UPDATE: [Religion] Waiting Time

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The Comparative Literature Department at NYU

Waiting Time
New York University
Department of Comparative Literature
Graduate Student Conference
April 16-19, 2009

Keynote Speaker: Marshall Berman

Waiting Time

What are we waiting for? What awaits us? While often dismissed as a period of wastefulness or
lost time, waiting may also intensify experience and become a condition in which to consider
questions of modernity, aesthetic process, politics, erotics and the tempos of everyday life.

Amid other theorizations of time, history and eventfulness, waiting offers a thematic axis around
which conversation among scholars from a wide range of disciplines and critical perspectives can
emerge. How can we unsettle the received divide between waiting and action? Or given this
divide, how can we re-think the relationship between the two? Beyond (in)activity, how might
waiting also be conceived of as a mode of attention or practice?

Possible paper topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

-Messianism & eschatology

-Event & revolution

-Fidelity & trust

-Designing patience: waiting rooms, drawing rooms, prisons, train stations

-Style and technique: the pause (in music and beyond), rest, suspense, seriality

-Waiting Faster: technologies of convenience, speed, acceleration

-Bureaucracy: legal process, immigration, the post, (un)employment, drudgery

-Sickness & convalescence

-Ennui, anxiety, boredom, killing time

-Erotics of waiting: desire and deferral, chastity, courtly love, chivalric romance, sexual suspense

-Gestation, inspiration, latency

-Hope, fate, & inevitability

-Progress, process, & telos

-Revenge & ressentiment

-Waiting nations: birth, belatedness, & modernization

-Military strategy: ambush attack

-Immigration & exile

300-word paper abstracts due January 20, 2009. Please send abstracts via email to

For further conference information, please see:

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Received on Fri Dec 12 2008 - 17:39:12 EST