Uprisings and Revolutions in Global Context (deadline December 31, 2014)
The first few years of the twentieth-first century have witnessed social unrest, revolts and revolutions across the world: the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street Movement, riots of workers and peasants in China, anti-austerity demonstrations in Europe, blood-shedding confrontations in Ukraine, and, more recently, the Sunflower Movement or Occupy Legislature in Taipei. They are triggered by either violent actions of the police and the army, governments' decisions, or electoral controversies; they demand shifts of power and systemic transformations, or simply struggle for the basic rights of existence. In these heydays of insurrection, we cannot help asking: what is going on? What is happening to us, fascinated, shocked, devastated, aphasic or garrulous? How do establishments react, and are they able to subsume, co-opt such movements? Are we equipped with perceptive and conceptual tools for all these? And, ultimately, what is to be done?
Cynics or melancholics may argue that all these insurrectional moments amount to nothing but impotent acting-out, normalization of states of exception, or vicious circles of, borrowing Walter Benjamin's terms, "law-making violence" and "law-preserving violence," while enthusiasts embrace possibilities of imagining new subjectivities, desires, truths, forms of life, aesthetic styles, communities, and worlds. Referring to Derrida's "New International and Hegri and Hardt's "multitude," Kojin Karatani in his Preface to The Structure of World History recalls his now crushed optimism about a new global movement resistance to capital and the state back in 1990s, about its natural development into transnational alliance. Karatani, nevertheless, remodels "simultaneous world revolution" as a Kantian regulative idea, a futurity or prospect to come when people are drawn closer to create their own non-capitalist conditions of survival and, ultimately, to sublate both capital and the state. Slavoj Žižek, when commenting on the aftermath of the Occupy Wall Street Movement in 2011, urges that we endeavor to mobilize people around thoroughly realistic but de facto impossible demands that "disturb the very core of the hegemonic ideology, while remaining "simultaneously subtracted from the pragmatic field of negotiations and 'concrete' proposals" (The Year of Dreaming Dangerously 84). Alan Badiou, on the other hand, calls for an affirmation of "the generic, universal and never identitarian character of any political truth" (The Rebirth of History 77), so as to remain faithful to historical riots, if there is any.
Such insurrectional moments have their consequences in fields of civil societies, geopolitics, finance and market economy as well as in media, art, and subcultures across the world. As bearing the theme "uprisings and revolutions in global perspective," this special issue encourages submissions not limited to professional compartmentalizations and empirical raw data. We particularly welcome submissions that traverse disciplinary boundaries and vocabularies, provide new synergic possibilities, and formulate theoretical speculations for democracy, justice and freedom to come.
Papers are invited to address themes as follows:
*revolutions won, lost and betrayed
*transnational solidity and anti-capitalist movements
*politics and ethics of revolt and revolution
*images and representations of revolt and revolution
*the interplay of revolution and counterrevolution
*violence and justice
*sovereignty and violence
*Occupy Movements, populist democracy and the commons
*anticolonial and postcolonial resistance, revolt and revolution
*revolutions in academia, art, media, and forms of life
Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies, currently indexed in Arts and Humanities Citation Index, is a peer-reviewed journal published two times per year by the Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan. Concentric is devoted to offering innovative perspectives on literary and cultural issues and advancing the transcultural exchange of ideas. While committed to bringing Asian-based scholarship to the world academic community, Concentric welcomes original contributions from diverse national and cultural backgrounds. Each issue of Concentric publishes groups of essays on a special topic as well as papers on more general issues. The focus can be on any historical period and any region. Any critical method may be employed as long as the paper demonstrates a distinctive contribution to scholarship in the field.
Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies
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