In 1848, Edgar Allan Poe prophesied in Eureka the day when “individual Intelligences become blended – when the bright stars become blended – into One.” In short, Poe describes a moment of singularity. With the ever-changing research landscape of the modern American university, one could argue that we are perhaps approaching this moment of blended intelligences and blended disciplines. As such, singularity represents a vital, energetic beginning for transdiciplinary academic inquiry. In an effort to promote such inquiry, the theme for the 2011 New Directions in Critical Theory Conference is “Singularity: Transdisciplinary Explorations in Language, Culture, and Theory.”
We are pleased to issue a truly transdisciplinary call for papers, one that we hope will attract the best minds of academic departments beyond the scope of English studies and even the humanities. We foresee contributions from the social sciences (linguistics, psychology, sociology, political science, economics, history, etc.) and the natural sciences (chemistry, physics, biology, geography, etc.). We therefore seek proposals for individual (15-20 minute) or panel (3-4 members) presentations on any topics that engage the theme of “Singularity.”
Consider, for example, some of the following questions: How is singularity achieved? In what ways is singularity unattainable? What makes a work or an author resist categorical singularity? What are the politics of singularity? Is globalization the telos of approaching or culminated singularity? Has postmodernism adequately dismantled the singularity of knowledge? Is there such a thing as singularity in culture? In what ways have technologies accelerated the momentum of singularity? In what ways has singularity complicated the notion of humanness and the relationship to the body? How has singularity challenged both scientific and literary considerations of the organic, biotechnology, ontology and epistemology? Is the notion of singularity itself problematic?
The conference will be held on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ on April 29-30, 2011. The keynote address, delivered by Vincent B. Leitch, general editor of the Norton Anthology of Theory & Criticism, will be on Saturday, April 30. There will also be a plenary address delivered by Professor Jerrold E. Hogle.
For further information please refer to the CFP under downloads.