SECOND CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Undoing Leviathan: Multidisciplinary Readings of the State
Editors: Roopali Mukherjee (CUNY/Queens College) and Priya Jaikumar (University of Southern California).
This is a second call for contributions for a collection that brings together new scholarship that theorizes and reinterprets the idea of the state from a variety of academic disciplines.
Recent writings on the state, we suggest, have profoundly revised how we think, represent and/ or contest the state today. Over the course of the twentieth century, neo-Marxists, feminists, and poststructuralists dislodged definitions of the state founded on institutionally enshrined blocs of power to reveal its part in politicizing every aspect of social and cultural life, rendering the state a limitless object of study. Dramatic new relations between subjects, civil societies, and governments emerged, sparking revelations of a boundless state inscribed in our subjectivities, our language, knowledge systems and myths. These epistemological redefinitions of the state, moving apace in a range of academic fields, began to cast a new light on past and future struggles to constitute public spaces where individuals transform into subjects, citizens or stateless beings.
This dispersal of the state as an object of study paralleled predictions of the death of the state, confounding discussions of how an invisible range of state power or negotiated agency may accompany the manifest withering of state institutions. Competing arguments about whether the state is or is not a significant vector of power in contemporary geopolitics rarely pronounce how each of these dissenting positions continue to be founded on particular interpretations of the state, its locus and tools of operation, or its regimes of change. Moreover, conceptual innovations and analytic challenges uncovered by these scholarly advances have been muted because they have remained mutually isolated by disciplinary segregations.
We propose Undoing Leviathan, a collection of essays from a variety of disciplines that each illuminate state forms and/or state functions embedded within their particular, preoccupying questions to clarify what we are speaking of when we conjure up the state. Current debates over the state draw upon a range of intellectual legacies: Gramscian approaches to civil society and social movements, Foucauldian notions of power and governmentality, politico-economic institutional analyses, and textual and discursive investigations. We assume that any meaningful dialogue between these positions and any evaluation of the states utility or redundancy as an analytical construct depends on asking: how do we read the state? Given the depth and range of state scholarship ongoing within disciplinary fields, we argue that such dialogue can be uniquely fruitful when it draws upon a variety of such theorizations.
Our first call for proposals yielded a number of excellent proposals from scholars working in art history, literary studies, political science, history, geography, and women, gender and queer studies. These works address a significant range of topics including:
affect, social bonds, and state-based communities,
global civil society, mass labor, and the precarity movement,
the post-national citizen-subject in the former East bloc,
the post-liberal/neoliberal state,
supranational state regimes, territory, and rights,
new cultural histories of Mexican peasant anti-state insurgencies,
torture and the liberal state,
Mural art and contradictions within public works of the New Deal.
Despite the scholarly diversity across these proposals, a number of notable silences remain in the collection. Thus, we announce this second call seeking work on the concept of the state that engages dispersals of the state as an analytic object coincident with its operation as a significant vector of power. The following areas of research are of particular interest:
Feminist and/or racial approaches to/histories of the state,
Case studies of repressive or totalitarian state systems,
Revolutionary and/ or post-state regimes,
Truth/conspiracy/fantasy in formations of state rationality,
Tourism, migration, and diasporic bonds,
War, human rights, and/or environmental and public health discourses,
City spaces, ethnicity, and/or class.
Proposals on subjects outside these areas are welcome if they include work by scholars in anthropology, performance and visual studies, political economy, and/or architecture.
Proposals of up to 500 words, including a brief author bio and publishing history, and any inquiries should be sent to one or both of the listed editors, Professor Mukherjee at firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Jaikumar at email@example.com. We strongly encourage proposals be sent to us latest by December 31st, 2007. Completed papers of about 5,000 to 6,000 words will be due in July 2008.
Professor Roopali Mukherjee
Department of Media Studies
City University of New York/Queens College
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing NY 11367 USA
Fax: 718-997-2960 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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