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[Commlist] CFP: Imagined Borders, Epistemic Freedoms Conference
Wed May 22 23:21:59 GMT 2019
Announcing a CMRC Conference in Collaboration with SIMAGINE:
Imagined Borders, Epistemic Freedoms: The Challenge of Social
Imaginaries in Media, Art, Religion and Decoloniality
The Center for Media, Religion, and Culture University of Colorado Boulder
January 8-11, 2020
Confirmed Featured Speakers: Ann Laura Stoler, Catherine Walsh, & Glenn
The question of borders and the practice of bordering persist in a world
destined for encounters and confrontations. This persistence today bears
resemblance to long-standing legacies of coloniality, modernity, and
globalization, but it also foregrounds new narratives, aesthetics, and
politics of exclusion and dehumanization. Talk of walls, fortresses,
boundaries, and deportation has never been a political or philosophical
anomaly, but rather a reflection of a particularistic social imaginary,
a linear compulsion of epistemic assumptions that sees the world through
the logic of hierarchy, classification, difference, and ontological
supremacy. This foreclosure is a widely shared and accepted social
imaginary, as demonstrated in current scholarship in the critical
humanities and social and political sciences: a foreclosure that has
also defined institutions and disciplines of knowledge production which
continue to marginalize other knowledge systems and intellectual
traditions and refuse to acknowledge their viability and legitimacy in
the academy. Disciplinary walls and intellectually demarcated canons
within the Western and Westernized university in the Global North and
South have generally produced narrow curricula and models of learning
that reproduce selective systems of thought, discourses and practices.
The tenacity of this normalized worldview requires urgent new
imaginaries: a decolonial perspective not only to call out the
ontological instability of Western theory, but also to establish a sense
of epistemic hospitality capable of liberating and re-centering other
ways of knowing and dwelling in the world. This contestation of physical
and cognitive borders has found its most ardent proponents in recent
movements such as #RhodesMustFall, Standing Rock, Idle No More,
Undocumented and Unafraid, #Whyismycurriculumsowhite, Arab Uprisings,
Black Lives Matter, and #MeToo, among others. At the heart of this
decolonial injunction is a desire by absented voices to reclaim the
right to self-narrate, to signify, and to render visible local
histories, other temporalities, subjectivities, cosmologies, and
struggles silenced by Western and Westernized accounts of the world.
The fields of art, religion and the media have not yet come under
historical scrutiny about their own epistemic and existential
imaginaries and whether they reify or disrupt dominant structures and
legacies of knowledge production? Drawing from a variety of intellectual
established academic disciplines, these fields risk carrying the same
blind spots, the same foreclosures, the same ontological foundations,
and the same centered claims to universality.
What can a decolonial critique then do to avoid a zero-sum epistemology?
And how can we develop new decolonial imaginaries as an invitation to
undo the Eurocentrism of our paradigms, challenge the verticality of our
pedagogical designs, and achieve an ethics of interpretation, an
epistemic justice whereby theories from the South or from ‘the margins’
in the North are not treated merely as local or subjective? The
decolonial attitude challenges us to avoid embracing singular
universalities, and rethink altogether the hierarchies of global-local
and of universal-particular that underlie this world’s inequality.
This will be the ninth in a series of successful international
conferences held by the Center for Media, Religion, and Culture in
Boulder. The previous meetings have brought together an
interdisciplinary community of scholars for focused conversations on
emerging issues in media and religion. Each has proven to be an
important landmark in the development of theory and method in its
respective area and has resulted in important collaborations,
publications, and resources for further research and dialogue.
The 2020 conference is organized in conjunction with SIMAGINE, an
international and interdisciplinary research consortium bringing
together partners from the USA, the UK, Europe and South Africa; it is
hosted by the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the
Netherlands, and dedicated to the study of social imaginaries between
secularity and religion in a globalizing world. SIMAGINE has organized
conferences on ‘Religion, Community, Borders’ leading to a special issue
of the open access Journal for Religion and Transformation in December
2019. In 2018 the consortium published the volume Social Imaginaries in
a Globalizing World.
The conference will feature keynote lectures and keynote conversations,
as well as thematic panels and artistic performances. We invite papers
and panels from across disciplines, intellectual traditions, and
geographic locations that engage with these questions and beyond.
Possible topics could include but are not limited to:
* Borders, Bordering, Border Zones between the Imaginary and the Real
* Modernity, Secularity, Religious Legacies and Universality
* Social Imaginaries and (the Critique of) Anthropocentrism
* Coloniality and Decolonial Epistemologies
* What Counts as Critical Theory and Decolonial Critique?
* What Counts as Religion in the Decolonial Imaginary?
* Big Data, Algorithmic Culture, and (De)Coloniality
* Decolonial Intersectionalities
* Decolonial Feminisms
* Decolonizing Race, Ethnicity, and Identity
* Decolonial Pedagogy, Methodology, and Praxis.
* Media, Religion, and Theoretical Provincialism
* Media, Arts, and Decolonial Theory
* Media, Religion, the Other, and the Subaltern
* Religion, Theology, and Social Imaginaries
* Social Imaginaries and (the Critique) of Neoliberalist Globalization
* Geopolitics of Knowledge Production
* Language, Publishing, and Boundaries of Learning
* Imagination and Worldview Education: Interreligious Dialogue
* Queering the Archives
Abstracts of 300-350 words should be submitted to (cmrc /at/ colorado.edu)
<mailto:(cmrc /at/ colorado.edu)> by June 10, 2019.
Please include your email address and university affiliation in your
For questions, email Nabil Echchaibi, Associate Director:
(nabil.echchaibi /at/ colorado.edu) <mailto:(nabil.echchaibi /at/ colorado.edu)>.
or Stewart M. Hoover, Director: (hoover /at/ colorado.edu)
<mailto:(hoover /at/ colorado.edu)>.
For more information, visit cmrc.colorado.edu <http://cmrc.colorado.edu/>
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