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CALL FOR PAPERS: Conference on the Art and Politics of Irony (March 2012)

Call for papers

The Art and Politics of Irony | L’art et la politique de l’ironie
12-14 April 2012 ~ Montréal, QC

An interdisciplinary conference hosted by the Institute for the Public Life of Arts and Ideas, in collaboration with Improvisation, Community and Social Practice (SSHRC-MCRI), the Centre de recherche en éthique de l’Université de Montreal and the Département d’études anglaises, Université de Montréal

Keynote Speaker
Shoshana Felman (Emory University)

Special Session Leaders
Brigitte Adiaensen (Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen)
Jill Stauffer (Haverford College)

Call for papers

“The ironist does not have the new within his power . . . he destroys the given actuality by the given actuality itself.” Søren Kierkegaard

Irony makes the world new by putting the world that exists in question. Its strength lies in its destabilizing power—it is the politics of art, the art of politics, and the language of dissent. By enabling critical representations of the world as it is known, but from within and against the familiarity of our own expectations, irony gives art and discourse special kinds of access to the public sphere, especially by mining beneath the given, the actual, and the known.

In politics, philosophy, art and literature, across post-modernism, post-colonialism, and globalization, the question of irony is of expanding relevance to a range of fields of cultural formation and inquiry. Yet it remains insufficiently noticed, understood, or theorized; ironically powerful and silent at once. What is the meaning of irony? What does it accomplish and exactly how and with what effects? Is irony impoverished or indispensable, disenchanted or enchanting, world-breaking or world-making?

Conference organizers invite proposals for papers addressing the public and public-making function of irony across time and through a range of contexts and media. Disciplines may include but are not limited to:

Architecture and Design
Art History
Classics
Film
Fine Arts
Gender and Sexuality
History
Law
Literature
Media and Communications
Musicology and Music Performance
Philosophy
Politics
Theatre and Performance

Proposals for complete panels as well as for individual papers in English or French are welcome. Researchers are invited to submit paper abstracts of 250 words and brief (2 page) cvs to: irony@mcgill.ca. Deadline for submissions: 30 September 2011

Registration fees: $100 Faculty; $50 Students (Fees will be waived for students at McGill University and the Université de Montréal.)

Improvisation implies a deep connection between the personal and the communal, self and world. A “good” improviser successfully navigates musical and institutional boundaries and the desire for self-expression, pleasing not only herself but the listener as well.

– Rob Wallace