"Repetition and Revolt" - Cornell University - April 14-16, 2011

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Theory Reading Group at Cornell University

The Theory Reading Group at Cornell University invites submissions for its seventh annual interdisciplinary spring conference:

Repetition and Revolt
Featuring keynote speaker Rebecca Comay (University of Toronto)

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
April 14-16, 2011

Wavering between the occurrence of the novel and the recurrence of the routine, the concept of revolution often divides along a line suggested by its etymology. Thus, even as Copernicus upset the world system of his time, he did so by describing an orbit, a stable circle. Put simply, this legacy reminds us that every proposed overturning might yield nothing more than a mere return, a tendency that threatens to undermine radical upheavals in domains ranging from the political to the aesthetic to the scientific. As Robert Frost suggests, it may well be in the nature of "total revolution" to put "the same class up on top."

This critical ambiguity can emerge whenever we attempt to account for the possibility of change or difference. Does this division reveal something essential about revolution, or does it indicate a fault in the ways in which we think about revolution? In what ways has contemporary thought attempted to reckon with or reconcile the competing meanings of this term? How do philosophical and theoretical discourses account for change and difference, not only in the realms of politics, literature, art, and science, but also within philosophy and theory themselves? What forms of critique, resistance, or action can we find in contemporary thought, and what do these forms disclose about the potential or limits of the concept of revolution?

Suggested topics:

Paradigm shifts and epistemic breaks
Theories of literary innovation
Copernican revolution or Ptolemaic counterrevolution
Theories of the event
Aesthetics and politics
The figure of the genius
Repetition and difference
Revolution and globalization
The finite and the infinite
Secularization, the post-secular, the new atheism
The future of critique
Collapse, catastrophe, and crisis
Evolution and Darwinism
Eternal return
Utopia and dystopia
Revolutionary violence and messianism
Law and exception
Theories of transgression
Ruptures critical and diacritical
Revolutions in media/social mediation
Turns: political, linguistic, ethical, (anti)social, comic

Please limit the length of abstracts to no more than 250 words.
The deadline for submission of 250-word abstracts for 20-minute presentations is February 15, 2011.
Please include your name, e-mail address, and phone number. Abstracts should be e-mailed to repetitionrevolt@gmail.com.
Notices of acceptance will be sent no later than February 25, 2011.
For more information about the Cornell Theory Reading Group, visit_http://www.arts.cornell.edu/trg.