Histories of Violence; A Graduate Conference at George Mason University

Venue: George Mason U, Fairfax Campus

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Event Date/Time: Oct 18, 2008
Abstract Submission Date: May 01, 2008
Paper Submission Date: Sep 01, 2008
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TOPIC: Histories of Violence Graduate Conference
CONFERENCE DATES: October 18, 2008
SUBMIT PROPOSAL TO: rcohn@gmu.edu

Keynote Speaker: Robin Wagner-Pacifici, Gil and Frank Mustin Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, author of The Art of Surrender, Theorizing the Standoff, and Discourse and Destruction.

Conference Description:
This conference will explore the ways in which violence is manifest in political, social and economic realms, and the various roles violence plays in the relation between these realms in any specific juncture, past or present. It will examine the ways in which violence is theorized, enacted, represented and obscured, and how we come to understand the role of historic violence in the construction of the contemporary cultural conjuncture, as well as how various histories influence the ways in which we relate to and theorize violence today.

Violence sits at the (often obscured) center of a broad range of topic areas, and many people working in various fields of cultural studies and related disciplines have to deal with the ubiquity of violence as a component of their research, and are therefore forced to theorize or at the very least deploy operational definitions of violence. These definitions, however, are often contradictory and reinscribe fundamental epistemological and ethical rifts within the discourse on culture and politics.

The 2008 Graduate Cultural Studies Conference seeks to cultivate a conversation, among emerging scholars in Cultural Studies and related fields, about the centrality and ubiquity of violence. We are interested in papers written by graduate students which will help to articulate the ways in which violence is encountered in lived experience and in the literature, and which will point towards possibilities for approaching, conceptualizing, and mitigating violence through future scholarship and other activities.

Guiding questions might include:
What counts as violence?
How is violence disciplined, legitimated, monopolized, valorised, consented to, or pathologized in different contexts?
In what ways does topical work on race, gender, postcoloniality, media studies, conflict resolution, political economy, etc., demand that violence be addressed?
What roles have violence played in the construction of the contemporary cultural conjuncture, and how are those histories represented and received?

General topic areas could include: theories of violence, sexual violence, terrorism, violence and/of representation, state violence, violence and law enforcement, nonviolence, violence and insurrection, violence and masculinity/femininity, racialized violence, divine violence, revolution, symbolic violence, etc.

The conference will take place on one day, and will be organized into panels of three or four 15-minute presentations. In order to facilitate discussion and enrich the experience for all participants, there will be no overlapping panels.

Paper abstracts of approximately 500 words should be submitted by April 1, 2008 to Randall Cohn c/o Cultural Studies Program, George Mason University. Email submissions strongly encouraged: rcohn@gmu.edu. Please include return email address and institutional affiliation for all submissions.

Further details are available at http://culturalstudies.gmu.edu/violence/

Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2007


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Additional Information

Free and open to the public.