Dissent: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference
Department of English
Graduate Student Conference Dalhousie University
On 11 December 11th 2012, Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario declared a hunger strike to critique the federal government’s abuses of treaty rights and First Nations communities, and to draw attention to the detrimental and incalculable effects of Bill C-45 on Canada’s rivers and lakes. Across the country, local chapters of Idle No More acted in solidarity: orchestrating flash mobs, drum circles, demonstrations, and teach-ins to inform the public about the impact of this legislation on First Nations and non-First Nations alike. It is this strong, positive dissenting action that led to nationwide coverage of the movement, and to solidarity protests around the world. Its compelling message of dissent through peaceful resistance has lead us to reconsider the role of dissent in initiating real social and political change.
In “Critique, Dissent, Disciplinarity,” Judith Butler claims that dissent “impl[ies] an alteration both in and of the subject and can challenge and reformulate historically specific modes of rationality.” Butler contends that dissent is more than simple desistance and that, as a concept, dissent “maintains important relations to the modes of knowledge that articulate modes of governmental authority.” The ability to articulate and narrativize these historical movements is fundamental to the concept of dissent. In addition to exploring the ways in which narrative and literature allow us to conceptualize these issues, we are interested in widening the discussion of dissent: How are current and historic discourses of economics, politics, philosophy and psychology shaped and called into question by dissenting voices? What is the pedagogical role of dissent? How has dissent been changed by social media, including blogs, videos, newspaper commentary and twitterfeeds? How does dissent work in the academy? Can we engage in dissenting research practices?
The Dalhousie Association of Graduate Students in English (DAGSE) invites submissions for paper presentations for “Dissent: An Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference”. We welcome proposals from students at all levels and in all areas of graduate study. This three-day conference will be held August 16-18, 2013 at Dalhousie University, located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and will investigate the ways in which literature, history, art, and culture shape and are shaped by discourses and experiences of dissent.
We invite proposals for papers (15-20 minutes) on themes and subjects including, but not limited to:
● polemics, scandal, and scholarly debate
● Anonymous, WikiLeaks, Occupy, #idlenomore
● politics, drama and performativity
● revolutionary violence, radical groups, underground movements, public mischief
● community / public poetics
● figures of dissent, the dissident as writer or celebrity, the avant-garde
● technologies of dissent
● philosophical genealogies of dissent
● writing as resistance, writing from the margins, and writing across borders
● dissent in the classroom / pedagogy of dissent / politics and the Academy
● social commentary and satire / humour as resistance
● postcolonialism, neoliberalism and “writing back”
● literature of protest, Marxism and socialist literatures
Submission: Please submit a 250-word abstract plus a 50-word biographical statement that includes your name, current level of graduate study, affiliated university, and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include the words "conference abstract" in subject line, and include name on the cover letter only.
Deadline: Apil 1st, 2013. Accepted presenters will receive notification by the end of April.
Contact the organizers at email@example.com if you have questions about the conference. Visit the Dalhousie Department of English here: http://english.dal.ca
c/o Department of English
6135 University Avenue
PO BOX 15000
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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