CFP: Enemies, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends (grad) (12/31/06; CCLS, 3/2/07-3/3/07)

full name / name of organization:
contact email: 

Panel for Figures of Comparison in the Humanities and the Social
Sciences, the second annual graduate student conference of The
Center for Comparative Literature and Society (CCLS)

Date/Place: March 2nd-3rd, 2007/ Columbia University, New York

CFP: Enemies, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends (panel moderated by
Joseph Massad)

In his book The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy, Gil Anidjar
maintains that Europe's concept of the enemy "remains yet to be
formulated." This to-come points toward a comparative nature of the
enemy, i.e. the fact that Europe's concept of the enemy is
structured by its relation to both the Arab and the Jew. For this
panel, we invite papers that critically engage with the figures of
the enemy – the stranger, the neighbor, and the friend – through
the comparative study of a specific object: e.g. Europe's
construction of a south-mediterranean fence (Balibar), the figure
of the pirate in the work of Carl Schmitt, or the partisan struggle
in Iraq. Papers may address some of the following questions: can
there be a political community that would not be predicated on the
production of identity and alterity? Is it possible to practice an
identity politics that would function as a critique of sovereign
power while at the same time insisting on sovereignty's strongly
egalitarian and democratic implications? What would it mean to
think of such an identity politics as comparative? What
understanding of theology is implicit in contemporary concepts of
the political? Can theology still be articulated in opposition to
secularism? Should secularism perhaps be understood in opposition
to nationalism? What could be the benefits of a postsecular

The conference will be introduced by the director of CCLS, Gayatri
Chakravorty Spivak. All panels will be moderated by Columbia
University faculty members. The conference will close with a
roundtable discussion in which the panel moderators will present
their concluding thoughts and open the discussion to the public.
You can visit the following website for more information on the

Please send a 300-500 word abstract to the following e-mail address
no later than December 31st, 2006:

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Tue Nov 28 2006 - 17:56:10 EST