On Thursday, May 6th from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM EDT Nicole Grimaldi, Athanassia Williamson, and Santiago Ospina Celis will host Communities: Imagined, Speculative, Real - the 2021 Poetics & Theory Graduate Conference!
Communities: Imagined, Speculative, Real
“…all that is, all that can be, all that will be, and all that will never be are in a community.” –Shaj Mohan
Debates about the value of community have long animated the history of philosophical and political thought, while the loss of and longing for community have been long-standing preoccupations of the literary imagination. What does community look like today, in an era of rapid technological and scientific advancement, neoliberal racialization, wealth inequality, acute climate precarity, and epidemic transmission? How are sustainable forms of collective organization—whether organized around common needs and desires, kinship or ethnicity, shared identity, social or political advocacy, aesthetic or spiritual proclivities—being continually trialed in ways transformative, ineffectual, imaginative, and never-before-thought?
In some contexts, the tenets of community are being aspirationally built, while elsewhere being violently negotiated, stretched over ever-shifting ideological coordinates. Of late, military insurgency and anti-government political protests have taken hold around the world, and widespread movements for racial justice and global climate strikes have dominated news cycles. We have seen in philosophical and ecological discourses a growing interest in thinking about community in reference to non-human or non-exclusively-human publics, while discussions persist about the role of science and technology in facilitating or eroding collective life. Adding to these considerations, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted us over the past year to rethink how to community-make and -break when congregation might mean contagion.
With the aim of engaging literary, philosophical, and socio-political horizons, NYU’s Program in Poetics & Theory asks: How have transformations in fictional, theoretical, and poetic worlds impacted community’s lived possibilities? How can we think community anew despite or in light of the concept’s persisting pasts? This conference considers how shared histories inform the possibility of community, how creative and speculative enterprises propose new futures for collaboration and assembly, and how the potential for resistance can grow out of discourses of refusal—out of the subversion or perversions of a collectivist ideality.
Click HERE for the full conference program!
*The “Communities: Imagined, Speculative, Real” conference committee expresses their full support for the Graduate Student Organizing Committee (GSOC) during its ongoing contract negotiations with NYU, and stands in solidarity with the current strike as GSOC works to negotiate a fair contract for graduate workers. In order to respect the picket line (in-person and virtual), this remote conference will be hosted “off-campus,” in a non-NYU Zoom meeting room. We encourage our participants to learn more about the strike as well as ways to support graduate workers and GSOC during this time.*