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Monsters

Monsters

GODS AND MONSTERS: HISTORISIZING RITUAL, PUBLIC MEMORY, AND THE RELIGIOUS IMAGINATION

Call for Papers!

History Students Association Conference 2015

In his seminal essay The Great Cat Massacre, Robert Darnton gave a sage bit of advice to academics who study culture : “When you realize that you are not getting something—a joke, a proverb, a ceremony—that is particularly meaningful to the natives, you can see where to grasp a foreign system of meaning in order to unravel it.”

The monster is a construct and a projection, always interpreting the moment in which it is created. So too we see constructions of self in cultural phenomena as diverse as comic book heroes, ghost stories, fertility rituals, hagiography-even the villainization of the “other” informs the moment in which it enter public consciousness.

It is in this spirit that the 2015 History Students Association Conference at San Francisco State University is seeking papers that explore the intersection between humanity and its constructs.

How does ritual inform mentality? What can the supernatural tell us about historic truth and memory? How can we interpret stories so as to better understand the storyteller? How does politicization shape religious experience? How does the demonization of the other inform cultural fear? What do the fantastic elements interwoven with oral histories help us to discover about cultural norms?

Cross disciplinary submissions from film studies, literature, religious and ethnic studies, art history, and anthropology are encouraged.

Submission Guidelines: Please submit abstracts of 300 words or less to: hsa@mail.sfsu.edu

Please include the title of the submitted paper, your name, affiliated institution, field of study, and contact information. The deadline for submissions is FEBRUARY 13, 2015. If selected, final papers will be due to your panel chair no later than MID MARCH, 2015. Conference will be held April 25, 2015 at San Francisco State University.

Recent works that resonate with the spirit of the conference include:

Louise White’s monograph published in 2000, Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa serves as a cogent example of how tales of the fantastic can be examined and interpreted to allow us to better understand the mentalities of discursive or liminal groups.

Stefan Goeble’s brilliant book on medievalism published in 2007, The Great War and Medieval Memory: War, Remembrance and Medievalism in Britain and Germany, 1914-1940, looks at how elements of medieval chivalric culture were interpreted in war memorials, interpreting iconography to uncover how communal memory functions in the search for historical continuity in the face of such horrific events.

 

HSA Conference website: http://history.sfsu.edu/content/hsa-2015-conference

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David Cameron

‘THE MEANING OF DAVID CAMERON’ – WITH RICHARD SEYMOUR

Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Time: 19:00 – 21:00
Location: Housmans Bookshop
Street: 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross
Town/City: London, United Kingdom

Description:
Richard Seymour, blogger of ‘Lenin’s Tomb’ fame, and author of ‘The Liberal Defence of Murder’ will be in store discussing his latest publication, ‘The Meaning of David Cameron’.

The Tories are posing as a ‘progressive’ and ‘radical’ alternative to New Labour. Drawing from George W Bush’s ‘compassionate conservatism’, they maintain that the ‘Big Society’ can do what ‘Big Government’ cannot – produce a cohesive, mutually supportive, happy society. Cameron’s court intellectual, Philip Blond, maintains that this if David Cameron’, which is a viable alternative to the failures of the egalitarian left and the excessively pro-market right. But is this more than campaign mood music? And are the conservative traditions that they draw on – from the bucolic, pseudo-medievalism of G K Chesterton to the anti-statism of Friedrich Hayek – really a bulwark of progress and radicalism?

Richard Seymour argues that such ideas can only seem ‘progressive’ in light of New Labour’s acquiescence to Thatcherism. To understand the Cameronites, it is necessary to understand how the social landscape and corresponding political language was transformed by the collapse of post-war social democracy and its more radical competitors. To resist the Cameronites, he argues, it is necessary to attack the neoliberal consensus on which all major parties found their programme.

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BIO/GEO POLITICS OF RELIGION

2009-10 Seminar at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, New York, NY

Bio/Geo Politics of Religion
Co-Directors:  Lee Quinby and Sylvia Tomasch

Macaulay Honors College at CUNY invites applications from New York area faculty and doctoral students for the second annual Macaulay Seminar to be held during the 2009-10 academic year.  The Macaulay Seminar seeks to generate lively discussion on a topic vital to our time, to enrich teaching, and to help facilitate research toward publication.

The seminar will meet once per month on Monday evenings throughout the year.  Each member of the seminar will be expected to participate fully in the Seminar and present a paper at the conference on the same topic to be held April 16-18, 2010 at Macaulay.  Participants will be selected from departments across academic divisions to encourage wide-ranging discussion.  All full-time faculty members and graduate students are eligible.  (Other interested parties are welcome to apply).  A stipend of $750 will be awarded to participants.

This seminar will explore what Michel Foucault called “biopolitics,” the relations of power that focus on the management of life, with specific regard to organized religions and practices of religious conduct.  Although recently religion has been widely recognized as a leading force in contemporary life, with movements of both faith-based solidarity and conflict being played out on the world stage, the present context has a long history through which these movements may be understood.  Relevant topics might include themes of apocalypticism and millennialism, the economics of evangelicalism, fundamentalist movements over time and space, the policing of bodies and souls, textual literalism and interpretation, bio- and geo-political conjunctions, manuals of guidance and techniques of surveillance, utopian religious communities in life and literature, and connections between ecos, bios, power, and justice.  Readings will be selected to accommodate the specific interests and expertise of the participants.

The Co-Directors:

Lee Quinby is the inaugural Visiting Professor at Macaulay Honors College at the City University of New York City.  The author of three books, Millennial Seduction (1999), Anti-Apocalypse (1994), and Freedom, Foucault, and the Subject of America (1991), she is also editor of Genealogy and Literature (1995) and co-editor of Feminism and Foucault (1988) and Gender and Apocalyptic Desire (2006).

Sylvia Tomasch is Associate University Dean of Academic Affairs at Macaulay Honors College and Professor of English at Hunter College, both in the City University of New York. Recent publications include articles on the history of medieval studies, Chaucer, medieval antisemitism, historical cartography, and medieval postcoloniality.

Application deadline:  July 30, 2009.  To request an application or for further information, email: lee.quinby@mhc.cuny.edu or sylvia.tomasch@mhc.cuny.edu

Macaulay Honors College
35 W. 67th Street
New York, NY 10016
t: (212) 729-2919
f: (212) 530-8130

 

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