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GERMAN-CFP-L  November 2006

GERMAN-CFP-L November 2006

Subject:

CFP: Figures of Comparison (grad) (12/31/06; 3/2/07-3/3/07)

From:

Megan McKinstry <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

German Studies CFP Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 20 Nov 2006 12:27:52 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (261 lines)

>
>From: "Arne De Boever" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: CFP: Figures of Comparison (grad) (12/31/06; 3/2/07-3/3/07)
>
>CFP: Figures of Comparison in the Humanities and the Social Sciences
>
>Date/Place: March 2nd-3rd, 2007/ Columbia University, New York
>
>Keynote speaker: To Be Announced
>
>The Center for Comparative Literature and Society (CCLS) at Columbia=20
>University, New York invites papers for its second graduate student=20
>conference entitled =93Figures of Comparison in the Humanities and the=20=
>
>Social Sciences.=94 By =93figures of comparison,=94 we mean both objects =
>of=20
>study that call for a comparative approach and comparative methods that=20=
>
>invite us to discuss these objects in new ways. Papers should examine=20
>the question of comparison through a sustained engagement with an=20
>object and/or method that is related to one of the six panel topics=20
>outlined below. Although we prefer papers related to the proposed=20
>panels, we are also willing to take into consideration other paper or=20
>panel proposals.
>
>The conference will be introduced by the director of CCLS, Gayatri=20
>Chakravorty Spivak. Panels will be moderated by Elizabeth Povinelli,=20
>Susan Boynton, Joseph Massad, Stathis Gourgouris, Bruce Robbins, and=20
>Marianne Hirsch. The conference will close with a roundtable discussion=20=
>
>in which the panel moderators will present their concluding thoughts=20
>and open the discussion to the public.
>
>Please send a 300-500 word abstract to the following e-mail address no=20=
>
>later than December 31st, 2006: [log in to unmask]
>
>The conference organizers,
>
>Adam Bund
>Arne De Boever
>Olivia Harrison
>Susanne Knittel
>
>
>Economies of Translation/Transfiguration/=85 (mod. Elizabeth Povinelli)
>
>Karl Marx argues in the Grundrisse that the money form is a fantasy of=20=
>
>translation and that commodity exchange emerges at the boundaries of=20
>otherwise distinct communities. This is only one speculative genealogy=20=
>
>establishing translation as a concept/ practice that binds together=20
>multiple economies of circulation. Insofar as comparativism is often=20
>described as a process of translation =96 between languages, =
>disciplines,=20
>cultures, histories, and more =96 this panel seeks to investigate the=20
>hegemony of translation as a figure for comparative work. For example,=20=
>
>according to Elizabeth Povinelli and Dilip Gaonkar, the concept of=20
>transfiguration is more adequate to the current moment than the concept=20=
>
>of translation: =93Focusing on transfiguration rather than translation =96=
>=20
>the refunctioning of a text as such for different demanding-sites =96=20
>orients our analysis toward the calibration of vectors of power rather=20=
>
>than vectors of meaning-value.=94 We are also thinking, for example, of=20=
>
>the =93musical=94 notion of transposition as a productive alternative=20
>metaphor; but there are many others. For this panel, we invite papers=20
>that discuss questions such as: Is translatability a conceptual=20
>infrastructure which remains in the face of a new and mathematicized=20
>lingua franca? Is it something else? What is at stake politically or=20
>ethically in a methodological shift away from translation? If such a=20
>shift leads from trans-lation to trans-figuration or trans-position,=20
>what are the implications of insisting on the prefix =93trans-=94? What=20=
>
>could be the benefits of the prefixes =93inter-=94 or =93cross-=94? How =
>can we=20
>understand the residual force of the nation or the region in producing=20=
>
>and regulating economic/political/cultural relations in the age of=20
>globalization?
>
>
>Sites and Sounds of Comparison (mod. Susan Boyton)
>
>In The Production of Space, Henri Lef=E8bvre poses the question of the=20=
>
>metaphor of reading: what does it mean to =93read=94 space? What are the=20=
>
>limits or advantages of approaching an object of study as text? If=20
>architecture has played a prominent role in literary and cultural=20
>studies (monumentality, memorialization, textual architecture), the=20
>very notion of reading has pervaded nearly all non-literary=20
>enterprises. In this panel we seek papers that raise the question of=20
>reading in the study of fields as disparate as architecture, geography,=20=
>
>musicology, anthropology, media and visual studies (radio, film, art=20
>history=85). What other metaphors might more appropriately describe and=20=
>
>body forth the study of space, sound, or visual material? How might=20
>these approaches supplement or transform the way we read actual text?=20
>Can we conceive of the comparative object as a =93site=94 of comparison,=20=
>
>using the spatial metaphor to designate a juncture, conjunction, or=20
>intersection that defies traditional disciplines or fields?
>
>
>Enemies, Strangers, Neighbors, Friends (mod. Joseph Massad)
>
>In his book The Jew, the Arab: A History of the Enemy, Gil Anidjar=20
>maintains that Europe=92s concept of the enemy =93remains yet to be=20
>formulated.=94 This =93to-come=94 points toward a =93comparative=94 =
>nature of the=20
>enemy, i.e. the fact that Europe=92s concept of the enemy is structured=20=
>
>by its relation to both the Arab and the Jew. For this panel, we invite=20=
>
>papers that critically engage with the figures of the enemy =96 the=20
>stranger, the neighbor, and the friend =96 through the comparative study=20=
>
>of a specific object: e.g. Europe=92s construction of a=20
>=93south-mediterranean fence=94 (Balibar), the figure of the pirate in =
>the=20
>work of Carl Schmitt, or the partisan struggle in Iraq. Papers may=20
>address some of the following questions: can there be a political=20
