Speaking of Violence...

deadline for submissions: 
January 11, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Craft Critique Culture Graduate Student Conference
contact email: 

CRAFT CRITIQUE CULTURE is an interdisciplinary conference focusing on the intersections of critical and creative approaches to writing both within and beyond the academy. This year’s conference will explore what happens when we are "Speaking of Violence…"


Via his character Salvor Hardin, Isaac Asimov articulates this famous maxim: "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." To Asimov, violence is the epitome of ignorance in action, an act that, regardless of motivation, is one of desperation and ineptitude. To Frantz Fanon, "Violence is man re-creating himself," an almost necessary evil in the fight against the vicious hand of colonialism on the journey to re-establish subjectivity and personhood. And these perhaps contradictory statements are but two of many perspectives that attest to the expansive nature of violence. This year’s theme is intentionally broad in order to elicit a range of responses that move from the micro- to the macro-scopic. For example, topics might range from studies on PTSD to literature inspired by WWII, or a discussion on how and when contemporary protests are categorized as riots. Through this approach, we hope to invite discussion of the language needed to speak openly and honestly about the lasting impact of past violence, as well as the language required for ensuring that violence does not become idiomatic.


While the theme asks that we think about the role of language in relation to violence, it also asks that we consider other means by which violence can be enacted. Speaking of violence can take many forms: from anti-Semitic and racist graffiti on college campuses to the testimonies of the #metoo movement. What we mean when we say “speaking of violence” is nonetheless an incitement to discourse. Missteps in diction may alter a conversation, may end a relationship, may destroy a reputation, may ignite the flames of a demagogue. And each morning when we open our newsfeed, we are able to witness and participate in online and digital violence if we so choose. Yet speech also consists of palliative properties with the capacity for understanding and reaching resolution—for bridging the gap between clashing foes.


CCC 2019 calls for papers that investigate the depths of violence, scrutinize its effects, and propose means of grappling with it. Proposals may address:


·      What are ways that violence has become embedded in our culture?

·      What are the responsibilities of witnesses?

·      How have prior violent acts continued to impact contemporary moments?

·      What are ways of thinking about violence that are potentially overlooked?

·      What is the responsibility of the humanities in response to acts of violence?

·      How can we discuss violence in the classroom?

·      How is violence enacted upon the environment?

·      How can texts function to defy violence?

·      How can we better understand or fight against domestic violence?

·      If we view addiction through the lens of violence, what might be revealed?

·      What are the ways that violence intersects with politics?

·      What does the treatment of activists as violent do to strategies of protest?

·      How does the archive contribute to violence or alleviate it?

·      What are the ethics behind the use of materials that are incitements to violence in the classroom, in presentations, and other public forums?

·      How does the media participate in, at the same time as it seeks to unveil, cultures of violence?

·      In what ways can public health interventions prevent violent crimes?

·      How does pop culture influence modes of speaking about violence?

·      In what ways can we use digital humanities to educate scholars about contemporary acts of violence?



Please submit 300 word abstracts along with your name, department, email, and university affiliation to studorg-c3conf@uiowa.edu by January 11, 2019.

Check out our website at: https://craftcritiquecultureconference.wordpress.com/