CFP: Quarantine, the 2010 Culture and Theory Conference, UC Irvine

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Culture and Theory Department
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Conference Date: Friday, April 30, 2010
Location: University of California, Irvine
Deadline for the submission of abstracts: February 5, 2010

Our conference theme was inspired by the cultural panics and anxieties that emerged out of the public discourse surrounding the H1N1 flu virus. Declared a national emergency by the Obama Administration, our cultural imaginary on disease, health, and bodies has been become deeply mired in discourses on inclusion and exclusion. These discourses are mobilized by racialized, classed, sexualized, and gendered economies of representation that produce notions of who is allowed access to the identities of 'citizen' and 'national'. Our conference will look to the ways that identities and bodies become sites of intense contestation both within these contemporary discursive formations and through the pathologizing of racial, sexual, classed, and gendered identities.

When thinking through the context of quarantine, some questions to consider might be: How does biopower frame the conditions of possibility for quarantine? What affective transactions are mediated by quarantine? How are bodies, desires, and sexualities pathologized in and through practices of quarantine? How do modalities of closure and enclosure in discourses on the nation, state, and belonging contribute to new mappings of identity? How are emerging technologies of governance creating new methods and ways of thinking about quarantine?

Papers submitted to the conference do not need to directly address the H1N1 flu virus or its discursive productions. Presenters are encouraged to 'play' with the theoretical possibilities that a conference entitled 'Quarantine' allows. As Culture and Theory is a fundamentally interdisciplinary program, we welcome submissions from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to: political science, literature/comparative literature, anthropology, sociology, visual studies, studio arts, history, philosophy, area studies, Women's and Gender studies, African-American Studies, and Asian American Studies. Individual papers, panel proposals and joint presentations are welcome.

Proposed topics/panels for the conference might include:

panic/anxiety surrounding the H1N1 flu virus
biopolitics, the regulation of bodies/populations, the disciplining of bodies/populations
disability studies
movement and displacement, migrations both voluntary and forced
studies of motility and orientation, or impediments to motility and orientation
the pathologizing of desire and sexuality
the phenomenality of disease
torture and prisoner abuse
the racialization, gendering, or sexualization of disease
illegal detentions or the practice of sequestering prisoners
the disciplining of 'alien' bodies
immigration control
contemporary practices of segregation – racial, sexual, gendered, national
citizenship and the nation, discourses on citizenship/inclusion and exclusion
linguistic identities and the nation, language and bodies, ESL/bilingual education
'walls' – both figurative and literal (wall separating Israel and Palestine, U.S. and Mexico wall)
borders, national boundaries, imaginaries on borders/boundaries
theories of the state/state(s) of war/state(s) of nature
technologies of the post-human, how we define the 'human'

Abstracts should be between 250 and 300 words long and should be submitted by Friday, February 5th, 2010. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, a draft of the conference paper should be submitted by Friday, April 16th, 2010.

Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or PDF/RTF formats and must include the following information: a) Author; b) Institutional affiliation; c) Contact information and e-mail address;
d) Title of abstract; e) Abstract

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted.
Please send paper proposals to:

Jen Kosakowski
Ph.D. Candidate, Culture and Theory
University of California, Irvine


Diana Leong
Ph.D. Candidate, Culture and Theory
University of California, Irvine