Annual Conference

CFP: 2015 Cultural Studies Association (CSA) Conference Call for Proposals

Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association (US)

 

Another University Is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy

 

Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California

21-24 May, 2015

 

Important Dates:

*       September 15, 2014: Submission System Opens
*       December 15, 2014: Submissions Due
*       February 15, 2015: Notifications Sent Out
*       February 15, 2015: Early Registration Opens
*       April 15, 2015: Early Registration Ends and Late Registration Begins

The Cultural Studies Association (CSA) invites proposals from its current and future members for participation in its thirteenth annual meeting in the Riverside Convention Center, Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California.

Proposals from all areas and on all topics of relevance to cultural studies are welcome, and are not limited to proposals that critically and creatively engage this year's highlighted problematic.

This year’s theme, “Another University is Possible: Praxis, Activism, and the Promise of Critical Pedagogy,” plays on the World Social Forum’s motto, “Another World is Possible.” It expresses a commitment to the intellectual and political project of a radically different university. Moving beyond policy and pundit-driven discussions of the state and the future of higher education, we seek proposals that highlight socially-engaged scholarship and activism, and projects that explore the transformative possibilities embedded in the present. What forms and formations of research, pedagogy, praxis, and activism have emerged from the struggles being waged in, around, through, and in spite of institutions of higher education? What roles can culture, theory, imagination, and technology play in these struggles? Taking up cultural studies' historical commitment to the interrogation of the relations among knowledge, power, and social transformation, the 2015 Cultural Studies Association conference seeks to provide an insurgent intellectual space for imagining, enacting, and mapping new forms of knowledge production and scholarly communication and community.

We are particularly interested in work that links the global neo-liberal conjuncture of higher education to local acts of collective resistance and action, and back again. We want to know more about how students, staff, faculty, administrators, and community partners are responding to the current social, legal, economic, financial, political, cultural, institutional, and intellectual challenges and possibilities: student debt as a means of financing higher education institutions; court cases that attack the history and practice of affirmative action; the rise in union activity on campuses; the re-entrenchment of the "humanities" as a division under "crisis"; the emergent emphasis on MOOCs and other online forms of education that extend the already dominant casualization of academic labor; the emergence of public and digital pedagogy and scholarship; the ambivalent politics of academic freedom; the reduction of education to vocational training and degrees to commodified credentials; the role of universities in reproducing or amplifying (rather than reducing) the social inequalities of contemporary capitalism; and the university as a site of capital accumulation and dispossession, among many other trends and tendencies.

As at previous CSA conferences, this year's conference aims to provide multiple spaces for the cross-pollination of art, activism, pedagogy, design, and research by bringing together participants from a variety of positions inside and outside the university. While we welcome traditional academic papers and panels, we strongly encourage contributions that experiment with alternative formats and challenge the traditional disciplinary formations and exclusionary conceptions and practices of the academic.  We are particularly interested in proposals for sessions designed to document and advance existing forms of collective action or catalyze new collaborations.  We also encourage submissions from individuals working beyond the boundaries of the university: artists, activists, independent scholars, professionals, community organizers, and community college educators.

Proposals from all areas and on all topics of relevance to cultural studies are welcome, and are not limited to proposals that critically and creatively engage this year's highlighted problematic. We welcome proposals from a range of disciplinary and topical positions, including literature, history, sociology, geography, politics, anthropology, communication(s), popular culture, cultural theory, queer studies, critical race studies, feminist studies, post-colonial studies, legal studies, science studies, media and film studies, material cultural studies, platform studies, visual art and performance studies.

About the Riverside Convention Center, Greater Los Angeles Area, California

The 2015 conference will be held at the beautiful, brand-new Riverside Convention Center, in downtown Riverside, Greater Los Angeles Area, California. The closest airport to Riverside, California, for those of you flying in, is the Ontario, CA International Airport (ONT--sometimes referred to as the LA/Ontario International Airport).  More information about the venue, the city of Riverside, and the greater Los Angeles Area is available here:

http://www.riversidecvb.com/riverside-convention-center

Riverside is a hidden gem of Southern California, less than a half hour drive from the Ontario, CA International Airport, less than an hour's drive from LA and about 90 minutes from San Diego. With its progressive landmarks, lively downtown, many fine restaurants, galleries and museums, and its proximity to so much of Southern California's beautiful natural scenery and cultural sites, Riverside is a truly inviting and wonderful site for our conference.

