[csaa-forum] cfp: Culture Machine 8: 'Community'

gary hall gary.hall at connectfree.co.uk
Wed May 18 22:00:40 CST 2005




February, 2006

Editor for this issue: Dorota Glowacka

In recent years, the notion of the community has emerged as an important

as well as contested field of cultural and theoretical exploration.  In
his influential study Imagined Communities (1983), social anthropologist

Benedict Anderson discusses the concept of the community as it is
related to the idea of the nation.  As an imagined cultural and
political artefact, “the nation” provides a collectivity with a sense of

continuity and cohesiveness, while concealing the foundational violence
that underlies such collective myth.  While Anderson’s articulation of
the community is still largely circumscribed by the political concept of

the nation state, philosophical inquiries into the notion of the
community by Jean-Luc Nancy (The Inoperative Community, 1983), Maurice
Blanchot (The Unavowable Community, 1983) and Giorgio Agamben (The
Coming Community, 1993), seek to open it up toward a broader
politico-ethical context.  Nancy’s call for the deconstruction of the
immanent community has been particularly influential: community as the
dominant Western political formation, founded upon a totalizing,
exclusionary myth of national unity, must be tirelessly “unworked” in
order to accommodate more inclusive and fluid forms of dwelling together

in the world, of being-in-common.

In this issue, we propose to engage in multiple explorations of the
community as a socio-historical, politico-ethical and cultural

   * With the demise of the traditional community as related to the
     nation-state, what alternative formations or new collectivities,
     bound together by a very different nexus of belonging, have emerged

     in its stead?
   * How viable is the metaphor of the “global” community (the global
   * Can the community be predicated on the ethical, perhaps
     cosmopolitan vision of sharing and unimpeded border-crossing? Or is

     it, on the contrary, yet another homogenizing, totalizing fantasy
     that only benefits the empire of the capital?
   * How does it relate to such increasingly unstable concepts as
     “citizenship” or “multiculturalism”?
   * What is the function of the community in the rapidly shifting
     geopolitical context, of which the European community is a
     particularly fecund contemporary example, as is a plethora of its
     postcolonial, post-Western articulations (in the Middle East and
     Africa, for instance)?
   * Is there community after communism?
   * To what extent does Hardt and Negri's “multitude” (Empire, 2004;
     Multitude, 2004) represent a new form of community (one made up of
     a multiplicity of singularities)?
   * Among the newly emergent formations, the notion of “the virtual
     community” is of particular interest. We would like to investigate
     the virtual and/or networked communities that have mushroomed in
     numerous guises: as both cultural avant-garde and cultural
     decadence; as the mainstay of political conservatism (i.e. white
     supremacy networks) and the forum for politically progressive
     forces (i.e. international peace coalitions).
   * Finally, are we perhaps moving towards the “unworking” of the
     community to a degree that it ceases to be a “workable” concept

In reflecting on the notion of community, this special issue of Culture
Machine also aspires to become a meeting place for the community of
minds; indeed, a site of community in its most basic sense of
communication and circulation of meaning.

Contributors are invited to send an initial abstract of 500-750 words to

the editor for this issue Dr. Dorota Glowacka at:

dglowacka at eastlink.ca

1. The deadline for submitting abstracts is June 15, 2005. (All
contributors will be notified soon after the deadline whether or not
their abstract has been selected.)
2. The deadline for completed papers is October 20, 2005. All papers
will be peer-reviewed.

Contributing to Culture Machine

Culture Machine publishes new work from both established figures and
up-and-coming writers. It is interactive, fully refereed, and has an
International Advisory Board which includes Robert Bernasconi, Lawrence
Grossberg, Peggy Kamuf, Alphonso Lingis, Meaghan Morris, Paul Patton,
Avital Ronell and Nicholas Royle. Among the distinguished contributors
to the first seven editions of Culture Machine are Mark Amerika, Alain
Badiou, Geoffrey Bennington, Bifo, Oran Catts, Simon Critchley, Jacques
Derrida, Diane Elam, Johan Fornäs, Henry A. Giroux, Lawrence Grossberg,
Stevan Harnad, N. Katherine Hayles, Peggy Kamuf, David Kolb, Ernesto
Laclau, J. Hillis Miller, Anna Munster, Michael Naas, Mark Poster,
Melinda Rackham, Tadeusz Slawek, Bernard Stiegler, Kenneth Surin,
Gregory L. Ulmer, Hal Varian, Cathryn Vasseleu and Samuel Weber.

Culture Machine welcomes material from Britain, Australia and the United

States, and is particularly interested in acquiring contributions from
those working outside the usual Anglo/Australian/American nexus that
currently seems to dominate so much of Cultural Studies/Cultural Theory.

Appropriate unsolicited articles of any length from academics,
post-graduates and non-academics will all be accepted for publication,
as will contributions which respond to or seek to engage with work
previously published in Culture Machine. So-called ‘inter-active’ texts
are welcomed, as are any forms of contribution that take advantage of
and explore the uses and limitations of digital technology.

Culture Machine publishes one edition of the journal each year, with
Culture Machine 8 appearing at the beginning of 2006. All contributions
to the journal are refereed anonymously. Authors should follow the
Culture Machine Style Manual in preparing their articles

Dr Gary Hall
Senior Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies, Middlesex University
Co-editor of Culture Machine http://www.culturemachine.net
My website http://www.garyhall.info

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