Haunted by the future

The Central New York Conference on Language and Literature (beware: bad web design!) has an interesting theme this year:

Theme: Haunting the Future: the Academy’s Coming Community

How will we as individual intellectuals, but also as members of various scholarly and academic communities, address a future so often described in terms of globalization and information technologies? If twentieth-century humanities developed in both support and opposition of nationalism and industrialization, how do we foresee the practices of the coming generation of humanists? Our theme’s reference to “haunting” suggests how our ideas of the future might be seen as uncanny projections of repressed or silenced pasts. The “coming community,” then, to borrow Giorgio Agamben’s phrase, asks us to consider a new
“belonging” within and between the academic communities in which we now participate.

Abstracts for most tracks are due by July 1 or 15.

My work doesn’t fit neatly into most of these categories, but I might be able to slip something into the writing and pedagogy sections.

I never got this as a grad student, but the entire structure of “the Academy” makes cross-disciplinarity really hard. Part of that is the structure of the traditional academic conference. Now, despite anarchistic political tendencies, I like structure. I just wish we could come up with a structure that wasn’t “embodied journal articles.”

I’m thinking of organizing (sort of) a themed get-together at the end of the summer. Perhaps something like “Virtual Research Teams in the New Global Academy” or “Interdisciplinary Knowledge Sharing.” (I originally typoed the latter as “Sharking,” which might also work.) The idea — not original at all — would be to secure a venue depending on the number of those interested (restaurant table, house, public park, meeting room) and have a semi-structured discussion that reached some kind of joint statement (i.e., there would be a goal document). I’m thinking Toronto, NYC, LA, or San Francisco sometime mid-August. Worst case: a good lunch :).

(Via Kairosnews )

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