CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Histories of Violence (Graduate)

full name / name of organization: 
Robert Gehl
contact email:

TOPIC: Histories of Violence

CONFERENCE DATES: October 18, 2008

Keynote Speaker: Robin Wagner-Pacifici, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of
Sociology at Swarthmore College, author of The Art of Surrender, Theorizing
the Standoff, and Discourse and Destruction.

Conference Description:
This conference will explore the ways in which violence is manifest in
political, social and economic realms, and the various roles violence plays
in the relation between these realms in any specific juncture, past or
present. It will examine the ways in which violence is theorized, enacted,
represented and obscured, and how we come to understand the role of
historic violence in the construction of the contemporary cultural
conjuncture, as well as how various histories influence the ways in which
we relate to and theorize violence today.

Violence sits at the (often obscured) center of a broad range of topic
areas, and many people working in various fields of cultural studies and
related disciplines have to deal with the ubiquity of violence as a
component of their research, and are therefore forced to theorize or at the
very least deploy operational definitions of violence. These definitions,
however, are often contradictory and reinscribe fundamental epistemological
and ethical rifts within the discourse on culture and politics.
The 2008 Graduate Cultural Studies Conference seeks to cultivate a
conversation, among emerging scholars in Cultural Studies and related
fields, about the centrality and ubiquity of violence. We are interested in
papers written by graduate students which will help to articulate the ways
in which violence is encountered in lived experience and in the literature,
and which will point towards possibilities for approaching,
conceptualizing, and mitigating violence through future scholarship and
other activities.

Guiding questions might include:
What counts as violence?
How is violence disciplined, legitimated, monopolized, valorised, consented
to, or pathologized in different contexts?
In what ways does topical work on race, gender, postcoloniality, media
studies, conflict resolution, political economy, etc., demand that violence
be addressed?
What roles have violence played in the construction of the contemporary
cultural conjuncture, and how are those histories represented and received?

General topic areas could include: theories of violence, sexual violence,
terrorism, violence and/of representation, state violence, violence and law
enforcement, nonviolence, violence and insurrection, violence and
masculinity/femininity, racialized violence, divine violence, revolution,
symbolic violence, etc.

The conference will take place on one day, and will be organized into
panels of three or four 15-minute presentations. In order to facilitate
discussion and enrich the experience for all participants, there will be no
overlapping panels.

Paper abstracts of approximately 500 words should be submitted by April 1,
2008 to Randall Cohn c/o Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University.
Email submissions strongly encouraged: Please include return
email address and institutional affiliation for all submissions.

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Received on Mon Feb 11 2008 - 12:43:59 EST