Riverside is also home to several institutions of higher learning, with nearly fifty thousand college students populating the city, Riverside breeds an overall vibe of ambitious, critical energy. Riverside's colleges and universities include: University of California, Riverside - One of the fastest growing colleges in the nation, UC Riverside is a national leader in cutting-edge research, community collaboration, and student diversity, La Sierra University, named "the most diverse university in the western U.S." for the past four years by U.S. News & World Report, California Baptist University, and Riverside City College.

Submission Process and Timeline

All proposals should be submitted through the CSA online system, available at www.culturalstudiesassociation.org. Submission of proposals is limited to current CSA members. See the benefits of membership and become a member at www.culturalstudiesassociation.org.

The submission system will be open by September 15, 2014. Please prepare all the materials required to propose your session according to the given directions before you begin electronic submission. Notifications of acceptance/rejection will be sent no later than February 15, 2015.

In order to be listed in the program, conference registration must be completed online before May 1, 2015. All program information – names, presentation titles, and institutional affiliations – will be based on initial conference submissions.  Please avoid lengthy presentation and session titles, use normal capitalization, and include your name and affiliations as you would like them to appear on the conference program schedule. 

Important Note about Technology Requests

All sessions run for 90 minutes and will have access to basic internet connection.  However, please note that unlike previous years, only about 50% of the rooms will have access to audiovisual equipment (projector, screen, speakers, etc.). Sessions that require audio-visual space or technical equipment must request these at the time of submission.  The Program Committee will do its best to provide reasonable accommodations, but accommodations are contingent upon the availability of resources and equipment. Any technology requests should be included as a note in the body of the initial submission, with a follow up email to Michelle Fehsenfeld at contact@csalateral.org.   Please only request projectors, screens, and speakers only if you plan to use them.  The CSA will be charged for every piece of equipment we rent/request.  A limited number of laptop computers will be available upon request but participants are expected to bring their own computers.  

Please note that all session organizers/submitters must be CSA members for the 2015 calendar year at the time of submission

Conference Formats

Note: While we accept individual paper proposals, we especially encourage submissions of pre-constituted sessions. We also invite proposals that engage with this conference location and its many resources.

All conference formats – papers, panels, roundtables, workshops, and seminars – are intended to encourage the presentation and discussion of projects at different stages of development and to foster intellectual exchange and collaboration. Please feel free to adapt the suggested formats or propose others in order to suit your session’s goals. If you have any questions, please address them to Michelle Fehsenfeld at: contact@csalateral.org.

PRE-CONSTITUTED PANELS: Pre-constituted panels allow a team of 3-4 individuals to present their research, work, and/or experiences, leaving 30-45 minutes of the session for questions and discussion. Panels should include 3-4 participants. Proposals for pre-constituted panels should include: the title of the panel; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the panel organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of all panelists, and a chair and/or discussant; a description of the panel's topic (<500 words); and abstracts for each presentation (<150 words). Pre-constituted panels are preferred to individual paper submissions.

INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Successful papers will reach several constituencies of the organization and will connect analysis to social, political, economic, or ethical questions. Proposals for papers should include: the title of the paper; the name, title, affiliation, and email address of the author; and an abstract of the 20 minute paper (<500 words). Pre-constituted panels are recommended over individual paper submissions, though we welcome both.

ROUNDTABLES: Roundtables allow a group of participants to convene with the goal of generating discussion around a shared concern. In contrast to panels, roundtables typically involve shorter position or dialogue statements (5-10 minutes) in response to questions distributed in advance by the organizer. The majority of roundtable sessions should be devoted to discussion. Roundtables are limited to no more than five participants, including the organizer. We encourage roundtables involving participants from different institutions, centers, and organizations. Proposals for roundtables should include: the title of the roundtable; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the roundtable organizer; the names, titles, affiliations, and email addresses of the proposed roundtable participants; and a description of the position statements, questions, or debates that will be under discussion (<500 words).

