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Meeting Call for Papers Announcement
Who Declares the End of Emergency? Temporalities of Precariousness after Extreme Events
Sponsor: Cambridge University
Contact Information
Rebecca Gimbel
Who Declares the End of Emergency? Temporalities of Precariousness after Extreme Events. *Call for Papers* Panel, AAA Annual Meeting, Washington DC 3-7 December 2014 We invite paper abstracts for a panel at this year’s AAA Annual Meeting. Please send your abstracts (250 words max.) to Jan Bock at Cambridge ( and Rebecca Gimbel at Rice ( Deadline for submission is 24 March 2014. -- Drawing on Carl Schmitt, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben defined sovereign power as the government’s capacity to declare a state of exception, thus suspending previous citizenship practices, institutional processes, and ordinary lives. After extreme events – natural disasters, political uprisings, industrial accidents – governments routinely declare states of emergency, purportedly in order to respond more effectively to challenges and needs. What happens, however, at the end of a state of emergency and exception? How do people conceptualize the ‘return to the normal’? How do imaginations of the ‘ordinary’ transform during the emergency phase? Which are the new ‘normalities’ people desire when the exception is officially lifted? What ideas of self, identity, and belonging are produced through suspending previously unquestioned dimensions of the everyday? Lives, experienced as precarious but also tightly controlled by state agencies during crisis, somehow have to return to ‘normality’ – a state where a sense of control over one’s own life is reconstituted. Our panel investigates concrete dimensions of, and experiences during, enforced transitions that do not necessarily correspond to the needs and perceptions of those whose lives are labelled as ‘exceptional’, and subsequently ‘normal’, by state and other agencies. States, institutions, and the global public, have specific and sometimes contradictory expectations about the temporal structuring regarding transitions from states of emergency (back?) to normality. We want to explore how those living through states of exception experience such imposed temporalities – and to what extent they correspond to the affected population’s conceptualization of successive life phases. If crisis also generates novel concepts of sociality, as Rebecca Solnit writes in A Paradise Built in Hell, then how do such forms translate into ordinary life after its suspension? We invite papers that investigate experiences of transition from emergency to normality, exploring how people conceptualize temporalities of change as well as the meaning of belonging, identity, and the ordinary, in the aftermath of imposed temporary suspensions of the everyday. Together, we will explore a neglected dimension of precarious lives: experiences during forced transitions from emergency to normality, a state-orchestrated process constituting the inevitable end of declared states of exception.
Keywords: crisis | post-crisis | state of exception
This announcement will be displayed until: 03/14/2014
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