[csaa-forum] CFP--Seminars for CSA-US (Deadline Nov 20, 2006/Conf April 2007)

Cultural Studies Association CFP csacfp+ at pitt.edu
Fri Nov 3 03:45:58 CST 2006


We invite participation in seven seminars to be held at the fifth annual
meeting of the Cultural Studies Association U.S. meeting, April 19-21 2007
in Portland, Oregon.  


Seminars are small-group (minimum 8 individuals, maximum 15 individuals)
discussion sessions for which participants write brief "position" papers,
read common texts, or exchange project abstracts prior to the conference.


In order to participate in a seminar, please send an email message directly
to the indicated seminar contact person with "Seminar Request" in the
subject line.  Your message should also include your name, contact
information, and institutional affiliation.


Seminar requests should be sent by November 20, 2006.  You will be notified
of your acceptance by December 20, 2006.  Seminar leaders will ask you for a
presentation title to appear in the conference program.  This should allow
you to pursue travel funding at your home institutions.



Titles and e-mail contacts for each seminar are as follows:


1) Why We Need AgriCultural Studies

Seminar Contact: Susan Squier, Penn State University (
<mailto:sxs62 at psu.edu> sxs62 at psu.edu)


2) Performativity

Seminar Contact: Matthew W. Hughey, University of Virginia (
<mailto:mwh5h at viriginia.edu> mwh5h at viriginia.edu)


3) The Resistance to Economics

Contact: Jan Mieszkowski, Reed College ( <mailto:mieszkow at reed.edu>
mieszkow at reed.edu)


4) Arts of Social Engagement

Contact: Gretchen Coombs, California College of the Arts, (
<mailto:beautybyte at gmail.com> beautybyte at gmail.com)


5) Public Rhetorics and Permanent War

Contact: Anoop Mirpuri, University of Washington (
<mailto:anoop at u.washington.edu> anoop at u.washington.edu)


6) Giorgio Agamben

Contact: Marcia Klotz, Portland State University, ( <mailto:mklotz at pdx.edu>
mklotz at pdx.edu)


7)  Defining the Human in Posthuman Criticism

Contact: Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University (
<mailto:radhika at cyberdiva.org> radhika at cyberdiva.org)



For more information about the conference, please check the website:


Detailed descriptions of each seminar appear below:



SEMINARS FOR CSA CONFERENCE, April 2007, Portland, Oregon.


Seminar One: Why We Need AgriCultural Studies

Seminar Chair:  Susan Squier, Penn State University ( <mailto:sxs62 at psu.edu>
sxs62 at psu.edu)


         "Culture in all its early uses was a noun of process: the tending
of something, basically crops or animals." (Raymond Williams)  Yet though
cultural studies is linked ideologically as well as etymologically to
agriculture, the field has been remarkably uninterested in that original
meaning of culture.  Instead, perhaps because of a long-standing
metropolitan bias, cultural studies has concentrated on the production of
the individual subject in practically every other institutional
sense--scientifically, technologically, politically, medically, socially,
religiously, and reproductively--while giving scant attention to culture in
its original rural sense. This session invites participants to come together
for a seminar that will explore the significance for cultural studies of the
foundational, deeply material means of producing individuals: the
institution of agriculture.  Topics can address, but are not limited to:

            * The contribution of agricultural practices to racialization
and gender production

            * Rurality, sexuality, and farming

            * Species production and subject production in agricultural

            * Agribusiness and Big Pharma (farming and pharming)

            * Veterinary medicine, human medicine, and posthumanity

            * The ethics and politics of food and eating

            * Counterpublic spheres and CSAs

            * Intellectual property rights and the agricultural commons

            * The agricultural production of disability

            *  Agricultural technology, biotechnology, and technologies of
subject production

            * Culture (literature, film, visual art) and agriculture

 This small group discussion session will admit only fifteen people.
Participants will be asked to write brief (8-10 page) papers that will be
circulated prior to the conference.  Conference participants will also be
assigned to serve as respondents to the precirculated papers. If you are
interested in submitting a proposal for this seminar, please e-mail a 500
word abstract for your paper, a short c.v., and your institutional
affiliation (if applicable) to Susan Squier, at ( <mailto:sxs62 at psu.edu>
sxs62 at psu.edu), by November 20.  Please feel free to forward this message to
people who might be interested.