PRAXIS SESSIONS: Praxis sessions allow a facilitator or facilitating team to set an agenda, pose opening questions, and/or organize hands-on participant activities, collaborations, or skill-shares. Successful praxis sessions will be organized around a specific objective, productively engage a cultural studies audience, and orient itself towards participants with minimal knowledge of the subject matter. Sessions organized around the development of ongoing creative, artistic, and activist projects are highly encouraged. The facilitator or team is responsible for framing the session, gathering responses and results from participants, helping everyone digest them, and (where applicable) suggesting possible fora for extending the discussion. Proposals for praxis sessions should include: the title of the session; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the (lead) facilitator and of any co-facilitators; a brief statement explaining the session’s connection to the conference theme and describing the activities to be undertaken (<500 words). Please direct any questions about praxis sessions to Michelle Fehsenfeld at contact@csalteral.org.

SEMINARS: Seminars are small-group (maximum 15 individuals) discussion sessions for which participants prepare in advance of the conference. In previous years, preparation has involved shared readings, pre-circulated ''position papers'' by seminar leaders and/or participants, and other forms of pre-conference collaboration. We particularly invite proposals for seminars designed to advance emerging lines of inquiry and research/teaching initiatives within cultural studies broadly construed. We also invite seminars designed to generate future collaborations among conference attendees, particularly through the formation of working groups. Once a limited number of seminar topics and leaders are chosen, the seminars will be announced through the CSA's various public email lists. Participants will contact the seminar leader(s) directly who will then inform the Program Committee who will participate in the seminar. Seminars will be marked in the conference programs as either closed to non-participants or open to all conference attendees. A limited number of seminars will be selected by the program committee, with a call for participants in the chosen seminars announced on the CSA webpage and listserv no later than 15 February 2015. Interested parties will apply directly to the seminar leader(s) for admission to the session by 1 April 2015. Seminar leader(s) will be responsible for providing the program committee with a confirmed list of participants (names, affiliations, and email addresses required) for inclusion in the conference program no later than 15 April 2015. Proposals for seminars should include: the title of the seminar; the name, title, affiliation, and contact information of the seminar leader(s); and a description of the issues and questions that will be raised in discussion and an overview of the work to be completed by participants in advance of the seminar (<500 words). Individuals interested in participating in (rather than leading) a seminar should consult the list of seminars and the instructions for signing up for them, to be available at the conference website by 15 February 2015. Please direct questions about seminars to seminars@csalateral.org. Please note that for them to run at the conference, seminars accepted for inclusion by the program committee must garner a minimum of 8 participants, including the seminar leader(s).

WORKING GROUP SESSIONS: All working groups have two sessions at their command. Working groups may elect to post calls on the CSA site for papers and internal submission procedures or handle the creation of their two working group sessions by other means. Working groups will facilitate the creation of two sessions drawing from, but not limited to, working group members. Working groups should create their proposals according to the specifications listed under their session format. When submitting to the conference website, working groups should select “Working Group” as their session format and include a note in the body of their submission designating the session as an official submission of the working group. Only Working Group organizers should submit Working Group session proposals through the conference submission system.  A listing of all CSA Working Groups is available here: http://www.culturalstudiesassociation.org/workinggroups

PANEL CHAIRS: We are always in need of people to serve as panel chairs. To volunteer to do so please submit your name, title, affiliation, and email address, as well as a brief list of your research interests through the conference website.

Registration Fees

Like our membership fees, the registration fees will be on a sliding scale:

Income Level/Status Members Non-Members
Student/ Retired/ Underemployed $40 $90
Up to $40K $60 $130
Up to $60K $80 $180
Up to $80K $100 $230
$80K and over $130 $280

NOTE: There will be a late fee of $50 charged to all registrants after April 15, 2015.