The Violence of Economics and the Economics of Violence (03/29 - 04/01/2012)

full name / name of organization: 
American Comparative Literature Association's 2012 Annual Meeting
contact email: 

Recent events like the austerity and cost-of-living protests in Greece, Israel, and the UK and food protests in several North African countries invite renewed attention to the relationship between violence and economics. Media coverage of these events tends to focus our attention on the violence of the protesters or of autocratic regimes but ignores the economic violence that sparked these protests. During times of economic crises, the violence that always simmers below the surface of capitalism—the violence of dispossession, accumulation, and systematic impoverishment—surges to the surface. Marx once believed this violence would be capitalism's own worst enemy, but more recently some, like Naomi Klein, have argued that the violence of economic and other crises has only served to expand the reach of capitalism.

Papers for this ACLA 2012 session should explore the issue of violence and economics in a broad capacity. We welcome papers about any historical moment, theory, or representation of economic violence. Topics can include the rhetoric of economic violence; literary or filmic representations of economic violence; media representations of economic protest; the potential of new media forms to disrupt or resist economic violence; violence or non-violence and economic protest; or theories of non-violent economics.

For this 3 day seminar we will accept 10 to 12 panelists. Proposals for a 15 to 20 minute presentation should be between 250-350 words, contain the title of the presentation as well as the author's name and contact information. Please submit proposals through the ACLA website (, and to Regina Martin at and Simone Sessolo at no later than November 1st, 2011.