Thursday, December 15, 2011

DON'T FORGET: Send in Your Session Proposals: 2nd Biennial Meeting of BABEL


First, please read the provocative discussion here at In The Middle spurred by Mark Bauerlein's essay, "The Research Bust," in The Chronicle of Higher Education HERE, HERE, and HERE.

And THEN, don't forget that the BABEL Working Group is still looking for your session proposals for its 2nd Biennial Meeting in Boston, 20-22 September 2012, "cruising in the ruins: the question of disciplinarity in the post/medieval university." We have an exciting lineup of featured speakers -- Jane Bennett, Jeffrey Cohen, Carolyn Dinshaw, David Kaiser, Marget Long, Lindy Elkins-Tanton and Sans fa├žon [the dynamic duo Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees] -- who cover a broad spectrum of disciplines and fields, from medieval studies to physics to planetary geology to political philosophy to architecture to public art to photography, and who have been asked to consider the possibility of new friendships [intellectual and otherwise] across and within local knowledges. We are hoping for a raucous and felicitous convergence of bodies of knowledge and singular voices to help us consider: what happens both deep within, but also, beyond and after disciplines? What happens when we re-sound our disciplinary wells, while also, inevitably, bumping into each other and occasionally hooking up, like Democritus’s atoms, with our disciplinary Others? Can we hold on to our disciplinary objects and methods and ways of knowing, while also keeping them open to futurity and the surprise of the stranger?

You don't need to have a session proposal in which you've already lined up a full panel of speakers -- just a proposal for a session is fine right now. Conversely, if you're keen to send us an individual paper proposal, please do so. We'll also be happy to accept session and/or individual paper proposals through next Monday, December 26th. Once we have assembled all of the session proposals, we'll post those in mid-January or so, and then have another call for paper proposals targeted to specific proposed sessions or to more general sessions [to be assembled later]. I might add that we've already received a good number of session proposals [including one structured as a drinking game on "Wild Fermentation: Disciplined Knowledge and Drink" and another on "Intellectual Crimes: Theft, Punking, and Rogueish Behavior" that involves sharing a ball of twine with the audience, just to share two!], but we're concerned to have as much creative input as possible, so please send us your proposal [title plus brief description of the session, and contact information for session organizers] at:

For more information on the conference's speakers, themes, and session structure(s), go here:

the 2nd meeting of the BABEL working group: cruising in the ruins

Cheers and Happy Holidays from BABEL!

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