Call for Papers
Subjectivity and the System: An Interdisciplinary Conference
8th Annual History Graduate Student Conference
April 4-6, 2014
Keynote speaker: Jeremy Varon, New School for Social Research and Eugene Lange College
“The personal is political,” the rally cry of the 1960s, is a modern conception, yet rooted in a longer history of individual encounters with political, economic, legal, religious, and cultural apparatus. The “personal” and the “political” are historically produced and unstable categories: on the one hand, “subjectivity,” associated with authenticity, feeling, and agency, whether individual or collective; on the other, the grandiose and impersonal notion of an objectively definable “system” to which subjectivity is ostensibly opposed. The boundaries between the personal and the political are shifting and porous, but an interrogation of these categories of analysis can expose the intertwined and mutually dependent histories of the individual, the movement, and instantiated regimes of power.
We invite graduate students to present interdisciplinary scholarship that seeks to integrate the inner lives and experiences of historical subjects into narratives of large-scale structural change. Through a discussion of these themes, we hope to outline difficulties and provide strategies for thinking through the relations of “subjectivity” and the “system” with historical sources and methods.
Potential paper topics include, but are not limited to, explorations of the following:
Structural power and social resistance
Political and extralegal violence, war, and genocide
Methodologies related to diaries, oral histories, documentaries, and other forms of witness
Race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality as contested sites of political power
Strategies of national, transnational, or imperial domination and resistance
Urban and rural spaces, and the politics of space
Migration, immigration, and citizenship
Global economies and bureaucracies
Slavery and trafficking
Politics of the everyday
Submission deadline is Monday, November 18, 2013. Panel submissions are preferred, though individual papers will be considered. Panel submissions should include a panel title, theme, 200-word abstract, and 250-word bio for each panelist. Individual paper submissions should include a paper title, 250-word abstract, 250-word bio. All submissions should also note whether or not they will require multimedia services. Successful candidates will be notified in early January and should submit final papers by February 28, 2014.
Please e-mail submissions and questions to: BrownHGSA2014@gmail.com.
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