Susan Squier is Brill Professor of Women's Studies and English at the
Pennsylvania State University, where she directs the Science, Medicine, and
Technology in Culture program. She is currently working on a book entitled
Poultry Science, Chicken Culture: Practicing AgriCultural Studies. Her most
recent book is Liminal Lives: Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of
Medicine (Duke 2004). Other publications include Babies in Bottles:
Twentieth-Century Visions of Reproductive Technology; the co-edited
collection Playing Dolly: Technocultural Figurations, Fantasies and Fictions
of Assisted Reproduction, and the edited collection, Communities of the Air:
Radio Century, Radio Culture, published by Duke University Press in 2003. In
2002 she co-directed the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer
Institute in Medicine, Literature and Culture, at Penn State Hershey Medical
Center. She has been Visiting Distinguished Fellow, LaTrobe University,
Melbourne, Australia, June-July, 1992; and Fulbright Senior Research
Scholar, Melbourne, Australia, 1990-1991, as well as scholar in residence at
the Bellagio Study and Conference Center of the Rockefeller Foundation.




Seminar Two: Performativity

Seminar Chair: Matthew W. Hughey, University of Virginia (
<mailto:mwh5h at virginia.edu> mwh5h at virginia.edu)


The Performativity Division of the CSA will be conducting a seminar that
examine various aspects of performativity.  In specific, we are interested
in examining how identities and concepts are shifting formations within
various fields of power. Additionally, we encourage work on how those power
relations are reflexively created by, and constitutive of, those formations.
Topics can address, but are not limited, to:

 - race and the racialization of identity categories;

- capitalism, class, and identities;

- citizenship and nationality;

- religion and spirituality; 

- gender and sexuality;

- nationalisms and national identities;

- (dis)abilities and identities;

- claims to authenticity

 Please send abstracts of 250-400 words to Performativity division chair
Matthew W. Hughey (Department of Sociology, Program of Media Studies -
University of Virginia,  <mailto:mwh5h at virginia.edu> mwh5h at virginia.edu).
Please include your academic or activist affiliation in your proposal.


Matthew W. Hughey is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, as well as an adjunct
instructor in Sociology and Media Studies, at the University of Virginia.
His teaching and research interests include race and ethnicity in specific
to blackness, whiteness, racism and antiracism, and raced social movements;
cultural sociology; media studies in relation to racial and gender
representations; and qualitative methodology.




Seminar Three: The Resistance to Economics

Seminar Chair: Jan Mieszkowski, Reed College ( <mailto:mieszkow at reed.edu>
mieszkow at reed.edu)



This seminar will explore the ambiguous status of economic thought in
contemporary debates about aesthetics, politics, and culture.  While
economic determinism is routinely critiqued by theorists on both the right
and the left, scholars in the humanities increasingly accord enormous
explanatory authority to notions of utility, production, and value.  Some
would even argue that any clear distinction between the economic and the
social has become untenable.  It is in these terms that participants are
invited to confront a set of related questions: In what ways does an
economic model of equivalence, mediation, or change distinguish itself from
dialectical or historical models?  Precisely how do the symbolic, libidinal,
or virtual "economies" studied in critical theory differ from more
conventional dynamics of profit, liberty, or autonomy?  Do academic analyses
of capitalism constitute a critique of consumer society, or are they just
another way of participating in it?


As an institutional discipline, economics' research practices are neither
simply idealist nor materialist, much less merely positivist. Indeed, the
very diversity of economic methodologies has prompted some to designate it
the interdisciplinary field par excellence.  At issue for this seminar is
whether such a gesture begs more fundamental questions about liberal and
democratic models of justice and equality. What is to be gained by
rethinking traditional distinctions between neo-classical and Marxist
economics, or, more basically, between politics and economics?  To what
extent do current efforts to demonstrate the importance of economic models
for literary and cultural studies rely on the very paradigms of
individualism, liberty, or value they seek to critique?  Why might the
theoretical goals of the social sciences best be furthered by disciplines
that define themselves in contradistinction to the social sciences?


Participants will pre-circulate brief papers (8-10 pages).  Members of the
seminar may serve as respondents in order to begin our discussion of
specific topics.


Session Leader:

Jan Mieszkowski

mieszkow at reed.edu

Associate Professor of German & Humanities

Reed College

3203 SE Woodstock Blvd.

Portland, OR 97202.


Jan Mieszkowski is Associate Professor of German and Humanities at Reed
College.  He is the author of *Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and
Political Economy from Kant to Althusser* and has published essays on
Romanticism, German Idealism, the Frankfurt School, and the relationship
between literary and political discourses since the Enlightenment.




