Call for Papers

In/coherence: expression, translation, violence
Cultural Social and Political Thought Workshop
University of Victoria: April 21-22, 2012

The Cultural, Social, and Political Thought program at the University of Victoria is pleased to announce a call for papers and projects for our annual graduate conference on April 21-22, 2012.  The title of this year’s conference is in/coherence: expression, translation, violence.  Thematic workshops will feature keynote speakers and student submissions (papers, performances, art pieces).  This interdisciplinary conference seeks to engage in/coherence in social, cultural and political discourses, especially with respect to contemporary events.

Dynamics of expression, translation and violence in current contexts present opportunities for discussing in/coherence.  As an interpretive thematic, in/coherence can be explored in ways that destabilize the binary reduction of “coherence versus incoherence”.  How does in/coherence function politically, socially and culturally in contemporary arenas?  Actions viewed as “incoherent” are frequently disregarded as illegitimate, yet claims of “coherent” actions are equally problematic.  In response to recent expressions of dissent, a common insistence for actors to “bear reasonable witness” to their choices has illuminated the hegemonic scope of legitimacy.  How do both demands and rejections of coherence complicate notions of incoherence (and vice versa)?  Discussing in/coherence in these ways has potential ramifications for discussions around citizenship, postcolonialism, democracy, resistance, identity, liberal normativism, gender, nationalism, biopolitics, indigeneity, aesthetics, multiculturalism, the urban, language, globalization, critical theory, posthumanism, and capitalism, among others. We invite participants to submit original projects and aim to foster dynamic debate of these themes.
The conference will offer four workshop foci through which to approach these issues:

Narratives form horizons of consciousness: while they open up some ways of relating, they simultaneously close off the possibility of others. Proposals around this theme explore how the norms of “good,” i.e. coherent, narrative correspond to the dominant ideologies of our time (capitalism, neoliberalism, colonialism and so on). We also look for contributions that address the possibilities for new genres and narratives to reject the norms of efficiency and coherence.

Is the material synonymous with the concrete? Can materiality be understood outside of language? Contributions to this workshop might consider the irreducible number of determinations (linguistic, topographical, concrete, etc.) that come into play in discussions of materiality.

We are often told that a coherent notion of space and time, and conceptualizations thereof, are fundamentally imbricated in our ability to identify and make ourselves. Homelands and histories are presupposed as the fundamental conditions under which our being together is made and understood. We invite proposals which seek to describe, interrogate and trouble considerations of spaces and times (or spatiotemporalities) imagined as coherent or incoherent, and to call into question the rationalities that mobilize such discourses.

The clean lines and binary choices presented by contemporary technology give the strong impression of clarity, control, and coherence, but under the surface lurk power failures, code exploits, and unexpected mutations. In this spirit, proposals to this workshop might, among other aims, interrogate the in/coherent character of key technologies – questioning the reasons for their design, the way that they function, and the effects that they have on their users –  interrogations that may demonstrate that an in/coherent logic informs the algorithmic operation of technology.

Please submit project proposals between 250-500 words (with expression of interest in one of the four workshop nodes) to by February 10, 2012.

For more information, contact us at or go to