[thingist] CFP for Intersections/Cross Sections 2012: Occupations

Erika Biddle erika at autonomedia.org
Wed Nov 23 16:10:03 UTC 2011

Below is the CFP for the annual graduate conference hosted by the  
Joint Programme in Communication and Culture at York and Ryerson  
Universities, Toronto. Please distribute widely.

+ + +

25, 2012)
11th Annual Communication and Culture Graduate Conference, York  
University/Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario

Abstracts due: December 23, 2011; notification by January 23, 2012
Conference date: March 23–25, 2012
Please email submissions and questions to: intersections.occupations at gmail.com

Occupare: (Latin.) To seize, capture

Occupy but better yet, self manage…. The former option is basically  
passive—the latter is active and yields tasks and opportunities to  
contribute.… To occupy buildings, especially institutions like  
universities or media, isn’t just a matter of call it, or tweet it,  
and they will come. It is a matter of go get them, inform them,  
inspire them, enlist them, empower them, and they will come.
– Michael Albert, “Occupy to Self Manage” (http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33609 

I think that our political structures are corrupt and we need to  
really think about what a democratic society would be like. People are  
learning how to do it now…. This is more than a protest, it’s a camp  
to debate an alternative civilization.
– David Graeber, “The Man Behind Occupy Wall Street,” interviewed by  
Seth Fiegerman (http://interactivist.autonomedia.org/node/33897)

This is a critical moment, as “Occupy everywheres” present  
possibilities for new politics, and new forms of learning, engaging  
and living with each other. From the recurring occupations of the  
squares in Greece and Italy to the UK’s winter of discontent and the  
Arab Spring, to the summer of protest in Spain and the North American  
autumn—at general assemblies around the globe, people are running  
their own lives, influencing the media and discussing what is to be  
done without politicians. The recent occupations are an education in  
direct democracy and the solidarity necessary for action.

Occupy Wall Street, and the occupations around the world, are attempts  
to build the social compositions that are the precondition for action.  
They are the working-through of a problem that ‘politics-as-usual’  
works to suppress—the massive exploitation that is capitalism, and the  
emergence of politics adequate to address it. At this stage, the  
occupations are the connection of people, ideas and machines—the  
cumulation of assemblages that might build something. What happens  
next depends on what is being built now.

As it was written upon the recent expulsion of OWS from Zuccotti Park:  
“You can’t evict an idea whose time has come.” We invite graduate  
students from all related disciplines to submit proposals for  
academic, artistic and activist presentations and workshops that  
explore, celebrate, analyze and otherwise critically engage with the  
ideas emerging from occupations. Possible areas of engagement include:  
politics and aesthetics, movement research and performance studies,  
humanities and digital humanities, critical disability studies, labour  
studies, social theory, social movement theory, policy, political  
economy, communications studies, media, culture, pedagogy, technology,  
artistic practice and activism.

Please send a 250-word abstract, as well as a brief biographical note  
(100 words) to occupations.intersections at gmail.com by December 23,  
2011. Proposals should list paper/panel title, name, institutional  
affiliation and contact details.

Workshop facilitators: Please provide a tentative timeline  
highlighting the duration and one or two general learning objectives  
of your session, along with a clear indication of space and technical  

Artists: If sending creative works by email, please limit attachment  
size to 5 MB or less, or direct us to a URL. Include viewing  
instructions, comments and titles in your email if applicable. If  
submitting creative works by post, please mail the proposal, a non- 
original copy of the work, and viewing instructions to the following  
address (well before the submission deadline):

Intersections 2012 Conference
c/o Graduate Program in Communication and Culture
3013 TEL Building, York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto, ON   M3J 1P3

Intersections / Cross Sections 2012: Occupations is presented by and  
for graduate student scholars, artists and activists through the  
organizing efforts of the Communication and Culture Graduate Students  
Association (GSA): http://thecomcult.wordpress.com

For more information about the Joint Graduate Program in Communication  
and Culture at York and Ryerson Universities: http://comcult.yorku.ca  
and http://www.ryerson.ca/graduate/programs/comcult/

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