Plotting the Crisis: Ecologies, Commodities, and the Arts (24th May)

cropped-dscn1086A one-day symposium on 24th May will interrogate the concept of “crisis”. How is the current crisis to be understood within the context of the long-run dynamics of the capitalist world-system? Is it developmental or epochal? How are we to understand the periodicity of crises within capitalism? What would it mean to grasp a diversity of hazards, risks, and disasters as manifold forms of a crisis in capitalism’s strategic relations of power, production, and nature?

The symposium is particularly interested in the relationship between the dynamics of crisis and aesthetic practice. How, for example, might the emergence of certain artistic or literary forms at specific historical junctures be related to the periodic crises through which the capitalist world-system unfolds? And how have the arts helped to conceptualize or critique crisis? In exploring these questions, the symposium will engage with recent scholarship on ‘world literature’, and in particular the efforts by materialist critics to reconstruct this concept in terms of its relationship to global capitalism. But it will seek to push these approaches further through cross-disciplinary encounters with scholars from fields such as environmental history and political economy.

For more details, including biographies of the speakers and the theoretical background to the event, please visit the symposium website. This event is free and open to all but please email the organizers to give us a rough idea of numbers. The symposium will take place at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University.


9.15- 9.45     Tea and Registration

9.45-10.00   Introduction

10.00-11.30 Jason W. Moore (Binghamton): “The Capitalocene: On the Nature and Origins of Our Ecological Crisis”

11.30-11.45 Tea Break

11.45-13.15   Janet Stewart (Durham): “Oil-Scapes: Visual Art and the Materiality of Oil”

Treasa De Loughry (UCD): “Plasticide & Petro-Modernity”

13.15-14.15         Lunch

14.15-15.45    Sharae Deckard (UCD): “World-Literature, World-Ecology and Neoliberal Crisis”

16.00 – 17.30 Roundtable: Short responses/snapshots of their work by Durham faculty. Featuring Dr Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián, Professor Nicholas Saul, Dr Caitríona Ní Dhúill, Dr Jenny Terry, with  Professor Stephen Shapiro (Professor of English Studies at the University of Warwick).



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