On the Brink: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference on the Social, Cultural, and Material Implications of Risk

full name / name of organization: 
Department of English, University of Nevada-Reno
contact email: 


On the brink of economic, environmental, and political crises, humanity is collectively making decisions in terms of necessary risks for theoretical rewards. As late capitalism balances precariously between explosive growth and crippling depression, people everywhere have adapted themselves to what Foucault called liberalism’s “culture of danger.” The stakes of communication and cultural production have never been higher. The University of Nevada-Reno English department invites graduate students to examine the implications, sources, and functions of risk. Our approach is interdisciplinary, and we welcome proposals for papers from scholars of all fields, including literature, cultural studies, history, and the social sciences. Dr. Edward Soja, the renowned cultural geographer, will join us as keynote speaker while we explore this topic.

Please consider the following questions or put forth your own:

How is risk represented in literature and other cultural production?
How are risks socially distributed?
How is risk culturally and discursively understood?
What makes a risk worth taking?
How do people cope with perpetual risk and crisis?
Should and how can politics better alleviate risk?
How do risk and identity inform each other?


Prepare an abstract of 200–350 words and email it as an attachment to
unr.grad.conference@gmail.com. Please make note in your submission message of any requests for audio/visual equipment. Abstracts are due January 6, 2014.

-Standard conference paper format
-Topics related to the conferences themes of risk and precarity

cfp categories: