New School University
Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science
Spring Conference, May 4, 2002
Hosted by International Labor and Working-Class History Journal, the Sociology Department, and Committee on Historical Studies
Call for Papers
Conference Title: History Matters: Area Studies, Cultural Values, and the History of Uneven Development
Theme: The reassertion of the importance of history and historical processes in shaping the “developed,” “developing,” and “underdeveloped” nations, regions, and areas of the world and the changing global division of labor.
Your economy is bad because your culture is bad. That is the message of Culture Matters: How Values Shape Human Progress, eds., Lawrence E. Harrison and Samuel P. Huntington, New York: Basic Books, 2000. Juxtaposed on the cover of the book are a photograph of a squalid, dilapidated hovel on the one hand, and on the other, the Statue of Liberty and the mighty World Trade Towers (pre-September 11): culture putatively explains the difference between wealth and poverty.
This is a call to a critical engagement with the new cultural determinism. Participants are invited to weigh the relative value of culture as a causal factor in class formation, in popular responses to poverty and injustice, and in the current imbalances in economic and political development.
We are looking for papers that address fundamental questions of development. Does class shape culture? Why are whole regions “de-linked” from the world economy? Does a global economy entail a global response, global resistance? Have institutions shaped the types of responses that are possible? What is the relative value of culture in explaining historical processes such a colonialism, slavery, war, revolution, capitalism, and socialism? Are there other variables that might help explain these processes? How have working people and social movements shaped and been shaped by economic development and globalization? Is there a geography of uneven development? Does class matter; how does it matter? These are just a few of the questions that conference participants and panels might address. There are certainly many more.
We are delighted to announce that Professor David Harvey of the Graduate Center, City University of New York, will be our keynote speaker. The conference is open to graduate students and senior scholars alike. Please submit a CV along with a short abstract of your paper by March 15. Send these to: ILWCH@newschool.edu or surface mail to:
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