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SCML: Peripheries and Questions of Power

Call For Papers: Peripheries and Questions of Power

University of Warwick: School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Postgraduate Symposium

26th May 2022

In a globalized world, where nationalism is steadily on the rise and identity politics play an increasingly important role, issues of belonging have become ever more urgent and form a part of the lived experience of many people. Peripheries, such as geographical borders or urban outskirts, are places where power dynamics are played out: the point at which inclusion or exclusion occurs. Peripheries can be sites of oppression but also sites of subversion. Although they have often been thought of in terms of ostracism and marginalization, precisely because they are de-centered, peripheries offer spaces for agency, creativity and new perspectives. Moreover, the boundaries between centre and periphery have been destabilized in favour of more fluid exchanges. The notion has also been understood in more abstract ways. The paradigm of centre and periphery has proved a rich vein of thought for philosophers concerned with questions of power: it participates in Foucault’s theorization of surveillance, Deleuzian notions of deterritorialization, Derridean poststructuralism, and Spivak’s reflection on subaltern voices. The term’s multiple nuances resonate in domains as diverse as urban planning, medicine, politics and the visual arts.

We invite proposals for papers that explore the complex relation between peripheries and power, across languages, geographical zones and historical periods.

Themes may include (but are not limited to):

  • Migrants and migration
  • The refugee “crisis”
  • Border control and policing
  • Sociological categories of exclusion and alienation
  • Self-exile
  • Contemporary wastelands
  • Maligned and marginalized communities
  • Colonial histories: writing to/from the margins
  • Postcolonialism/Decolonization
  • Defending/Celebrating regional cultures and languages
  • The rise of nationalisms
  • Utopia/Heterotopia
  • Social anthropology and ethnography
  • Safe spaces
  • Visibility, Invisibility and questions of peripheral vision
  • Centres of power: the court and the kingdom
  • Protest movements: zones à défendre
  • The subaltern speaking from the margins
  • Feminist theory
  • Queer theory
  • Reinventing centres of power: administration, architecture, urban planning
  • Urban/rural divide, or divisions within urban or rural spaces

The deadline for the submission of a 300 word abstract and a short author note (100-150 words) is 28th March 2022 and are to be sent to:

Papers will be 20 minutes in length and should be given in English.

We aim to make this a hybrid event. Please specify in your email whether you wish to present your paper in-person or online.

Publication timeline:

Abstracts deadline: 28th March 2022
Notification of acceptance: 7th April 2022

Date of symposium: 26th May 2022