CFP Nov 23, 2013

Rancière and A-disciplinarity (Binghamton, 28-29 Mar 14)

Binghamton University SUNY, Mar 28–29, 2014
Deadline: Jan 10, 2014

Steven Warech

The Seventh Annual
Comparative Literature Graduate Conference
Binghamton University (SUNY)
Literature, Politics, and Aesthetics:

Jacques Rancière and the Politics of A-disciplinarity

Interdisciplinarity has become a buzzword across the humanities; the
term usually implies that scholars make use of the tools of another
discipline while remaining within the boundaries of their own. The
French philosopher Jacques Rancière points to the impossibility of this
project, describing his work as "a-disciplinary" or "in-disciplinary."
We propose a conference about Rancière for three reasons: firstly, he
takes up questions and concepts that belong to multiple disciplines;
secondly, his ideas have been adopted within different disciplines; and
lastly, Rancière himself theorized the nature of disciplines and
disciplinary boundaries.

In his article, "Thinking Between Disciplines: An Aesthetics of
Knowledge," Rancière writes: "A discipline is always much more than an
ensemble of procedures which permit the thought of a given territory of
objects. It is first the constitution of this territory itself, and
therefore the establishment of a certain distribution of the
thinkable." Rancière maintains that disciplines are structures that
dictate how knowledge will appear from the beginning of the
investigation. In other words, the objects of knowledge taken up by a
discipline are contoured and pre-determined by the disciplines
themselves. Rancière speaks of disciplines as "war machines" in the
sense that they are always engaged in an antagonistic and exclusionary
process that makes interdisciplinarity an a priori impossibility. His
works point to the fact that these older models of disciplines are
insufficient and limit possibilities for thinking by "distributing the
thinkable," "regulating dissensus," and "distributing positions."

In the wake of Rancière's work, the division between theory and praxis
begins to give way and we are confronted with the impossibility of
thinking our work within academia as a solitary practice that bears
little relation to the outside world. Instead, Rancière points to the
inherently political nature of our work both in terms of teaching
students and our writing practices. With Rancière, we hope that
rethinking these and related questions will pave the way for a
democracy to come.

We invite talks/papers that deal with but are not limited to the
following topics:

- Papers that set out to question and critique the limits of
disciplines, thus producing new ways of reading and engaging with

- Talks that explore the status of one's own interdisciplinary work
within a more traditionally organized department

- Papers outlining the ways Rancière's thought has been taken up in
other disciplines

- Readings that engage specifically with Rancière's philosophy

Please send an abstract of at least 250 words along with your C.V. to by January 10th.

CFP: Rancière and A-disciplinarity (Binghamton, 28-29 Mar 14). In:, Nov 23, 2013 (accessed Mar 23, 2023), <>.