We are seeking panelists from different disciplines to present his/her work on (counter-)imperial narratives of difference including a reflection on a meta level. The panel is part of the conference „Spatiotemporality of the Imperial“, organized by the research network “Erfurter RaumZeit Forschung” (http://www.uni-erfurt.de/de/philosophische-fakultaet/raumzeit-forschung) and held at the University of Erfurt (Germany), October 5-9, 2014 or October 12-16, 2014.
From our perspective, time and space cannot be thought of apart from each other. They are hard to grasp, yet omnipresent as the dimensions shaping our environment as well as the categories structuring every account of it. While the external production conditions of these accounts obviously depend on asymmetric relations of power that are established and vary across space and time, spatiotemporal categories also play a powerful role inside those accounts. Through the process of narrating, time and space are used to order events, objects and people – and thus help to legitimize and exercise power as well as establish difference. This is especially true for colonial/ imperial settings:
For the ‘Empire’ creates and preserves power over its subjects not so much through homogenization as through the production of difference. (Hardt/Negri) This “politics of difference” as the imperial “tool of rule” par excellance (Burbank/Cooper) uses spatiotemporal categories and hierarchizations as a means of cultural ‘Othering’ (Spivak): The ‘others’ are spaced and timed outside of the colonial/ imperial here and now by marginalizing them into heterotopoi (Foucault) and denying them coevalness (Fabian). But these heterochronotopoi hold potential to formulate counter-discourses against the very power asymmetries.
Taking into account these “politics of difference” exercised through and within (hetero)chronotopoi (Bahktin), we want to encourage panelists to reflect on the power of narration on a meta level as our dominant way of producing scholarly accounts in the humanities is the narrative text. How can we unveil the (spatiotemporal) Othering in our narratives? Or could we even avoid it by evading narrativity? And if so, what could be a substitute: How could non-linear, multiperspective, multicausal, etc. accounts look like? And how do the new technologies and their promises of connectivity like digital humanities come into play?
A description of the paper (100-150 words and tentative title) as well as a short CV should be submitted by November 30th, 2013 either to Robert Fischer (email@example.com) or Florian Heintze (firstname.lastname@example.org). As a requirement for participation at the conference, panelists are strongly encouraged to submit an approx. 10 page version of their presentation by September 1st, 2014 in order to design the presentation and discussion more effectively.
We are looking forward to hearing from you,
Robert and Florian
Robert Fischer, M.A.
North American History Department
Platform World Regions and Interactions - Area Studies, Transregionally
DFG-Project: Cultural TimeSpaces in an Atlantic Metropolis: Săo Paulo 1867-1930
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