CFP: [Theory] ACLA 2009 Seminar: Security Strategies: Global/Local Negotiations

full name / name of organization: 
Karen Steigman
contact email: 

ACLA 2009 Convention
March 26-29, 2009
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

Seminar: Security Strategies: Global/Local Negotiations

P.D. James’s global disaster thriller, The Children of Men, imagines the
dystopic future of a global crisis of infertility. James’s novel proposes
that, at the last moment of man’s history, the local government can proffer
these last bastions of civilization to a dying nation: “security, comfort,
pleasure.” Yet the price of this refrain inevitably places power in the
self-appointed Warden of England, the State Security Police, and civilian
surveillance: the state closes its borders and relegates dissidents to a
concentration camp.
James’s refrain sets the stage for this seminar on the rhetoric of security
in discourses of globalization. How is the relation between the global and
the local underwritten by a rhetoric of security? How does security
function as end, condition of possibility, unit of exchange, narrative
strategy, and so on? How is the concept of “security” produced in different

Themes and topics may include:

Biopower and security: What secures the global to the local (and vice
versa)? How are global/local relations negotiated in the culture of
security? How is global security dependent on local surveillance? How are
local borders, markers or zones of global security maintained or transgressed?

Language and security: How is a global language of security produced or
articulated? How are zones of translation also zones of security or
insecurity (i.e. between U.S. national security and translation studies in
the academy)?

Economies of security: Securities and exchange; commodities trading; global
trafficking; the disaster-security state in literature or film;
global/local currencies

Genre and security: Narratives of in/security (thrillers, disaster
narratives); The emergence of the “global thriller” in literature and film
(security and conspiracy, surveillance, paranoia, disaster); Agents of
in/security in literature and film (figures of the criminal, spy, traitor,
native informant)

Important note: All paper proposals must be submitted on the ACLA
conference website, located at Select
the “Security Strategies” seminar from the menu accessible from this
page and your abstract will go directly to the conference organizer.

For further information or questions about the seminar, please contact
Karen Steigman at

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Received on Mon Sep 29 2008 - 17:19:03 EDT