Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Cultural Studies Association (US)
Policing Crises Now
The theme, Policing Crises Now, is prompted by and departs from the rich and diverse innovations and provocations of Policing the Crisis (1978), a groundbreaking work generated by a collective of scholars, including and facilitated by Stuart Hall. Those innovations and provocations include the collective nature of the research, the conjunctural/structural mode of analysis, the attention given to race, gender and sexuality in political-economic dynamics, as well as the analysis of intertwined statistical representations, media representations, legal proceedings and, of course, policing by police, as a response to a “crisis of hegemony.”
Taking up Policing Crises Now, in the current conjuncture, requires fresh theorization both of policing, in light, especially, of the potential elasticity of the metaphor, and of crisis in light of its diverse deployments in critical analysis, dominant political-economic practice, and popular culture. By pluralizing crises, we aim to open the scope of inquiry at this conference to include the full range of social, cultural, natural, political, and economic phenomena to which the term crisis has been attached. We also aim, under this rubric, to develop conversations engaged during our last conference about the structure of university work and employment, the ways knowledge production is constrained and enabled by austerity politics, neoliberal entrepreneurialism, the prominence of debt and risk, and the university as a site of policing of thought and political activism. It is our hope that this conference both builds from and enables collective knowledge production and research practices.
Topics that might be addressed include but are not limited to:
- Collective research methodologies
- Securitization, as deployed in financial and international relations/military/police contexts, and the relation between those uses
- Risk, as deployed vis-a-vis individualized responsibility for physical danger, “at risk” populations, and as a central component of economic praxis
- The NAACP journal, The Crisis, and its editor W.E.B. DuBois, especially their role in broadening the struggle against racial injustices
- Debt as policing practice and/or debtor as moralized subject position
- Financial “crises” in the US, UK, Greece, Iceland, or other specific locations
- Precarity, its locations and impacts, ranging from the minutiae of labor contracts to its impacts on social reproduction.
- Policing of national borders against migration/refugees (in Europe now, but also many other times and locations)
- Identity formations within and among historical and contemporary migrants as modes of subjection and resistance
- Policing as a context of imperial convergence through shared strategies of rule, policy/arms transfers (i.e. U.S.-Israel), shared contexts of training.
- Anti-Black police violence in the US (and elsewhere)
- Media (old, new, social) representations of anti-Black police violence
- Relation between incarceration and debt — the revival of “debtor’s prison”
- Activisms and rebellions against policing and prisons, recently in Ferguson, Baltimore, under the rubric of Black Lives Matter as well as or in relation to long standing efforts and organizations (especially local to Villanova or Philadelphia)
- Representational strategies and strategic representations (by the state, by artists, by activists) of violence, debt, police.
- Restructuring of universities for increased managerial control and insecuritization of faculty, etc.
- Campuses as a historical context of policing politicization in the name of the public; the emerging context of campus privatization and securitization; new techniques, strategies, and rationales for campus policing.
- Renewed campus regulation of sexuality, claims of sexual vulnerability, and sexual “securitization” of students.
We welcome proposals from scholars contributing to cultural studies who may be located in any discipline, inter-discipline, or scholarly field. CSA aims to provide multiple and diverse spaces for the cross-pollination of art, activism, pedagogy, design, and research by bringing together participants from a variety of positions inside and outside the university. Therefore, while we welcome traditional academic papers and panels, we also encourage contributions that experiment with alternative formats and challenge the traditional disciplinary formations and exclusionary conceptions and practices of the academic (see session format options listed below). We are particularly interested in proposals for sessions designed to document and advance existing forms of collective action or catalyze new collaborations. We encourage submissions from individuals working beyond the boundaries of the university: artists, activists, independent scholars, professionals, community organizers, and community college educators. And we invite proposals that engage with the conference location/region and its many resources.
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