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Rhetorics of the Non-State (ACLA Seminar, 3/29-4/1; due 11/15)
full name / name of organization:
American Comparative Literature Association Annual Conference
Hunter Hargraves, firstname.lastname@example.org
From the challenges of protection posed by the refugee to the Tea Party’s diagnosis of government as deeply pernicious to individual liberty, to collectivities that emerge through globalizing technologies, the State’s grip over lives and subjectivities seems increasingly precarious. On the one hand, it consolidates and exercises power over citizens, whose precariousness owes to their dependence on identities conferred by injunctions of the state; on the other hand, it has become a site of resistance, an idea against which subject positions, collectivities, and relations are mobilized and theorized.
This seminar panel will examine what lies beyond the State and, specifically, how different subjects turn to the non-Statist forms of community, politics, and culture in moments of war, catastrophe, or crisis. How do catastrophic events (and their subsequent consequences for the political, economic, and cultural climate) resonate with the desires to destabilize or decenter the State? Are all non-Statist attachments necessarily violent? What are the political and historical conditions under which attachments to the non-State emerge? Can we think beyond the biological, the popular, or the human in terms of State resistance? How might we chart the rhetorical strategies (whether verbal or visual) of the post-crisis State? How do we theorize structures of power and institutions of governance beyond the State? We seek papers across an array of disciplines and media that help us to consider the possibilities and vicissitudes of commitments that exceed and destabilize the State.
**This is a seminar panel. the ACLA’s annual conferences have a distinctive structure in which most papers are grouped into twelve-person seminars that meet two hours per day for the three days of the conference to foster extended discussion. Some eight-person (or smaller) seminars meet just the first two days of the conference. This structure allows each participant to be a full member of one seminar, and to sample other seminars during the remaining time blocks.**