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SMLC PGR Symposium - Rethinking the Crisis across Languages and Cultures

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Location: OC1.01

We are delighted to announce that this year's SMLC PGR Symposium will take place on May the 12th at the University of Warwick in the Oculus (room OC1.01). The symposium 'Rethinking the Crisis across Languages and Cultures' will be a hybrid event with the possibility of attending online.

In recent years, the idea of global crisis has become a common currency we have grown accustomed to. The contradictory nature of the crisis, however, has proven to be one of the biggest catalysts for change, simultaneously destabilising and shaping our societies. While Latour posits that ‘there is a moment when a never-ending crisis turns into a way of life,’ Agamben contends that ‘today, crisis has become an instrument of rule. It serves to legitimise political and economic decisions that in fact dispossess citizens and deprive them of any possibility of decision.’ Be they economical, ecological, psychological or moral, crises have shaped – and continue to shape – the very essence of our human existence.


This symposium will delve into the controversial aspects of the crisis, examining both its potential as a catalyst for positive change and creation and its use as a tool of control, dispossession, or simply a destructive force. It will provide the opportunity to explore crises as a source of artistic and intellectual creation and recreation. Engaging with scholars researching across a variety of disciplines, contexts and time periods, this conference will be a collaborative opportunity to propose a series of questions including but not limited to: How has the concept of crisis changed over time? How have economic, ethical and psychological crises shaped our society? How have they shaped our cultural values and generated new forms of aesthetics? How is the concept of crisis related to the apocalypse and extreme changes and what metaphorical values do they have?

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