Thinking, Crisis

deadline for submissions: 
January 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
USC CSLC Annual Graduate Symposium
contact email: 

Thinking, Crisis

From the individual to the political to the global: crisis. At every register and on every scale, crisis confronts us, and not for the first time. But what is ‘crisis’––this word that returns, always familiar, to describe what appears as anything but? Moreover, what does the repeated use of the term ‘crisis’ says about what it describes, and vice versa? If ‘crisis’ is nothing in-itself but rather a reaction to the breakdown or destruction of present systems, what methodologies could guide us in conceptualizing, confronting, and thinking crisis― methodologies which, first and foremost, can help us think through the eventual destruction of the world(s) as we know, world(s) we inhabit? It seems that while we continue to live in world of crisis, and moreover, are made to bear witness to crisis almost on a daily basis, we lack the critical apparatus to think crisis, to treat crisis itself a critical category which can help us navigate the rapidly changing world we live in. The question then is: what does it mean to think “crisis,” when crisis is what would problematize or at least provoke thinking?

With the theme of ‘Thinking, Crisis,’ and our difficulty in defining it, we invite scholars working across disciplines to consider ‘crisis’ as a concept and reality within their own field. One of our aims in organizing this symposium is to foster a conversation where we all come together and try to think through and beyond the precarity of our current crisis-ridden conditions.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

-         Crisis in/of Living, Crisis in/of Thinking

-         Humanities during the time of ‘Crisis’ and Crisis in Humanities


-         Visual Representation and Visual Registers of Crisis

-         Blackness, Race, and Racial Crisis

-         Disasters and Deaths

-         Postcolonial and Postcoloniality in/as Crisis

-         Crying and Failures of Language

-         Crisis between the Religious and the Secular  

-         Refugees, Migration, and Illegal-Aliens

-         Poverty, Homelessness, and other Urban Crisis

-         Domestic Militants and Global Militarization

-         Women’s Rights and Constitutional Crisis

-         Limits of Language, Limits of Thoughts

-         New Borders and Emerging Geopolitical Crisis

-         Refugees, Displacement, and Crisis in Governance

-         Anthropocene and Ending(s) of the World(s)

-         Crisis of Imagination, Crisis of Comparison

-         Dystopias and Imaginations of Endings

-         Epistemology, Knowledge, and the ends of Knowledge

-         Trans- rights, and Crisis in Traditional Sexualities

-         Disability Studies and Questions of Bodily Crisis

-         Histories of Global Crisis and Crisis in writing Histories

-         Psychoanalysis in the time of Global Crisis

-         Madness, Mourning, and Other Affective registers of Crisis

-         Emerging Fascism and crisis on the Left


We welcome proposals focused on any time period, geographic location, and discipline. Paper length should be of 15-to-20 minutes of a conference-style presentation, and we encourage the use of digital technology (including PPT) to assist the presentation.

To be part of our conversation send us an Abstract of 300 words along with a short bio by January 15, 2023.  

Send your questions and/or submissions to: