UPDATE: [General] States of Crisis - Graduate Conference

full name / name of organization: 
Daniel V. Donatacci
contact email: 

"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush
stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware
of the danger--but recognize the opportunity." -- John F. Kennedy

Since its origin in the ancient Greek krisis, "decision," related to
krites, a judge, the term crisis has referred to both danger and
opportunity, and is related to ideas of discernment, evaluation, criticism,
and sifting of evidence. In literary studies, for example, one can see
moments of crisis in shifting aesthetics and changing genres as well as in
literary tradition(s), character representation, and ideas of narrative.
Drawing on interdisciplinary approaches and scholarship, this conference
will explore different responses to the idea of crisis in the humanities
and social sciences.

Ultimately, this conference seeks to define more clearly the term "crisis"
and work through some of the ramifications of its application. What do we
mean when we label something a crisis? What types of solutions to a
problems does this labeling invite or preclude? What kinds of issues fall
into the category of crisis and which are excluded? How are crises viewed
differently within different disciplines, and how do their corresponding
suggestions for solutions compare? We also seek to identify critical
approaches and possibilities relating to moments of crisis in history, past
and present.

Potential topics include but are not limited to:

The humanities crisis
Crisis in literature

Crisis in the academy
Specific historical crises
Shifting media, digital crisis, or the internet revolution
Crisis and the history of ideas
Apocalypse or eschatology
Contact zones
Colonialism and indigenous populations
Crisis in representation
(Re)definition of the nation
Science fiction
Utopian or dystopian visions
Terrorism, war, or plague
Responses to or resolutions of crisis
The environmental crisis
The financial or housing crisis
Risk and reward in arts and finances

Please send a 300 word abstract and a brief biographical statement (no more
than 75 words) for your 15 minute presentation to
statesofcrisis_at_brandeis.edu by midnight EST Monday 1 June 2009. Proposals
must also include the title of the paper, presenter's name, institutional
affiliation (including department), email address, mailing address, and
telephone number. Since this is a graduate conference, preference will be
given to graduate students; we do, however, welcome proposals from
graduating undergraduates, independent scholars, and others who do not fit
in these categories.

For more information visit our conference website at
http://statesofcrisis.wikidot.com/. Email statesofcrisis@brandeis.edu with
any questions.

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Received on Thu Feb 19 2009 - 11:20:03 EST