The Graduate Center – CUNY

English Student Association Graduate Conference

March 23rd, 2018

 

“The degree is in disruption,” announces the homepage of the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation, home of self-proclaimed “creative philanthropreneur[s],” “eclectic innovator[s]”, and “fierce future CEO[s].”  As Jill Lepore points out in her critique of the recent trend of disruption as a business model, “everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. There are disruption consultants, disruption conferences, and disruption seminars.” It is to this ubiquity and institutional co-option of disruption as a term and a notion that this conference aims to attend. Why are we so obsessed with “breaking through”?

We posit that “rupture” as a concept of breaking through loses much of its value when it is fetishized and only figured as unidirectional, or universally positive, effective, counter-hegemonic. This conference calls for a rigorous unthinking around the space-times of rupture that questions these assumptions and asks, further: Who is licensed to disrupt? To what extent does that which consciously figures itself as disruption in fact create rupture? How do we conceive of disruption that can be so effectively co-opted and redeployed in service of neoliberal agendas? What is it about the aesthetics of rupture that makes them so appealing? So satisfying?

To this end, we invite you to think alongside multiple strands of thought that are undoing binaristic and contrapuntal notions that obfuscate and limit our ability to understand agency and the modes in which we might #RESIST. In thinking of ruptures beyond supposed eruptions from below, we posit the need to also think through the violences and inconveniences of living under counter-revolutionary and institutional violence as irruptions from above. The scope of this conference could extend from topics as divergent as analyses of the politics and aesthetics of the Women’s March, to thinking through the feelings of satisfaction that some experience from watching internet genre-videos of pimples erupting. We invite scholars from a range of disciplines and methodologies to reconceptualize rupturing in a number of contexts such as: (inter)textual ruptures in period, genre, or medium; ecological crises and irruptions of corporate greed; histories and pedagogies of (dis)ruption; geographies and borders of (ir)/(e)ruption.

Abstracts of 250-300 words should be submitted here by January 1, 2018. We invite papers from anyone who wishes to engage in this conversation, but as a starting point, we imagine submissions related to:

  • Cultural studies
  • Race and ethnic studies
  • Pedagogy and education
  • Queer and LGBT+ studies
  • Political theory
  • Science and environmental studies
  • Feminist theory and women’s studies
  • Postcolonial and decolonial studies
  • History and archival methodologies
  • Poetics and rhetoric
  • Visual culture
  • Comparative literature
  • Literacy and composition studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology
  • Philosophy
  • Affect theory and cognitive studies
  • Media theory
  • Digital Humanities
  • Performance studies

If you have questions about the CFP or the conference itself, please reach out at esaconference2018@gmail.com