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"States of Suspension" - DEADLINE EXTENDED (Sept. 1)
full name / name of organization:
Departments of English and Art History, University of Chicago
CALL FOR PAPERS – GRADUATE CONFERENCE
"States of Suspension: Politics and Histories, Aesthetics and Affects"
University of Chicago, Departments of English and Art History
MOLLY MCGARRY, Associate Professor of History (University of California at Riverside), author of 'Ghosts of Futures Past: Spiritualism and the Cultural Politics of Nineteenth-Century America' (2008)
ELINA GERTSMAN, Assistant Professor of Medieval Art (Case Western Reserve University), author of 'The Dance of Death in the Middle Ages: Image, Text, Performance' (2010)
NEW DEADLINE FOR ABSTRACTS - SEPTEMBER 1, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
“....the state of being suspended, a looking or listening so rapt that it is an exemption from ordinary conditions, that it becomes a suspended temporality, a hovering out of time...It implies the possibility of a fixation, of holding something in wonder or contemplation, in which the attentive subject is both immobile and ungrounded. But at the same a suspension is also a cancellation or an interruption, and I wanted here to indicate a disturbance, even a negation of perception itself...” - Jonathan Crary, Suspensions of Perception
“We need to live in a state of suspended animation like a work of art, in a state of enchantment. We have to succeed in loving so greatly that we live outside of time, detached.”
Suspension is a state of exception, anticipation, or absorption. It hovers, pauses, interrupts, creating a liminal space often outside historical time and physical place. In political terms, suspension indexes the revocation of legal protections or rights of citizenship, the dissolution of recognized forms of governance, and the adoption of emergency measures during times of crisis. Since the 18th century, aesthetic encounters have been conceived of as a suspension of one’s understanding before the sensible experience of the artwork--a convention retained in the institution of the museum or gallery. While theatrical performances bracket reality for the duration of their staging, the photograph, like the ekphrastic moment in a text, enacts a suspension of time by isolating an image from its historical index. Scholastic practices like periodization, formalism, taxonomizing, etc. are means of extracting and suspending moments and objects under study. Religious discourses conceptualize states of liminality and the kinds of knowledge they can impart in terms of pilgrimage, purgatory, and penance. Affective experiences characteristic of everyday life--from boredom, deferment and waiting to captivation and anticipation--can be understood as sites producing forms of suspension.
This conference, to be held on November 15 – 16, 2012 at the University of Chicago, aims to query suspension in all its valences. We welcome submissions from disciplines across the humanities that treat states of suspension located in any time, place, or medium of study. Please send 250-300 word abstracts to email@example.com by SEPTEMBER 1, 2012. Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes in length (8-10 double-spaced pages).
Examples of possible topics include: