CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Cultural Studies Association Conference Seminar: Risk

full name / name of organization: 
Helen Kapstein
contact email: 

Cultural Studies Association Conference Seminar:
Taking Risks in Literature and Culture

A seminar proposed for the upcoming Cultural Studies Association
conference, May 22-24 2008,
New York City

Deadline: January 20, 2008

Seminar Description:

In his 1992 book Risk Society, Ulrich Beck describes a society organized by
its response to risk in which “risk may be defined as a systematic way of
dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by
modernization itself.”

We are now accepting proposals for a seminar on risk, a concept most often
associated with sociological studies of risk cultures, actuarial risk
assessment, and economic studies of risk-taking and â€"sharing, but here
enlarged to apply to literary and cultural representations of and
experiments with risk. Risk-taking might be approached from the perspective
of a specific field of inquiry such as public policy, psychology, medicine,
or finance, or from a theoretical angle such as danger, threat, uncertainty,
or challenge. The goal of this seminar is to use the concept of risk to
probe the seam between literature and culture and to take our own risks in
the uses and definitions of these theories and categories.

Seminar Requirements:

To apply for this seminar, the prospective participant should submit a
proposal (in the format of his/her choice) describing the research project
that brings them to the question of risk. Include contact information with
email address and a brief bio. Email submissions preferred.

Once accepted for the seminar, participants will be asked to read Mary
Douglas’s Risk and Blame (Routledge, 1994), Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society
(Sage, 1992), or another theoretical statement on risk. They should also be
prepared to circulate abstracts of their projects to the other participants.
We will aim to move back and forth between our theoretical readings and the
research projects in order to generate a deeper knowledge of what might be
gained (and also what the risks are) in considering risk-taking for our
respective objects of critical inquiry.

Seminar Organizer:

Professor Helen Kapstein

John Jay College, CUNY
English Department
445 W 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

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Received on Wed Jan 09 2008 - 11:05:48 EST