"States of Emergency - Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Dynamics of Crisis" June 11-12, 2010

full name / name of organization: 
Graduate School of North American Studies, John K. Kennedy Institut, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany

The attacks on the World Trade Center and the ensuing War on Terror stand as images that mark the 21st century's fall into a permanent state of emergency, manifest in the suspension of civil liberties, preemptive and irregular warfare, and a disregard for international law. As we now recognize, other precarious potentials such as financial speculation and climate change have long been gaining momentum, erupting into acute states of crisis in the recent past. The tumultuous beginning of the new century has heightened our sensitivity to exceptional states and emerging instabilities, questioning the applicability of established modes of control.

States of emergency magnify pre-existing lines of conflict, shaping clear-cut enemy images. These may vary from Al-Qaeda to brokers on Wall Street or multinational enterprises, to name but a few. But times of crisis also demand new forms of agency for the emergence of new orders. If the US is indeed part of a world community, does a permanent state of emergenc(e)y become the new basis of governance and politics?

The annual conference at the Graduate School of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies (GSNAS) of the Freie Universität Berlin is hosted by the graduate students. The third in a series of international conferences is designed to bring together leading scholars and top graduate students from around the world to discuss current issues in American Studies.

Panels may include, but are not restricted to:
- The crisis of representation and the representation of crisis
- The 2008 economic crisis and the crisis of neoliberalism
- Crisis as an organizational principle in international politics
- Terror and responses to terror/ irregular warfare
- Governmentality and Governance
- Responses to mass migration
- Climate change and natural disasters
- Pandemics and transnational biopolitics
- Crisis of Empire: The end of the American Century?
- The history of crisis and the "end of history"
- Transnational American Studies: another crisis in American Studies?

We invite scholars to submit abstracts of max. 500 words. Papers should include name, contact details, institutional affiliation and research interests.
The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2010.
Please refer to our website for recent updates and further information:
Proposals should be submitted by email to gsnas.conference2010@gsnas.fu-berlin.de