Claiming Space: Reconfigurations in Times of Crisis
(May 24 - 25, 2013)
A deep-seated notion of crisis has arguably become a defining feature of today’s United States. The aftermath of the financial meltdown, growing economic disparity, ecological problems, internal political and societal divisions, challenges to the nation’s global standing, and uncertainty about the country’s direction all add up to instill a pervasive sense of insecurity in both internal and external observers.
Moments of crisis and their devastating effects put into question the very foundations on which society rests. Such is the nature of crisis that it unsettles stable structures and generates the need for fundamental reorganization. As a result, a variety of social forces will seek to claim space for themselves in the emerging new order. Among the most contested arenas in this struggle for political, social and cultural space are those in which the relationship between individual freedoms and communal responsibilities, between private and public spaces in American society, are being negotiated. This dialectic is currently at work in many different spheres of American life, from politics and economics to society and culture.
The sixth international conference hosted by the Graduate School of North American Studies therefore invites students and scholars to engage in interdisciplinary investigations into the competing claims to geographical, political, economical, social, and cultural spaces that are currently being made within North America.
We encourage papers on a wide range of topics, which may include, but are not limited to:
- Whose crisis? Framing current crises historically and conceptually
- Conceptions of social, artistic and political space
- (Re-)negotiating the public/private divide in politics, society and the arts
- Free markets / individual freedom versus government regulation /(re)distribution
- Neoliberalism and its discontents: From austerity to inequality
- The contest for the city space: Integration versus segregation
- The “tragedy of the commons”: The ecological crisis and climate change
- (Re-)claiming the public space: Social movements and Occupy
- New social networks and the search for the contemporary Agora
- Narratives of crisis / Crisis of narrative: American stories for the 21st century
For a more detailed version of this call for papers and additional information, please refer to the conference website:
Abstracts should be limited to 250 words and be accompanied by the author’s name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, discipline(s), and a short CV (please complete the form attached and name the document starting with your family name (“name_abstract”).
The deadline for submissions is February 1st, 2013. A confirmation email will be sent when we receive your abstract. Those selected to present will be notified by mid-March, 2013. Please submit all abstracts and questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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