Seminar Four: Arts of Social Engagement

Seminar Chairs:

Gretchen Coombs, California College of the Arts, (
<mailto:beautybyte at gmail.com> beautybyte at gmail.com)

Cynthia Bodenhorst, California College of the Arts, (
<mailto:cynthiabodenhorst at yahoo.com> cynthiabodenhorst at yahoo.com)

Harrell Fletcher, Portland State University (
<mailto:hfletcher at earthlink.net> hfletcher at earthlink.net)


 This seminar session hopes to generate a nuanced conversation regarding the
heightened visibility and popularity of art practices that take the social
as their medium. These artworks, as they are defined by most, range from
distributing free meals in a gallery to laundry lectures to handing out
politically charged ice cream "flavors" at a political rally. These artists
and collectives capture the cadences of urban social life through poetic
meditations and formal innovations into public spaces.  Their creative acts
have altered our sense of space, the ways we inhabit our locality, and our
own self-awareness.  They can function as public or community-based art that
engenders community building. Just as often they intervene in the public
sphere to raise political and social awareness. Many of these artists and
collaboratives hope to transform the culture in which we live.

 This expanded field of art and social engagement has instigated numerous
discussions in art magazines, classrooms and the blogosphere. Recent debates
surrounding socially engaged artwork and their reception has artists and
academics wading through some murky and contested theoretical terrain.  How
are we to understand these often interventionist, socially ameliorative,
"life-like" artwork?

 What critical frameworks can help us assess the efficacy of such practices
that claim to be politically and socially relevant, and at the same time
challenge, subvert and reproduce these same frameworks? Moreover, how are
subjectivities produced within these social spaces both for the artists and
the audiences? Do these "subversive" anthropologies pronounce arts increased
desire for relevance? Or should art be held accountable for an effective
social and cultural process?  What are the implications for sustainability
as social and political activism; how does this respond to local and
cultural specificities and the historical legacies that inform socially
engaged artwork?

 Artists and academics are encouraged to submit papers or project
descriptions that respond to the questions posed above. We will then
circulate the papers amongst the participants. In addition, seminar
participants may be asked to do an additional brief assignment prior to the

 Gretchen Coombs,  <mailto:beautybyte at gmail.com>
beautybyte at gmail.com,510.459.3789

Visual Criticism, California College of the Arts

  Cynthia Bodenhorst,  <mailto:cynthiabodenhorst at yahoo.com>
cynthiabodenhorst at yahoo.com,510.845.3455

Visual Criticism, California College of the Arts

 Harrell Fletcher,  <mailto:hfletcher at earthlink.net> hfletcher at earthlink.net
Assistant Professor, Art Department, Portland State University


Gretchen Coombs is currently a doctoral candidate in anthropology at 

the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco.  She 

received a MA in Visual Criticism at the California College of the 

Arts; her thesis explored art and social engagement in the San 

Francisco Bay Area.


Cynthia Bodenhorst is an Ecuadorian visual studies critic, curator, and
video artist whose work has been presented in conferences and exhibitions in
Latin America and the U.S. She is completing a graduate program in Visual
Studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, where she is
currently doing research on art, public space, and new forms of sociality.
Her practice and critical theory interests focus on contemporary art, new
media, and performance theory.


Harrell Fletcher has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of
socially engaged, interdisciplinary projects for over a decade. His work has
been shown at SF MoMA, the de Young Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, and
Yerba Buena Center For The Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Drawing
Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery,
and Smackmellon in NYC,  DiverseWorks and Aurora Picture show in Houston,
TX, PICA in Portland, OR, CoCA and The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA,
Signal in Malmo, Sweden, Domain de Kerguehennec in France, and The Royal
College of Art in London. Fletcher exhibits in San Francisco and Los Angeles
with Jack Hanley Gallery, in NYC with Christine Burgin Gallery, in London
with Laura Bartlett Gallery, and Paris with Gallery In Situ. He was a
participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In 2002 Fletcher started Learning
To Love You More, an ongoing participatory web site with Miranda July. A
book version of the project will be published in 2007 by Prestel. He is the
2005 recipient of the Alpert Award in Visual Arts. His current traveling
exhibition The American War originated in 2005 at ArtPace in San Antonio,
TX, and traveled in 2006 to Solvent Space in Richmond, VA, White Columns in
NYC, The Center For Advanced Visual Studies MIT in Boston, MA, and PICA in




Seminar Five:  Public Rhetorics and Permanent War

Seminar Chairs:

Anoop Mirpuri, University of Washington ( <mailto:anoop at u.washington.edu>
anoop at u.washington.edu)

Georgia Roberts, University of Washington ( <mailto:gmr2 at u.washington.edu>
gmr2 at u.washington.edu)

