[UPDATE] FRENZY Colloquium November 9-10, 2012
York University 2012 English Graduate Students' Association Colloquium: FRENZY
But everybody is drugged with his own frenzy, and the pageant marches at all hours, with music and banner and badge.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Prophecies of a 2012 end of days; Black Friday at Wal-Mart; Howard Beale in Network inciting viewers to scream "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" From mass hysteria to individual neuroses, the elusive nature of frenzy lends itself to dramatically different conceptualizations across the disciplines.
This year's EGSA Colloquium will explore representations of FRENZY—and frenzied representations. Agitated states have become more visible in our technologically-driven culture, and yet frenzy is a historically pervasive phenomenon that at once invites and confounds theoretical inquiry. This interdisciplinary graduate student conference seeks
papers that investigate compelling, influential, and/or problematic outbursts. Are these moments of crisis? Or can we conceive of frenzy as a generative force?
Papers may focus upon, but should not be limited to:
Hysteria, Paranoia, Neurosis; Chaos and/or Disorder; Mob Mentality and Group Psychology; The Carnivalesque; Economic Frenzies, Disaster Capitalism, and/or Mass Consumption; Erotic Frenzy or Desire; Political Riot and Upheaval; Rituals, Scapegoating, and Witch Hunts; Hooliganism and Sports Riot; Fanatics and Fandom; Dystopia or Apocalypse; Hyperactivity; Theatrical Frenzy and Catharsis; Frenzied Creation or Artistry; Psychopathology or Abnormal Psychology;
Censorship and Puritanical Frenzy; Religious Fervor or Ecstasy; Narcotic Trances; Contagion and Pandemics; Violence, Torture, and Militarism; Infectious or Nervous Laughter
Dr. David Toews, Sociology Department, York University
What is Frenzy Today?
Bergson explored the notion that modernity is a form of frenzy. Dr. Toews's keynote will explore Bergson's diagram of "the law of two-fold frenzy" as a way of describing how 'modern frenzies' produce a tendency for people to frame their courses of action, ways of life, or ideas specifically as contemporary. The term contemporary tends to be used where frenzies render visible the precarious and telling aspects of modern social life. Our 'contemporary' tendency to gaze upon and enjoy frenzies, illuminates the ground of the modern in the productivism we associate with machines, assemblages and processes, and at the same time takes in modernity's others, its monstrous behaviours, its perversions, its distortions, its unsociabilities.
Those interested in presenting may submit a 300-word abstract and a short biographical statement to email@example.com by October 8th, 2012. Participants will be restricted to presentations of
20 minutes in length. The colloquium will take place in Stong College at York University on November 9th and 10th, 2012.