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CFP: Ground Stories / The 2012 Weissbourd Annual Conference
full name / name of organization:
The Society of Fellows at The University of Chicago
CALL FOR PAPERS: GROUND STORIES
The 2012 Weissbourd Annual Conference
The Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at the University of Chicago invites paper proposals for the annual Weissbourd Memorial Conference, to be held May 18-19, 2012 at the Franke Institute for the Humanities, on the theme “Ground Stories.”
Our theme focuses on groundedness, a quality located in the stratigraphy – both real and imagined – beneath a variety of structures, concepts, and institutions. One dimension of the theme considers ground as itself a political and historical variable. How did ground emerge as a definite material through fields such as geology and archaeology? How do peoples today identify an underground stratum as the “first story” of their local residency, often to exclude co-occupants or to delegitimize competing narratives? Who decides what counts as the “ground story” of a given institutional architecture, the entrance and exit for locals and visitors alike, the level that replicates its perimeter upward? What arbitrations appear or intensify when we stand our ground, loose ground, break ground, dig in? And when do we know that the ground beneath us is shaking – or giving way?
We also consider “grounding” as that with which claims are credentialized and certified. In the moment they are grounded, propositions reckon with protocols of falsification and become candidates for sanction. What tacit contingencies – historical, legal, political, poetic, economic – govern this moment of grounding across disciplines and eras? When do we sense that we’ve hit pay dirt, fathomed an idea, or run aground? How do images or texts come to be touted as “fertile ground” in philosophy, religion, law and science? What stories do we tell at and about grounding moments that fix canons and provide bedrock upon which subsequent evaluation rests?
The objective of this conference is not to judge competing claims over what counts as the first stratum of particular theories, nations or disciplines, but rather to call new attention to those very competitions and the narratives that inform their adjudication. The Society especially encourages work that critically reflects on “archaeologies of knowledge” and other “excavatory” habits of thought, as metapractices that have become common ground in many scholarly areas in recent decades, as well as new work on stratigraphic ways of understanding political and social disputes. Ground Stories seeks to provide fresh ground to rethink the quarrying of truths in fields ranging from history, politics and economics to literary studies, critical theory, the sciences and beyond.
The title of Prof. Jay’s address is “Ungrounded: Max Horkheimer and the Founding of the Frankfurt School.”
Speaking in response to Martin Jay will be Moishe Postone, author of Time, Labor and Social Domination (1993), Professor of History at the University of Chicago, and Co- Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory.
TO PROPOSE A PAPER OR PANEL
To propose a panel, provide the above material for all presenters, along with a panel title and an explanation of its ambit, no more than 500 words in length.
The deadline for all proposals is February 20, 2012.
ABOUT THE WEISSBOURD CONFERENCE