Keith Feldman, University of Washington ( <mailto:feldmank at u.washington.edu>
feldmank at u.washington.edu)



In The History of Sexuality, Foucault laments that in "political thought and
analysis, we still have not cut off the head of the king." For Foucault, the
figure of the sovereign, whose power is exercised as an exceptional
prohibition of freedom, continues to organize the ways we attempt to
intervene in the field of political power. As long as we continue to read
power in terms of the juridical theory of sovereignty, we cannot actively
confront power in all the complexity of its operation. But if we are to rid
ourselves of the theory of sovereignty that constitutes the principles of
liberalism and functions as the legitimation for the institutions of
political modernity, how then are we to conceptualize politics? Foucault
suggests that the first task would be to invert Clausewitz's famous
aphorism, "War is a continuation of politics by other means." That is, what
it would mean to think of politics as permanent war?


This seminar will query the relation between cultural production,
intellectual work, and political power during what increasingly appears to
be a state of globalized permanent war.  Building on a series of public
lectures, faculty, graduate, and undergraduate workshops, and an
interdisciplinary research cluster based at the University of Washington
organized by the seminar leaders, we hope that seminar participants will
help us productively read a small cluster of texts (announced prior to the
seminar meeting) that conceptualize the contours, conditions, and effects of
permanent war.  


We want to frame this seminar by emphasizing that these various conceptions,
performances, and enactments of permanent war emerge from the seemingly
cordoned-off sites of scholarly inquiry, political organization and social
activism, and market-driven popular culture. They also emerge from across
the political spectrum. Hence, important to this seminar will be a
discussion of how these sites can (and can be made to) link up and dialogue
in dynamic and effective ways.


Seminar leaders will make available a list of readings on the table for
discussion.  Participants will write one-page responses to the readings
prior to the seminar.  Leaders will then distribute these responses, as well
as a letter suggesting some of the overlaps and gaps in our various
responses to the readings.


These readings may include the following:

*	Michel Foucault's "Society Must be Defended" Lecture, 17 March 1976 
*	Nikhil Singh, "The Afterlife of Fascism" 
*	Loic Wacquant, "From Slavery to Mass Incarceration" 
*	Wendy Brown, "Neo-liberalism and the End of Liberal Democracy" 
*	Ruth Wilson Gilmore, selections from Golden Gulag 
*	Robert Kagan, "Power and Weakness" 
*	Michael Ignatieff, "Who are Americans to Think that Freedom is
Theirs to Spread?"


This seminar discussion will contain two primary trajectories: the first
focused on theories of permanent war and biopolitics; the second focused on
the relation between intellectual production and political power. Questions
participants should think about include:


How does one theorize something like "permanent war"?  What is at stake in
this theorization, and how can it be intellectually productive or disabling
as part of a political project?  How can we relate Foucault's theorization
of "permanent war" to scholarly work done on biopolitical regulation and the
state of exception?  How does the intellectual production emerge in the
space between popular culture and the academy?  How is discourse regulated
by the rhetorical divisions among these sites? How can we articulate
cultural studies in the humanities with popular cultural forms in ways that
create a rhetorical space for dialogue between each of these sites as
critical analogues?  How can we further the articulation between social
activism and public rhetoric in ways that foster critical literacies which
work to counter Euro-American centered ideological frames? 


Seminar Leaders: Anoop Mirpuri, Georgia Roberts, and Keith Feldman


Collective Biography of Seminar Leaders


Anoop Mirpuri, Georgia Roberts, and Keith Feldman are all doctoral
candidates in the department of English at the University of
Washington-Seattle.  They have individually undertaken projects on
biopolitical regulation, practices of community-based literacy, and
post-1945 U.S. imperial formations in the Middle East.  Public Rhetorics and
Permanent War is a project they collectively envisioned more than two years
ago; the project has received substantial support from the UW's Simpson
Center for the Humanities, the UW Graduate School, a range of academic units
in the humanities and social sciences, and off-campus organizations
including the Arab Center of Washington, Central District Forum, Elliot Bay
Book Company, Hedgebrook Women's Writers Retreat, and Toys in Babeland.


