Friday, February 26, 2016


Day One:
9:30 am Breakfast and Introduction
10:00 - 11:50 Distraction, desperation and historicism at the limits of abstract thought
Eddy Troy (UCR), Ciarán Finlayson (Kingston), Aaron Guerrero (UCI), James Goebel (UCI), Varnitha Reddy (Carnegie Mellon)

Respondent: Aglaya Glebova (Art History)
12:00 - 1:30 (Dis)placing Production
Ana Baginski (UCI), Ryan Sullivan (UCR), Kevin Block (UCB) 

Respondent: Rei Terada (Comparative Literature)

1:30-2:30 Lunch
2:30 - 4:00 Experiencing Imbrication
Michael Berlin (UCI), Anders Johnson (UCI),  Richard A. Grijalva (UCB), Ryan Leack (UCR)

Respondent: Horacio Legrás (Spanish & Portuguese)
4:00 - 4:15 Break
4:15-5:45 Keynote address, David Lloyd (UCR)
6:30 Dinner
Day Two: 
10:30 am Coffee
10:45 - 12:30 Scales of Violence
Colin Eubank (Johns Hopkins), Katherine Ding (UCB), Andrea Arango (SDSU)
Respondent: Herschel Farbman (French)
12:30-1:15 Lunch 
1:15 - 2:45 Impossible Inevitabilities, Distance and Collectivity
Willie Chase (UCI), Elizavetta Koemets (Wisconsin), Peter Lehman (UCLA), Eunha Choi (CSULB)

Respondent: R. Radhakrishnan (English)
2:45-3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:30 Keynote address, Alberto Moreiras (Texas A&M)

5:00 - Beach bonfire

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Call for Papers (Extended Deadline!!!)

Featured contributors: Alberto Moreiras (Hispanic Studies, Texas A&M), David Lloyd (English, UC Riverside)

Abstraction plays a crucial role in many contemporary critical discourses, but is anyone really clear how it works? Do we really know where it comes from and where it resides? And do we dare even to ask what it is? We can trace where it appears as it regulates marxian and postmarxian debates about finance capital, real subsumption and the task of theory; where it shows up in the algorithm, the interface, and other abstractive modes of digital technologies; in epistemologically-flirtatious theorizations of government and corporate detection and the shifting contextualities of locality and globe; in defenses of the scientificity of demonstration and reproducibility; in the imaginative leapings that engender eco-critical objects, the cataloguing of proliferating eco- and non human relationalities, and the penchant for processual realities; and how it intensifies scrutiny of philosophy's function – especially where the ineliminable pressure of blackness’s exclusion threatens what have long passed for the conceptual frameworks, generative mechanisms, and ontological ground proper to human thought. Beyond its contribution to this or that discussion, it’s clear that the intellection of abstraction – abstraction as inherent to critical method and experience – is an inimitable tool in the critical theorist’s lexicon.

Yet, in spite of this currency, the texture of abstraction's coin seems unwieldy and highly variable. We propose a forum in which to consider abstraction less as a conceptual terrain that is claimed and mined to meet particular theoretical exigencies than by curiosity about the oft-incurious means of abstraction’s critical deployment. If we turn our attention to the mold and pattern of the walls that seem discretely to silo the aforementioned concerns, can the demands of these discourses themselves offer clues as to abstraction's relation to more familiar guides of social categorization – and thus to social thought's imbrication with experience: corporeal, cognitive, affective, psychic, even writing – in a time when categories and grids seem askew?

We are particularly interested in investigating abstraction as it opens onto the question of the production of thought, of resources for thinking, of the capacity as well to delimit thinking from what is not, what is neither thinking’s violence, nor its force: worn out thinking, tired thought, thought that gets ahead of itself and trips on its laces, thought that lingers only to fall behind, thought-in-progress, confused and jumbled thought. This may lead to addressing conceptuality as a venture in porosity: an oscillation between the inevitability of identity and the impossibility of totality. However, it must also ask about the scenes and scales of theorization and the historical damage and institutional violence wielding the ratchet by which to modulate between them. Indeed, it may well be that getting clear on abstraction requires weighing in on the labor undertaken and promulgated by the University itself.

We invite submissions of papers and/or panels in all disciplines and treating material from all time periods by those who conceive of their work within the thematics of abstraction as well as those who operate beyond the fields touched on above– even if their relation to this critical concept is not yet a project, nor a question: merely a hunch. We also welcome submissions as experiments in reflexive critical practice; the limits of what “we” can think together are as interesting as any single question "we" all already know how to pose.

Submission Specifics

Any preformed panels should be comprised of 3-4 participants whose papers cluster around or respond to a specific set of questions. Panel submissions should include a panel title and all participants’ abstracts. Individuals may submit 250-300 word proposal/abstract and a short bio to by February 1, 2016. All submissions should include the title of the paper, the abstract and the name and contact information of the author.

Areas of potential interest include:
-historicity and the human sciences
-institutional politics
-identity formation
-blackness and modernity
-biopower and social control
-computer cognition and code
-data, distance, and scale
-theories of genre
-critical pedagogy
-critical university studies