19th February 2012

CRESC Annual Conference: Call for Papers

Having played a key role in helping this site get off the ground, we thought it only right and proper that we highlight the forthcoming CRESC Annual Conference and call for papers (deadline April 20th). Details as follows:

Date, Time and Venue

Weds September 5 – Friday September 7, 2012, Manchester University

Keynote Speakers

  • Barbara Adam (Social Sciences, Cardiff University)
  • Robert Boyer (ENS, Paris)
  • Aditya Chakrabortty (The Guardian)
  • Will Hutton (Hertford College, Oxford University)
  • Paul Mason (BBC Newsnight)
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli (Anthropology, Columbia University)

Promises: Crises and Socio-Cultural Change

In the midst of global financial crisis and radical transformations in states, institutions and social relations, it has become urgent to explore the role promises play in effecting socio-cultural change. As particular plans, projects, policies, initiatives, dreams and visions, promises both open and close the possibility of different kinds of socio-cultural futures (and pasts). What promises are contained in the current political and socio-cultural moment? This CRESC conference will explore how promises are made to work and fail in the following contexts and fields:

  • Capitalism: in the midst of rolling crisis, what are the (broken) promises of financialised and globalised capitalism? What rewards do consumption and investment now promise?
  • Expertise: what promises are embedded within fields of politics, media, law, bio-medicine, science and the environment? What is the emergent potential for new, progressive or transformative public knowledge?
  • Intimacies: what promises are implicated in transformations of everyday intimacies and personal relationships? How are intimacies being re-configured through objects, networks, technologies and bodily practices?
  • Cultures: what counts as a successful future in terms of cultural production, participation, engagement or inclusion? Which histories and whose values underpin forecasts of lifestyles, life chances and cultural futures?
  • Methods: what new methods meet the challenge of understanding complex patterns of socio-cultural change? How are we to understand promises when confronted by different (non)coherencies, (dis)connections, proximities, localities and dispersals?

In and beyond these themes, we invite contributions that explore how promises hold worlds together by working to mobilise, sustain, disrupt and embody certain kinds of understandings of socio-cultural life and how promises relate to impact, success, failure or neglect. We are concerned also to highlight how promises are often explicit and the work of elites and power-brokers, but are also implicit in helping to preserve certain kinds of (sustainable or unsustainable) existences. Finally, we seek to explore the contested and unstable, intended and unintended nature of promises – and their relational expression across a multiplicity of times, places and spaces.

Call for Papers

The Call for Papers is available here and the closing date is Friday 20th April 2012.