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[UPDATE] Security and Hospitality: New Literary Perspectives
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Call for Contributions to an Edited Volume of Essays
In exile in the early 1940s, Stefan Zweig looked back on his youth in pre-war Vienna as the ‘golden age of security’. In Zweig’s narrative, a shared sense of private and public stability was soon shattered by the onslaughts of two world wars, giving rise to a generation perceived to have ‘long since struck the word "security" from [its] vocabulary as a myth’. Yet immediately following the war, the very word ‘security’ began to acquire a new currency and resonance which intensified through the paranoid military and diplomatic manoeuvrings of the Cold War and has increasingly come to define our own digital age. Security talk is now ubiquitous, heightened by the war on terror on the one hand, and the possibilities of new information technologies on the other. Following revelations about the extent to which security agencies have penetrated daily lives, we believe that the time is right to examine how the discourse of security has come to control major features of contemporary experience.
In particular, security concerns are reshaping conceptions, discussions, and practices of hospitality. Security and hospitality have long been uneasy bedfellows. If security is that which one purports to offer in extending hospitality, it is also that which one puts at stake. As technologies, processes, and imperatives strive to forestall adverse events, security activities could well endanger hospitable relationships between friends and among strangers. From the individual’s telephone and data, to the threshold of the family home, to the borders of the nation, sites of securitization confound hospitality’s injunction to openness, gifting, and refuge. Modes, etiquettes and platforms of hospitality are, moreover, evolving. It seems that as we are increasingly “always on”, we extend our means of being “at home” to one another; at the same time, we find ourselves password-protecting caches of passwords. Further, home twins homeland: people move more than ever, yet they move through borders which are progressively militarized.
In addition to the established theoretical discourses around hospitality and security, contributors might mobilize a wide range of adjacent ideas, including:
Please submit a 500-word abstract for an 8,000-10,000-word essay to Dr Jeffrey Clapp (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Dr Emily Ridge (email@example.com) by 30 May 2014. Please also include a brief biography. Enquiries welcome.