Contact Information


Anoop Mirpuri ( <mailto:anoop at u.washington.edu> anoop at u.washington.edu)

Georgia Roberts ( <mailto:gmr2 at u.washington.edu> gmr2 at u.washington.edu)

Keith Feldman ( <mailto:feldmank at u.washington.edu>
feldmank at u.washington.edu)


Department of English

University of Washington

Box 354330

Seattle, WA 98195-4330


Phone: (206)200-7554



Seminar Six: Giorgio Agamben

Seminar Chair: Marcia Klotz, Portland State University, (
<mailto:mklotz at pdx.edu> mklotz at pdx.edu)



"We completely misunderstand the nature of the great totalitarian
experiments of the twentieth century if we see them only as a carrying out
of the nineteenth-century nation-states' last great tasks: nationalism and
imperialism. The stakes are now different and much higher, for it is a
question of taking on as a task the very factical existence of peoples, that
is, in the last analysis, their bare life." (Giorgio Agamben, The Open).


We would like to conduct a seminar that will consider the work of Giorgio
Agamben, including such key concepts as the state of exception, homo sacer,
the animal/human divide, bare life, the camp, and the figure of the
sovereign.  Agamben's work seems fruitful as a way of approaching many
contemporary social issues and events, including: the politics of
reproduction, the war on terror, the geopolitics of medicine and
incarceration, environmentalism and the politics of life.  We welcome
participants who are interested in comparing the range of applications to
the contemporary moment, as well as using Agamben to analyze historical
topics. We are also interested in the limitations or problems that may be
involved in Agamben's approach.


Anyone interested in participating in this seminar should contact us before
the conference convenes. We will circulate a short reading ahead of time to
all participants, which will serve as a focal point for the discussion.
Participants will be asked to introduce themselves and to briefly (5 to 10
minutes) summarize whatever research they may be working on that involves
Agamben's theory.  We will then move on to a general discussion of both the
reading and the research interests of various participants.


Marcia Klotz

Assistant Professor

Department of English

Portland State University

mklotz at pdx.edu

(503) 736-9301




Seminar Seven:  Defining the Human in Posthuman Criticism

Seminar Chairs:

Radhika Gajjala, Bowling Green State University (
<mailto:radhika at cyberdiva.org> radhika at cyberdiva.org)

Michael Filas, Westfield State College ( <mailto:mfilas at wsc.ma.edu>
mfilas at wsc.ma.edu)



The Technology division of CSA invites participants to a seminar on defining
the human in posthuman criticism. For those working in cyborg studies, for
those exploring the notion of identity in techno-mediated environments, the
definition of human becomes a troublesome focal point that must be dealt
with. Postmodern theory has created a critical environment in which any
claim to some indispensable aspect of the human, be it embodiment or
political subjectivity, is received only through the filters of a post
liberal humanist perspective. Yet, the need for a human-technology binary is
often a requisite ontological concept when scholars undertake any
examination of humanity in posthuman contexts. Our seminar will explore the
challenge, and methodology, of defining the human-technology binary through
multiple critical praxes. Some recent reflections on this issue are
available in the following articles, which are available online in full text
as noted:


>Jameson, Fredric. The End of Temporality. Critical Inquiry 29 (Summer
2003). (Academic Search Premier and Elite)


>Lenoir, Tim. Writing the Body into the Posthuman Technoscape, Part One:

>Embracing the Posthuman.  Configurations 10 (Spring 2002). (Project Muse)


>Participants should have read one of the preceding texts in preparation for
the seminar. Our seminar conversation will explore our individual methods
and conclusions, as well as how the theoretical community has addressed this
issue, and what implications reside in our choices.


>Interested participants are asked to submit by Nov. 20 a 2-3 page abstract,
via email to both  <mailto:mfilas at wsc.ma.edu> mfilas at wsc.ma.edu and
<mailto:radhika at cyberdiva.org> radhika at cyberdiva.org, explaining how they
have dealt with or examined this issue in their own work.


>Technology Division Co-Chairs


>Radhika Gajjala

>Associate Professor

>Department of Interpersonal Communication

>School of Communication Studies

>Bowling Green State University

> <mailto:radhika at cyberdiva.org> radhika at cyberdiva.org


>Michael Filas

>Assistant Professor

>Department of English

>Westfield State College

> <mailto:mfilas at wsc.ma.edu> mfilas at wsc.ma.edu


Radhika Gajjala is Associate Professor in the School of communication
studies at Bowling Green State University, and the author of "Cyberselves:
Feminist Ethnographies of South Asian Women" (Altamira, 2004).


Michael Filas is assistant professor of English at Westfield State College
in Massachusetts. In 2001 he received his Ph.D. in American literature and
culture from University of Washington. He frequently teaches courses in
cyborg identities and draws on work done in his doctoral dissertation,
"Cyborg Subjectivity." He has published related work in The Information
Society, Journal of Experimental Fiction, Fiction International, Left Curve,
Paradoxa, and the Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies.

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