CFP: Testimonial Limits (8/31/07; journal issue)

full name / name of organization: 
Paul Atkinson
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Call for Papers Southern Review: Communication, Politics & Culture
Special Issue, 40.3, 2007 Testimonial Limits

Editors: Paul Atkinson & Anna Poletti, Monash University, Gippsland Campus
Inspired by interdisciplinary work such as Felman and Laub's Testimony:
Crises of Witnessing in Literature, Psychoanalysis and History, the last
decade has seen testimony become a topic of keen interest in a range of
fields of inquiry. Most often deployed in conjunction with the
theorisation and analysis of trauma, testimony is positioned as a
powerful tool for ethical and political theorising, as well as a
critical case in point for the consideration of the limits of
representation and reception in a range of contexts. This issue of
Southern Review asks what it means to talk about testimony without
recourse to theories of trauma. This raises the issue of what it means
to investigate testimony as a cohesive field of inquiry. Is testimony
defined by formal or generic limits or is the event itself the principal
means of delimitation? This could include the examination of the role
of institutions, genre and medium in defining the field of testimony and
how this is integral to the formation of a testimonial audience.
Testimony must be understood in terms of the conditions under which
someone testifies and to whom the testimony is made. Should we always
refer to specific audiences in the analysis of testimony or is it
sufficient to invoke history as a witness? Of particular interest for
this issue is the discussion and analysis of those events that are
rarely spoken of in the literature on testimony, the banal and quotidian.

Contributors are invited to address issues associated with these changes
to knowledge structures, in particular:
- Where is testimony used as evidence? What different practices are
entailed in giving testimony? This could include an examination of the
difference between testimony, public self-exculpation and confession.
How have practices historically migrated across institutions?
- How is testimony (in trials, in senate inquiries and other
specialist forums) reported and represented and turned into a different
cultural practice (e.g. in the media)?
- How are testimonial narratives implicated in the fixing of an
event in time or history?
- What is the relationship between recollection and the formation of
cultural memory?
- What are the discourses, both institutional and cultural, which
occasion or restrict testimony and/or can testimony function as a genre
incorporating a range of discourses?
- Does each form of testimony work according to a particular
duration? For example legal testimony is developed in the short
duration of court or police proceedings whereas historical testimony
invokes the long duration of historical record.
- What is the role of audience in both eliciting and constraining
- What are the forms of "everyday" testimony and witnessing enabled
by digital technologies and how are they deployed possible areas of
examination include blogs, YouTube, media flow, the digitisation of
- What does it mean to bear witness to a media event, to testify to
that which is already recorded?
- What does it mean to posit trauma as a given in the act of
witnessing and how does this relate to the evidentiary function of

Southern Review invites contributions (4000-6000 words) on the theme of
"Testimonial Limits." Papers may be submitted as attachments to an
email, and should be double-spaced in A4 format and accompanied by an
abstract (maximum 100 words). Referencing is author-date (notes for
contributors and full details of house style are available on request).
Expressions of interest and/or abstracts before this date are welcomed
to facilitate the refereeing process.

The general aim of Southern Review, an interdisciplinary journal, is to
focus on the connections between communication and politics. Southern
Review is interested in communication and cultural technologies, their
histories, producers and audiences, policies and texts. It welcomes
articles that connect these areas either to arenas of legislative or
parliamentary politics, to governance of social organizations and the
institutions they constitute, or to broader negotiations of power.
Full articles due: 31 August, 2007.

--Dr Paul AtkinsonLecturer in Communications & WritingSchool of Humanities, Communications & Social SciencesMonash UniversityGippsland Campus, Churchill, VIC 3842AUSTRALIAemail: (0)3 5122 6385+61 (0)3 9902 6385 ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List Full Information at or write Jennifer Higginbotham: ==========================================================Received on Fri May 11 2007 - 18:57:22 EDT

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