Images of Terror, Narratives of (In)security: Literary, Artistic and Cultural Responses [Extended Deadline: 17 December 2012 ]
Centre for Comparative Studies
23rd and 24th April 2013
Faculty of Letters, University of Lisbon
Call for Papers
One of the greatest paradoxes of the 21st century is the fact that, even though western societies have reached an outstanding scientific and technological development, fear and insecurity continue to be very much alive in public discourse as well as in our private life. Concerns about terrorism, urban criminality, global epidemics, computer piracy and organized crime and, more recently, about the outcomes of the financial and economic crises circulate widely in the media and their highly politicized representations shape much of our everyday life.
Since the launching of the “war on terror” in the wake of the September 11th attacks, anxieties about security have grown intensively, justifying the strengthening of security policies and practices, not only in the US but all over the world. Despite this trend, other less “spectacular” forms of terror continue to have actual repercussions in our lives. In fact, a survey by the European Commission (released in November 2011) found that 34% percent of Europeans consider the financial situation rather than so-called “terrorism as the biggest threat to European security.
To what extent are many of these (in)securities real, exaggerated or constructed? What explains the disparate amount of attention paid to different sources of insecurity? Why do certain forms of “terror” achieve the status of “spectacles” and “memorable events”, while others receive comparatively little attention by the media and popular discourse?
In this conference we aim to examine how literature, art and culture have dealt with notions of insecurity and to what extent they have provided significant challenges and responses to hegemonic discourses.
Participants are encouraged to examine notions of insecurity from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives. Issues to be discussed might include, but are not limited to:
- Philosophical approaches to (in)security
- Literary approaches to (in)security
- Psychoanalytic approaches to (in)security
- Politics of (in)security
- The relation between insecurity and art
- Insecurities associated with economic/financial crisis
- (In)securities in Visual Culture
- Representations of the “War on Terror”
- Critical readings of “9/11” novels/films
- Representations of the terrorist attacks in London and/or Madrid
- Urban (in)securities and their representations
- Depictions of the Arab Spring
- The role of the media in the construction and/or dissemination of (in)securities
- The role of technology in the construction and/or dissemination of (in)securities
- The conference will include plenary lectures by guest speakers and thematic parallel sessions for registered delegates.
- Confirmed Guest Speakers:
Professor Boaventura de Sousa Santos (CES, Universidade de Coimbra/ Wisconsin Madison, USA)
Professor Liam Kennedy (University College Dublin, Ireland)
Professor David Murakami Wood (Queen’s University, Canada)
Professor Kristiaan Versluys (Ghent University, Belgium)
- Working languages: English and Portuguese.
- Papers: 20 minutes
- We welcome:
– individual proposals for a 20-minute paper (ca. 200 words);
– joint proposals for thematic panels consisting of 3 papers (ca. 200 words per paper)
Please include the following information with your proposal:
a) the full title of your paper / of your panel and respective papers;
b) abstract (ca. 200 words per paper);
c) your name;
d) your institutional affiliation;
e) your e-mail and postal address;
f) a short biographical note (ca. 100 words).
Selected papers delivered at the Conference will be eligible for publication.
- Deadline for proposals: 17 December 2012
- Notification of acceptance: 11 January 2013
- Please submit your abstract:
– by e-mail:
, Subject header: Abstract proposal
– or by post:
Images of Terror, Narratives of (In)security:
Literary, Artistic and Cultural Responses
A/C Centro de Estudos Comparatistas
Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa – Alameda da Universidade
– Early bird registration: 85 Euros (until 20 February 2013);
– Regular registration: 100 Euros (21 February – 11 March 2013);
– Student fee: 15 Euros (with paper); free (no paper/certificate)
– Other participants (without paper but entitled to conference materials and certificate of attendance): 15 Euros.
– Only after proof of payment will the registration be accepted.
– All speakers are responsible for their own travel arrangements and accommodation; relevant information about hotels will be provided later.
João Ferreira Duarte
Ana Raquel Fernandes