full name / name of organization:
Update: Call for Papers
Please note we have extened the deadline for abstracts to September 31, 2006.
There is also an extended list of confirmed conference speakers.
Transnationalism, Activism, Art
March 8-11, 2007
University of Toronto
A vexed relationship exists between academic theorists of the transnational and
the politics of counter-globalization. These both, in turn, have a mixed
relationship with art. Arundhati Roy has famously suggested that art,
literature, and music should be used in order “to lay siege” to capitalist
imperialism. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, in their controversial work,
similarly leave space for these same fields to play a role in “creating the
social relations and institutions” of the new society of the multitude that they
envision in opposition to Empire. Marxist, postcolonial, Indigenous, feminist,
queer, and other theorists are increasingly investigating the intersections
between transnational capitalism and art, but these investigations are difficult
to separate from the daily acts of resistance to which we bear witness on the
streets of the world.
This interdisciplinary conference, hosted at the University of Toronto and
working in collaboration with the Department of English and the Centre for
Diaspora Studies, seeks to bring together academics, artists, cultural workers,
and those engaging in activist politics for a sustained discussion of the
politics of transnationalism, activism, and art today, seeking not only to
establish provisional genealogies for these topics, but also to determine their
futures. The coordinators of this conference are particularly interested in
pursuing the following questions:
• What is the function of art / writing today?
• Is art a resource?
• Is art a commodity?
• Is art a good?
• Is art a right?
• How does (or should) art respond to (inter)national conflict?
• Does (or should) art play a conscious role in citizen formation?
• What are the limitations of literary / creative marketplaces?
• What are the limits of (guerilla, indie) alternatives to creative
• Who constructs aesthetics and why?
• Marketing multiculturalism: what are the politics of subaltern art /
• What is the relationship between race and transnational cultural
• What are the roots (routes) of transnational studies?
• What is the relationship between transnationalism and indigeneity?
• What role does gender play in the transnational?
• Is cosmopolitanism an aesthetic or an alternative to global capitalism?
• What are the arts and politics of transnational labour?
• What are the benefits or pitfalls of the terms diaspora,
transnationalism, post-nationalism, hybridity, citizenship, or
Towards these ends, we are interested in papers that pursue
• Street poetics
• Media and cultural studies
• Contemporary art
• Street art
• Security regimes
• Human rights
• Trade, free, fair, and otherwise
Confirmed speakers include Timothy Brennan (University of Minnesota, author of
At Home in the World), Karen Connelly (Poet and Novelist, author of The Lizard
Cage), Cathy Crowe (Toronto Street Nurse), Henry Giroux (McMaster University,
author of Border Crossings, America on the Edge), Gayatri Gopinath (University
of California, Davis, author of Impossible Subjects: Queer Diasporas and South
Asian Public Cultures), Declan Kiberd (University College Dublin author of
Inventing Ireland), Ato Quayson (University of Toronto, author of
Postcolonialism, Theory, Practice or Process?), Guillermo Verdecchia (University
of Guelph writers in residence, 2005-6 playwright, Fronteras Americanas),
Rinaldo Walcott (OISE/UT, author of Black Like Who?), Robert Young (New York
University, author of Colonial Desire).
Deadline for 500-word paper abstracts is September 31, 2006. Proposals for full
panels are welcomed. Please send to
Transnationalism, Activism, Art
c/o Áine McGlynn and Kit Dobson
Department of English
7 King’s College Circle
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3K1
This conference is run with the support of the Department for English, the
Centre for Diaspora Studies, Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, First Nations
House, Graduate Collaborative Program in Women’s Studies, Department of Equity
Studies, and Sociology and Equity Studies in Education (OISE/UT).
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Full Information at
or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Wed Aug 16 2006 - 19:57:46 EDT