Conscripted Subjects: Disciplined Society, Critique, and the Humanities
Graduate Student Conference, Department of Comparative Literature, UCLA
February 23-25, 2011
In light of our current moment marked by economic collapse, heightened political paranoia, racial profiling, and ubiquitous surveillance, this conference wishes to highlight the connection between states of crisis and the wider social question of the prison as a space of social production. "Discipline" as such does not simply imply policies that police subjects, but rather policies that produce them not just in "correctional facilities", but also in the discourses and practices appropriated by universities, workplaces, hospitals, and bureaucracies. In this regard, we seek to question the normalization of the prison as a model for social relations between classes, sexes, races, and other subjectivities. The humanities have long been a central site for the critique of such disciplinary modes of social relations. While Foucaults notion of "disciplinary society" has in many ways enabled this line of social critique, scholars of the humanities have since expanded it beyond its native terrain of eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe, to encompass a wide array of historical moments and geographic terrains. We therefore invite papers from all disciplines that engage with the means through which modern ―subjects‖ have been organized, taxonomized and controlled.
Possible topics include:
- Institutionalized discipline and subject formation schools, hospitals, government.
- Literary forms and disciplinary textual practices forms, genres, disciplinary boundaries.
- Critical responses to the disciplinary society discourses of critique, crisis, and secular criticism.
- Secularism the relationship between the private/public and the sacred/profane.
- Urban design, architecture, and the disciplined organization of space, place, and mobility.
- Empire, nationalism, "terrorism," and territorial occupation.
- Visibility and subject recognition in postcolonial societies the visibility of policed subjects vs. the invisibility of subaltern/abject subjects.
- Crime and mobility criminality as the transgression of physical, social, and ethical boundaries.
- Prison spaces, punitive practices, and the "Prison-Industrial Complex."
- Psychoanalysis and discipline the normal and the pathological.
- Racialized discipline and the generation of "minorities."
- Anti-disciplinary figures the stateless (exile, refugee, nomad), the non-human (monsters, vampires, the trans-human), and the otherworldly (aliens, ghosts, the prophetic).
- Disciplinary practices and docile bodies heteronormativity and gender forms.
- "Biopower", "Governmentality", and Continental Philosophy.
- Popular culture and the disciplined body ("boot camps," extreme body modification).
Submission deadline: October 15, 2010.
Abstracts should be between 250-350 words. All examples and quotations must be translated into English. Unaffiliated scholars are welcome.
Submissions in English (in doc. format) should be sent to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
There is no participation fee, and refreshments and a light lunch will be provided. Travel and accommodation is at the participants' expense. Local hotels in the area will be offering conference rates.
University of California, Los Angeles
Department of Comparative Literature
345 Humanities Building Email: email@example.com
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