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February 2015


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Nicole A Roth <[log in to unmask]>
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Nicole A Roth <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Feb 2015 19:22:31 +0000
Call for Papers
The History Department’s 37th Annual Susman Graduate Student Conference at Rutgers University New Brunswick, NJ Friday, April 10, 2015 Everyday Enchantments: Beyond Disenchantment’s Critical Horizon

Keynote Speaker: This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Kate Keller. She is an Assistant Professor of History, African Studies, and Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Gustavus Adolphus College and the author of “Political Surveillance and Colonial Urban Rule: “Suspicious” Politics and Urban Space in Dakar, Senegal, 1918-1939” in French Historical Studies.

Disenchantment, beginning with Weber’s deployment of the term, has long been understood in the humanities and social sciences as a dialectical process linked to universalizing notions of modernity, rationalization, and enlightenment. This process of disenchantment moves toward rationalism and away from belief: as articulated by Talal Asad, it “implies a direct access to reality, a stripping away of myth, magic, and the sacred.” It is a process constituted by the interlinking projects that we have come to know as “modernity” (secularism, human rights, science and medicine, capitalism, etc.). More recently, however, disenchantment has also been seen as a project of (re)enchantment, a view in which the institutions of our “modern,” “secular” world are themselves enchanted, or were perhaps never disenchanted at all. This complication of the narrative of disenchantment creates new political and conceptual possibilities that compel us to reconsider our work as academics and to examine how we approach our historical subjects, and how imagination plays a role in our intellectual work.  

This conference sees the everyday as a crucial site for recuperating “enchantment” as a critical methodology, which leads to such questions as: 

What role does enchantment play in the ways in which historical subjects move through their daily lives? 

What ethical and political work can the lived experience of the everyday perform in the humanities and social sciences? 

How can the everyday serve not only to counter grand metanarratives or universal theories, but as a site for the creation of theory itself—as a site from which we can critique the epistemologies and methodologies of our own scholarly work? 

We invite graduate students from the humanities and social sciences to submit papers, panels, workshops and roundtables based in any time period or geographical location that are related, but by no means limited, to the following themes and subthemes:

1. The Ethical and Political Work of the Everyday: Environmental racism and disposable life, ecologies of space, the right to the city; histories of resistance;  histories and anthropologies of violence; popular and everyday cultures; politics of experience

2. (Dis)Enchanting Epistemologies/Methodologies: Critical approaches to temporality (break between modern and pre-modern); historicization and critique of popular/contemporary epistemologies and methodologies in the social sciences and the humanities;de-colonial knowledges; indigenous knowledges in the academy; archive and museum studies; geopolitics of knowledge

3. Mapping Bodies, Blurring Boundaries: Intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, trans and queer histories/methodologies; desire and affect; material culture and new materialism; critical geographies, mobilities and migration

4. Competing Universalisms : Histories of nationalism, secularism, human rights; politics, propaganda, and political culture; histories of capitalism, commerce, and global exchange, science and technology studies; cosmopolitanism

Proposals are due at 11:59 PM on Sunday March 1, 2015. Please submit all proposals by e-mail to the Susman planning committee at [log in to unmask]  Participants will be notified of acceptance by March 9th, and will be required to submit completed 10 page papers by April 3rd.

Individual paper proposals should include a 150-300-word abstract with paper title, and a CV with author contact information. The organizers of complete sessions should send in a single submission and abstracts, 200-word description of the session, and CVs with contact information for all participants. Please list any audio-visual requirements.