Call for Papers JLGC 09: Reinventing Boundaries in Times of Crisis

CFP : Journal of the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society Graduate Conference
Issue 9 (forthcoming -Spring 2021)
In these confusing times, humanity is coming to grips with the loss of certainty and stability. Things that were considered evident in the past are increasingly being challenged by sudden rupture. Cross-border travelling is restricted, and people are even forced to stay indoors, or to reduce their mobility to the absolute essential. Our human connections are now mediated through technology. A challenge such as the Covid-19 crisis adds perspective to our thoughts about progress in the broadest sense: the ideal prospect of greater prosperity, ever greater knowledge, and ever greater mobility is suddenly shaken to its core. All over the world, people are questioning the sustainability of what was ‘before’, and are looking to shape what comes ‘next’. Will we return to our way of life before the global pandemic? Or will the shock lead to sustainable change and alternative cultural commodities?

In some areas, the vague contours of permanent change are becoming ever clearer. For example, intercontinental travel has been greatly curtailed and will probably take long to recover, as people are increasingly questioning the wisdom and necessity of global tourism or long-distance business trips. While the alternatives are taking form, it is becoming increasingly likely that people’s mobility will be reduced permanently. National boundaries, which were dissolving against the background of globalization, have suddenly gained importance, not only as limitations for people’s movements, but also as boundaries for policy making.

Call for abstracts

Against this background, we invite scholars to look at boundaries in times of crisis, both in historical contexts and in the present. Specifically, we welcome cases that examine the way in which humanity showed resilience in responding to times of crisis by redrawing and reinventing boundaries. We understand ‘boundaries’ here in the broadest possible sense, so as to include boundaries between social groups, between artforms, between disciplines, as well as geopolitical frontiers.

Contributions are welcomed from all fields of the humanities, to provide an interdisciplinary outlook on ‘Reinventing boundaries in times of crisis’, in the best tradition of the JLGC. How did/will artists in past, present and future reflect on the themes of boundaries, reinvention or crisis? How did they provide comfort to the public after crises? How did crossing or breaking boundaries help healing a society after or during crisis? How did literature function as a crossroads of new ideas, laying the basis for renewal after destruction? How did policy makers and ordinary people cope with crisis and how did societies rebuild, reorganize and reinvent themselves? On the other hand, reinvention can be negative: some societies initially go through periods of fractures before reinvention, people using ideas and art to divide people, to create boundaries in time of crisis.

We invite art and literary historians, literary scholars and humanities theorists to reflect on these themes, with an eye on the present situation. We would like to invite you to submit your paper for consideration in the ninth issue of the JLGC, which will be published in 2021. The editorial board intends to publish six to ten articles (selected through peer-review) in the next issue, with a length of 5000 to 7000 words, including footnotes, abstract, and a succinct biography. The JLGC welcomes contributions from early-career academics, which will be assessed and reviewed by the editorial board as well as by other scholars with expertise in relevant subject areas. Criteria for publication are the quality of the research presented in the paper, together with the development of new, innovative ideas and approaches.

Practical instructions

The deadline for the submission of a 500-word abstract is 15 November 2020. Please send everything to the editors-in-chief:

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