>community that would not be predicated on the production of identity=20
>and alterity? Is it possible to practice an identity politics that=20
>would function as a critique of sovereign power while at the same time=20=
>
>insisting on sovereignty=92s strongly egalitarian and democratic=20
>implications? What would it mean to think of such an identity politics=20=
>
>as comparative? What understanding of theology is implicit in=20
>contemporary concepts of the political? Can theology still be=20
>articulated in opposition to secularism? Should secularism perhaps be=20
>understood in opposition to nationalism? What could be the benefits of=20=
>
>a postsecular perspective?
>
>
>Figures of the In-Between (mod. Stathis Gourgouris)
>
>Various tropes of hybridity (Bhabha)=97m=E9tissage (Lionnet), mestizaje=20=
>
>(Anzald=FAa), cr=E9olit=E9 (Bernab=E9, Confiant, Chamoiseau), or =
>antillanit=E9=20
>(Glissant), for example=97have featured prominently in the scholarship=20=
>
>and aesthetic practices of the last thirty years to figure modes of=20
>cultural mixing. Others=97trans- or cross-sexuality, the androgyne, and=20=
>
>forms of sexual indeterminacy=97have been used critically in gender,=20
>feminist, and queer studies. This panel proposes to examine figures or=20=
>
>tropes of the in-between that simultaneously call for a comparative=20
>(interdisciplinary, cross-cultural, multilingual, etc.) approach, and=20
>figure the comparative itself. What are the political, social and=20
>economic implications of such figures of hybridity? To what political=20
>uses can (or should) they be put? How does the history of these terms=20
>affect their deployment, or shore up their limits? Because these=20
>figures point to the intersectionality of analytic categories (class,=20
>race, gender) and to the meeting of cultures, languages, and histories,=20=
>
>we are particularly interested in cross-disciplinary and intercultural=20=
>
>approaches: how do these comparative figures test the boundaries of=20
>disciplinary fields and cultural or linguistic formations? Conversely,=20=
>
>how do disciplines, languages or fields shape tropes of the in-between,=20=
>
>or point to their limitations?
>
>
>Figures of Intellectual Labor (mod. Bruce Robbins)
>
>Claude L=E9vi-Strauss issues a challenge to comparativists when he =
>begins=20
>his Tristes Tropiques by declaring, =93I hate traveling and explorers.=94=20=
>
>To L=E9vi-Strauss, mere movement or the simple encounter with difference=20=
>
>can never constitute the foundations of a truly comparative=20
>anthropology. In The Savage Mind, L=E9vi-Strauss further interrogates =
>the=20
>subject of comparison by distinguishing between two modes of knowledge=20=
>
>acquisition: that of the scientist and that of the bricoleur. Whereas=20
>the former attempts to move beyond the constraints imposed by a=20
>particular state of civilization, the latter makes do with whatever is=20=
>
>at hand. This panel proposes to discuss whether structure, or even=20
>structuralism, is a necessary precondition for acts of comparative=20
>imagination. Gilles Deleuze=92s notion of the assemblage =96 an ensemble =
>of=20
>language, affect, and machine located neither on the side of the=20
>subject nor on the side of the object of knowledge =96 is one of the =
>many=20
>possibilities for comparative inquiry that refuses the dictates of=20
>structuralism. For this panel, papers should examine various figures of=20=
>
>intellectual labor =96 the traveler, the explorer, the scientist, the=20
>bricoleur, the assemblage =96 as they are mobilized to describe=20
>comparative work across disciplines by asking, for example: What is the=20=
>
>relationship between journalism and academic production? Is a focus on=20=
>
>the experiences/ itineraries of the migrant a sufficient basis for=20
>comparativism? What is the residual strength of abstractions like=20
>=93culture=94 or =93society=94 as organizing principles of comparative =
>work?=20
>How do various forms of communications technology structure in advance=20=
>
>the possibilities for comparison? Do some of these forms call for=20
>scientists while others call for bricoleurs?
>
>
>Unthinking Generations: Kinship and Comparison (mod. Marianne Hirsch)
>
>Sigrid Weigel argues that =93generation=94 is a hybrid concept that =
>moves=20
>between different academic fields and discourses, and invites=20
>comparative inquiry. She theorizes generation as a process or movement=20=
>
>less of evolutionary than of cultural, historical, and narrative=20
>patterning: a generation is shaped by commonalities of experience as=20
>well as by temporal, geographic, and cultural differences. In=20
>Antigone=92s Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death, Judith Butler asks=20=
>
>what will be the =93legacy of Oedipus=94 for those who are formed in =
>family=20
>situations =93where positions are hardly clear, where the place of the=20=
>
>father is dispersed, where the place of the mother is multiply occupied=20=
>
>or displaced, where the symbolic in its stasis no longer holds?=94 For=20=
>
>this panel, we invite papers that contribute to our understanding of=20
>comparative studies by asking, for example, what is the role of=20
>genealogy and family narrative in the study of cultural memory? What is=20=
>
>the role of the family metaphor in political theory? If the comparative=20=
>
>can be rethought (after Weigel and Butler) as a =93generational=94 or=20
>=93familial=94 concept, in what way would it invite us to reconsider the=20=
>
>notion of disciplinarity? Taking into account that the word=20
>=93generation=94 also means =93the process of generating,=94 =
>contributions=20
>could also propose to think through comparativism as an =93emergent=94=20=
>
>(dominant? residual?) mode of inquiry today.

*******************
The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Megan McKinstry
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: http://www.missouri.edu/~graswww/resources/gerlistserv.html

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