The Human Condition Series Conference on TERROR (HSC 2008 TERROR)

Venue: University Partnerships Center @ Georgian College

Location: Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Event Date/Time: May 02, 2008 End Date/Time: May 03, 2008
Registration Date: May 01, 2008
Early Registration Date: Mar 30, 2008
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 30, 2008
Paper Submission Date: Mar 30, 2008
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Confirmed Keynote Speakers
We are very pleased to announce the confirmed participation of our three internationally renowned keynote speakers ( biographies follow this call for papers):

Dr. Henry Giroux. Dr. Sut Jhally. Dr. Sunera Thobani.

Description of the Series and Conference Theme

Terror becomes total when it becomes independent of all opposition:
It rules supreme when nobody any longer stands in its way.
-Hannah Arendt

This conference is part of a larger series of ongoing conferences, run under the general banner of The Human Condition Series. The series is an international, multidisciplinary conference that seeks to address the current state of the human condition. It aims to bring together people from a variety of disciplines to assess a singular topic from artistic, cinematic, literary, ethical, social, political, philosophical, psychological and religious perspectives. We encourage you to share innovative ideas and new ways of thinking and acting. Submissions will be considered on any related theme and we especially welcome papers, reports, works-in-progress, workshops and sessions. This year’s theme is Terror.
The concept of Terror is often found safely hidden and un-thought in diverse cultural, philosophical, and religious traditions and ways of life. One can see these safe havens extending from the divine mythologies of religious experience to the seemingly opposed rationalized life of contemporary hi-tech societies. With respect to religious experience, it is clear that we have to seriously reconsider the dynamics of organized religion in the face of rising religious fundamentalisms and terrorist activity. But terror in the highly rationalized world of technological societies can also impose its existing logic as a way of maintaining the order of things. We give it various positive names that conceal its potency and negative effects – at precise moments in history terror’s potency has appeared in benign terms such as “child welfare”, “residential schools”, the “founding nation”, the “developed world”, the “hysterical woman”, the “mentally ill”, the “social and sexual deviant”, the “immigrant problem”, the “disposable income” and the “democratic liberation of other peoples”. It is essentially the absurd rationalizations of these terms in the face of concrete realities that covers over terror’s effects and keeps it intact.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

The Laws of State-Terror
Non-sovereign peoples subjected to the authority of the privileged.
Structures that organize, control, punish, and reward subjects.
Denial to total self-governance

Communications of Terror
Propaganda, public relations and other communication management in the opinion industry.
Overt and covert representations of Terror
The centrality of spin and lobbying in communicating Terror
The role of the PR industry in creating Terror
Think tanks and policy communications
Global media management and Terror

The Manufacture and Management of Terror
The marketing of terror
Falsified news coverage and the intelligence industry.
Techniques of generating and maintaining terror through the medical industry’s management of ‘outbreaks’.
The relationship of Terror to the modern malaise: anxiety, disorders, disease
Terror as pleasure

Designating Terror
The Construction of the Transnational Terrorist
Deconstructing and reconstructing designations: “terrorism”, “Freedom fighter”, “peacekeeper”, “organized crime”, “legality”, and “human security”
Delegitimation of claims of origin in land-ownership.

Terror and the Transformation of States and Nations
Legitimacy of landownership.
Public and private responses to political violence.
Peacekeeping, peacebuilding and conflicting agendas in counter-terrorism and counter-crime policies
Forces in society which resist Terror via fighting, politics, activism or critical journalism.

Spaces of Terror
The international political economy of corporate power as Terror
Hospitals, clinics and the medical industry as Terror
Education and Terror

Gender, Sexuality and Terror
Otherness as Terror
Patriarchy and the violence of gender performance
Gendering Terrorism

Recreational Terror
Terror pornography
Horror genres
The commodification of fear
Ritualistic terror

Terror as Text
Artistic expressions of Terror
Imagining Terror
Literature and Terror
Discourses and Counter-discourses of Terror
Historic Perspectives on Terror
Linguistic Evolutions of Terror

The Doxas of Terror
The Terror of morality
Market terror
Techno-scientific Terror
The Terror of Fundamentalisms
Military logic as Terror
The Culture Industry as Terror
The Terror of Reason
The Metaphysics of Terror
Racial Knowledge as Terror
Faith and Terror.

The Organizing Committee welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals. 300 word abstracts should be submitted by January 30th, 2008. Accepted presenters will be notified by February 25th or sooner. If an abstract is accepted for the conference, full registration and an 8-10 page draft paper are required by March 30th 2008.

All papers accepted for and presented at the conference will be considered for inclusion in the THCS e-journal. In addition, some papers will also be considered for publication in a themed volume on Terror.

Dr. Henry Giroux is a recognized international authority in education and communications studies. He has been at McMaster University since 2004 where he holds the Global Television Network Chair in English and Cultural Studies. From 1992 to 2004 Dr. Giroux also held the Waterbury Chair Professorship at Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of numerous works dealing directly with the theme of this conference: The University in Chains: Confronting the Military-Industrial-Academic Complex (2007); Stormy Weather: Katrina and the Politics of Disposability (2006); Beyond the Spectacle of Terrorism: Global Uncertainty and the Challenge of the New Media (2006); The Terror of Neo-liberalism: Authoritarianism and the Eclipse of Democracy (2004).

Dr. Sut Jhally is an internationally acclaimed scholar of media and cultural studies. He is recognized for his publications and documentary film projects in the related areas of advertising, media and consumption. Dr. Jhally has taught at the University of Massechusetts since 1991 where he is Founder and Director of the Media Education Foundation. Some of his most pertinent works include: Social Communication in Advertising (2004); The Codes of Advertising (1999); Enlightened Racism (1992). Some of his critically acclaimed documentary film projects include: “Real Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies People” (2006); “Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land” (2004); “Hijacking Catastrophe: 9/11, Fear and the Selling of American Empire” (2004).

Dr. Sunera Thobani is one of Canada’s leading scholars on the construction of national subjectivity and an activist recognized at the national and international levels. In her most recent book, Exalted Subjects: Studies in the Making of Race and Nation in Canada (2007), Dr. Thobani examines how the national subject has been conceptualized in Canada at particular historical junctures, and how state policies and popular practices have exalted certain subjects over others. She is a recognized authority in international women’s studies and interdisciplinary research. Dr. Thobani was the Ruth Wyn Woodward Endowed Professor of Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University from 1996-2000. She is now professor of women’s studies and interdisciplinary research at the University of British Columbia. Most of her articles and scholarly interventions appear in major journals and focus on issues such as globalization, citizenship, migration, race and gender relations. In her public life Dr. Thobani is also a past President of Canada’s National Action Committee on Women’s Issues. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Dr. Thobani was one of the first scholars in the West to speak and write openly of the political history of American foreign and economic relations as a context for the growth of international terrorism (see her speech of October, 2001 at the conference titled, “Women’s Resistance: from Victimization to Criminalization” (for the full text visit

2 to 3 May 2008
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Contact name: Marianne Vardalos

Conference Announcement / Call for papers

2 to 3 May 2008
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

This conference is part of a larger series of
ongoing conferences, run under the general
banner of The Human Condition Series. The series
is an international, multidisciplinary
conference that seeks to address the current
state of the human condition.

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 30 March


One Georgian College Drive

Additional Information

Enquiries: Web address: Sponsored by: The Human Condition Series, Laurentian University @ Georgian and The University Partnerships Center