RISK NARRATIVES

deadline for submissions: 
December 15, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Ege University 19th International Cultural Studies Symposium
contact email: 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Risk looms large in a present-day modern, global society.  When German sociologist Ulrich Beck, the pioneering figure in risk analysis, theorized a “Risk Society” in 1986, he defined “risk” as “a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernization itself.” That year, radioactive fallout swept through Europe and the USSR. In 1984, a toxic gas leak at a chemical factory in Bhopal, India killed nearly 4000 people and injured up to half a million more. In 1981, a new ailment, AIDS, had proliferated alarmingly across the world. Three decades earlier, Rachel Carson, in her groundbreaking Silent Spring had warned of the dangers to all natural systems from the misuse of chemicals. Building on his earlier work, Beck’s World at Risk (2009) argues that we are in a new phase of modernity, the second modernity, marked by frightening uncertainties that modernity sought to eliminate through scientific and technological progress. In other words, risks, “the potential for adverse consequences” as Beck contends, are the wholesale products of industrialization, and they intensify as a result of globalization. 

If we skip forward to the present day, risk scenarios, from carcinogens in food to acidification of oceans, biodiversity loss, species extinction, waste crisis, gene technology, ozone layer depletion, radioactive leaking, sea-level rise, climate change, epidemics, cybercrime to refugeeism have become an inescapable component of daily routines. As the concept of a contemporary “risk society” has gained currency in an interdisciplinary matrix involving sociology, cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, philosophy, narratology, politics, literary and cultural studies, and energy and environmental humanities, a plethora of questions and discussions pertaining to risk representation, risk communication, risk perception and awareness, risk denial, and the spatiotemporal dimensions of risk conceived of as riskscapes, have spurred a bulk of academic and scholarly literature on risks and the catastrophes they anticipate.

There have been many international conferences focusing on risk exclusively in the fields of cyber security, finance, energy politics, climate science, and information technologies. No conference has yet sought to discuss the concept of risk as it is conceived in literary and cultural studies, environmental and energy humanities. This year’s International Cultural Studies Symposium aims to open an exciting, challenging, and interdisciplinary platform for scholars to discuss risk narratives from a perspective informed by cultural and literary studies, environmental and energy humanities, and ecocriticism. In this context, we invite individual papers and panel proposals on the following suggested topics:

 

  • Oil fiction as risk fiction
  • Climate change fiction as risk fiction
  • “Slow violence” and risk perception
  • Risk in media and popular culture
  • Riskscapes (Spatiotemporal constructions of risk)
  • Psychology of risk
  • Risk, science, and culture
  • Risk and Visual Arts
  • Risk in Fiction and Nonfiction
  • Aesthetics, Poetics, and Philosophy of Risk
  • Risk, politics, and culture
  • Epistemes of Risk
  • Risk, gender, and culture
  • Risk and Energy Humanities: ”Petroleumscapes”, cultural imaginaries, social practices, and political formations.
  • Paradoxes of Nuclear Energy

The official language of the conference is English. Interested scholars are kindly asked to submit abstracts of no more than 200 words, together with a short bio note (100 words), for 15-minute presentations. When submitting your abstract, please indicate your institutional affiliation. Please e-mail your proposal and a short BIO to egecss2024@gmail.com by December 15, 2023.