[csaa-forum] The Dromocratic Condition: Contemporary Cultures ofAcceleration

Amanda Wise amanda.wise at scmp.mq.edu.au
Tue Sep 21 15:55:05 CST 2004

Dear friends and colleagues,


Please find below and attached the official CFP for the conference on
Dromocratic Condition". I would be grateful if you would circulate this
email to anyone you think may be interested in attending the conference.
Please do not send abstracts and enquiries to me but to the organiser of
conference, Paul Crosthwaite at:

p.j.crosthwaite at ncl.ac.uk <mailto:p.j.crosthwaite at ncl.ac.uk> 


Best wishes to all.



The Dromocratic Condition:

Contemporary Cultures of Acceleration

An international, multi-disciplinary conference hosted by the School of
English, University of Newcastle upon Tyne,

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March, 2005


Keynote speakers:


Douglas Kellner (UCLA, USA)


John Armitage (Northumbria, UK)


Theories of contemporary culture have foregrounded the significance of
capitalism' or 'post-Fordism' (Jameson; Harvey); simulation and
'hyper-reality' (Baudrillard); information technology and the 'inhuman'
(Lyotard); the 'panopticon' (Foucault); 'communicative action'
'desiring-production' and schizophrenia (Deleuze and Guattari); risk
Beck); and the cyborg (Haraway).

An alternative theorisation - which intersects with these perspectives,
diverges from them - views acceleration as the defining feature of the
contemporary era. The French cultural theorist Paul Virilio has coined
term 'dromocracy' (from the Greek dromos: avenue or race course) to
characterise this position. Under Virilio's 'dromocratic' reading of
history, scientific, technological, societal, military, and cultural
is propelled by the pursuit of ever-increasing speed. Our own era - with
fibre-optic cables, satellite-linked communications networks, supersonic
aircraft, and cruise missiles - is, Virilio suggests, approaching the
of acceleration, and teeters on the edge of the 'integral accident' -
true end of modernity.

This conference invites papers that explore any aspect of what the
theorist John Armitage - re-orientating Lyotard's famous assessment of
contemporary - has called the 'dromocratic condition'. What are the key
characteristics of the contemporary culture of acceleration? How has the
pursuit of speed impacted upon contemporary subjectivity, upon
strategies of
warfare and terrorism, or upon experiences of space and time? How have
theorists, activists, writers, artists, and filmmakers responded to the
speed-up of contemporary life? Is there necessarily a connection between
speed and destruction, or can high-speed technologies serve a
progressive or
radical agenda? Is speed truly, as Virilio has claimed, 'the location
the law, the world's destiny and its destination', or do movements exist
that offer viable alternatives to the contemporary culture of


The organisers envisage that a special issue of the journal
<http://www.bergpublishers.com/uk/culture/culture_about.htm> Cultural
Politics (http://www.bergpublishers.com/uk/culture/culture_about.htm)
result from the papers at the conference.


Please send proposals (250-300 words) for 20-minute papers to Paul
Crosthwaite at p.j.crosthwaite at ncl.ac.uk or School of English
Language, and Linguistics, Percy Building, University of Newcastle upon
Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, United Kingdom by 23 December 2004.
Updates and accommodation information will appear on the
02314> conference web site
<http://www.dromocratic.visitnewcastlegateshead.com/> ).



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