Call for Papers: New Universalisms: Aesthetics, Media, Politics

The Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature Department at the University of Minnesota will be hosting a graduate student conference: New Universalisms: Aesthetics, Media, Politics on October 7-8 2016. Professor Lauren Berlant of the University of Chicago will be our keynote speaker.
Graduate students and faculty are invited to submit conference presentations.
They are open to paper and panel proposals from a range of disciplines and theoretical positions.

New Universalisms: Aesthetics, Media, Politics

Graduate Student Conference, Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, University of Minnesota, October 7-8 2016

Keynote: Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago

Call for papers

We welcome contributions to and around the idea of universalism. Confronted by ecological crisis, religious sectarianism, resurgent nationalisms, transnational media, and neoliberalism, what might we redeem or rethink with the universal? What political and aesthetic advantages can be found in new universalism(s)? What form(s) of universalism may still hold the possibility of difference, transitions, hybridity, and plurality? Through this conference we encourage a continued discussion and critique of universalisms, including proposals towards new universalisms.

We welcome theoretical and historical investigations across disciplines, theories, methodologies, media, regions, and topics that address contemporary debates on the question of universalism(s) and the universal.

We invite submissions on, but not limited to, the following:

  • Philosophical, political, and theoretical universalisms

  • Universalisms in practice

  • Aesthetic universalisms

  • Affects and the senses

  • Global cinemas, musics, literatures, languages

  • Identity, difference, gender, race, class, caste, indigeneity

  • Globalization and postcolonial theory

  • Secular and post-secular critique

Please submit paper proposals of max. 300 words for spoken presentations of 20 minutes. Abstracts should be in .doc or .pdf format and include the following information: title, author(s), affiliation(s), and a short (max. 150 word) bio. All abstracts and questions should be directed to umncsclconference[at] The deadline for proposals is June 15.

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