CFP Jun 24, 2004

Culture/Politics: graduate and junior-faculty conf. on British Studies (Berkeley, 28-29 Jan. 2005)

Daniel Ussishkin

British Studies, UC Berkeley, January 2005



Graduate and Junior-Faculty Conference on British Studies
Center for British Studies, University of California at Berkeley
January 28-29, 2005.

Special workshops by:

- Frank Mort (Professor of Cultural History at the University of Manchester)
- Lynda Nead (Professor of History of Art at Birkbeck College at the
University of London)
- Becky Conekin (Senior Research Fellow at London College of Fashion)
- Jed Esty (Assistant Professor of English at University of Illinois).

Recent decades have witnessed the increasing interest in, and problematization
of "culture" and "politics" as heterogeneous analytical domains. Across the
humanities and the social sciences, scholarly dissatisfaction with the
privileged position of the social and the accepted understandings of the
political led to various familiar 'turns,' methodological shifts, and a
resurgence of interest in theory and criticism. The scale of these
transformations was colossal.

Today the encounter of "culture" and "politics" continues to raise pressing
questions, as, for instance, in the recent exchange in New Left Review between
Francis Mulhern and Stefan Collini: premised on a set of detours from, and
returns to, the "culture and society" tradition of British intellectual
history, the debate provides a new occasion to address the terms of its own
construction-not just "culture" and "politics," but the impinging notions of
"history," "literature," "criticism," "society," the "intellectual," the
"nation," the "aesthetic," and so on. It is also a debate that obliges
scholars across the disciplines to re-conceive of their own objects of
inquiry, and to view today's intellectual work as actively participating in
the construction of "culture" and "politics" as meaning-bearing concepts.

This conference seeks to explore the culture-politics nexus in modern and
contemporary British history. It aims to do so by bringing together graduate
students and junior-faculty from across the disciplines whose empirical work
operates in, or seek to problematize the culture-politics nexus and the myriad
ways in which it is approached. To what extent does British history happen
in the breach between cultural and political fields, and how might this
reconfigure the received categories of historical research? How has the
culture/politics complex worked to make sense of the conditions of modernity?
How have desires to preserve and/or collapse the distinction between culture
and politics shaped the protocols of modern British studies broadly conceived?

Rather than mere theoretical reflection, we particularly invite
empirically-grounded work which engages these issues at the level of
particular historical and/or textual operations.

Proposed papers are welcome from across the disciplines, such as, but not
limited to: history, literary studies, the history of art, sociology, women's
studies, anthropology, political science, film studies, queer studies,
architecture, geography, economics, health studies, and legal studies. Papers
may address, but should not be limited to, issues ranging from histories of
gender and sexuality; history of science; mechanisms of government and
governmentality; liberalism and its alternatives; Brits and "others";
immigration; Britain and its empire; foreign policy; health and the body;
leisure; representation and the literary imagination; popular culture, music,
and cinema; "north" and "south"; the social and its investigators; work and
workers; war and British society.


Special guests: The conference will include special workshops and seminars,
with pre-circulated material, by distinguished scholars (listed above) whose
work has significantly contributed to some of the ways in which these
questions have been framed and understood.

Proposals for panels and single papers are welcome, but we also highly
encourage proposals for unorthodox formats such as round-table discussions,
seminars, screenings and performances.

*Deadline: October 1, 2004

*Proposals should be sent to:

Individual proposals should include a one-page abstract and CV. Panel
proposals should include names and CVs of all participants, abstracts of
individual papers (and brief panel summary), and all audio-visual and/or other
special requirements.

Questions and inquiries to either Daniel Ussishkin
( or Ben Graves (

Ben Graves (Department of English, UC Berkeley)
Daniel Ussishkin (Department of History, UC Berkeley)

CFP: Culture/Politics: graduate and junior-faculty conf. on British Studies (Berkeley, 28-29 Jan. 2005). In:, Jun 24, 2004 (accessed Sep 29, 2023), <>.