CFP: Spelling Disaster (2/10/06; 4/29/06-4/30/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Leerom Medovoi
contact email: 

Announcing a Call For Proposals

"Spelling Disaster" Conference
Portland, Oregon. April 29-30, 2006.
Proposal Deadline: February 10, 2006

Keynote Speaker: Ann Cvetkovich (Department of English, University
of Texas, Austin)

The Portland Center for Cultural Studies invites proposals for its
upcoming conference "Spelling Disaster" on April 29-30, 2006. The
conference seeks to investigate the meaning of "disaster" and the
political stakes involved in defining it. What counts as a
disaster? What does not? Who decides and how? How are disasters
reported or represented? What do they express or conceal about the
society that experiences the disaster? How might disasters
constitute symptoms of systemic relations or their crises? How do we
distinguish between "natural" and "social" or "man-made" disasters?
How and why does that distinction become important? What is the
relationship between disasters and states of "emergency," "war," or
"exception"? How does disaster translate into trauma, and vice-
versa? What roles do remembrance and forgetting respectively play in
the processing of disaster?

The conference will also address important ancillary questions, about
the stakes of adequate preparation or anticipation, about displaced
and migrant populations, about social movements that seek disaster
relief or redress, and about the relationship of human rights to
disasters. It also draws attention to the role of media, reportage,
and publicity in the declaration of disaster.

We invite both empirical and theoretical considerations of disaster,
historical studies of all sorts as well as contemporary examples (the
current wars, hurricanes, tsunamis, genocides, and famines of our
times). Proposals from all academic disciplines are welcome in any
format (papers, panels, roundtables, or alternative presentations).

This conference is part of an ongoing project by the inter-campus
Portland Center for Cultural Studies to deepen intellectual community
across the colleges and universities of the Pacific Northwest.
Housed and supported by Portland State University, the center
includes over 60 participating faculty members from nearly a dozen
institutions in the region.

Proposals may be sent via e-mail to:
They may also be mailed by February 10th to:
Oscar Fernandez
Program Committee Chair
Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207-0751

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Received on Tue Jan 24 2006 - 17:17:06 EST