Panel Proposal Deadline: Monday, December 2, 2002.
Paper Proposal Deadline: Wednesday, January 8, 2003.
Plenary Speaker: Robin D. G. Kelley, History Department, New York University
“United We Stand,” or so the story goes--since September 11, 2001, American citizens and the rest of the “free world” have been urged to put forward a united front in the fight against terror. This call for consensus, marketed as an ostensibly liberating move, has imposed conformity and silence on the public. Academia has become one of many sites where the effects of ideological discipline have become particularly apparent as big politics and big business go hand in hand, working to contain and restrict the kinds of knowledge produced by students, scholars, and scientists.
The New Politics of Consensus force us to reconsider the role and purpose of the critical intellectual. The drive toward unanimity in mind and work as well as the material reality and language of capitalism have steadily eroded academia as a viable form of life. They have helped to dislodge possibilities for opposition, creativity, and alternative thinking in the university. Discourses of compulsory patriotism, liberal and conservative humanitarianism, and capitalist-scientific professionalism are monopolizing both higher education and research and suppressing the contestation and negotiation of how world events are made meaningful. In this context, we need to ask what we can do to reclaim our voices as agents of change and promoters of critique and dissent.
The focus of the Ninth Annual Human Sciences Conference shall be the interrelations between the following pressing problems:
the embattled situation, and even dismantlement, of academic institutions and programs, such as the Department of Cultural Studies and Sociology at the University of Birmingham, due to the cash-nexus logic of ‘efficiency’ and ‘excellence’
the exploitation of intellectual labor, especially within the lower ranks of the university hierarchy
the recent (and historical) interests in national and international unity vis-à-vis the terrorist enemy; and
the cross-disciplinary decline of dissent in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 university
In addition to the topics noted above, we welcome panel or paper proposals on any of the following subjects:
the corporate university
unionization on campuses
the expert professional and the intellectual
research over teaching
disparities and alliances between the human sciences and the natural sciences
public intellectual vis-à-vis ivory tower
race, gender, and radicalism in the university
the knowledge class/intellectuals and class
bureaucratic-administrative control of academic labor
communication between the university, greater public, and policy-makers
language and narrative
history and future of higher education
power within academia
public health and homeland security
academic biomedicine: knowledge and information
in)visible and (il)legitimate forms of violence
historical representations of terror
the state of the nation: the hetero-normative rhetoric of community and family
national artifacts, symbols, and icons
difference and unity, or Who is the Other?
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