca can we
elaborate? What shared forms of rationality can we articulate between and
among disciplines and cultures without falling into the trap of
Eurocentric universalism?

We welcome papers no longer than 7500 words postmarked no later than March
1, 2004 on topics including but not limited to the following topics, with
a focus on whether we can imagine coherent discourses for theorizing
these issues, or elaborating problems that a variety of perspectives can
engage creatively.

Institutions, Transnational exchange, and Power Differentials.
What roles do institutions such as the World Bank, the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the World
Trade Organization, and environmental groups play in the generation,
control, and dissemination of knowledge about globalization? How are the
horizons of this knowledge defined by the terms of a given discourse, and
what constraints are there on the translation of these terms into other
disciplines? What are the "real" effects of such epistemological
functions? What are the consequences of the transnational exchange of
ideas and information under globalization: exploitation or avenues of
resistance to cultural appropriation? How is power distributed under
globalization? What is the relative institutional power of the World Bank,
the IMF, NGOs, Environmental groups, or labor unions to influence policy
regulating transnational flows of goods and information and to define the
terms of the debates about access to resources and institutions?

Activism and the Academy.
What is the role of the academy in the geopolitics of the contemporary
period? Is the "university in ruins" complicit with transnational
capitalism? To what extent can activist discourse generated in the
academy have a political role in the global public sphere?

Identities in Translation.
What is the effect of globalization on the politics of immigration,
cultural memory and national identity? How are subjectivities of both
immigrants and hosts being transformed in the process of large-scale
demographic shifts as borders become more porous within the European
Union? What alternative identities and what imagined communities can we
project into the future to bring about more democratic civil societies?
How are these identities in transition represented in art, film,
performance and/or video, and how are these representations themselves
affected by global economic flows?

Empire, Nationalism and Postnationalism.
How should we talk across disciplines and across national borders about
Empire after the World Trade Center bombings of September 11, 2001 and the
U.S. invasion of Iraq? How do formulations of Empire such as that of
Hardt and Negri help us to talk about the Realpolitik of globalization? In
what ways is "empire" itself a disputed term? How is empire to be
distinguished from globalization, and if they are different the question
in a given situation may be: Whose "empire"?

In what discursive frames do defenders of sexual customs and rituals such
as female genital mutilation in non-Western cultures respond to challenges
from proponents in the West of universal human rights and gender parity?
How stable are the discursive categories of the body and even the ideas of
the human body's integrity across cultures and disciplines today? How are
discourses of pleasure, desire, and criminality in gender relations being
conditioned by the age of transnational travel and the cross-border
transmission of pornography or provocative images in advertising into
formerly insular cultures?

Conjunctures among Discourses of Technology, Business and Culture.
What possibilities are there for meaningful collaboration between "third
world" nations and "first world" nations on moral and financial issues
such as the international distribution of AIDS drugs and other medicines?
In what ways do national corporate interests, as well as transnational
institutions, regulate and police the distribution of scientific
technology and medical research? How are cultural differences produced or
perpetuated in the process? How do we articulate an understanding of
flows of transnational, "flexible" capital with libidinal and psychic

Mass-Mediated Culture, Technologies of Globalization, and the Cultures of
How are we to understand the circulation of discourses and ideologies in
transnational circuits? How do we thematize the desirability of a
plurality of forms of rationality, religion, secularism--in short,
difference--as an alternative to the thesis of the "conflict of
civilizations" taken by some to be imminent? What can we say about the
cultures of cosmopolitanism in the context of technologies that further
the processes of globalization or that advance the interests of
multinational or transnational corporations (TNCs) to the disadvantage of
local cultures in the developing world?

Please send proposals by November 1, 2003 or, preferably, finished papers
by March 1, 2004, to Margueritte Murphy at and Samir
Dayal at Hard copies of both proposals and finished
papers may be sent to The English Department, Bentley College, Waltham MA,
02452-4705, USA.

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Received on Fri Sep 19 2003 - 17:45:05 EDT

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