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Re-staging Academia

Call for Papers

Joint Symposium

Re-Staging Academia


Berlin, November 3 - 5, 2011


This year’s symposium in Berlin will build on some of the themes of the last three Joint Symposia while also opening up a new specific area for discussion. Entitled Re-Staging Academia, we invite you to submit proposals reflecting on the concept of academic work, its practices, ideas, and traditions. Even prior to the foundation and establishment of universities, there have been many considerations, discussions, and discourses about the notions of knowledge, teaching, and university (from Plato, to Humboldt, to Nietzsche, Adorno, Barthes, Foucault, and Derrida – to name only a few), which are still vivid today. We would like to revisit these discourses, explore some of their central concepts and also link them back to the discussions that arose in last year’s three Joint Symposia.


1. Communication: How is knowledge produced in academia? What kinds of communicative logic are followed in academia? When and under which conditions is somebody entitled to speak in academic contexts?


2. Re-enactment of power: Which structures of power do we obey when we act in academia? How is it possible to reconcile thinking about discourses of power and awareness of them while still remaining part of them? How and under which conditions can institutional habits, conventions, and practices be altered? And does the term “(re-)staging” primarily refer to a structure that obeys academic traditions, hierarchical arrangements etc., or does it also imply potentialities of (re-)designing spaces which unfold performative qualities, intensities, and creative possibilities?


3. Reflection on artistic practices: Why do we engage ourselves in the arts? How can we adapt artistic practices or our interests in them to academic ones?


4. Subjectivity and self-reflection: What does academia do to our bodies? What role do emotion, passion, desire, and despair play within academic practices? How does academia connect to our lives? How does it influence and change them? How can we encourage subjective forms? How can we say “I” in academia and how can the assumed gap between academic work and “private” life be bridged (or should it be at all)? How does the passion for the subjects of our research arise and how can we take a position toward them in the academic context? How can academic work adopt a self-reflexive attitude?