[UPDATE] Bloomsbury C21 Writings Conference - Writing and Insecurity: Writing the Twenty-first Century - Deadline 5 Dec 2015)
[UPDATE - please note the change to conference dates and CfP deadline)
Bloomsbury C21 Writings Annual International Conference 2016
Writing And Insecurity: Writing the Twenty-first Century
31 Mar-1 Apr 2016, University of Brighton, UK
In the impasse induced by crisis, being treads water; mainly, it does not drown. Even those whom you would think of as defeated are living beings figuring out how to stay attached to life from within it, and to protect what optimism they have for that, at least. - Lauren Berlant, "Cruel Optimism"
Following Lauren Berlant we can see the contemporary period as an era of affective precariousness. Long-standing cultural and political anxieties have accelerated beyond control to form what she describes as 'crisis ordinariness'. Ranging from the state's ability to protect itself, or its willingness to protect its citizens, to environmental threats of species extinction, many of the crises of the twenty-first century have been crises in security. As the certainties of modernity retreat, the experience of insecurity has come to define the age as one of anxiety and doubt.
Writing in the twenty-first century continues to respond to these events in a wide variety of ways. Drama, poetry and the novel have all attempted to appraise ecological threat, the risk of violence, and the fragility of the state and its institutions. Experiments with form, narrative and genre have been successful in giving expression to the ontology of insecurity as it is felt. Writing has been able to interrogate, mimic and critique the textual manifestations of security itself. Where the formal institutions of power express themselves as texts, such as banknotes, or signage, or as documents, writing has been able to respond with different kinds of critical repetition. Criticism and critical theory have also responded to contemporary insecurity by asking questions about the role of criticism and about its conventional methods of analysis.
We would welcome proposals (c300 words) for papers, or panels, that consider how contemporary writing, in all of its forms, engages with the idea of insecurity. Among other things, these might consider:
Anxiety and disquiet | Ethics | Community and family | Pessimism | Debt |Neoliberalism and crisis | Ecological disaster | Failed States | Precarity | Risk | Surveillance and securitization | The aesthetics of encryption | The threats of terror
DEADLINE: email your proposal and short bio to
C21Writings@Brighton.ac.uk by 5 December 2015
Registration now OPEN: http://shop.brighton.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&catid=...
Organised by C21: Centre for Research in Twenty-first Century Writings, University of Brighton, in partnership with Bloomsbury Publishing London.