CFP for Diffractions - Graduate Journal for the Study of Culture

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Diffractions - Graduate Journal for the Study of Culture
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Crisicism – The Cultural Discourse of Crisis

Deadline for submissions: February 28 2013

At the end of 2012, “Crisis” has become a widespread buzz word. As moments of disruption, crises challenge and subvert the existing order of things, creating uncertainty and altering daily life. Occurring both at a personal or socio-political level, as in the case of catastrophes, financial meltdown, environmental disasters, institutional turmoil or political instability, crises are turning points that call our foundations into question and suggest the need for change. On the other hand, as fractures in time, crisis can trigger a renewed understanding of the past and cast a new light on the needs and demands of the present. Indeed, Reinhart Koselleck went so far as defining crisis as the “signature of the modern era”, acknowledging its diagnostic and predicative meaning which underlies modern society’s self-consciousness and critical awareness.

Yet, if crises may be seen as system disturbances, as interruptions of the normal order, as critical moments that promote self-reflexion and generate change, they seem nevertheless to have become the new order of things, a condition that morphed into norm. This noun has grown from the grammatical nominative to be a symbolic adjective, signifying a permanent state (of crisis). As Agamben argued about the new governmental state of exception, the recurrence of crises over the last century and particularly over the last few years (in response to various circumstances ranging from 9/11 to global economic recession) has turned the exception into norm, into what he designates “[…] the dominant paradigm” of global politics (Agamben, 2005: 2). And as Slavoj Zizek has also pointed out, crisis ceases to be regarded as an intermission and becomes naturalized into a “way of life” (Zizek, 2010).

Indeed, at a time of generalized disorder and insecurity, crisis seems to have become the dominant discursive paradigm, threatening to turn into the master narrative of the 21st century. This issue wishes to engage in a critical assessment of the rhetoric of generalized crisis – or “crisicism” – and discuss its impact and effects in the field of culture. Crises are interwoven into both ethical and aesthetical reality, are given sustenance and channeled socially and culturally. At the same time as the disruptive character of crisis defies previous models of understanding, every new crisis is anchored in cultural imagination and in a shared reservoir of behavioral and representational patterns from which, in turn, societies will draw to face and process them. This issue aims precisely at gauging the effects of crisis upon the cultural structure and the way representations not only articulate and sublimate collective meanings of crisis, but also shape our understanding of crises and the way societies negotiate, come to terms and remember them.

Themes to be addressed by contributors may include but are not restricted to the following:

• The rhetorical dimension of crisis
• Crises as turning points
• Crises as exception and norm
• Crises and catastrophe
• Crisis, trauma and memory
• Politics, policies and crisis
• Crisis, globalization and mobility
• Crisis and space
• Artistic and literary representation of crisis
• Media framings of crisis
• The technocultural dimension of crisis
• Crises and post-humanism
• Agency and resistance

We look forward to receiving proposals of no more than 20 A4 pages (not including bibliography) and a short bio of about 150 words by February 28 2013 at the following address: submissions@diffractions.net.

DIFRRACTIONS also accepts book reviews that may not be related to the issue’s topic. If you wish to write a book review, please consult our book suggestions at http://www.diffractions.net/books-for-review or contact us at reviews@diffractions.net.

Find us online at www.diffractions.net.

cfp categories: 
american
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
interdisciplinary
journals_and_collections_of_essays
popular_culture
postcolonial
theory
twentieth_century_and_beyond